Tonight’s flight is over and it was a red-eye! It doesn’t need much explaining; we departed at night flew through the night and arrived in the morning of the next day. It’s one of the least favorite parts of my job.
Every crew member has their own adaptation technique and I’m not here to talk about what works or what doesn’t. To be frank, nothing works, humans weren’t meant to work during the night. For that matter, humans weren’t meant to fly! Yet, we do.
As we departed a brightly-lit runway, the poor guy keeping me company in the cockpit was trying hard to stay up to speed.
“Why so bright?” He asked, rhetorically, I assumed, and I let him be. After pulling away from Mother Earth and joining an imaginary highway in the sky, I tried rhetoric myself. “An airway! How creative!” Names in aviation must have been concocted by a bunch of boring consultants, I think to myself.
“You wouldn’t know anything about who actually named it an airway? Would you?” Trying to get him talking, maybe then we will have something to keep us perked up. “Must have been the US post, they invented everything.” I laughed, it must have been a boring postal worker then. It is true they invented all the first ideas that helped make the flying we do possible.
“Any speed?” He asked the somnolent-sounding Air Traffic Controller while scanning his screen for traffic around us.
“No speed restrictions” the ATC radioed back, and with that my next-seat neighbor twisted his dial and told the aircraft “Warp speed!” Something I usually disapprove of was suddenly so right, we all just wanted to cut short a few minutes of the flight.
Now if only we could find something interesting to talk about, ” Any news from upstairs?” I asked, knowing that management grievances can fill another couple of hours of flying.