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Insomnia Airways - Travel In The Twilight Zone

Tuesday February 10, 2015

Insomnia Airways - Travel In The Twilight Zone

We’ve got to be at the airport at what time???

Tried booking a flight from London to Lanzarote lately? Recent changes to scheduled services over the last few months have been particularly harsh on those of us who prefer to wake up before we take off.

Take any given Monday. Nobody except those carry-on luggage misers Thomson (5kg max) depart after 7.40am, which means having to hit Gatwick, Luton or Stansted for a heart attack inducingly early check in time of around 6am latest. Now that´s ideal for insomniacs but rubbish for the rest of us.

Add on at least an hours travel to any of the airports above and you’re talking about some serious sleep deprivation here, with times more in keeping with rendition than recreation flights.

What are these airlines thinking? I wouldn´t get up for work at that time of the day so I certainly don´t want to do that for leisure. And whilst these dawn raid departures may be relatively competitively priced you´re coming out behind once you factor in taxis, eighteen pints of coffee, a full airport breakfast and whatever else you need to ingest to ensure you can stumble to your flight seat without slumping half asleep en route to the gate over one of those pointless sports cars they still seem to be raffling off interminably in the South Terminal.

These tickets should be issued with a health warning or at least some Dexedrine.

And if you´re having trouble tying your shoelaces or getting dressed at that time of the morning think what it must do for your pilot´s eye to hand co-ordination. According to medical experts sleep loss is a major public health hazard as drowsiness is as dangerous as driving, or flying, drunk. "This is Your Captain Sleeping"!

Indeed some of the most devastating disasters of recent times such as Bhopal, Three Mile Island and Chernyobl have all been attributed to sleep loss or night shift work. And the respected psychologist John A Caldwell has also conducted extensive research into sleep loss and fatigue in pilots, with some rather alarming results.

So we decided to contact the airlines that are currently colluding to induce these body clock shocks to demand more civil aviation options from the capital. But to our amazement they were just too tired to respond.


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