Posted by: twobigyellowcranes | 6 March 08


Yesterday afternoon, I did something I never did before. I volunteered to disembark an over-booked plane and get the next one home instead. Why? For a few reasons:

  1. I have been reading a book called “How to change your life by doing nothing” which is a challenge to stop always “doing” and to sometimes just enjoy “being”. The writer starts with a story that he found himself frustrated by having got the time of a flight out of Dublin wrong until he decided to enjoy the extra couple of hours at the airport by relaxing. The story and setting seemed too much of a coincidence.
  2. Before we had boarded, BA were looking for someone to be bumped back off one of their flights, which had initiated a conversation with my friend about whether we had ever been “bumped”.
  3. I wasn’t hurrying home as I had taken the whole day off to come back from watching a football match the night before (a dull but pleasing win for United). The next flight was due to be in within 3 hours of the flight I was actually booked onto, although it turned out that the flight I should have been on got in late at 1.45pm and the flight I actually was on got in on time at 3.15pm.
  4. They offered the willing passenger 160 euro in compensation, which they subsequently increased to 250 euro after I’d got off without my asking! This paid for my flights, my match ticket and most of my hotel bill.

All in all, I had a nice couple of relaxing hours in the airport by myself, reading, eating and drinking and came back all the more relaxed and ready for some frantic family time. I have resolved to take more time out to do nothing where possible – especially if someone else will pay me to do it.



  1. Good call. I’ve been using public transport a lot recently and its definitely encouraged me to slow down.

  2. You’re a bigger man than I am and you deserve your reward!

    (Jammy git!)


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