You went early to the Tower of London hoping to avoid the long line to gawk at the Crown Jewels. Many tour buses were on the same schedule. You went to the Science Museum on a Tuesday to avoid the weekend hordes.  What you found were the weekday hordes of uniformed primary school children, pressing all the buttons on the interactive exhibits and leaving a trail of British germs for you to pick up.  Anal, misanthropic, germaphobe though you are, of course you forgot the hand sanitizer.

Under family pressure, you decide to go on a ride on the London Eye.  The lines are going to be horrible. You go to their website and are pleasantly surprised.  They must be private or have a non-London eye firmly trained on profit-maximization because they have come up with a price discrimination scheme exactly for last-minute-planning, people-hating, elitist b’stards like you. You have the option of Flexi Fast Track.  You can turn up anytime and swan to the front of the queue!

The Science Museum is free (wow!) and publicly owned so they can’t pull a stunt like this (but why not Science Museum, you really should, you need the money!).  The Queen is already so elitist that any further sign that there is a class system would cause a huge backlash.  So, there is no two-track procedure for seeing the Crown Jewels.  But the London Eye faces no such constraints.  You can decide where you lie on the forward-planning/value-of-time dimensions and pick from several options. Why not go the whole hog and get drunk on the London Eye with a Pimm’s experience (with optional extra fee for second glass) or a wine tasting?

You may have one other quibble.  Don’t expect to board like United Premier 1K travelers, before all the plebs come on with their crappy baggage.  They will let in around ten of you Fast Track princes and ten of us plebs.  But the Fast Track line is short because it is so bloody expensive (just like everything else in London!) and you will get on sooner. But you will be sharing a EyePod carriage with some plebs – get used to it.  On United, you can recline in your b-class bed secure in the knowledge that the plebs like me in Economy can’t even come into your section to pee. But on the London Eye, you will be breathing the same air as me.  Sorry.

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