Hollywood Elsewhere is seated in row 46, right aisle, on a Virgin Atlantic flight to Heathrow…a flight that should have left at midnight but is only just getting underway at 12:41 am.

I have roughly the same amount of wiggle-breathing room that astronaut Alan B. Shepard had in his Mercury space capsule on 5.5.61. Plus I’m seated next to a person of considerable (dare I say oppressive?) size.

Coach flying is an agony-endurance test. You just have to somehow get through it.

4:38 am update: For purely sadistic reasons our Virgin Atlantic flight attendants insisted on serving drinks and snacks for just under two hours…1:30 am to 3:25 am…up and down the aisle, pushing carts, bumping into outstretched legs and feet. Thanks, guys.

5:16 am: The air conditioning is so intense that the floor has turned cold and my leg muscles have all but seized up. Between the almost wintry climate and sitting next to a whale…I’m in hell. It’s nearly 9 am London time — three more agonizing hours to go.

5:40 am: The frigid air is so uncomfortable that I’ve just walked to the galley in the rear to request extra blankets. Much appreciated.

Straightup noon (London time): Landing in 10 or 15 minutes. This has easily been one of the most arduous transatlantic flights of my life. I was internally weeping. This is why people pay bigtime for first-class seating — they’re terrified of flying coach.

12:20 pm: Stuck on Heathrow tarmac, our gate unavailable for another ten or so. Dear God, let me escape this vessel of mute nostril agony. We’re still not at the gate…I hate this flight with every fiber of my being. A half-hour lost to numbing bureaucratic tedium. 45 minutes on the tarmac. Thank you!