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Flight Fright Not the Pilot’s Fault
Caravan News 8100

Flight Fright Not the Pilot’s Fault

April 2013

Bobbie Wallinger 

Now, I’m pretty sure from the headline, you are going to assume my recent flight to North Carolina was one of terror due to the terrible storms which have been battering the north east for the past month. But, rest assure, the terror I experienced was the result of me trying to control myself for the 5-hour portion of my flight.

You see, I had the misfortune of finding myself seated in row 29, seat “E”. Now for those of you who are frequent flyers, you are aware that meant simply that I was going to sit BETWEEN two complete strangers as I wended my way from Sacramento to Atlanta. Traveling alone has never bothered me, and in fact, often I am delighted by meeting new and interesting people during those long non-stop flights. Granted, they may not be equally impressed with me, but….

Anyway, to cut to the chase, the folks with whom I “row” shared this go around were absolutely the worst. It all began when I stopped in the aisle at row 29 and noting a ton of packages, a purse, and rolled up blanket, and a pair of slippers on seat “E”, I identified myself as the bearer of ticket seats, “E”. After a period of glares from the occupants in seats “D” and “F”, I waited as they slowly began gathering the afore mentioned items from seat “E” and holding them in their respective laps.

The aisle occupant was a man probably in his 60’s who weighed well into the very high 200IB. range. The woman, next to the window, was of reasonable body size but was holding the bulk of items that had previously been on my seat.

“Excuse me”, I stated looking at the six inches which separated the man’s knees from the seat in front of him.  “I can’t squeeze past you” A groaning sound escaped from his lips and with many grunts and explosions of air (most from his mouth), he got up and unwedged himself from his seat into the aisle.

With great effort, I got my seat and plucked down as fast as possible. Not a word was uttered by either of the unsociable people. Thankfully it was finally time for take-off and as the plane shrieked into the sky, the woman started dragging food products out of her purse.

With nary an, “excuse me”, “whoops” or “sorry”, she started handing the guy an assortment of fat-filled snacks. At this point I realized they must at least know each other.

“Excuse me”, I uttered forcing my lips apart and attempting to ungrit my teeth. “Are you two together?” The man ignored the question but she, whom I would learn was his wife, said, “Yes, he’s my husband.”

“Oh, I’m sorry”, I started hoping the double entendre would not be picked up. “I’m happy to trade seats with either of you. I don’t care if I am at the window or the aisle.” My simpering smile was lost on them.

“Nope”, she responded. “He likes the aisle and I like the window.”

I can honestly say, I wanted to cause her physical injury, right there at that very moment.

But, being the lady I am, and terribly fearful of being handcuffed for interfering with a flight by the secret air police, whom I am told ride every plane and are armed, I choose to bite my tongue and remained silent for the next four hours as they traded food supplies, magazines, and Kleenex. Oh, and did I mention he had a terrible cold and “snorked” choked, coughed and swallowed incessantly, never saying excuse me even one time.

Yes, indeed, as much as I love to fly, In the future, I am going to come armed with my own supply of annoying trinkets that I can use in a retaliatory method, should I ever again be subjected the Mr. and Mrs. Nasty.

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