Seven flights in 12 days…..I feel like a gypsy living out of a suitcase and eating out of takeout containers. Although I love travelling, for me the confines of airports and planes put a magnifying glass on how people treat others.
Take, for instance, the gentleman that sat in front of me on flight #3. Once he finished inhaling his tin-topped dinner, he wanted to settle in for a nap. So, he clicked the button on the armrest to go into full recline mode and promptly send my tray (attached to the back of his seat) straight into my chest. Snaps to the flight attendant for tersely addressing that. I ate the rest of my chicken devan and mashed potatoes in perfect peace after she laced him out.
I also get my knickers in a knot when people treat the plane like it’s a lounge – you know that kind. They perch in the aisle as soon as that little seatbelt light goes out, they walk around to chit chat and look irritated when the flight crew is trying to manoeuvre the massive drink cart around them.
My biggest vent is also one that I’m a bit sheepish to admit. I’m not the most confident flyer (a bit of an understatement). So that last thing I want to hear is how freaked out other people are. Man up and keep it to yourself. Chicken flyers feed off the anxiety of other chicken flyers so by sharing your own fears, it throws gas on the proverbial fire of nerves.
When flying from Toronto to Cozumel (flight #1), the row behind me was a group of friends, likely in their early 40’s. They had a lively banter all through take off and ascent on how shaky the plane felt and “is this thing going to make it up”. I completely lost it and started quietly sobbing in my seat whilst cutting the circulation from my husband’s arm (seriously, I was one step from sucking my thumb in an effort to self soothe). An innocent girl a few seats over from me also caught the dialogue and I watched her eyes go wide with terror. I felt bad for her, but was too absorbed in my own panic to give her a reassuring glance.
Speaking of innocent children, on flight #3, I was sandwiched between my husband and a boy about ten years old. It was a late flight and most people dozed off, myself and said boy included. When I woke up, he had some how sandwiched himself through the armrest and was half sleeping on me. He also managed to snag a piece of the blanket I had over me. I wasn’t annoyed though. He was super cute. He even offered me some of his Pizza Pringles once we landed. Now that’s a gentleman in the making.
(First published on She Does The City, May 2008)