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Flying Buddies

I run into all kinds of passengers on my travels.

Most of the time I exchange a hello with the person sitting next to me. It seems reasonable to at least acknowledge their presence, particularly when the flight attendant says, “ the unlikely event of a water landing...” Sometimes Chatty Charlie next to me will start a conversation about a random topic like, “Wow, an MD-90, didn’t think these still exist!” Ugh! Comforting thought right as the plane is speeding for takeoff.

Passengers will often ask, “How long is the flight?” My standard response is x IF we take off. ‘Cos ya never know! Sometimes we sit on the tarmac for so long that I fall asleep. I wake up at takeoff thinking we have landed, sigh.

And when the dude in front of me reclines into my lap, I wish him nothing but acid reflux.

Last week, I observed an unknown man outrageously flirting with a random woman at the restaurant next to the gate and then I found said male in the seat next to me. Sleep time. Pronto.

I like aisle seats. I don’t know why. Maybe because I want to make sure the emergency lights work in unlikely events. And when the co-pax in the window seat needs to go to the restroom twice in an hour-long flight, I feel badly because I totally get it. Heaven forbid if I get upgraded to a window seat. Then I am sure the plane will circle for an hour after I’ve consumed water and coffee onboard.

Then there are the ones who unload on the flight attendants for missing their connection. “Let me off on the tarmac right now so I can catch another flight,” bellowed one angry customer yesterday. The very patient flight attendant repeatedly told him, “Sir, we cannot do that for safety reasons.” The rest of us were like, “No! Go ahead, let him out!”

Not to forget the troubles that airlines cause with bare bone tickets. A young woman tried to board with a carry-on bag and was informed that her basic ticket did not permit any cabin bag. She started sobbing rather loudly. A passenger with a regular ticket and no hand bag, grabbed her carry-on and declared to the agent, "There! We are all good now!" Phew on all counts.

All in all, most everyone is kind and considerate. We work, watch movies, or sleep. Some of us blog. We stay seated and keep our belt on. And we never push that orange button on top even though we want to punch the heck out of it sometimes. Before every takeoff and after every touch-down I give thanks to those who get us from here to there and our flying buddies.

On the last flight, the lady next to me offered me her pen so I could do a crossword and she thanked the flight attendant for putting up with the guy who wanted to get off on the tarmac. For every weirdo, there are tons of kind people. I just have to say hi to find the good folk.

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