Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Life on the……Plane?

That’s right folks. I have spent these past two weeks traveling to Savannah and San Diego for work, and I have some reflections/ramblings to share with you regarding my main mode of transportation these past two weeks.

First off, U.S. Air now charges $2 for a can of soda. Not knowing this beforehand, I did not buy a beverage to take with me on the plane, thinking that I would wait for my complimentary can of ginger ale. I don’t know about you, but I am unwilling to pay $2 for a can of soda that should be included in my VERY expensive plane ticket. On my trip to San Diego I was flying American and assumed that there would be a cost for beverages, so I came prepared. To my delight, American did serve complimentary beverages and I happily drank my ginger ale with ice with renewed faith in the air travel industry.

Now I know that the window seat on the plane is the most coveted (great view, something to lean against while sleeping), but for me, the aisle seat is far superior. First off, you have a better vantage point for people watching on the airplane. You’re able to see not only the people in the row across from you, but the people in front and behind you. If the people in your immediate row are dull, you may find yourself being entertained by the passengers sitting around you. Secondly, you can lop over into the aisle, which I find creates a few more feet of leg room (just make sure you watch out for that beverage cart). And lastly, the aisle seat enables you to be the first one in your row to retrieve your overhead luggage from the bins, thus giving you a slight advantage in the scramble to exit the plane after landing.

I have never experienced more anxiety than when I am waiting to see who I have to sit next to on the plane. Best-case scenario: An attractive, single male who engages me in meaningful and entertaining conversation throughout the duration of the flight, laughs at all of my side-splitting jokes, and declares the plane ride to be the best one he has ever had. Worst-case scenario: A dirty looking old man who smells like feet, breathes too loudly, and pulls out an egg salad sandwich, which he then chews loudly right next to my ear. On both of my trips, my row mates fell somewhere in between my best and worst case scenarios. On my flight from Boston to Texas, I sat next to Bob and Mary. Bob and Mary are the stereotypical overfriendly couple who offer you food, and proceed to tell you a plethora of details about their life that you’d probably be better off not knowing. From Texas to San Diego, I sat next to a woman who brought her cat as her carry-on item. Now I did not think I had any allergies to animals, but sitting 2 feet away from a cat for 3 hours proved otherwise. Sitting next to Cat Lady was a Hispanic artist, who quickly became infatuated with Cat Lady. They spent the entire flight talking and laughing and drinking (she bought him wine!). At the end they exchanged e-mail addresses and Cat Lady walked away smitten as a kitten (no pun intended). I guess that was her best-case scenario.

Happy Flying!


Anonymous said...

The moral of the story? iPod headphones are the *only* way to fly.

Colin Steele said...

My old-man knees and I like the aisle seat better too.

Yuval Shavit said...

I once sat on a flight from Rome to Boston next to an Italian woman who was on her way to Richmond to tell her husband that she'd met an a new man in Sicily. I was going through some women issues at the time myself, so we spent the first couple hours of the flight drinking lots of free wine (pre-collapse Alitalia!) and the next nine hours asleep. I did get her email address, but I lost it on my way home. I hope she's doing okay with her saucy Sicilian somebody.

Anyway, Brian, getting drunk with an Italian chick beats the hell out of iPod headphones.

Meg said...

My favorite thing about flying is the free Diet Coke. Does that make me weird?

Big said...

Looking forward to flying brand new Virgin America to California in April! Hooray for mood lighting!