Thursday, December 13, 2012

Joys of a Red Eye Airplane Flight

A few nights I got stuck on a red eye flight, coming home from a business trip to northern California.  The folks who I contracted with provided the plane ticket (something I'll not let happen in the future) and stuck me on a discount carrier that seems to attract people who, on these late night flights would normally ride the Greyhound Bus.  Thankfully they offered Business Class seats as an upgrade, something I gladly paid for on a 5 hour flight.  Back in steerage coach the seat pitch is a tight 29" and the seats do not recline.  I'd have no problem suffering that for a short flight, but not a transcontinental one.

Since I was sitting up front, we got boarded first and were given a drink and a bag of peanuts before the rest came on board.  The parade of people I saw come past me turned out to be more entertaining as the process continued.  Does anyone remember seeing videos of midnight Black Friday shoppers at an Arkansas Wal-Mart?  Besides the road weary travelers, vacationers with little kids who were understandably tired and cranky, and airline employees getting a freebee, what I saw turned out to be an interesting circus parade.  People came on board wearing pajamas, bathrobes, house coats hair up in curlers.  Even though there was supposed to be a one carry-on bag limit that had to fit certain dimensions, it did not appear to be enforced.  People were taking everything on board but the kitchen sink.  One woman brought on 2 five foot pinatas she was taking to a family in Mexico. 

Finally, there was a very large woman, carrying all her worldly possessions with her who came on board huffing and puffing, and plopped herself down in a business class seat (that she did not purchase) and decided that it was her seat, and whoever was supposed to be there could drag his narrow ass white ass to the back of the plane and sit in 37E for 5 hours.  It took a pilot, flight attendant and customer service person to convince here that she couldn't sit there because she didn't pay for it.  She kept on repeating that because she was an exceptionally large woman (400+ pounds is my guess), she is entitled to have a bigger seat.  She obviously belongs to the entitlement class.  She ended up wedging herself in row 37E and really could not fit in there without 2 seat belt extensions.  The poor people unfortunate enough to sit next to here were in for a world of suffering.

I think I'll just say no to red eye flights on the el cheapo carriers, and even daytime ones on long flights.

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