I spend a lot of time on planes these days. In fact, as I type this into my iPad, I’m sitting on the tarmac at DFW, stuck in a capacity-filled American Airlines plane that is so far delayed 45 minutes. We were all pretty good natured about it at first, but 45 minutes later, the air isn’t on, we’re a bit cramped, and many of us are going to miss connecting flights. Tempers are starting to heat up. Frankly, I’d rather be a little delayed than take off in a plane that isn’t safe. But really, there are some things I think the airline could do to make this a little more comfortable.
How about a little air, please? It’s getting quite suffocating in here. Stuffy and hot. It’s noon in Dallas, and we’re starting to cook like a group of helpless puppies locked in a hot car. It’s illegal to do that to puppies. Why not to humans on an airplane?
Know what else would help? Cookies. Plane delayed more than 30 minutes? Everybody gets free a free cookie. Why not? It would make us smile. Who doesn’t like a cookie? But that would make us thirsty so they should probably serve up some water, too. Or what the heck – just give us some water even without the cookie. We’re getting pretty uncomfortable.
Of course, water would mean more trips to the bathroom. I suppose that would be bad. What if we were to just start a movie? An hour of watching a movie is a lot better than an hour sitting here listening to various people choke on the stuffy air and complain about the situation.
My seatmates have been very patient. A gentleman heading to Australia is quietly looking out the window and listening to something in his headphones. The woman in the middle is entertaining herself with a crossword. The dude behind me is explaining to his seatmates that his bag is not a purse, it’s a “European carry-all”. Whatever you say, guy. It’s a purse.
I’ve always liked the melting pot of personalities on a plane. I personally try to always sit on the aisle. I get up to stretch a few times during a long flight and I don’t like to disturb the other people in my row. I also follow two rules: the person in the middle gets the armrest, and if there’s someone seated behind me, I don’t recline my seat. I don’t mind sitting up straight, and it just feels rude to me to take up someone else’s space when we have so little in the first place. And I wouldn’t want to squish the guy’s man-purse.
I typically don’t talk much to my plane neighbors. Normally, I’m either headed to a work event and stressed about it, or I’m returning from a work event and too exhausted to make small talk. Or, like when I go visit my military son, I’ve just said goodbye to someone I love and need to be left to handle my emotions. Of course, I always try to be pleasant and polite, but I don’t seek out conversations. I kind of figure everyone else has their own stuff going on, too.
We’re now 60 minutes delayed, but there’s great news: they’ve turned on the air! In fact, the engines are firing up and we’re ready to head off into the wild blue. I suppose I should save this file and give my attention to the safety presentation, so I can once again learn how to buckle a 1970’s seatbelt.
I still want a cookie.
Do you like to fly? Have you had any interesting flying experiences? Share them below.