When I was a child my parents would take me along on plane trips. Delta was the premier flight. Kids were presented with metal flight wings (I’m not even sure plastic was discovered), which was a big deal to me. We also were served full meals no matter how long the trip and everybody was well mannered. Those were the good ol’ days.
Now, when I make a reservation I’m tempted to pay for first class especially when I fail to secure a seat and wind up stuck in the middle of a three-row seating arrangement. Everybody gets an armrest - but you. Instead, you’re wedged between a fidgety guy on the right and a snoring, big boned woman on the left with your arms stapled to your rib cage - so as not to disturb either - for three and a half hours.
There are also the flights that bring out some unusual behavior in its passengers. Years ago I was on a flight from London to Spain. When the plane landed everyone clapped. I never understood the sudden burst of joy but I was certainly frightened by it.
On another trip, I sat beside a young girl. She was holding a felt fedora trimmed with a ribbon. I couldn’t help but wonder if she was on her virgin trip. Her eyes were roaming everywhere and she was wearing a trench around the ribbon of that hat with her finger. At other times you can be paired with passengers that are chatty. I’d rather not sit by them. They’re usually the ones that like to brag about their lives. Others prefer the silent treatment. I think I like them. My mind wonders; what are they hiding?
Then we have the sweet little munchkins. Of all the children in the world, I can say with pretty good accuracy that the odds are in my favor a rambunctious brat will be positioned right in front of me. I prepare myself for the flight from hell as Jack-in-the-Box, who is peeking over the seat, is sizing me up.
When the plane arrives at my destination the tension seems to lift, but only for a moment. Everybody jumps up like there’s a fire in the tail section. And what do they do? They stand in place for 10 min, but By Jove, they’re going to beat you to baggage claim. Where they’ll wait...
When we finally exit and make our way down the corridor, a beautiful sight emerges. My children are at the gate waving and smiling and everything disappears as fast as that pint-sized peek-a-boo pest. When’s my next flight?
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