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Flying High On Karma Clouds

, , , | Right | CREDIT: PatientAdventurous98 | March 19, 2022

This happened when I was a junior in college. I had taken a long weekend trip to Florida with a friend of mine to visit her brother and go to a theme park’s Halloween event. We had an amazing trip, and we were on the plane to head home. This was only my second time with air travel. We didn’t have much when I was growing up, so vacations were not a regular thing, and the ones we took were low-key.

So, there I was, just excited to be flying in my coach seat, waiting to take off. And we kept waiting. It became clear that there was a problem with the plane when the flight attendants started calling various passengers to exit to be placed on different flights, so they’d make their necessary connections.

Eventually, after around forty minutes, it was just my friend and me plus around six other people. And then it was our turn to leave the plane. We were sort of near the end of the group tromping back out into the waiting area. One couple, probably in their mid-fifties, had stormed up ahead of us, and by the time my friend and I emerged from the gate entrance, the rude husband was already berating the pair of attendants, who, to their credit, remained poised and calm.

They tried to reassure him, but he was talking over them.

Man: “This is unacceptable. You had better get me the same seats we had on that flight.”

He had the first row in coach, the one with no seats in front of it and therefore with extra legroom.

By then, the rest of us had gathered around, and the attendants began addressing the whole group, offering reassurances, filling us in that there was a critical problem with the plane (which made me very glad for the change, despite the inconvenience). The rude husband was going off through all of this, and when the attendants left to make arrangements for us all, he and his wife sat there, and he continued his commentary to his poor wife.

Man: “Unacceptable… How dare they… Better have the same seats…”

And so on.

Shortly, the attendants returned, and the man practically rushed them.

Man: “I demand you make this right.”

The attendant smiled

Attendant: “You guys are all set. Sir—”

And she smiled at him specifically.

Attendant: “I’m very happy to tell you that we have a flight leaving shortly, and we were able to give you and your wife the exact same seats as you had booked on the previous flight.”

Man: “I should hope so. That’s the least you can do.”

And he huffily returned to his seat.

Meanwhile, the rest of us were just waiting. The attendant then turned to us and addressed the group.

Attendant: “And I’m happy to let everyone else know that you’ll all be flying first class with us today.”

The man was furious and immediately jumped up again.

Man: “Why aren’t we flying first class?!”

The rest of us just sat there in a state of stunned glee.

Attendant: “I’ve given you your request, sir.”

She didn’t stick around for more abuse.

The wait wasn’t long, and soon my friend and I were boarded into the unicorn, fabled place that is First Class. As a poor air travel newbie, it was like some fantasy land: huge seats, real hot washcloths, and though we were underage and couldn’t partake of The Free Cocktail, we did get to choose from a basket of “Distinctive [Brand]” cookies. And the food! We got a whole meal, which was truly delicious, with real crystal salt and pepper shakers at each place setting and actual metal cutlery.

Meanwhile, the man was irate. My friend and I were in the last row of first class, which only had around eight seats, and we could hear him heaping abuse on the coach attendants.

Man: “Those kids don’t deserve first class! We should’ve gotten those seats. We’re older and we should be respected, not some kids!”

Then, the best part of all happened: the flight attendant in our section overheard the man’s tirade, with language specifically directed at my friend and me: “Who do those kids think they are?!” It was as if we were unworthy of the honor he should have been granted. The attendant shook his head and addressed me and my friend.

Attendant #2: “I’m sorry about that. Let me take care of this for you.”

And he closed the curtain to the coach cabin. The man realized what was happening, which made it even better. I got one last look at his red, irate face before he was gone forever. It was GLORIOUS!

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