Vegas Starts In London

, , , | Right | June 2, 2020

I’ve boarded a flight from London to Las Vegas — about ten hours flying time. I do this flight fairly frequently, so I am prepared; my meal is requested in advance, which of course means it comes to my numbered seat, and I have the flight essentials on my person, which include noise-cancelling headphones.

A group of women boards the flight and immediately, the noise level kicks up. One of the group starts asking all of the people around me if they are travelling alone, and if so, will they switch seats with one of their party so they can all sit together? This behaviour makes my blood boil, as most of the rest of the flight likely did everything by the book and now people are being hassled by this woman and her friends to move. They’re not being polite; they are being wheedling and irritating.

The woman gets to me to ask if I will move, but the passenger next to me sees the look on my face and jumps in.

Passenger: “We’re all together, sorry!”

Me: “Thanks for that. She was really getting on my nerves, and I can’t move easily, anyway, as my meal is coming to this seat.”

The ringleader of the group then does not stop talking in her elevated volume for most of the flight, including sharing a story about how she was on a flight once and a woman asked her if she would swap seats with her young son, so they could sit together. This clueless goon went on about how the woman should have planned ahead. Yes, really.

Another passenger eventually complains about the noise coming from this one empty vessel, and the stewardess speaks with her. This prompts the woman to speak even louder about this injustice, and how awful it is that some other passenger complained about her. She starts canvassing those around her — strangers — for support, asking if she has been loud on the flight. She gets to me.

Gobby Woman: “Excuse me, have I been loud on this flight? Have you been able to hear me? Only, the stewardess said someone complained about me and, you see, I’m hard of hearing, so I sometimes speak a little louder than normal and—”

I speak in my normal voice.

Me: “I’ve been watching movies the entire flight, with the volume turned up, wearing noise-cancelling headphones, and I have heard every word you have said. EVERY. WORD.”

She looked stunned and sat back and finally shut up for a while.

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As If Pregnancy Wasn’t Stressful Enough!

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | May 20, 2020

After a job contract is up, we’re moving back home from Honolulu to Seattle. My husband is wrapping up the last bit of work in Hawaii while I fly home with our two-and-eight-ninths kids. That is, I’m a couple of days away from being thirty-six weeks pregnant, nearing the end of the time airlines and obstetricians like pregnant women flying. I’m very excited to get back home.

But it seems like everything is working against it. Part of the highway is closed to film an episode of Hawaii 5-0. The line to check in is way longer than anticipated. And there’s a line to check that we’re not exporting exotic flora. And there’s a huge line for security. At the end of this line, I accidentally leave a carry-on bag, not realizing until I’m halfway to the gate, so I have to go back. And of course, my husband was unable to get a gate escort pass, so he can’t help.

I end up running as fast as an eight-month-pregnant woman can, pushing my two-year-old in a stroller laden with carry-on bags, dragging my four-year-old, both kids crying, my glasses slipping down my nose from sweat; it’s hot in Hawaii, and our trek includes an outdoor walkway. 

Fortunately, the plane crew knows we’ve checked in and a flight attendant is holding the door for us; they close it as soon as we’re through.

Out of breath and flushed, we make it to our seats, where the flight attendant and the passenger in the last of the four-seat middle row kindly help us stow our carry-ons and fold up the stroller. I notice the passenger’s eyes get big as he sees my obvious pregnancy bump.

“Don’t worry,” I reassure him. “I still have a month to go, and my older two weren’t early. I have no labor symptoms, even after running through the airport, and I really, really want to get back to the mainland. If I start labor, I’m crossing my legs until it’s too late to turn back.” His relief is palpable!

We make it back with no new passengers arriving, and a flight attendant even helps me from our arrival gate to baggage claim where my parents meet us. I get her name and let her supervisor know.

My youngest is born three weeks later, well after my husband has rejoined us.

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Isn’t That Extortion?

, , , , , | Friendly | March 7, 2020

(This story takes place when I’m about six months old and going to Nova Scotia with my parents. We board the plane and notice that our seats are separated, which would leave six-month-old me alone with a stranger.)

Mom: “Excuse me, sir, but my six-month-old son is sitting next to you and I have a seat away from him. If you could go to my seat so I can sit next to my son, I would be very grateful.”

(The seats are identical.)

Man: “Nope, I paid good f****** money for this f****** seat, and I won’t have some needy b**** taking it!”

Mom: *calmly* “Well, I’m terribly sorry for this, but if you feel so strongly about this then you’ll have to take care of my son. He likes to eat food from [Brand] at six o’clock and needs to be rocked to sleep. Do not feed him peanuts, because he is very allergic to them. Do you understand?”

(The man, speechless, moves to the seat that my mom suggested to him.)

Mom: “Was that so hard?”

(The man gave us dirty looks for the rest of the flight, and once the flight was over, he started to insult us once more until my 6’1” Italian father came in and asked him to take a hike.)

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The Plane Stays Up But The Passenger Just Crashed And Burned

, , , | Right | March 1, 2020

Passengers get a choice of two hot meals and invariably we run out of one choice as we get to the back of the plane.

“I will have the chicken.”

“Today I can offer you the beef stir fry.”

“But I want the chicken!”

“The chicken option has all gone, but I can offer you the beef.”

“No blanket, no pillow, and now no choice! Do you have anything I ask for?!”

“Yes, ma’am, we have manners.”

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Listening Is Life

, , , , | Right | February 14, 2020

(The plane is sitting at the runway, waiting to take off, and the flight attendant’s giving her normal pre-flight instructions, but for the most part, people are ignoring her. She continues unfazed.)

Flight Attendant: “Remember to put on your own mask before helping children, those who can’t get their own, or those who aren’t listening.”

(Surprisingly, the flight was relatively quiet.)

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