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Taking Kindness To A New Height

, , , | Friendly | April 26, 2021

I am sitting on a window seat getting ready to fly overseas for the first time in years. The middle seat is empty and I think both my seatmate and I are relieved about it… until a big guy who’s over 6’6” and looks like the Rock’s twin brother comes up and puts his bag in the carry-on luggage compartment, and I realize he is going to be sitting in the middle seat.

He doesn’t look very happy about it but doesn’t say anything and just slides in slowly. This is going to be upwards of an eighteen-hour flight, and while I hate middle seats, I know it will be easier for me to manage than this guy, so I tap his shoulder and offer to swap him seats. At first, he doesn’t want to take it, but I insist and he does. We get swapped in and then take-off starts.

I’m the sort of person who doesn’t like to talk to people while I’m traveling but I notice as we are starting to taxi down the runway that this guy has a death grip on the armrest. I start talking to him about random stuff. I really couldn’t tell you what I was talking about, but I know when I’m in a panic attack it’s easier for me to get out of it when I’m not focused on it, so I just keep nattering on.

After our flight and our long conversation, he stops me before we get up to get off the plane.

Man: “I hate the panic attacks, but this was the first time flying that I didn’t have much of a problem.”

I was just happy that I could help even a small bit.

This story is part of our end-of-year Feel Good roundup for 2021!

Read the next Feel Good 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good 2021 roundup!

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for April 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

How To Start A Pillow Fight In Six Words Or Less

, , , , , | Romantic | February 28, 2021

My family is taking a redeye flight across the country. The plane has a two-five-two seating configuration and I am sitting on the side with our older daughter while my wife sits directly behind us with our younger girl.

When I sit down, I look around for pillows and can’t find any, so I call a flight attendant.

Me: “Are there any more pillows available?”

Attendant: “I’m sorry, sir, but they are all given out.”

At this point, my spouse leans forward with her pillow and offers it.

Attendant: “This lady said you can have this one.”

Me: *Without hesitation* “That’s no lady; that’s my wife.”

Attendant: *To my spouse* “He’s been waiting forever to use that, hasn’t he?”

It took me several years to live that one down.

You Are NOT Cleared For Landing!

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 11, 2021

Babies on aeroplanes tend to have ear pain during changes in altitude due to pressure changes. Pediatricians suggest feeding them during takeoff and landing as swallowing equalizes the pressure in their ears and stops the pain. I should also note that my son is exclusively breastfed which, while not particularly unusual, is still not the norm in the time when this story takes place.

In the 1990s, I have to fly long distance with my three-month-old son. He dealt with the first long flight with no problem but fussed on takeoff and landing. Our connecting flight is only thirty-five minutes long, so pretty much the entire flight would be changing altitude. I decide to let him nurse for the whole flight to save him any discomfort. 

We get in our seat, with him on my lap with a “baby belt,” and an elderly Southern gentleman sat next to me. As we taxi to the runway, I discreetly lift my shirt and settle my son to feed. We get in the air, and the man strikes up a typical traveler’s conversation about where we are going, luggage problems, our families, etc. It is all fine until we start to descend.

Man: “I hate this; it always makes my ears pop. Do yours?”

Me: “Yes, I have to keep swallowing. It’s not very nice.”

Man: “Your baby is so good; he’s slept through everything.”

Me: “Mmm.”

The man reaches over and gently strokes my son’s head with one finger.

Man: “He reminds me of [His Great-Grandson] with all that hair. He’s precious.”

Me: “Uh, yes…”

I shift my arm to block his hand.

Man: “I can’t believe his ears don’t hurt. I’d have thought it would wake him up.”

Me: “He’s feeding. It helps stop the pain.”

Man: “Oh, do you need to feed him? I can hold him while you get his bottle if you like.”

He reaches over and cups his hand round my son’s head like you would if you were about to hold a baby.

Me: “I am feeding him. Right now.”

Man: “Uh?”

His hand is literally one inch from my nipple.

Me: “I’m breastfeeding him. Right now.”

The poor man snatched his hand back so fast! He was blushing bright red, staring anywhere except at me, and stammering apologies. He was SO embarrassed. I did feel kind of bad, but I thought it was pretty obvious, especially as I’d switched my son from one breast to the other partway through the flight — while discussing flight delays with the man!

This Is A Tough Cookie To Crack

, , | Right | January 26, 2021

I’m a flight attendant, currently doing inflight service. 

Me: “Ma’am, would you like cookies or goldfish crackers?”

Passenger: “Yes.”

Me: “Cookie? Or crackers?”

Passenger: “Yes.”

I pick one at random and hand it to her.

Me: “And what can I get you to drink?”

Passenger: “Coffee.”

Me: “Sure. Do you take any cream or sugar with that?”

Passenger: “Yes.”

Me: “Cream? Or sugar?”

Passenger: “One and three.”

Me: “Okaaay… one cream or one sugar?”

Passenger: “One cream. Also, could I have the other snack, instead? I don’t want this one.”

Frequently Annoying Flyer

, , , | Right | January 26, 2021

I’m a passenger on a tiny shuttle flight from New York. One guy who boarded right after me is some sort of fancy frequent flyer and is being an a** to everyone on the plane.

A small woman boards the plane with a small backpack. As she is going through the aisle, the backpack grazes his arm for a second, and he gives her a clearly strong shove; she stumbles straight into a row of seats. She doesn’t seem hurt or frazzled; she just ignores him and goes to her seat, while he exclaims loudly:

Jerk Passenger: “Well, you touched my arm with your backpack!” 

Later, the pilot makes the announcement that we’ve reached cruising altitude and people can go to the bathroom. The guy right behind the jerk stands up to go to the bathroom, and this guy immediately yells:

Jerk Passenger: “What are you doing?! You’re a danger to everyone on this plane. Sit down!”

For a shuttle flight, the seat belt sign never turns off, which was why the pilot made the announcement to begin with. The whole plane was baffled because we could all hear him shouting from the front of the plane. The flight attendant had to make another announcement that passengers could use the bathroom for him to settle down.

The jerk then stood up and went to the bathroom himself! As he passed, the guy he’d yelled at asked if he still felt like a danger to everyone on the plane now, and he just glared at him and stomped off. I saw him talking and gesticulating at the flight attendant for ten minutes later, while standing around in the aisle!

I feel bad for the poor attendant, but boy, was I glad to get out of there when the plane landed.