Thanks to all the traveling I’ve been up too recently, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a large amount of time in crowds of strangers. This also insinuates that I’ve been surrounded by an increased level of stressed out people. However, I don’t believe that the stress of traveling can excuse the way some behave! You know where I’m going with this, Mom, as I love to say ‘some people’s children’.
On my first flight en route to Vegas, I had boarded quickly and was waiting for everyone else to load. I was in the strange two seat section (when all the rest are in threes) directly in front of the emergency row. So while I didn’t have extra leg room, my row only had one other passenger so it seemed more spacious. Nancy = Happy Camper. About halfway through loading a middle-aged couple started fussing about where their seats were located. Actually, the Husband stood there looking stunned as the unbelievably irritating wife made the biggest scene possible about how they shouldn’t have middle seats in separate rows and that the gate attendant guaranteed they would be sitting together. Sure.
This lasted for a full five minutes, with maybe only three or four people successfully passing by the ruffled women – who was blocking the aisle at about row 12 of a 35ish row plane. Her husband finally just told her that they should sit down and see if anyone would switch after everyone had boarded, and he graciously offered her the most forward seat. As he wandered down the aisle, a brightness hit his face when he realized he was actually going to be sitting in the Emergency row directly behind me. Unfortunately though, he could not escape her torment – and neither could the rest of us. The wife insisted on standing up in her row for the next 15 minutes, facing backwards, loudly telling her husband everything he was doing wrong and calling the Flight Attendants to her aid a bazillion more times. Apparently her entertainment screen wasn’t working, which became everyone’s problem. Honestly, I was about a second away from throwing something at her (either than the stink eye which I had already served to her in large portions) when a flight attendant finally manned up and asked her to tone it down as she was disturbing the entire flight. HA!
On my next flight I was relieved to see the passenger that was about to be squished in next to me appeared to be a 40 something, well dressed woman, who seemed to be travelling for work. We all have that fear as we board a plane that we are going to get trapped next to someone morbidly obese, a crying toddler or someone with shocking hygiene – so I felt that I’d already dodged the horrible passenger bullet. Now, while she wasn’t a space hog, smelly or very loud, she did engage a similarly holier-than-thou conversation with the flight attendants that was reminiscent of the bitchy wife. Apparently she was guaranteed a bulkhead seat (stop throwing that word around people, nothing is guaranteed when you travel) which she didn’t end up getting, but she kept insisting that she ‘wasn’t complaining’. Okay lady, then why bring it up with three separate flight attendants?
I was definitely right about the fact that this woman was travelling for work, she was on her way to a conference in Maui. Unfortunately, however, she was some variety of doctor who was going to be giving some kind of lecture and spent the flight polishing up her PowerPoint presentation. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? WRONG. The slide show was chock full of horifically graphic images of injuries, surgeries, and many close ups of stuff I wish I’d never seen. I obviously had the ability to just look away, but its like a car crash and I was rubber necking the whole time. She finally saved her presentation and tucked her laptop into her bag – Hooray! – only to pull out some reading material that, once again, was full of images. Her reading material of choice must have had something to do with dermatology, because all the images were of really creepy skin rashes. I almost vomited.
Now, I’ve spent the majority of this post complaining about female passengers, but I’ve saved the best for last and it involves a man I dubbed as Douchey Business Guy. On the first leg of my flight to Australia, I was seated and getting myself comfortable and it appeared as though I was going to have two seats to myself. At the last moment, a man boarded the plane and took the seat next to me – well by ‘took the seat’ I mean he tossed his briefcase and jacket at the seat and stood in the aisle tapping his foot. He managed to flag down a flight attendant (those poor dears) and ripped into her about how he wanted to have his coworker upgraded to Business Class to sit with him, and that this is a guaranteed benefit as part of his Elite status with the airline. See, there’s that word again!
The flight attendant was very well versed in being the understanding companion, suggesting that he call the airline once he landed to complain about the poor service and doing her level best to calm him down. What I’ve neglected to mention so far is that the flight was completely sold out, there wasn’t a spare seat in the house, including Business Class. What were they supposed to do? Kick off a paying passenger so that his coworker could be upgraded? Idiot. He then pretty much shoved his bag and jacket at the flight attendant and sat down. Douche. Not only did Douchey Business Guy spend the whole flight huffing and puffing to display his irritation, he also kept his stupid blue tooth thing in his hear THE WHOLE TIME. I don’t like those things at the best of time, but is it really necessary to keep it in your ear on a 5 hour flight? Douche.
Then there was Kirk. Dear Kirk. Cool breeze in hell, Kirk. Best flight attendant ever, Kirk. He witnessed the whole ‘guaranteed upgrade complaint’ go down and I saw him smirking. He then spent the whole flight practically tripping over himself to make sure my beer glass was never below half full, and constantly checking in on me – yet conveniently forgot to get Douchey’s drink of choice and failed to respond when he was clearly in hearing range of Douchey’s demands. I picked up on his cue and pretended I couldn’t hear Douchey on the few occasions he tried to strike up a conversation. I felt like we had some sort of pact, Kirk even winked at me when I was exiting. It was marvellous fun.
Needless to say, I stumbled off my flight in LAX completely bombed. Which likely explains the latent rage in my post about how much I hate LAX 🙂