About Me

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I'm a 30 something who loves to travel.  I have a full time job and enjoy writing (or blogging) about my travels.  I've traveled through several countries in Europe as well as Russia and Egypt.  I also enjoy domestic travel in the United States, including Disney.  My long term travel goal is to do a round the world trip.  

Monday, March 16, 2009

Strange things on a plane, part 1

Anyone who has flown knows that people do strange things on a plane. Most people do perfectly normal things, but the weird things can be really weird. I've labeled this part 1, not because I have so many strange stories, but because I'm sure I will have more stories in the future. I used to always get a window seat, I like to look out the window. But I've developed Restless Leg Syndrome and have had a nasty case of it on a plane more then once. Now I only take a window seats on shorter flights where I know I wont be trapped too long. Here are my tales...

I'm flying from New York to Copenhagen (via London) and on the first flight I have my window seat and the guy next to me liked to be really helpful. I was using the seat back screen and was pushing something on the screen, apparently the guy thought I was trying to open my tray table and couldn't get it open so he opened it for me. I gave him a strange look and he expressed that he was trying to help (English wasn't his first language) and I explained I was using the entertainment system. Ok, whatever. Then our dinner comes and I took a Tylenol PM with it to help me sleep since it was early for me, he proceeded to ask me if I had a headache in his broken English. So then I had to explain it would help me sleep. I guess I was just lucky that he didn't want to talk the whole flight. Then as were coming in for our landing he was leaning over me to look out the window, totally past what is socially acceptable. This is why you pick your seat when you book your flight, so you don't have to lean over someone to look out the window if that's you're thing. I love looking out the window so I understand wanting to look out, but once you pass into someone elses seat area you've overstepped your bounds and I was feeling a little uncomfortable about it.

The following year I flew with Alitallia to Egypt. My first flight was from NYC to Milan and my seatmates were Italian, speaking almost no English. But they helped put my bag in the overhead bin so I thought all would be fine, and actually it was fine. We communicated a few pleasantries and then left each other alone. But when the flight attendants handed out the headphones the woman put them on, but never plugged them into anything. It left me wondering, did she think it was earplugs? and did they work?

On that same flight a flight attendant came up to the guy sitting in front of me while we were taxing to take off and asked if he would be willing to switch seats with someone else who was seated in a middle seat and is claustrophobic and couldn't sit in a middle seat. If he didn't switch then they would have to turn the plane around and go back to the gate. This was wrong on so many levels, but I'll leave that to a post about stupid people.

Last year I was flying to Pittsburgh and while waiting at the gate, but on the plane, the guy in the seat in front of me was talking to his friend on his phone to a friend and telling him what different planes were doing. Like, the American Airlines plane is pulling out of the gate, the US Airways plane is in line waiting to take off. He didn't strike me as a terrorist, but I did mention it to the airline, it was just too weird.

On my last trip to Pittsburgh I boarded the plane in NYC, and after a few minutes one of the flight attendants came down the isle and said to the other flight attendant that the guy refuses to sit down, she seemed a bit perplexed. From what I could tell there was a guy in the back of the plane who was refusing to sit, but everything was pretty calm, the 2nd flight attendant went to the back, came back to the front and there was nothing else said about it, until the pilot announced we were second from take off. The flight attendants sat down and one of them went over the PA to tell the man he had to sit now. Fortunately, everything went fine on the flight, but I was a little worried.