In which I complain about my seat on the plane… *yawn*

December 27, 2009

in through the looking glass

I finished reading the book that I brought with me 3 hours into the flight. What now? Should have saved the book for the trip rather than greedily starting it before Christmas.

With the detour to Sarah Palin’s homeland I now have an even longer flight with no reading material. And sitting in the middle seat of the exit row by the lavatory does not make it easier to fall asleep, and when I did fall asleep, to stay asleep, I have the opposite issue of a claustrophobic: I like to feel enclosed, better if squeezed into a corner like what they say about colicky babies. I know there is a great story of how I prefer to sleep like a gerbil all curled up but I will refrain and save it for another time… But here I am, sitting out in the open, with all the wide open space, and everybody and their uncle done come and stood in front of me at one time or another during the flight.

And I only have myself to blame…

I have gone and changed myself into possibly. the worst seat on the plane. I reserved myself a window seat in the economy plus section when I first booked my flight. I got status on United. Yessiree.  I’d better, after the 40+ segments I done on flying United this past year… But not enough of a status to select the exit row. When I checked in on line the day before, I saw that there were empty rows towards the back of the plane. The plain old economy seats. But I am fine with less leg room if it means I can haz an entire row to myself. Earth to me: too good to be true… I switched myself out of Economy Plus. United.com actually flashed a screen with this question: Are you sure you don’t want Economy Plus? I pity the fool that didn’t listen to the robot…

When I got to the gate, I sashayed to the counter, flashed the agent my most charming smile:

“I am sorry for being a pain, but would you mind checking for me whether this row is still empty?” He laughed but did it anyway.

“The row is no longer empty. Would you like me to change you back to Economy Plus?”

“Oh yes sir please.” I imagined myself batting my eyelashes if I had any.

“Ummmm. Huhhhhh. All we’ve got left are middle seats now. Harrumph. Oh wait. do you want the exit row?”

“Oh yes yes please!” Why you even bother asking? Anybody ever said no? In my excitement, I failed to remember what Seat Guru said about this particular row: The seats are displayed in red on the website because they are right by the bathroom section…

The view from my thrice-changed seat

When I saw my seat I wish I had Seat Guru all memorized. Or that I had the thick skin to say, “Excuse me, I appreciate your help and all, but hold on, while I consult with Seat Guru. Oh no, the exit row you offered me won’t do because lookee here, these seats are in RED! It says here: do not sit here ’cause them by the bathrooms. Oh and this particular seat is in the middle. Why would you think anybody would want to give up their window seat for a middle seat is beyond me? I am sorry if I just sounded like am ungrateful bitch…”

During the excitement of the medical emergency, the three of us sitting in that exit row were asked to move to some other seats on the plane. Nothing but middle seats left in the back. Except one. The row right in front of the kitchen galley that is especially cramped, and the seats do not recline. I sat at the end, after the man on the other end woke his wife up and explained to her that I had to sit where her head was. The lady commented that these seats have got to be the worst seats on the plane, and I thought “I don’t mind sitting here all cozy and secure!” We got to talking and I thought we were having such a good time. I even offered to give her the book I was reading when I’m done. After perhaps an hour, she nudged. “Are you sure you can’t go back to your seat now? Will they let you go back now?”

People do see the empty seats next to them as a god-given right as soon as the plane is in the air. Don’t even think about moving into someone’s empty seats an hour into the flight. You will forever be known as the jackass that took THEIR seat.

Later the plane started making high pitched noise bbbbbbbeeeeeeeeeeeppppppppppppp near the exit door. It was so loud that the flight attendants noticed and asked us whether we’d like to move to other seats IF we could find one. So I walked to the back of the plane as I was told. Sure enough all the empty seats have been occupied by horizontal sleeping bodies. I walked back to my seat. Like a fool. I was not going to move from my seat again. Bathroom or not.

Dude. close the friggin' door! And yes, I got up and closed the damned door BUT not before I took a picture of it...

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“Do you realize the people back here are getting cookies?!”
January 7, 2010 at 1:06 pm

{ 15 comments }

Merrilymarylee December 27, 2009 at 8:47 pm

I had to come back and check–realized I had missed a couple of posts. No wonder I was confused. I think I have it now.
You flew to see your parents–alone.
You had an emergency landing in Alaska, did not see Russia, and had the worst seat on the plane. (the reason you had it was that I wasn’t on the plane; otherwise, it would have been assigned to me.) You felt guilty about taking a better seat away from a bitchy freeloader who was taking up two.
Your parents pronounced you fat, then force-fed you.
Sounds like the trip of your dreams! (Haven’t you been WANTING to write a book? This is it!)
Hey. . . I landed in Taipei once just for refueling. (The plane, not me.)
.-= Merrilymarylee´s last blog…Merrily Merry! =-.

Absence Alternatives December 28, 2009 at 7:17 pm

Thanks for rereading my posts and for figuring out what the chaos was about. Now could you please ring my husband and tell me what’s going on?! SIGH. How come all of ya care more about me than he does? I am having some sort of online affair right here! LOL. 😉

magda December 27, 2009 at 9:00 pm

I apologize and confess that I am grateful for this flight of yours for providing this hysterical commentary. IT is true that you do own any adjacent vacant seat after take-off. The bathroom door hanging open is sick. The photo had a scratch and sniff effect. I swear I smelled it or had a flashback of some sort. Who are these people who don’t mind tearing it up on an airplane toilet. What happened to being so dehydrated you can’t go poo?

The lady asking you to return to your assigned seat is outrageous. Which book did she forfeit as a result of her unbecoming suggestion?
.-= magda´s last blog…Wordless Wednesday =-.

Absence Alternatives December 28, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Scratch and sniff. LOL. It was The Help. I was so bored I actually wrote a “review” of that book on the plane. That’s how tedious the flight was… I did end up giving her the book. I didn’t want to lug it around. Now I am in need of reading material for my trip back. Imagine my mom trying to give me the newsletter from her lady’s society of some sort for improving your personality… “You really should read it. On the plane.” Maybe I should. For sure that will put me into a coma.

magda December 28, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Oh, That is on my reading list. So, did you never vacate her adjacent and once vacant seat? Or did you trek back to her to offer up the book. I do hope you will post your synopsis and evaluation of personality improvement tips. What a funny newsletter for your mother to have and to recommend. Interesting. Very Interesting.
.-= magda´s last blog…Uni-tasking =-.

TheKitchenWitch December 28, 2009 at 8:34 am

I’m sorry for your misfortune, but it made me giggle wickedly this morning. WHY do people produce the foulest excrement possible in those small bathrooms?
.-= TheKitchenWitch´s last blog…Guest Post: TKW’s Dad =-.

Absence Alternatives December 28, 2009 at 7:12 pm

I hope it does not ruin your kitchen experience having waking up to this stench! LOL. 😉

Mama Zen December 28, 2009 at 1:34 pm

You are totally strengthening my determination not to fly unless I have to!
.-= Mama Zen´s last blog…The Ones The Wolves Pull Down =-.

Absence Alternatives December 28, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Having flying with my kids home for many times really does give me a good perspective. Now when things happen, I just tell myself: Thank goodness I am not flying with any of my kids. Then it stops being a big deal.

Velva December 28, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Lin, you will be home soon and sleeping in your soft bed. Your posts had me cracking up….Welcome home.
.-= Velva´s last blog…Picadillo =-.

Mrsblogalot December 29, 2009 at 10:09 am

Lin-I have not flown since 9/11
thanks for helping me not miss it a bit!!

Elly Lou December 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Oh pookie, I suggest two glasses of wine and a handful of benadryl for the trip back!
.-= Elly Lou´s last blog…A Plea for Brandy =-.

Amanda@Brilliant Sulk December 30, 2009 at 12:37 am

I’m totally exhausted just reading this post.

Rethinking my whole trip-around-the-world-by-myself-without-telling-husband-or-kids-I’m-leaving thing.
.-= Amanda@Brilliant Sulk´s last blog…The Aftermath =-.

Jen @ NathanRising December 30, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Ewwwwww!!! I remember once when I flew, I was stuck in the seat RIGHT by the bathroom. And what made it just awful was that someone who used the bathroom had some seeeeeeerious bowel issues. People with bowel issues = Jen’s gag reflex. I couldn’t stop gagging. Ugh!! I don’t like flying. Well, the flying part is cool… the people, generally, are not. The person behind me had this strange gutteral-sounding cough and me with my OCD, I could just see all the germs wafting around in the air, being recirculated throughout the cabin and landing in my unprotected nose. *shudders.* I won’t be flying agian for a while.
-Jen
.-= Jen @ NathanRising´s last blog…Time Keeps on Slipping =-.

Absence Alternatives December 31, 2009 at 5:10 pm

Dear All,
I am finally back again sitting in my own home. Unpacking again. I want to thank you for your sympathy, 😉 , and wish you all a Happy New Year! :-)

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