Adventures in Air Travel

23 Sep

The running joke in our company is “who will be Cindy’s seat mate during this flight?” As we stand at the gate, my colleagues and I look around for the person I will spend the next 2- 3 hours seated next to.

Each flight always has at least one “Phone Guy”. He’s on his cell phone discussing everything from business problems to his father’s urinary tract infection. He starts his call in the gate area and continues on until the flight attendant’s second request to turn off all electrical devices. Not only am I not interested in his inability to reach his sales quota at work, but his father’s enlarged prostate is of even less concern to me.

Then of course we all know “Frat Guy.” He’s been sitting with his buddies in the bar too long and now wants to rehash his fraternity days with everyone on the flight. His alcohol consumption must have affected his hearing because his voice rises with every account of his coed conquests. “Frat Guy” is kept on a short leash by his wife and boss and these business trips allow him to re-live his days of yore.

By early afternoon flights we have “Food Guy.” He’s the guy that brings the smelliest and greasiest food onto the plan and then sits next to you eating it while talking the entire flight. In his defense, he does offer you some of his food (several times) – yet seems offended that you’ve declined his offer. Of course, long after “food guy” leaves the plane, his scent will linger on.

On evening flights, we then enjoy the company of “Shoe Guy.” He’s the guy that decides to make himself comfortable in his seat next to you. Whether the flight is one hour or three he takes his shoes off. Why “shoe guy,” thinks that flying on a plane should be like sitting in his recliner watching football is beyond me. Does he take his shoes off in a one-hour board meeting?

On the other hand, a morning flight introduces “Just-Rolled-Out-of-Bed-Guy.” This guy comes dressed for his flight as though his wife just woke him up and asked him to take the trash to the curb. His hair hasn’t seen a comb or his face a razor in the last 24 hours. His shorts and t-shirt are complemented by rubber flip-flops that reveal his need for a pedicure. And, as fate would have it, he’s the only one hoping to sit next to “food guy” since he hasn’t had breakfast yet.

Now, in fairness to the men, we also have “Hippie Chick.” She sure is glad that she kept her jeans, clogs, and t-shirt from Woodstock. Her yoga instructor and life coach suggested that making new friends on her flight would bring peace and balance to her universe. While I respect her individuality, I’d rather not listen to her recount a journey through Nepal where she “smoked the best hash ever.”

I’m sure my adventures in air travel are not unique. And, sometimes they help to make a boring flight more interesting (or longer). I would love to hear more about your adventures in travel. Feel free to share.

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