Yet another airport proves to charge for wi-fi, so I’ll begin typing the account of my family visit into a Word document like I should have done days ago. My flight out of Eugene the day before Thanksgiving was choppy and uncomfortable, and my gastrointestinal tract was decidedly unhappy even before I left. I sat on the floor when I arrived in Portland doing yoga and deep breathing until I felt a little better. I read and dozed a little on the long flight to Cincinnati, and by the time my third flight finally arrived in State College, I even felt a little nostalgia about arriving back “home”. Notably, all my flights were on time or early.
On the half-empty flight from Cincinnati to State College the man who was supposed to sit next to me showed up late, out of breath, with an overdeveloped sense of male entitlement, trying to shove an oversize carry-on under the window seat of the commuter aircraft. I had first tried to get up from my aisle seat to let him by, and second offered to put the bag under the seat for him. He seemed to see nothing inappropriate about getting in my personal space to do it himself as if I weren't there at all. He had decided to sit in the empty seat across the aisle, but there was no space under the seat. He then asked if I could just put the bag in the empty seat next to me "so we can take off." I reminded him that that would be against regulations and the flight attendant would never allow it. He then shoved the bag awkwardly in the space under his feet. I waited to see what would happen. The flight attendant came around for her final check and told him he had to stow his bag. We cooperated simply, and she expertly slid the bag under the seat in front of me after I slid over to the window seat. Mr. Ego then asked me if I would like to switch seats with him for "more leg room." I politely declined, stating that I would prefer to stay where I was.
I suppose anyone who flies has stories like these. There's a different twist on inconsideration and stupidity every time. More on my trip to follow.