Thursday, November 10, 2005

Fit For a Queen

Headline: Boeing Jet Arrives in London in Attempt to Break Record for World's Longest Commercial Flight

The 777-200LR Worldliner - one of Boeing's newest planes - touched down shortly after 1 p.m. (8 a.m. EST) at London's Heathrow Airport
after an almost 23-hour journey of more than 12,586 miles from Hong Kong.
I beg to differ. The longest flight on record happened back in 1995 when I flew from London to Minneapolis on a 9 hour flight. Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking, Minneapolis?? Hey, I don't make the flight plans, it was a layover in route to New Orleans.

I am a smoker - save the lecture - and I requested to be seated in the smoking section, which there was one at that time for overseas flights. However, the nice ticket counter lady didn't honor my request and placed me in non-smoking. So, I got on board and found my seat.

There were 3 rows, 3 seats against each wall and 5 seats across the middle or something like that. Not only am I in the middle, I'm in the middle of the middle. This was a night-flight and would've been cool to get a window seat, at least. But no, I'm stuck between Sleepy and Antsy. Sleepy got all snuggly in his small blanket, quickly slipped into a coma, and proceeded to drool and snore with his mouth gaped open as if he were a CPR dummy readied for rescue breathing. Antsy couldn't get comfortable to save his life. He was a large man who adjusted in his chair constantly, shifting his weight from one butt cheek to the other, which in turn rocked my chair. The only plus side about Antsy was that in the event of a water-landing, I could've used him as a floatation device.

As if that were not bad enough, let's not fail to mention Hotdog man. This guy was seated in front of me. The back of his head resembled a four-pack of hotdogs. I know this because the back of his head was in my lap. He reclined his seat all-the-way. I am tall and barely have leg room in the first place. So there I sat, arms firmly tucked into my sides and knees in the crash position, between Sleepy, Antsy and Hotdog man: The Bermuda Triangle.

To curb my building nicotine fit and lend a little relief from my travel buddies, I flagged the flight attendant down and asked for a Jack & coke...and leave the whole can, please, I was gonna need it.

Although the beverage helped out with the stress of it all, it created another problem - I had to use the facilities. Wondering which way was the quickest from point A to point B, I decided on Sleepy. I gave a slight nudge and apologetically asked to get past him. He didn't budge.

Nature overrode manners. I pulled my legs up from under hotdog man, stood in my own seat, and climbed over Sleepy. He just as well should've had a DNR sticker on his head because he didn't move one bit.

With that relief taken care of I returned to my seat, climbed back over Sleepy, and settled in for the remainder of the flight. The only thing keeping me sane was the thought of a cigarette upon landing.

8 hours later, the captain announced the descent with arrival time being about 20 minutes. Thank God! But wait, what else did he say? "Welcome to Minneapolis/St. Paul, I hope you enjoy your stay, and thank you for choosing blah-blah -- as a reminder this airport is a non-smoking facility."



Blogger JohnB said...

"Antsy" sounds like what describes most inhabitants of the seats behind on the many "cattle" rows I've been lucky enough to have been stuck in: what with their legs striking the back of the seat so much that it feels like riding a dune buggy across a volcanic rock face.

10:39 AM, November 10, 2005  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

you are so right! I hate that too. and when they stand they must pull the back of your seat for support and lean over you as they scoot out.

10:45 AM, November 10, 2005  
Blogger ItsTJoint said...

Ahh, antsy, a standard issue flier. Just out of curiousity, you had to be flying Northwest. I think if fly from Miami to Ft. Myers via Northwest, you will have a layover in Minneapolis. I don't think the planes are allowed to be out of MPLS/St. Paul for more than 24 hours at a time.

10:53 AM, November 10, 2005  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

I don't remember which airline, Old-timers' disease.

10:58 AM, November 10, 2005  
Blogger ItsTJoint said...

hell, I can't remember last least you didn't have to sit ext to Sweaty.

4:34 PM, November 10, 2005  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

ugh...yes, it could've been worse.

4:38 PM, November 10, 2005  
Blogger JohnB said...

...or an old lady hacking out their insides for four straight hours! Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.

6:02 PM, November 10, 2005  
Blogger OnMyWatch said...

gross - lung biscuit anyone?

6:07 PM, November 10, 2005  
Anonymous John said...

I just LOVE sitting behind people on a plane that think they're in a dentist office or hair salon. WTF? Did you want me to wash your hair? Or give you a root canal?

I'm 6'4", so always ask for the emergency exit door. Not so that I can be the first out (because really, when the ground is actually PART of the accident, "getting out" isn't very likely) but because the seat in front of that door can't recline.

When I can't get those seats, I just plant my knees in the back of the seat ahead of me, and when they try to recline I just say "Sorry, I don't have any room to give you." They try a few more times, I push back, and usually at some point they turn to give me a diry look. At which point they turn back around and stop trying.

7:59 AM, November 12, 2005  

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