Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sir...Can you please stand up?


The next installment of the "travel blog" has to do with a very kind old man taking a weird turn.  On my flight to Chicago, I was seated next to an older gentleman (probably early 70's) who was polite for the entire flight.  No problems whatsoever.  He got up to use the restroom in the middle of the flight, and we shared a cordial laugh when he had trouble locating his seat belt.  Perfectly normal interaction for a flight.

If you have flown on a commercial airliner in the past 10 years, you probably are aware of the etiquette of how to deplane.  When the seatbelt sign turns off, several people immediately stand up (I can't, for the life of me, figure out why, but that is a different story) but most people remain seated.  People start to file out of the plane, row by row, until you get to your row. Then you stand up and get your bag and leave.

Which gets us to me.  I was on the aisle seat, waiting for our row's turn.  There was no room for me to stand up because the aisle was full of other people.  There were still about two rows in front of us that hadn't stood up yet, so it wasn't even close to my turn to stand up. This is where it got a bit odd.  The older gentleman next to me says, "Sir?  Can you please stand up?" as if I could have stood up, but was choosing not to.  He wasn't rude...he actually said it very politely.  I was just floored at what I could have possibly been doing for him to assume I wasn't going to stand up as soon as I could.  Trust me, I wanted to get off the plane as soon as I could.  I turned and looked at him, momentarily stunned while trying to imagine what scenario he was running through to say this to me.  It really took me aback.  I looked at him, and said that I was going as soon as I could, trying very hard not to sound annoyed...but in reality, I was a bit annoyed.

There always seem to be a couple of people on every flight who think that the flight is their own personal vessel, and they can't be bothered with all of these other people. The best example I can think of is the person who is in the row behind you, and uses your seat as a way to pull themselves out of their seat or out of the row...causing your seat to lurch backwards violently as they huff and puff their way towards the restroom.  Or, the person who violently moves their seat back as quickly as they can, launching anything on your tray table on to the floor. It just amazes me how people operate in their own little cocoon, oblivious to the world around them.

Most of the time, people are perfectly gracious.  But every once in a while, you get something that happens to you that just floors you...and I will keep telling you about them. :)
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