Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Flying the Unfriendly Skies, Revisited

It's been a while since I've had to travel by air, and given the sorry state of air travel nowadays, that's not a bad thing. But yesterday I flew from Washington to Colorado Springs, changing flights at Dallas-Fort Worth. Sigh.

First, the good news: both flights left almost on time (within about 10 minutes), and both arrived almost on time (I actually got to Colorado Springs about 20 minutes early). My luggage arrived at the same time I did, intact, and I only waited a few minutes for it to come off the airplane (of course, I gave them some extra time by picking up my rental car first).

Now the bad news.

I flew the same model aircraft on both legs of the trip: an MD-80 with 2 seats on the port side and three on the starboard. I had the exact same seat on both trips - 27B, The Seat From Hell. This was an aisle seat (which I'd requested) on the port side. So far, so good. Unfortunately, this seat is right in front of a bulkhead, which means it can't recline; thus, there's no way to escape the person in front who can (and invariably does) recline back into your lap. This seat is also strategically placed so that the line for the bathroom forms right next to you...and there's nothing like spending a flight sitting straight up, with people lined up in the aisle so that their fannies are right on a level with your face. And, of course, when people squeeze past each other in the aisle, they always lean into the person in the aisle seat...nothing like getting someone's big, wide posterior in your face.

But I'm here, in one piece, with my luggage, and only moderately jet-lagged, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

But I will, anyhow, because what kind of professional curmudgeon would I be if I didn't?

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


P.S. - CNN is reporting a "major earthquake" in Indonesia near Banda Aceh. On the map, it looks safely distant from Palembang...Amanda, hope you and your family are okay.



Amanda said...

Everything is fine here in Palembang. We didn't feel anything. Thanks for thinking of us.

I always have two seats that I will specifically ask not to be assigned. The ones in the very first row of the ones in the very last row. The last row because of what you've mentioned.

The first row because your tray table is stored in your armrest and that means you've got two solid sides next to you. Even if you're lucky enough to have an empty seat beside you, you can't lift the armrest to make use of all that extra space.

What is Colorado Springs like? I've always liked the sound of those two words together.

John A Hill said...

I reserve my seat at the earliest opportunity...aisle seat, (emergency) exit row.

Mike said...

"...nothing like getting someone's big, wide posterior in your face."

I know what you mean but, it depends on whose posterior it is.

Here's a way to stop the lean backers depending on how tall you are. Slouch down in your seat and lock your knees on the side of the seat in front of you that leans back. You can usually tell when the person in front is going to lean back when they start searching for the button on the arm of their seat.

And John's right. If you can get the exit row it has more leg room.

Trix said...

I found this post really funny,Bilbo...I mean,when the heck can one actually break even and just have every single thing going really,really cool,lol !! Picturing you sitting straight up with someone in front of you reclining in your lap... while all those people squeeze past to use the toilet is totally hilarious. I know all about those flight horrors...glad you made it safe and sound :)

Jean-Luc Picard said...

We all seem to end up with that awful seat!

Serina Hope said...

I have only flown a handful of times. I have been fortunate enough not to get that seat. But I am such a noob that I wouldn't even know if I had a bad seat. I just look out the window and marve..I'm Flying!! I am glad you are safe.