airport & airplane happenings

I’ve been back in Seattle for 24hrs and it seems like just 5 minutes ago I was crammed in a window seat for 6 1/2 hours on a flight from Newark, NJ to Seattle.   With all the travelling I’ve done lately I think yesterday was definitely the most bizarre in way of things I saw and people surrounding me on my trip.  Must be all the crazies travelling home from the Holidays.  Here’s my all too descriptive account of my travel home from the Holidays.

I arrived at Norfolk International Airport (quite possibly the smallest & most out-dated “international” airport in the country) at 4:30AM (which is 1:30AM Seattle time) to some long lines.   I saw one lady drop her bags at the counter, blocking all other people from the check-in kiosk to re-pack her luggage.   Her travel companion was a little more considerate and actually took his two giant suitcases to the main walk-way to repack.  Apparently their luggage was over the 50lb weight.  I heard the airline representative say “73lbs” to the guy.  How did he think that by rearranging the items in their suitcase it would get lighter?  News flash, no matter how the items are placed in the suitcase they still weigh the same amount!

I boarded my plane in Norfolk, and as the flight attendants started over the PA system and the seat next to me was still empty, I got all excited thinking I would have a comfortable flight and even be able to put my feet up.   I was wrong…last minute traveller boards the plane and sits next to me.  Took me a minute to figure it out, but then I realize it was the same girl who was frantically repacking her luggage at the check-in counter.  Hooray for me.   Apparently she thought she’d circumvent the 2-bag carry-on limit to get around her 70lb suitcase, cause she had 4 separate bags, and didn’t seem to care about the “keep the aisles clear” statement the flight attendant made.   She threw her laptop bag under my feet, as if it wouldn’t bother me.   Thank goodness the flight was only 1 1/2 hours, because between the bag lady who seemed to lean towards me instead of away and the 2 year old who constantly slammed the tray into the back of my seat, even after a few nasty stares I made to the parents,  I don’t think I could’ve lasted much longer.

Touched down in Newark…finally!   1-hour connection, just enough time to walk the 2 miles to my departing gate and grab a snack.   I usually have window seats, so I try to board as soon as my row is called to avoid having to make people move to let me into my seat, but it rarely works.  I think everyone else just teleports to their seats, because I never seem to beat them.   Got on the plane, a young couple sitting in seats D & E and I was in F.   As I asked them to move, they seemed way too excited to see me, yelling “She’s here!” and “She’s our age, yeah!!”.   Strange…but they seemed nice enough to sit next to for 6 1/2 hours.

As I got settled in I made the typical small talk, asking them if they were heading home to Seattle, etc, etc, etc.   Found out they were east coast transplants as well, and had lived in Renton for about a year.  They have a dog, which they eagerly showed me pictures of, while I remained composed and decided not to whip out pictures of my cute pups.   After the initial “hi how are you” chit-chat I opened my magazine to start reading.  I was reading an US Weekly, with all the entertainment gossip and photos.  Every 2 seconds the girl (who was sitting in the middle) kept leaning over my shoulder saying “Who is that?” or “Oh they broke up?”.  Kind of annoying, but I let it slide.

Then the PDA started.  Now seriously people,  it’s annoying enough to walk through a mall and see people well into their 20s sucking face in the food court, but to be crammed into a coach seat with barely enough space to be considered “personal” and to have the people next to you kissing ever couple minutes, draping their legs over eachother and basically spooning eachother and cuddling next to you is just uncalled for.  I think it’s great when people are in love, and it’s nice to have a travel companion to lean on their shoulder to sleep, rather than the hard plastic window, but keep it to a minimum, not everyone in your row wants to be involved in your in-flight cuddle fest.

Long flight so I slept, I read, I watched the silly movies they played, and I tried to just keep my headphones in and ignore what was going on around me.   The pilot comes on the speaker to announce we are beginning our decent to Seattle…woohoo!  I pull up the window shades and lean towards the window to see the snow covered mountains and terrain below.  Gorgeous sight!  Then I get an eerie feeling of something breathing down my neck.  I turn around to find the cuddle-bug couple leaning less than inch away from me trying to get a glance out the window.  I think “how annoying?”, but decide to be nice and lean back so they can get a quick glance.  Then, just as I start to lean forward to look out the window again (I am my father’s daughter when it comes to looking out a plane window) the guy, who is sitting in the aisle seat cleans so far over, laying across his girlfriend’s lap and stretches his arm across me to put his camera up against the glass and take photos.   Now this is getting out of hand!!  Are you kidding me???  If you want to look out a window and take pictures then book your flight earlier and pick a window seat, otherwise sit back in your seat and get your arm out of my face!!   I was so tempted to just slap his arm and say “EXCUSE ME!!!”

Finally we land, while my last nerve is about to explode, I say a polite, “Good day” to the couple and run as fast as I can to baggage claim.  So happy to see my sister standing there waiting for me and know that I can finally join the ranks of civilized society again.

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