From Thirty Five Thousand Feet
Flying back from Cancun, I had 4 hours to contemplate all sorts of things- The older I get, the more claustrophobia plays a roll in my life. Earbuds are not made for people with small ears. Sometimes, the person next to me has zero interest in what I have to say, regardless of how interesting it might be. Just because someone is uncomfortable, doesn’t mean it’s all fine and good to press ones knees into the seat in front of you.
Also, when it is already obvious everyone on the plane is going to miss their connecting flights, constant insistence by the flight crew that we all “sit back and enjoy the flight” is going to rub some people the wrong way. Though, I do agree with the woman next to me, who after realizing that she would miss her flight back to California said, “Well, what can you do?” Yep, What can you do?
I have a love/hate relationship with flying. I love the convenience, the speed, the lack of effort it takes on my part to get places. I hate the cramped quarters, especially if I have the window seat. I also hate never being able to sleep (which has more to do with my own psychological issues than anything on the airplane), never being cool enough, getting motion sick, getting headaches, getting…well yeah.
The hour delay meant we got to spend one more night away from home. Lucky enough, we were in Phoenix, which isn’t a horrible place to spend a night. Still, my heart had decided it wanted to be home, and once disappointed, my heart rarely cares about the luck in the situation.
But I am dancing around what I want to talk about today. Mostly because I am still sorting it out in my head. I should let it simmer another day, but I’m unsure one more day will matter. It seems trivial, silly, trite, all those things. Perhaps it had something to do with my frustration at being delayed, and I worry that what is bothering me is more about me than the people on my flight, but the obliviousness, the entitlement, the constant ignoring of flight personnel was frustrating. I have already mentioned the knee in the back of my seat (and maybe I should have said something to the person. They may not have been aware), which was annoying enough, but the refusal of people to comply with simple instructions was infuriating. More than they should have needed, the flight attendants had to instruct people to remain in their seats as the air was quite rough. One woman got up five times in one hour, twice to go talk to a woman in business class, three times to pee. Several people ignored direct instructions from crew members, and wandered from lavatories to overhead compartments, or friends in various places about the cabin. After the plane landed, we were stopped on the tarmac, just off the landing runway waiting for another aircraft to pass, when half the plane’s passengers decided it was all fine and good to stand up and gather their luggage. Imagine the outrage when they were told we were not at the gate yet.
I am unsure if all of this comes out of some sense of entitlement or just ignorance.
What I do know- I need to be more aware of my own moments where I feel the rules don’t apply to me, or when I think I might know better than those around me who have more experience. I need to pay attention, listen, understand, do better.