After a pleasant flight in Economy “Minus,” I figured my IAD to TPA flight in an exit row aisle seat couldn’t be that bad, right? WRONG!
This flight looked full, so about 20 minutes before boarding I went up to the podium to ask if they needed volunteers. The guy in front of me in line asked for a seat change, and the gate agent said “we’re oversold, no seat changes.” Great, I figured, so I asked him if they needed volunteers, and he said “no, we’re not oversold.” Eh, ok.
Anyway, I got aboard the flight to Tampa, and it was indeed quite full. As boarding wrapped up the middle seat in my row was the last one that was empty, and for a moment my seat opponent and I prayed it would stay that way. Then comes aboard a passenger that takes the middle seat. I could immediately tell it would be a long flight. She smelled like smoke and wore shorts so short that you couldn’t see them below her shirt, and trust me, this wasn’t a case where that’s a good thing.
The first thing she said was “Wow, these seats are tall, I can’t even touch the floor. I’m only 4’9″. I guess I’ll just be dangling here the whole flight.” She proceeded to sit “indian style,” and bet me $10 I couldn’t do it. Gee, ya think? I’m well over a foot taller than you, lady.
Then the flight attendant came by to do the exit row briefing. The first thing my seatmate asked the flight attendant is whether she knows how to rap, “because [she] only listens to rapping flight attendants. Have you seen that video on YouTube?”
The lady indicated she wasn’t really comfortable helping in an emergency because she was so short. Thank God, I thought, but eventually she decided she actually was willing and able. Gar!
The one saving grace was that she had brought a book. I figured she’d eventually shut up, but then the unthinkable happened. Her reading light was broken, and the natural sunlight just wasn’t enough for her. She called over the flight attendants, and after thinking it through I decided to trade my aisle seat for her middle seat, if for nothing else than getting her to shut up. The flight attendants said “you know, you don’t have to do that.” Anyway, as we taxied out my seatmate repeatedly said we should switch seats NOW, not after takeoff. I indicated the seatbelt sign was on, and if we didn’t follow it we could be arrested (I figured she wouldn’t know better either way). 😉
Once the seatbelt sign goes off we switch seats, and I tell the flight attendants they’re doing me a favor, because I’d rather have quiet for two hours than listen to that nutjob. They took good care of me.
Unfortunately when I got back to my seat she kept talking. And talking. And talking. Out of nowhere she asks me how old I am, so I just respond with “how old are you?” Anyway, eventually she reads.
As we land she asks to borrow my phone. I agreed, and she proceeded to make three calls with my phone. Finally on the way out of the plane she asks the flight attendants where the nearest smoking area is, as if they know.
What a flight….