The middle seat…

Middle Seat


So I travel a lot for work.  Not like a ton – but more than the average Joe.  Last year I flew 87 segments and 118,000 miles exclusively on USAirways.  Because I fly that much I get upgraded to first class a lot.  Lately though with the changes related to the merger I’m getting upgraded less and less – which of course I think is tragic.

Tonight I’m flying from Boston to Phoenix – which with the headwind is taking a lovely 5 hours and 17 minutes.  That wouldn’t be so bad if I was in first class, or on a window or even on the aisle.  Nay my brethren – I am in the middle.  Like the youngest kid in a three kid family I’m on the proverbial hump in the back seat of the family truckster.  (For those of you that don’t get that reference it is from a time when you actually had to roll windows down – Google it.)

Now when I’m in the middle seat I NEVER end up like my image at the top of this story.  I usually am sandwiched between Hulk Hogan and Ving Rhames – although lately I haven’t seen Ving 😉

Tonight I was pleasantly surprised to share my row with a nice young man from Japan and a lovely petite young lady.  We chatted a little – not too much like those dudes that just won’t shut up because it’s the only time someone will interact with them – but just the right amount.  We then turned to our respective entertainment – a book, an episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. and for her an episode of Criminal Minds.  Inches apart yet worlds apart at the same time.

From my vantage point in the middle seat in the middle of the plane (Row 26) I was able to observe a number of things that I thought were interesting and I thought I should share them with you, my avid readers.

1. When the seatbelt sign is on that means sit down and put your seatbelt on.  It doesn’t mean any of the following that I observed during a period of turbulence so bad that even I as a frequent flyer was wondering if our wings would snap off:

  • Hey – the seatbelt sign is on, let’s form a line 5 people deep for the middle bathroom.
  • Hey – the pilot just came on and told the flight attendants to buckle in so I should hit the call button and ask for another jack and coke
  • Hey – I realize we JUST lifted off and we’re like 10 feet off the ground but you know, I think I need that thing that I left in my bag so I’m just gonna pop up and get it.  What?!?  I need to sit down – how dare you – who do you think you are anyway????  Ummmm – she’s the crew member who you are supposed to obey.  Can’t wait for the police to talk with you when we land.

2. If you have gas can you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE understand the nature of your flatulence – i.e. does it smell like a basket full of rotten eggs and dead hamsters that were left in the sun in Phoenix in July, eaten by a werewolf and then regurgitated onto a rabid skunk who was then scared into spraying a zombie.  We smell you bro – so just stop.

3. If you have kids and you want to travel do me a favor, please book your flight far enough in advance that you can pick seats together.  Don’t wait until the last minute and then bank on the fact that people will move around for you because that’s just rude.

and lastly…

4. If you want to sleep AND you don’t want to be disturbed – don’t sit on the aisle.  It’s just wrong to complain when someone inside of you wants to use the bathroom on a five hour flight…for realz.