Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Not to disappoint ... I survived yet another flight on United Airlines

Since commercial air travel has become somewhat of a hobby of mine lately, I figured I'd share another post from the friendly skies.

On Sunday evening, after checking my pockets and handbags for dangerous weaponry and disposing of them safely in the nearest trash bin, I attempted to board my plane. But wait! The flight back to Boston was over-booked so they were giving extra vouchers to those willing to give up their tickets. As eager as I was to conclude my vacation and return to hundreds of unanswered e-mails, I spent the next two minutes nervously considering whether to offer up my seat in exchange for a round-trip ticket, knowing that whatever decision I made would ultimately determine whether or not my flight made the five o'clock news. I immediately called my parents before boarding to secure that guilt that would torture them for the rest of their lives when they told me they would not pick me up from the airport if I decided to take the voucher. When faced with the reality that I probably would not be able to con them into driving back to O'Hare and would have to shell out $60 for a limo, I reluctantly boarded the aircraft. I was interested to see what it would finally be that made this plane drop from the sky. Maybe cell phone interference from the guy in 14b who refuses to save his conversation about profit margin for another two hours, even though the flight attendant specifically warned us repeatedly to turn them off? I wonder if he is aware that his impatience will cost us our precious lives. Or maybe that girl with the valley girl accent who has not shut her trap for more than two seconds is really a disguised terrorist. Either way, I don't think my neighbor enjoyed my attempt at light conversation ("I wonder if we'll survive this crash," "Did you ever see that episode of Twilight Zone where the guy goes crazy because he thinks there's some kind of monkey-like creature trying to pry open the wing of the plane? Spoooooky! Do you think that could happen on this flight?"). So I spent the remainer of the flight with my head resting awkwardly on the dinner tray trying to get over a wicked hangover, wondering if my 'last meal' was really going to be a package of four mini airplane pretzels.

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