Posted by Anu on Thursday, April 18, 2013 with 26 comments | Categories: Flight, observing people, Passengers, sleeping beauties
The flight journey and experience is always different and depends on where you sit. Agree or not? I am talking about short duration flights (1-3 hours) and travelling in low cost local/ international airlines. Not the long journey international flights on Boeing or Airbus.
While I usually nail the window seat without fail (no, I don't use kerchief to get a seat), there were very few instances that I missed. Particularly when I am travelling in low cost airlines (3-3 seating arrangements). I mean, Who would want to pay additional money to get an allocated seat. I have often been lucky enough to get window seats, even in those instances.
I get excited, every-time, always if I had to sit on the window seat - like a kid; like that's my first time flight experience! I fix my eyes into the window so close that my nose literally touches the window. I keep peeping outside. I take pictures. I take videos. I see the 30000 foot view of the city. I enjoy the altocumulus clouds until the plane disappears itself into a huge cloud. When all I see is just a white space, I start concentrating on other things. I put my ear-plugs on, and start listening to music. Read the in-flight magazine. Or take out my novel and start reading them, until I see that white space emerging into a land mass again.
But the scenario is totally different if you sit in the aisle seat or middle seat. For instance, middle seat passengers are on their own world - either day dreaming or sleeping!
The sad group of passengers are those who sit on the aisle seat. Having to give-way every now and then to their co-window and middle passengers who go on to check the functionality of the flight sanitary conditions or probably to check their own ;)
As the aisle passenger fastens the seat belt, the middle passenger will have the urge to go for a pee-pee interval. When he returns back, the window passenger might remember that he never went for one in a long time, and disturbs the whole row to go to release the acid. The game doesn't end there.
Just when the aisle passenger is getting comfortable, his hand is accidentally hit more often by air hostess and other passengers when they walk down the aisle. Not to forget the fact that they are the first to be disturbed by the air hostess to show their hospitality! Talk about it. There's more! Can the aisle passenger ever take a peaceful nap just like rest of the passengers? No, I guess!
Once (and I think that's the only time) I had this not-so-fortunate-moment to travel in the aisle seat. As I fastened the seat belt, switched off my phone, I was eagerly waiting for the flight to take off. I noticed my co-middle passenger was playing crosswords for less than 5 minutes. As the pilot announced the flight take off, he closed off his eyes, hands locked tightly and bent his head down. As expected, the co-window passenger was looking outside the window.
Not less than 10 minutes the flight took off, and when I looked around, half a dozen of people had already dozed off. My husband is like that! Seriously, I just don't get it! I can never sleep in a flight! #confession
In few more minutes the flight reached a certain altitude, thankfully. I switched my phone to airplane mode, and plugged my earphone. The total journey was 1.5 hours and never (ever) in my life, 1.5 hours felt like 15 hours to me! That's actually the 2nd time in the same month that I travelled in the same airline company. I din't want to re-read the in-flight magazine over and over again! And to add to the blue, I kept my book inside the suitcase that was put on the overhead locker some 30 seats ahead of me. What a blow!
The unsettled me, started to look around, front and back, to observe something interesting. From an aisle seat, you can atleast see a dozen of people, right?? I love observing people, but mostly in an open space like a square, or cafe or parks. While sitting in aisle seat seemed a bit claustrophobic to me, observing people came as a savior!
My husby was sitting on another aisle seat few rows behind me (sadly, the last passengers to get into the flight) and he himself is a classic example. He slept with one hand on his chin, and another on the magazine which he never opened. His head was rested on the front seat. I know he can sleep anywhere as long as he gets any of the 4 things - a book (that is his sleeping pill), bright sunshine and nice breeze (his cradle), anything that is moving like bus, boat, train etc (would be his lullaby). You don't want to know the fourth one right? ;)
What surprised me was, there's a lot of people out there like my husband, as in "take a seat, and doze off types". Passengers sitting near the window seat have mostly maintained the same posture by bending their head slightly over the window with their closed eyes.
There was this old man sitting in the middle seat diagonally behind me. The moment he closed his eyes, his mouth opened automatically. He even snored briefly.
A teenager with the head phone sat behind me rested his head on his own seat. With his eyes closed, every now and then his lips and head moved (perhaps to the rhythm of music!).
A nerdy looking woman with her reading glasses was lost in her book she was holding - Fifty shades of Grey!
A small girl was holding her stuffed doll and was probably as bored as me. We met eyes quite often.
The air-hostesses were not looking appealing at all. One of her even looked very old.
After some observation, I started to type all this in my notes, and already finished listening to 20 something songs, the much needed flight announcement about the "preparing for land" came. In less than 20 minutes, I released my seat belt and disembarked the flight. I was so happy and relieved - so much like someone who just released the acid after controlling their bladder for an awful long time! Talking about it, my middle and window passengers had great bladder control! They never disturbed me throughout the journey :)