Well, I’m just back from Saint Thomas and I had a blast. While I did have a great time there, the flight back was a nightmare. I’ve been through emergency landings and forced evacuations due to fire as well as the usual screaming kids and turbulence but this flight was insane.
This flight was just bad news from even before I got on the plane. Going through the customs gauntlet, I get “randomly” selected for the upgraded search complete with chemical sniffing and full pat down body search. I have the feeling they picked me because I was sweating like some nervous tourist.. err, terrorist. I mean, it’s only 85F, I’m wearing long pants for cold temps at my destination and I’m a fat guy. Hello? Fat people sweat a lot! They find dangerous pudding in my camera bag that was in there when I went through in Dulles. Who cares if it’s heading out of the country, just don’t let that deadly pudding in the U.S.!
I wasn’t worried about missing the flight, since it had been delayed 2 hours out of Chicago and was on a stop-over before continuing to San Juan. For a lot of the passengers already on the plane, theye were less than 30 minute flight from home and wanted it over with now.
Now I am a big guy and moving down the isle of an airplane is already a tight experience so I usually make accommodations for others I may have to pass in the isle. So I am going down the isle and stop for the person in front of me to stow baggage overhead and take a seat in that row. Just past her coming up the isle in the opposite direction is a short, fat Puerto Rican old lady I see I am going to have to pass.
I start planning the pass by noticing that the row to the right has an empty seat that one of us can use as a passing lane. I figure I will step in there and let the lady pass. As the gentleman in front of me finally takes his seat to the left, I prepare to step forward and to the right to let the woman pass.
As soon as this man moved to the left the woman moves forward at me before I can suggest the passing move. Since I had started forward as well, I have to stop and step back into the people behind me. After turning around to apologize for stepping into the person behind me, I turn back around and motion to the woman that either I can move into the empty seat or she can. To my horror, she steps forward towards me cutting of the access to the empty seat and “assumes the position”. You know the move, ass out and bent forward as to say, “Ok, you can pass now.” The only problem is she’s not using the empty seat, she’s hobbled over the poor guy that just sat down!
Now this is where the laws of physics came into play. You cannot pass two massive objects through a narrow gate. I motioned to the woman that she might want to use the empty seat or let me. Apparently she doesn’t understand English and the people behind me are getting impatient.
So I give short “Hmmff” and push past the woman making for a rough experience and head for my seat. A short time later I see the woman coming down the isle carefully scanning each row. It doesn’t even dawn on me that she might be looking for me, so I don’t think anything of it. After looking in the last three rows behind me, she comes back and points her fist at me for the attendant. I’m like “What? What’s the problem?”
The attendant explains to me that she is complaining that I injured her and wants to file charges and get the police involved. I am totally shocked. Are you fucking kidding me? At this point, the passengers around me are also shocked and start saying the woman was already a problem. They are getting really ticked off and believe that I did nothing wrong.
The attendant then asked the people near the area that the incident occurred and all say the same thing, that the woman made no effort to allow me to pass without forcing my way by. They convince this woman that for every action there is a reaction and I just might also be able to press charges. I would have too! “That woman grabbed my crotch as I went by!”. She finally gave up but not after adding another 20 minutes to our delay time.
During all this, some young, hot looking Puerto Rican girl was getting all loud and cranky. She got up to use the bathroom and decided to have a smoke. ARG! Now the crew comes on and has to admonish the passengers for smoking in the bathroom. It stunk really bad too, I don’t smoke so it was really obvious.
Now add to all this a baby that just will not STFU and screams at the top of his very large lungs. Yup, it’s the flight from Hell and we haven’t even left the ground!
We finally get off the ground and on the way. The stop in San Juan was very short allowing us to make up almost an hour on the delay. This time in mid-flight, a gentleman has breathing difficulty and there is an emergency. They were just about to serve snacks in my row and the attendant had to roll the cart away to handle the situation. Twice more an event would cause the drink/snack cart to be rolled away as it got close to me.
When we finally land at Dulles, the passengers are asked to remain seated while paramedics attend to the ill passenger. The seat belt light is on to help remind people. What happens? People start standing up, opening overhead compartments and move around. This was going on the whole flight too! Every time we were asked to return to our seats and buckle up, there was always 2 or 3 people that would do as the please. I wanted to just get up and rabbit punch these stupid bastards. Is “stay seated” to complex of a command for you to comprehend?
Arg! I can’t imagine a worse flight! Kudos to the attendants on that flight. They were being beat on by some passengers and did the best they could as the shit flowed around them. Despite having such a horrible flight, I am still going to fly United as the bad experience was not the fault of the airline or it’s employee’s, but the actions of some really stupid passengers.