Business travel isn’t glamorous and those who say it is are either lying or have a much better job than any of my friends. This year I’ve been to Nashville three times. I will share my opinions on Nashville at a later time, but today I want to share with you a conversation I had with a woman on a flight from BNA to ORD on Friday, February 20th. The City had been ravaged by an ice storm earlier in the week – roads were closes, pipes burst, schools were shuttered – it was mayhem. We went anyway. We showed up on a Wednesday night and most restaurants were closed and it looked like a ghost town.
We were scheduled to leave on the 18h39 flight Friday night. Then the meteorologists started talking about a huge ice storm coming in midday on Friday. Knowing meteorologists have the only job where you can be wrong 95% of the time, but still keep your job, I wasn’t too worried. Then the terror my office was feeling about this storm somehow got to me. We got up on Friday morning and the storm was still lined up to ruin our weekend. We decided to get the hell out of Dodge. Easy enough, mind you, we called United and because of a weather alert, my colleague got moved to the 09h49 flight without a change fee — as did I.
We go to the airport and wait for a while. Then we board and I find a woman sitting in my seat. Our following conversation:
Me: I’m sorry, I believe you are in my seat: 5A.
Cow: I prefer this seat. My bag is too big.
Me: I’m sorry, but I would like my seat.
Cow: Someone is in my seat.
Me: Me too.
Cow: He won’t move.
Me: Did you ask him?
Cow: Ugh. Fine. I hate people like you. A gentleman would give me his seat.
So she gets up and moves to her seat across the aisle (this was a small regional jet with a 1-2 seat configuration – I wanted my single side seat). A few moments later the Stew comes back up front and says that he needs to add more weight to the back of the plane and that I’d have to move back. He also tells the woman who wanted my seat to move back. There were two seats available in the back — yes, you guessed it. Right next to each other. I spent the following 65 minutes next to the woman I just fought. Lovely. At least she didn’t say a word to me on this entire flight.
What are the chances, eh?