I'm a cheap person. Okay...not usually. But when it comes to flights, I get the cheapest flight hands-down. No thought to it. I've never paid attention to what airline my cheapo ticket is booked through, and never had an issue with any flight I've been on. But I don't think I can handle an international US Airways flight again (despite the fact that I have another opportunity to fly US Airways again in less than a week). The second I stepped on the plane, I noticed the screens in the aisle. No personal screen. I don't think I've ever been on an overseas flight where I didn't get to choose my movie entertainment. What do they expect me to do for the 8 hours and 5 minutes they've predicted it will take to be on dry land?? Savor the 12 peanuts they give me in tiny bag filled mostly with air? I'd rather pop the bag and scare the people around me.

In the past, stepping on the aircraft has resulted in a flight attendant asking me what my seat number is and directing me down the appropriate aisle. But she doesn't. She just smiles and cheerfully welcomes me aboard US Airways. I guess I'll have to play eenine-meenie-minie-moe this time. Oh. One aisle. Can't go wrong here! 6 seats across instead of 11? Tight! I find my way to my seat and politely ask the 2 people already sitting in my row to get up, cram into the already full aisle as I trample their belongings on the floor. I apologize for my large hips as my body rubs against them in an unavoidable manner. My bad.

I scrunch down in my seat, attempting to get my stuff out of the way as my seat buddies resettle themselves. I initiate chit-chat to get their mind off our unexpected intimate moment. It seems to work. However, it doesn't take long for me to get bored of their answers. I pull out the flight guide from the seat in front of me. Which is when I feel knees settling in my back. No worries, I was planning on staying awake all night anyway! I check the magazine for movie listings and music channels. Approved. I begin looking around my seat and in the pocket where the magazine was for headphones. Were there headphones in the seat when you sat down? No? Maybe they hand them out after we get going in the air. I can be patient.

*20 minute interval*

"Ladies and gentleman (Dames en heren), we have headphones available for those who would like to purchase a set. The cost is $5 or 4 euro. Please feel free to keep these for future flights with US Airways."

What? Did I hear that right? We get to keep the headphones we purchase? This is just too good to be true! *Standing ovation* US Airways has done it again, folks!

No, I didn't have $5. Or 4 euro. Silence. At least I have a pillow and blanket. Or sheet, rather. Or a piece of paper with fluff. I wonder if we could have kept that, as well. I forgot to grab it in the midst of my excitement to get off. The refrigerated "petite roll" and "white cream pasta" wasn't as fulfilling as I had hoped.

And I didn't get any peanuts, either.
5 Responses
  1. Sueanne Says:

    LOL. Just glad you are safe!! The flights are really becoming 'no frills' aren't they? Enjoy your week, be relatively good (keep the long term picture before you) and we will see you in a week. Maybe the return flight will be better. : )

  2. Alan Smith Says:

    Hey, I've filed your complaint with the travel board for my grandparents' generation. You know, the ones who traveled to America by boat with hundreds of people crammed into the tight quarters of a boat, traveling for months and months, many of them dying en route due to storms, sickness and malnutrition. I'm sure they'll have great sympathy for your lack of a "personal screen" on the AIRPLANE and will convey their condolences to you! Oh, and when they contact you, don't forget to tell them about the 30 minutes you had to stand in line for something, they'll love hearing that story too! :-)

  3. Sueanne Says:

    Amber, at least you can say you come by it honestly. LOL. (see above comment)

  4. Rachel Says:

    Amber, I'm gonna have to go with your parents on this one - being able to fly across the ocean is pretty much an amazing thing, and something we all take for granted.

    Also, since I primarily fly domestic flights, I can tell you that what you described is EXACTLY what 99% of domestic flights are like, so make sure to expect this every time you fly somewhere within the US :)

  5. Domestic flights - I agree! But after having flown internationally more than 10 times, I can't help but point out the difference between those flights and this one.

    I guarantee after sitting there for 9 hours (as it's not possible for me to get out of this seat with someone sitting next to me) with your legs numb from lack of circulation, you might find reason to be frustrated, too. :)

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