Albany to Pittsburgh via Dulles on United, 12/6, early morning

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First flight at 6:00am from Albany to Dulles was uneventful. I was upgraded to seat 2D and the gentleman next to me in 2F was a riot – as a fellow road warrior he had great stories to share. He really needs to write a book. I didn’t catch his name, but if you read a travel diary at some point about a guy thinking you could get dropped into any city in the south and not know the difference, that was him.

I’ve had quite a few travel hiccups lately and after the first flight i was hopeful that this trip would be incident free. I boarded for my second flight, this time upgraded to seat 2F. I got on board and noticed that seat 1F had a band that said, “do not occupy,” and that someone was sitting in my seat. Someone? Not exactly. More like a horrific beast of a woman that was eating small children for breakfast and breathing fire.

Me: Hi. I’m sorry. I have seat 2F.
Beast: My seat is broken so i’m sitting here.
Me: I’m sorry that your seat is broken, but I have seat 2F. Would you mind finding another seat please?
Beast crosses arms, whole plane shakes, and then: I said i’m not moving. I’m going to the Steelers game and i’m sitting with my family and there is nothing you can do about it.”

At this point I decided to root against the Steelers, if for no other reason that to upset the beast. (Changed my mind when I got to the game which was awesome – thanks Connie and Pat!)

Flight attendant comes over and tells us we’ll have to wait for the gate agent.

Me: Do you mind getting up while we wait for the gate agent?
Beast: This is my husband. No way am i not sitting with him. I told you i’m not moving and there is nothing you can do to make me.

Now I’m getting angry.

Me: Ma’am, i assure you i have no interest in your husband. Please get out of my seat.
Beast: I’m not moving.

Gate agent comes and tells beast to vacate the seat. She refuses. Gate agent says, “Ma’am, we can’t close the doors and depart until you take your seat in coach.” Beast doesn’t budge. I wonder if she even realizes it is a 35 minute flight. Poor husband looked like he wanted to sit in the baggage bin!

At this point all i really care about is getting to Pittsburgh, well to brunch, actually to the mimosas at brunch, so i decide to be the grownup on the plane and just take the first available seat in coach, seat 1B. The crew, which as awesome by the way, thanked me profusely and credited an upgrade to my account. As I took my seat the best (who was literally a foot and a half away) loudly exclaims, “Can you believe that woman? Who does she think she is?” I let her know that I thought i was someone with more manners and class in my pinky than she’ll ever have and left it at that.

Just goes to show that class is most definitely not defined by where you sit on the plane.

Oh yeah, the plane was on time, the flight attendants offered by a complimentary drink in coach, and when i landed 35 minutes later they had already credited my account. Nice job United. Although i do think you need to revisit your animal transport policy. 🙂

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One Response to “Albany to Pittsburgh via Dulles on United, 12/6, early morning”

  1. Laurie Lee Says:

    commendable to break it down to a 35 minute flight, it’s transportation, that’s the main point, you paint a great picture of the beast!

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