I’m on the way home to Seattle after spending three days in Vegas speaking at a real estate conference. I travel pretty often, so it’s rare to have a new flight experience. You never know though how some random human will behave, and a new experience played out today. Yay for new experiences, always an opportunity for growth and learning!
The passenger in front of me put his bag under *his* seat, obviously blocking the space for my feet.
“Excuse me, would you mind putting your bag under the seat in front of you?”
So I’m thinking, “No” as in “No, I don’t mind at all.”
Then he fully reclined (this is pre-takeoff mind you), and didn’t touch the bag.
“Excuse me, I need you to put your bag under the seat in front of you.”
“I said no. If I do that, there won’t be room for my feet.”
<<Pause for a brief moment of disbelief>> “I totally understand, there’s no room for my feet because your bag is there”
“Tough, I paid for this space.”
<<Another mind-bending pause>> “Well actually…”
“Listen bud, I’ll call the stewardess (who really calls them that any more?) and she’ll straighten you out.”
“Oh, please, allow me.” <<rings FLIGHT ATTENDANT call button.>>
“Hi, what can I do for you?”
Mr. Asshole, as I’ve now named him, blurts out, “This guy is bugging me about my bag being under my seat.”
Queue the puzzled face on the flight attendant. “Yes sir, you have to put your bag under the seat in front of you.”
Mr. Asshole fires back with his now standard, “then there won’t be room for my feet.”
“Yes sir, that’s correct. We can probably find some space in the overhead.”
“No, I need stuff out it and don’t want to get up and down.”
“Well sir, then you’ll need to put your bag in front of you.”
“Why?” chirps Mr. Asshole.
The flight attendant was a consummate professional, apparently either insanely well-trained or experienced in this situation. Given the frightening level of human ineptitude often displayed around airplanes, I suspect she has seen and dealt with all kinds. Bottom line, she was, in fact, a bad ass. I kind of have a little crush on her.
“It’s just the way it is sir. We all have to share this space for the next few hours, and we have to be considerate of each other. So you have three options. You can put your bag under the seat in front of you, you can put it in the overhead if there is room, or you can get off the plane and arrange another flight. What is your choice?”
“And if I refuse to move my bag?”
“Then I’ll have a police officer remove you, and you’ll likely be charged with interference with flight crew members and attendants, a felony which can result in up to 20 years’ imprisonment and fines of up to $250,000. Now which of those three options would you like to choose?”
Shithead (he got promoted) reaches under his seat, yanks out his bag, grumbling under his breath the entire time and puts it under the seat in front of him.
“Thank you for cooperating. Now I’ll need you to bring your seatback to an upright position for takeoff.”
Shithead didn’t say a word as he straightened his seat.