This finishes up my interviews with the authors of Unlikely Merger, now in its final few chapters. I hope you enjoyed their impressions about air travel in Monday’s post. Truth is, the more you fly, the more “situations” can arise. Any time you’re closed in with this many people from all backgrounds, you are going to have some…er…different things happen.
My last question for them dredged up some comic and/or strange situations. Some of them were a little more detailed, so I decided to give them their own space.
Anything strange or funny happen on a flight you’ve taken?
- My sister and I were coming back from a cruise to Mexico and were seated next to a man who kept telling us all about the cigars and liquor he had hidden in his luggage. We weren’t quite sure what to do with that. ~ Julie Arduini
- One summer in high school, we went to California to visit my mom’s family. We never had cable TV growing up, so when we stayed at my grandparents, my brother and I watched it probably more then we should have. Like, the night before we flew back, after the grownups were in bed, my we happened to catch a VH1 special about music videos with plane crashes in them.
So we fly out, and I’m way overtired from a busy two-week vacation with a lot of excitement and very little sleep. The backs of my legs are sunburned BAD from a day at the beach, and the rough airplane upholstery is chafing like nobody’s business.
The first flight went fine, but we had a layover at Dallas-Fort Worth, and the flight was delayed for some reason after we’d already boarded. We sat in our seats on the tarmac for like 45 minutes, and we weren’t allowed to stand up, even to use the bathroom. They said if we did, we’d lose our spot in the line to take-off.
Then, tiny bits of ice started to drop on me from the vents above my seat. It was Texas in August. Why was ICE coming out of plane? I had VH1 flashbacks and started to freak out. I told my mom, “They’re lying to us. We’re stopped, because there’s something wrong with the plane. And it’s going to crash. I know it’s going to crash.”
My mom was like, “Stop it. Be quiet. If you don’t calm down, they’ll kick us off the plane.”
If it had been after September 11, 2001, they probably would have, but this was before those crazy days. Mom and I prayed together, and I was able to calm down. The place took off a little bit later and made it home just fine. ~ Raelee May Carpenter
- On a flight from Houston to Orlando many years ago, I was really nervous about flying over the Gulf of Mexico. Any body of water deeper than a bathtub gives me jitters. Even the boats at Disney World give me the hebejebees. I was praying like crazy, asking the Lord to get us safely back to land. Ironic, because a crash on land would be as deadly if not more so than water. As we were flying over the clouds, I looked out the window and saw a complete circular rainbow below us with the shadow of the plane in the center of it. Now, I ask you: Was that a message from God or what? ~ Pat Dyer
- On my only flight as an adult, it was stormy the day we left and was delayed several hours. Talk about building up some tension. On the way home, the pilot chose to go around the major storm system in our way and even then we were delayed in landing because of lightning. ~ Jennifer Hallmark
- Just after my high school graduation, my mom and I took a trip to Colorado with a quick layover in Denver. On the takeoff, a huge storm was building. While we were ascending, we suddenly plummeted about 7 stories, according to the pilot. He later announced that a brief tornado hit Denver and that we flew right over it, causing the sudden descent. For some reason, that didn’t make me feel any better. ~ Marji Laine
- When my now 21-year-old was 2 months old, we took her to see her grandfather. As we were walking down the aisle of the plane, I held her facing out in my arms and she was happily cooing. Yet I swear, people growled at me! She did beautifully on the flight, and when we stood to deplane, several of the passengers turned and gave me a silent nod, like I’d somehow passed a test and now had their approval (Like I cared.) I always try to be understanding of parents with babies on flights. Screaming 5-year-olds, maybe not so much… ~ Carole Towriss
- I flew to South Africa with my two year old son. The trip home was 17 hours and he became very cranky. The poor attendant tried his best to help out and brought me every item they had for babies. Unfortunately, everything he had was for infants – formula, pacifiers etc. It didn’t help, but he sure tried. ~ Phee Paradise
Share a favorite memory from a flight.
- We flew Southwest after a Disney cruise where you choose your seating. Somehow our son and I were separated from my husband and daughter. They got plumb choice seats up front having a good time. We were stuck in the extreme back with a crying baby because of the ear pressure. It was a rough landing and all our ears in the back hurt. The front passengers felt nothing. We kept yelling thinking we were talking and the other two kept saying what a great flight it was for them. ~ Julie Arduini
- Maybe seeing how relaxed my family was. I was so amazed at how loud it was. I guess I thought it would be like the movies where you don’t hear the noise from flying. ~ Jennifer Hallmark
When I was a teen, I read “Love Story” on a flight to Guatemala. So one of my favorite lines in a movie was in “What’s Up Doc?” when she turns to him on the airplane and says, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” And he says, “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.” ~ Phee Paradise
This was a funny thing that happened to me, but also my favorite memory: My husband and I were flying to Seattle, which included a layover in Chicago. I was called to the counter, which raised alarms in my breast, thinking we were about to be bumped from the flight. My husband accompanied me to the male attendant who had called my name. With a great deal of charm and humor, he informed me they needed to make room on the flight for a group of soldiers. They had managed to seat three of them in some available seats near ours. “Now, we could seat the last man in first class, since we have two seats open there, but I thought it made more sense to move you…and your husband…to first class and put the man in your seat. That way, he’ll be close to his buddies. So my question is, would you mind being “bumped” to first class?”
About halfway through his spiel, I realized (yes, I’m a little slow on the uptake) he was flirting with me, though my husband stood right there beside me. I wasn’t about to object, though, since he was offering us such a nice upgrade. Wide-eyed, I quickly let him know I didn’t mind at all. I did later wish he’d asked me before I’d eaten that egg biscuit at McDonald’s, since first class included breakfast. ~ Betty Owens
Here’s today’s chapter and links to more Unlikely Merger fun:
Marji Laine: No Joy in Mudville
Julie Arduini:Our Business Influences Part 3
Carole Towriss: Steve’s Home Great Barrington