It's Better To Laugh About It PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 July 2005 16:00

I have a story to share...I hope you too see the humour in it!

A man receives a deeply discounted airline ticket with a major Canadian airline (they use a maple leaf in their logo) on a stand-by basis as a result of his pilot-stepson's connections. The man is very grateful to be able to fly at such a discounted price and as it is his first time, he isn't quite sure of the procedure. He first has to register for the flight and with the help of an airline booking agent finds the flight with the most amount of open seats to ensure a space for him. He even calls the airline 12 hours before the registered flight is scheduled for take off and is assured that it still has plenty of available seats.

When he arrives at Pearson Airport, he is checked in and proceeds to the boarding gate. Once he arrives there, the ground crew abruptly tells him to take a seat and wait for his name to be called. Five minutes before the plane is set to leave he is told there are no seats available and he is re-registered on the next flight scheduled to leave a half an hour later. He arrives at that gate and learns that the plane hasn't even arrived from the hanger because it has been there to have an engine repaired. Things are not looking very good! It finally arrives forty minutes after the scheduled departure time and he and his wife are the last persons to be called to get on the plane. He is seated beside a woman, who is so large that the arm between their seats cannot be put down, she cannot do up her seatbelt and she does not speak English. He had seen this woman earlier in the airport when she was snuffling and sneezing from an evidently bad cold and he thought to himself that it would be awful to be stuck beside her on a plane! Now, not only is she the person taking up a portion of his seat but she is also carrying a small child on her lap and has a seriously bad body odour to make his flight even worse.

The man is crammed beside her for almost five hours, is sitting on the side, one row back from the movie screen (so it is barely visible) and the stewardess that is assigned to his section is extremely rude to him. He is not given any earphones to even hear the movie so that he at least is able to be distracted from his predicament, however the woman is. When it is time for the meals to be served, the rude stewardess tells him he probably won't receive one unless there is one left over. (I guess his "Interline" airline ticket is the lowest class possible??) After everyone on board is finished eating and the trays are being collected, a male steward comes up to the man and asks him if he would like to dine with the airline after all to which he is grateful. The man gets up to walk around twice during the flight and both times the oversized woman beside him takes over his seat as well as her own so that when he returns he feels like he is imposing.

This happened to Rick (pictured here with Makai, intently watching the NASCAR race on TV yesterday) on our way here. We couldn't even sit together but I was lucky enough to have a nice stewardess who didn't look down her nose at me. I also had a good "seat-mate". We are flying back to Toronto on Wednesday and we are hoping the above nightmare is just a one-time event. It was such an insane experience; we have had several laughs about it and wanted to share it.