How much I enjoy air travel…

chart, ilovecharts, fun, funny, humor, travel, flying, planes

I was returning home from Chicago today.  Ominous skies were threatening our return.  Weather reports from home are gloomy – thunderstorms and heavy rains are pounding the NYC region.  The flight is full.  The mood among the passengers is surly…no one is up for an extended delay, or worse, a cancelation heading into the weekend.  Yet, the flight is off, and on time and largely uneventful.  We circle for 15 minutes over NYC as air traffic is backed up.  We land.  A few minutes late but the relief in the cabin is palpable.

We’re on the tarmac.  An elderly lady three rows back is on her cell phone calling a family member.  In a voice that is heard 8-10 rows in each direction, she let them know “THAT I’LL BE A BIT LATE AND THERE IS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.” She carries on her phone conversation on her stay in Chicago and her plans for the weekend.  Then, there’s a moment of silence.  And, she’s back on the phone.  This time with her car service.  Her piercing voice is echoing up and down the tube.  “GIVE ME YOUR NUMBER!  I’LL NEED TO CALL YOU FROM BAGGAGE CLAIM.  NO I NEED YOUR NUMBER. 212-656-.  WHAT WAS THAT AGAIN? 212-65X?  SPEAK LOUDER.”  This goes back and forth several times until she manages to get the number.  Then, there’s another moment of silence and she’s back on the phone with another family member.  “I SHOULDN’T BE TOO LATE.”  The conversation continues for several minutes at a raised decibel level.  There’s another moment of silence and she’s back on the phone again.

As the calls continued, there’s a perceptible shift in the mood among the passengers who pivot from understanding (“how sweet“) to humor (“is this an SNL skit“) to a sharp wicked turn to impatience (“grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr“) – as one by one they glance over their seats to see the offender – whose voice is LARGE vis a vis her physical presence.

We finally get towed into the gate and a good samaritan in the seat behind me offers to grab her bag from the overhead bin.  Then he kindly offers to show her how to find her cell phone call log for future reference. (“My thoughts turn inward.  Would I have done that?  I have Gandhi sitting behind me.)

The lady asks him to repeat his question.  He does.  And she snaps back at him saying “THERE’S NO NEED.  I KNOW THAT!”

Related Post: Think Small…

Image Source: Ilovecharts



  1. very good kanigan.


  2. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    Probably not Gandhi – probably just a polite Canadian 🙂


  3. LOL So true. I love how fast planes can get you to your destination, but wish the journey was more comfortable. Yes, I fly economy – who can afford first class? And rude passengers add so much to the flight, eh?


  4. I’m always amazed at how some people are completely clueless!


  5. Lol!!! You’re a wonderful writer David…I felt like I was there…behind you. I’m teasing!!!


  6. Martin Robertson says:

    And I’m not. Concern we have for others, with meaningfully best regards. And now moving on to other thoughts.


    Thanks for sharing. There was a time in my life when I was seemingly forever airborne.

    Let me share with you my thoughtful response to your recent Chicago experience for your extended consideration.

    Goals In Life

    Waking up each day with focused attention on doing more than we have before.

    Ignoring any downside aging and continuing to push the pedal to the floor.

    Triple I to you too,



  7. Agree with Carol feeling that we are right there with you. Love the personal experiences you write about. Can you imagine the nightmare the driver had tonight!


  8. I don’t know who I feel worse for – the passengers who couldn’t escape this forced eavesdropping exercise, or the driver who would have to endure for far longer. I’m glad you’re home safe and sound. You evoke images with such ease David – it’s great.


  9. Ah, air travel. My favourite location for Manwatching. Such a hothouse for Conflict! In the UK we have a rule against that specific behaviour, which is that you do not use your phone until the seatbelt signs are off or sometimes until you’re inside the terminal. If that had been a BA flight a voice would have come over the intercom reminding us all (and specifically HER) of that fact. Thus allowing the conflict avoiders on the plane to rest easy. Very sensible and of course very British.


  10. Simon Marsh says:

    There’s some Gandhi in a man who can reflect on all this with such grace and patience! My pet hate is the ubiquitous “musak” that is apparently thought to be necessary everywhere from plane, train or bus to most every shop or bathroom! I’m endlessly fascinated / irritated by western society’s general discomfort with silence. Have a good – and peaceful – weekend.


    • Yes, Simon. Musak rolls everywhere. I agree. Yet, this working westerner would much prefer a few moments/hours of silence in airplane cabins and commuter trains to catch up on my sleep, my work or just my thoughts.


  11. Hi David, I have been on that plane before, in fact, several times. People always amaze me….I also think she was clueless about her rudeness. Have a wonderful weekend. I am heading stateside Monday I hope I have a quiet flight 🙂


  12. I seriously dislike air travel.
    I used to do the Chicago/Newark NJ run fairly frequently. Awful, just awful.


  13. Alex Jones says:

    What is it about people who feel they need to involve the whole world in their private conversations?


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