A few weeks back I was one of the first to board my flight and I sat there watching everyone get on. My row-mate made a few jokes and I nodded enough to feign interest. At one point, I saw a young woman with two other friends. She was dressed in extremely short shorts. I am not judging, mind you. I am just noting that they were extremely short. Her hair was long and disheveled. She also looked very flushed. And by flushed I mean drunk. As she passed by me, I could smell the alcohol on her. I could also hear her babbling some craziness.
I looked at my row-mate, this time with no feigned interest I asked him if he noticed the young woman. He most certainly did. I am not too sure if it was the drunken state of the short shorts that he noticed. I noted to him that we were likely to be delayed. He then started frowning and asking me why that was. Duh. I told him that the young woman was way too drunk and I would bet anything they would kick her off the flight. Hence, our delay. He was quite disturbed by this and was suddenly very interested in the young women’s state of being. Sure enough, she got more belligerent. She got kicked off and we were slightly delayed. I must say, I was surprised by how efficient the flight crew was in kicking her off the plane. I felt sorry for the young woman and her friends. They got off the plane with her. Which I thought was nice. And that got me thinking, while on planes these days, we tend to often focus on just looking out for ourselves.
We all know, most forms of civility on a plane flight have gone the way of the dodo. I have seen friends leave each other behind. My row-mate went from leering to jeering in a new york minute. Everyone was focused on getting her off the flight so that we could leave as close to on time as possible. I don’t think anyone really cared about the young woman herself. Then again she was annoying. Just saying.
On my flight the next week, a woman with two older women and a baby tried to pre-board the flight She wasn’t allowed to at first. Then they let her on and I was two people behind them. I knew instantly that they were going to be super slow as they walked down the ramp to the plane. I tried to have and show patience. However, the woman in front of me got exasperated and tried several times to walk passed them before nearly knocking one of the elderly women down as she hurried past them. She was completely rude. And apparently unnecessarily so. She was seated in row 15 (or so) -meaning further back than us. She rushed so that she could get first dibs on the overhead space. Shameful. These woman could have used help but that overhead space is apparently mote important.
On another flight, a non-english speaking woman was very thirsty. The cart service had already passed us but she had fallen asleep for a few minutes. It really wasn’t that long. She motioned desperately to the flight attendant who kept telling her that she “was busy at the moment.” I offered her my coke zero -which is what I always offer people as I do not drink water (yes, we can discuss that at another time). She didn’t want it. She wanted, needed water. The man in my same row also tried to get the flight attendant’s attention who kept noting that she was busy and that the cart had already passed us. The woman eventually got water and she drank it like there was no tomorrow.
I just sat there sad and dejected. I felt like humanity had lost again. Nowadays, I experience at least one sad incident on my flights. I see how others fight: over bin space, elbow space, typing too much, pushing one’s chair back and so on. People seem to take little slights as monstrous acts of hatred. There are nice people on flights. However, the ones that are mean seem to be taking it up a few notches. People have become more individualistic on flights instead of being more collectivistic. It’s not one for all. It seems to be its one for oneself. That really is not a way to be in a tight space at 35,000 feet up in the air. Flying is scary enough. Let’s help each other out a bit more.