Thursday, July 21, 2011

One time I was pushed by a passenger on a plane...

If you read my blog posts from a few days ago, you'll remember that I was on vacation at the beach! It was a great vacation, full of fun, laughter, and sun! But then came this tweet from me:

And here's the blog post: 
After boarding the plane an hour and a half late (weather problems... and then maintenance problems), my mom and I made our way to our seats. I had a window seat, and she was across the aisle from me in an aisle seat. The flight attendant noticed we were talking, so she told my mom to just switch to the other aisle seat (next to me), and she'd ask the woman if she'd mind switching to the other aisle seat. Well, the woman made her way down the aisle, and the flight attendant asked if she'd be willing to switch to the aisle seat across the aisle. She threw a huge tantrum in the aisle, gaining the attention of the other passengers nearby, screaming "THIS IS THE SEAT I PAID FOR AND I WILL BE SITTING IN THAT SEAT" followed by incredibly rude words to the flight attendant. Now, she has every right to say no, as that was the seat she paid for and was planning on sitting in during the flight. To scream the way she did though was completely uncalled for.. In all my years flying, I've never heard one passenger ask another passenger to switch seats to sit by a family member and be turned down by them, especially if it was an aisle seat for an aisle seat. Anyways, my mom stood up and, without saying anything to the rude passenger, moved and sat in her assigned seat. I said nothing to the passenger who sat down next to me, and continued to read the blog post I had earlier been reading. The woman and I spoke no words at all back and forth as we waited to take off. At the last minute before take off, the flight attendant grabbed us and said there were 2 available seats at the front of the plane (!!), and moved us up there. The passenger sitting next to me stood up (without being asked) so I could get past her. I slipped past her but as I took my first step towards the front of the plane, she shoved me in the back, and I flew a few steps forward. I'm really wondering what was going on her head that made that an appropriate move! I hadn't even spoken to her (and even if I had, when is it ok to push people?), so it seems a little weird that she would've considered that to be the appropriate action.

Anyways, after that, we were seated in the front of the plane and took off. And then this happened:

We hadn't complained to the flight attendant about anything related to said passenger, but as the flight attendant got the brunt of this woman's harsh words, and the fact that I got shoved, I think she felt bad for us. And gave us free wine. And LOTS of cookies and pretzels. The flight attendant proceeded to spend the entire flight teaching little magic tricks to the passengers the entire time, and I laughed throughout the whole flight! What started out to be a really lousy flight experience turned out to be one of the most fun flights I've ever taken in my entire life! 

As I was sitting there, I had to wonder what was going on in that woman's life that made her behave in such a miserable way. If she didn't want to switch, she could've said no and left it at that, but she verbally beat up the flight attendant, and then shoved me. My counselor brain really wants to know the "why" behind the whole thing? Anyways, I decided to ignore the rude passenger, and I ended up having a really fantastic time. 

We all have bad travel stories right?

What I'd like to know:
What's one of your crazy travel stories?
Would you have ignored the passenger, spoken to her, or shoved her back? 


  1. I was on a plane journey once, sat next to my other half when a guy recognised the passenger to the other side of me and asked me to swap seats with him. I declined...not wanting to be sepatated... but he got more and more intoxicted and abusive as the flight went on. I had a word with the attendant about him and things finally calmed down. I wasn't about to get into a fight on a plane, so figure i did the right thing. It is one of those strange places where you can't just walk away - nowhere to go!

  2. In the case where the person you ask to switch with is also with their fam/friend/sig other, then that's totally ok to decline! I'm glad the flight attendant was responsive to you talking to them...and that you didn't get punched! Planes are an awkward place where, for awhile, you have to continue to be around the person!