Airport Angst & A Chatty Ex-Con

April 30, 2010

in Odds & Ends Stories

Where do I start with this little adventure? There’re two things here…


Keep in mind: My mom is disabled and walks with the assistance of a cane. I have a messed up back.

We arrive at the airport early. The flight status is ON TIME.

The first sign of trouble: We get to the gate that is printed on our tickets. It says “SEATTLE.” Um… we’re going to Tampa… Ask at that gate… oh yeah, the flight for Tampa is at a different gate… at the other end of the airport.

We proceed to our gate. We’ve arrived a couple hours early, as advised to. Our flight status is “ON TIME.” Then it is delayed by two minutes. Whoop-de-doo, right? About 10 minutes past the time they should have started boarding, it’s announced that due to mechanical problems, the flight is canceled.

So we are all herded like sheep to another area, where we stand in line to rebook. My mom is in pain; thankfully I found a nice employee with a wheelchair to help her out.

An hour later: Flight rebooked, with a layover. We get settled in at the new gate, then go grab a bite to eat.

Time to board the plane. Yay! Get on board, get settled… then the announcement comes: Due to weather between Detroit and Newark… it’s at least a 45 minute delay. Feel free to leave the plane and hit the restaurants, shops, etc. By this point, we have been at the airport for over 9 hours.

Thanks to Travelocity – at this point we were able to rebook our flight, hotel, car rental package with no penalties, no lost time. We drive the hour home, sleep… and start again the next morning.


Let’s try this again. Go to the airport. Ran into some of the people from our canceled flight from the day before. We did get off the ground on time, this day. This flight has a quick layover in Atlanta. No problems on the Detroit -Atlanta part of the flight.

The plane from Atlanta to Tampa is full, there are even people waiting on standby.

This flight would become THE LONGEST 90 minutes of my life. Our seatmate (aisle seat) was this guy who had just served 10 years in prison. Ok, nothing against former inmates. BUT… this guy is flying high before we leave the ground, if you get my drift. Track marks on both arms. Oh, and did I mention… not the worst B.O., but…. definitely could use a shower and some deodorant.

And to make it more “fun”: He would not shut up during the entire flight. Not even for two seconds. We both gave those nice hints: mom looking out the window, me trying to read a book, us trying to converse… nope, he kept talking. And talking. And talking…

I’m in the middle seat, so I can’t tune out or anything. I admit I almost started to laugh when he started hitting on my 62-yr-old mom!!!! He told us about some restaurant/nightclub he wanted to take her to, and told her how he would show her a good time, wink wink…

Of course, we had a turbulent flight… so due to the turbulence, there was no beverage cart… and believe me, during this long 90 minutes… both mom and I would have been inclined to order a few good stiff drinks… and a little arsenic for our seatmate.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Susu April 30, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Yikes, I used to work in a prison among nice folks just like your seatmate, you have my sympathy. 90 minutes in a controlled enviroment where you couldn't walk away, well lets just say I would have wanted to make him do the chicken real bad by the end of that flight!


Laura May 6, 2010 at 3:38 pm

You seem to have the patience of a saint, OP. Glad to see you're not as self-righteous and scapegoat-y as most of the other posters here. Hope your future flights are better!


jonasgal July 23, 2014 at 11:57 am

reminds me of someone i used to know! He liked to talk a lot too!


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