Every year my dad and I fly from California to Indiana for the Indianapolis 500 over Memorial Day weekend. We either leave on Friday or Saturday and then come back on Monday (depending on fares and our schedules etc.). Both my father and I, being AAdvantage Platinums, tend to fly American when we can to reap our benefits.
This memorable year, we left on a Friday morning (FAT-LAX-DFW-IND). Arriving at the airport at O-Dark-30 for our 6 am flight out was particularly lovely, and the coffee couldn’t be served soon enough. Checked in and our upgrade confirmed for our LAX-DFW leg, my spirits were high and I was looking forward to a decent breakfast. First puddle jumper flight was uneventful and just long enough for coffee and the front page of the Wall Street Journal. With just under 2 hours to kill in LA, we stopped by the Admiral’s Club for a snack and to check the news. Little did we know…
We were sitting in the lounge chatting with a couple who were headed to the Virgin Islands for their honeymoon, when a man walked by and knocked over my suitcase which was tucked in next to my seat. I quickly apologized to him, when he then attempted to dress me down in front of 35+ people for “carelessly leaving my bag in the middle of the walkway.” He standing at 5’4, and myself north of 6’0, this was quite the sight. I apologized again and semi-sarcastically said next time my bag steps out of line I will give it a stern talking to. Giggles filled the lounge and I sat down without much more thought on the matter. He stormed off in a fit of rage.
Boarding our next flight, we got settled in first class and were served coffee before takeoff. Low and behold, angry bag man was also on this flight and took a seat in first. A few minutes later, 2 Marines boarded and headed back to coach. I looked at my dad and he knew what I was thinking before I said it. Growing up, he always taught me to try to do a good deed for a service member who is traveling. Despite the fact I was looking forward to my fruit salad, I got ahold of the FA and told her we would gladly trade seats with them once everyone was on. They sealed the door and I hopped up and went back to find the Marines. I saw them and said there were pancakes, hot coffee, and 2 seats waiting up front for them. Their faces let up with a smile, which was worth every bit of it.
I settled in to my new seat next to a college student from LA who realized what I had done and thanked me. I told her I wasn’t the one who was due thanks. Halfway through the flight, and almost done with my WSJ, I noticed bag man coming back to the depths of coach. He was using the bathroom, to which I was seated near. While waiting in line he asked me, “I guess up front isn’t good enough for you?” I lost it. I got up, turned around and ahem… politely… ahem… educated the man on the finer points of what I did and why I did it. I didn’t yell, but suffice it to say that anyone within ear shot knew my opinion and I suddenly had an audience.
He scoffed at my thoughts and headed back to first (apparently he didn’t have to pee that bad any more). I gained some comfort in the fact that the FA came by after the conversation and told me “I wish I could talk to rude passengers like that sometimes.” We arrived in DFW and disembarked from the plane. The Marines waited at the gate and thanked me again, and I told them to take care and we all appreciate what they do.
With some time to kill, and still being miffed about what had happened earlier, my father and I walked the concourses and people watched. The karmic stars must have aligned and God was smiling down on me because I saw the ass (aka bag man), who probably had an upper management position in hell reserved for himself, in line at the lost luggage counter which has been recognized by the US Government as a form of cruel and unusual punishment. I grinned and just knew that for the time being – justice had been served.