I live in Switzerland and needed to go home on short notice for my grandfather’s funeral. It was a stressful time, as I was leaving my husband and year-old daughter at home in Zürich; this would be the first time I had been away from her overnight. I was also four months pregnant with my second daughter.
I boarded a Delta flight from ZRH to ATL, exhausted, nauseous, and upset. Soon after takeoff, I asked for some water, took off my shoes, slipped my purse under the seat in front of me and had a snack (which I brought for myself). Then I tried to sleep.
Except I couldn’t. Two German-speaking businessmen were behind me, dressed in suits, drinking beer, talking very loudly. One of them was digging his ample knees into the back of my seat. After the first round, they had a second. I moved to the empty middle seat, put on my headphones, and after beer number three was delivered to the two men, they seemingly quieted down and I finally fell asleep.
A few hours later, the flight attendant came by and woke me up. ”You may want to clean your belongings.”
I looked down. Vomit was sprayed over my shoes and purse. Vomit on the floor, all over the aisle. Everywhere. I turned and looked behind me. Neither man was there.
“Well,” the FA said, “one of the gentlemen behind you got sick. He’s on a prescription medication, he wouldn’t tell us what, so he is resting up back there.” She pointed to the row of seats with the curtain around it, normally reserved for the flight attendants. Apparently, his companion also got moved to a different seat. Those of us around them weren’t so lucky. We got a few napkins. Both the shoes and the purse went into the trash bin.
One of the other passengers, hearing the explanation given and commiserating as we cleaned our belongings, told me that the men had had at least seven beers each in the first two hours of the flight. Kids or businessmen? I’ll totally pick the kids.