Saturday, April 29, 2006

You Just never know...

Who you will end up sitting next to on a plane!!!

I came home from an editing/proofreading and grammar class that I took out of state this past week.
I was on a plane headed to Atlanta, had a lay-over, and then I'd board a plane for home. I got to the airport very early, about 2.5 hours before take off.

I went to the ticket counter and the guy behind the desk got me checked in and asked me, if you can belive it, if I was over 15 (the braces again???), and would I like to sit in the Emergency Exit row. I said "Yes...and I am 36!" A very good friend and I had discussed earlier in the week the importance of knowing where the exits were and being close to them if at all possible, specially if we had the kids with us, which I did not.

Anyhoo...I was happy to sit there. I've never had to open one of these doors, but I know I could if I had to. It would be an important responsibility if it had to be done, and I had no doubt I could do it.

So, finally I board the plane. My seat is an isle seat and I am sure someone is coming to sit next to me at the window, so instead of sitting down, I just wait kind of half standing, half resting my knee in my seat until my fellow passenger arrives.
I'm reading my ticket stuff, not paying a lot of attention, and I notice a tall (and quite good looking :) man walk up and stand just in front of me. I look up, he points to the seat next to the window, and I say,

"Is that your seat? I was waiting for you!" :) We both laugh,and he says, "thank you".

After we both get seated, and we kind of chit chat...I slightly lean over towards him-- with in a sort of serious tone, and I say,
"You do realize that you are sitting in the Emergency Exit row, right?"

He looks at me knowingly and says, "Yes..."

And I say, "You do know how to open that door if it needs to be opened right?"

Again...with a slightly curious tone, he says, "Yes...I know how to open the door."

I say, "Well, that's good...because if you didn't know how I think I am pretty sure that I could do it."

We both laugh, this guy is at least 6 feet tall, well built, and could have easily carried both the door and me off the plane without a bit of trouble at all.

A few more minuts pass, the plane is going to take off soon, and me being the smarty pants that I am I say to the very nice man next to me..."So, do you travel much?"

He smiles at me, folds his paper...and says...

"Well, yes. I'm a PILOT."

OH GOOD GRIEF!!!! The attendents come down, they go over the oxygen mask info, the seat belt rules, and the EXIT DOOR INFORMATION. At which point it dawns on me what an idiot I am...asking a PILOT if he knows which row he was on, and if he could open one of the emergency exit doors!!! LOL!!!

Oh...friends...I just looked at him and laughed. Leave it to me to question the one person on the plane who knows better than any of us how to open the emergency exit doors!

He was so nice to me the rest of the flight. I peppered him with questions about how often he flys, and where, and about guns in the cockpit and cell phones on the plane. He asked me questions about where I've traveled and what it was like to be in Asia and in South Africa. He is a Delta pilot and a quite a nice person.
I gave him my web address and told him to check it out...that I'd be writing about him this evening...

So, thanks Pilot Sean for putting up with me today, and not laughing at me when I got so serious about opening that exit door! Our encounter was just about the highlight of my day, and I have laughed about it more than once.

Now all of my friends, who laugh at me regularly, can enjoy the story too!
Hope each and everyone of you have a wonderful weekend!