A Round-Trip to Airplane Karma
Most travel writing does a great job on focusing on the destination and tips on how to experience it to the fullest. And, as a business traveler, so much of my life is getting from one place in the world to another, and that process is full of amazing stories, people and lessons. This Soapbox Musings travel story is dedicated to the journey and what we experience on our way to the destination.
Okay, preamble is concluded.
My story is about airplane Karma and when I first discovered it when I first started traveling for my job.
I was in coach on a five-plus hour flight to California, nice and settled in my aisle seat, with my pillows adjusted and book ready. A newlywed couple had entered the cabin and soon realized that they didn’t have seats together. The husband’s was next to me in the middle seat, and the wife’s was the middle seat in the next row up. The flight attendant kindly asked the guy in front of me if he would give up his aisle so that the couple could sit next to each other.
He said, no.
I felt bad for them and figured I’d suck it up in the middle seat for the good of their marriage. I volunteered to switch out my end seat for the wife’s middle.
The guy in front of me looked at me with a combination of incredulity and embarrassment. He made a big deal about not giving up an aisle. Leg room, etc.
I’m 6’3” so he looked even more embarrassed when I stood up to make the switch and bonked my head against the overhead compartment. Though I lamented the thought of a cramped ride to San Fran in a middle seat next to a curmudgeon, I was comforted in knowing that I was a hero of sorts.
Five minutes later, right before take off and after I got resettled next to Mr. Leg Room, the head flight attendant tapped me on the shoulder and said she had a new seat for me.
I got my gear thinking she found a vacant window, but she proceeded to take me to first class. I felt the glare in the back of my head as I made my way toward the curtain.
Airplane karma...it works both ways, so plan accordingly.