The Fun of Air Travel


Every now and then I get to laugh at myself, along with others.

I just boarded a flight home and was lucky to get that first class bump up. I settled in to my window seat, watching the rest of the boarding process as the flight attendant took my order for coffee. 

A gentleman sits in the seat beside me, also settles in and pulls out his paper version of the Wall Street Journal. Obviously old school. He appears to be not too many years older then me but close.

After a few minutes of minding our own business, my seatmate taps me on the arm and asks with a bit of embarrassment if I knew how to turn on the overhead reading light. Me, being a well seasoned air traveled and always willing to accommodate (wink), confidently and perhaps even a bit smugly replied "of course, not a problem". And so I thought. Hmmm.

We are on a relatively new aircraft, an Airbus 320 for my geeky friends, equipped with all the modern gadgetry, tv monitors in the back of the chairs, USB plugins, powerports, etc. And yes, overhead there are fancy touch button LED reading lights. Easy peasy, right?

There is a small illuminated icon of a light on the sleek smooth surface above, just in front of the light itself. I press the icon on my side. My seatmate starts pushing his as well. Nothing, nada, not even a flicker.

We begin to snicker and my seatmate makes a comment about our age and his belief that his five year old grandson could figure it out without even thinking about it. We laughed and began to swap quips, getting louder with our laughs and quips....and others begin to notice, including the cabin crew, as we continue poking the smooth surface. 

By this time half the first class cabin and those still in the aisle were chuckling, even outright laughing at what seemed to be a couple of complete luddites on the plane trying to turn on a light. 

In our defense it was dark in the cabin. 

After some time went by and our poking above seemed fruitless, the two guys just in front of us who looked to be ten or so years younger than me, turned around and verbally guided my finger to the correct spot and...voilla! Yes, there was light. 

He joked that his five year old had to show him. 

We all guffawed as our mystery got solved. 

A flight attendant then walked by laughing and commenting on just how long they were going to let us suffer in our obvious ignorance before assisting. I laughed and told him I could have found it on my own if I had had enough light. 

We all laughed as we finished settling in for take off.

Ok, maybe you had to be there to really appreciate but it is a good way to start a travel day...with a good laugh.


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