I travel a lot, which means lots of flights. I have seen almost everything on an airplane. I have probably been on over 500 flights in my life.
This weekend, I was treated to a new experience. Maybe the weirdest I have had on a plane.
I decided to book a last minute flight to spend the weekend in Chicago with the wife, who is sequestered there on a project. I promised myself I would not complain about the flight, because I got a round trip for $260 booked less than seven hours before I was set to depart at 5:05 Saturday morning on American Airlines. One stop in Dallas on the way, non-stop on the way back. I was thrilled with that.
(It was a fun trip. Had great pizza, a lot of great beer, it was all good).
As much as I fly, I rarely have used American. And the airline was just fine, so I have no complaints about them. It would up being $360 since I upgraded to first class on the way back, so a pretty sweet deal. More on that in a minute.
The flight to Dallas was fine. Slight delay, but I had plenty of time so no worries. But the flight from Dallas to Chicago…
I always book aisle seats when I fly coach, because I am a 6-3, 235 pound man. I need room. I was in the second boarding group for this particular flight. When I got to my seat, there was a really large woman already in the middle seat, so I assumed she pre-boarded. She had her jacket and other various clothing surrounding her, half of which was taking up my seat. I did not complain (remember my promise), sat down, leaned as far to the left as I could and had her stuff up against me. It was uncomfortable, but hey, look what I paid.
(I am not insensitive to overweight people. I have struggled with weight for the last 20 years. I have been as high as 300, as low as 180. Just wanted to throw in that disclaimer so you don’t judge me too harshly).
It was rough, but I just dealt with it. I spend over two hours leaning into the aisle, getting bumped by anyone who came down it to go to the bathroom or deliver drinks. I did not complain once.
When we got to final approach, the flight attendant came over and asked the lady to put her seat forward. She could not find the button. So the flight attendant had to lean over me to dig around and find it.
This made me very uncomfortable. I was one minor turbulence away from a breast in my face. So I leaned back with a look of horror on my face. She saw that and apologized. Pretty sure she believed I thought she was hideous. That was not the case. She was a serious flight attendant 7. But in the AW world (After Weinstein), I fear any contact with a strange female. I know it would have come back on me. BW I would have hoped for a big bump. But we digress…
I did the gentlemanly thing when we landed, and let the two ladies to my right out first. When the lady next to me got out of her seat, I was horrified. The jacket I had been pushed up against the entire flight? It covered the real reason she was wrapped up: About six inches of fat was stretched across the armrest.
I had spent the entire flight pressing against this woman’s fat. Thank Tebow it was belly fat and not breast fat. In the AW world that would be sexual contact.
She had clearly sat down early and surrounded herself so no one would know. I immediately wanted to throw up.
When she left the plane, it took 10 minutes, because she was so wide she bounced against the seats on both sides.
Me? I was physically ill. I felt bad for being grossed out, but by the same token, what the holy hell? Who does that? I’m sorry but some people should have to buy two seats. If that’s harsh, I apologize. But I had just spent two hours pressed up against this woman.
Needless to say, when I checked in for my flight home, it gave me the option to upgrade to first class for $103, there were only two answers. Yes, and hell yes.
Even today, I can still feel that disgusting warmth against my right side. And I get sick again. I don’t like fat-shaming, and that’s why I never complained and leaned away the entire flight. But once I knew that was flesh? Ugh.
Weirdest. Flight. Ever.