Thursday, March 15, 2012

Losing the Las Vegas Seat Lottery

See those smiling faces? Those weren't ours Tuesday night 
We're here in Vegas, chillin' out in our executive suite (free upgrade, Vegas-style!) at Harrah's hotel, where the International Conference on Narrative started today. I'm giving a paper on a panel I organized at the conference - and Brad and I are seein' the sights and playin' the slots. Hopefully we'll have better luck in the casinos (after a day of slot play yesterday, we're up $20 - better than nothing!) than we did with our seat assignments for the trip out . . . . 

The second leg of our flight was a nearly 5 hr. ride from Reagan International in D.C. to the main Vegas airport, McCarren. B/c we booked our seats separately for purposes of reimbursement (that is, my university will reimburse my flight if I turn over receipts), Brad and I didn’t get seated together. Which stinks regardless, but really stinks b/c of where we ended up: in the middle seats. 

I lucked out, comparatively speaking, b/c although I got stuck in 18E, only the aisle seat was taken. So I scootched over to the window and spread my quite-a-bit-heavier-and-rounder-than-usual self out a little bit.  

Seated one row back and on the left side of the plane, however, Brad wasn’t so lucky. In 19B, he was stuck between an older guy and a woman in her thirties¾three full-sized people in three seats. The man sitting in front of him, by contrast, had all three seats to himself. My husband, as I have mentioned on a number of occasions, is quite tall, and I imagine it’s not his idea of a good time to sit squished between two people for a 4 hr. and 40 min. flight, especially when there are two perfectly good seats free in front of him. 

And I don’t think he should have to. Am I wrong? 

Well, the gentleman in front of him seemed to think I was.  

This guy started out in the aisle seat (lucky for him), but before take-off, when it was apparent no one else had been assigned the adjacent seats, he moved to the middle seat, leaving a seat open on either side of him. Which is fine and dandy, if no one wants those seats. 

When the seat belt light went off, Brad moved out of 19B¾at my urging¾only to find the spot a bunch of rows back that we thought was open had a person laying/sleeping across it. So, again at my urging, Brad asked the man in front of him if he could have one of the empty seats in his row. B/c I was sitting some feet away and the conversation was quiet, I couldn’t hear what exactly was being said; what I could see, though, told me enough: this man wouldn’t let Brad sit in his row. 

Now wait just a minute here. We all paid for our tickets back here in good ol’ coach, didn’t we? And I am nearly certain this guy didn’t pay for the three seats that compose the left half of row 18. Which means my husband has just as much of a right to sit there as he does¾and if not in the aisle seat (which was this man’s assigned seat), then in one of the other two seats. 

Brad, being too-nice as he often is, starts to turn around and move the 2 feet back to his row, when I’m like, “What? What’s the problem?” He’s shooting me the look of death, the one that says, Oh, please don’t! You’re embarrassing me! and I’m ignoring said look, thinking, There is no way we paid more than $300 for a ticket for you to be unnecessarily miserable for the next 5 hours. 

“What’s the problem?” I say again and look at the seat hog gentleman in 18B. And when I say look I mean stare. And he’s staring back at me. And I’m thinking, I’m sorry, buddy, but you obviously don’t know me and how I get when 

1.      I want something, and 
2.      I know I’m right. 

“Sit there,” I say, loud enough to be heard by a specific individual. “Why aren’t you going to sit there? Those seats are empty!” 

Well, Brad and this specific individual discuss a little more, and next thing you know, this guy is moving out, Brad’s moving into the window seat, and this guy’s taking up his original seat along the aisle. 

And now, instead of one 3-person row and one 1-person row, we’ve got two 2-people rows. I just love symmetry, don’t you? It feels so lovely :). 

What can I say? I’m nothing if not my loved ones’ zealous (if mildly embarrassing) advocate. Happily, on the flight back, I’ve got an aisle seat and my hubby is seated next to me. Phew. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm surprised no one made a report to a member of crew, saying all of you are acting "strange", then toss all of you off the plane.

    Yeah, he's a seat hog alright.