As the woman next to me in seat 5D punched the call button (yet again), I already knew what she wanted. Before the flight attendant even got to us, the woman shouted, “Gimme some more ice and more of those li’l bottles of gin!” Moments later the flight attendant returned with both.
We had about an hour left in our flight—and my seatmate was clearly drunk. She also kept twisting around in her seat, trying to have a conversation with someone several rows behind us. Our small regional jet was packed—no empty seat I could retreat to.
In my lecture travels to date, approaching a half-million miles on airlines, I’ve seen all sorts of passenger behavior. But today, on this small plane, what was going on literally an inch from my elbow was completely unexpected. I found myself weighing some choices: Fume or be calm? Criticize or be courteous? Fuming and critical sounded pretty justified at first, given the circumstances!