Monday, October 27, 2008

Exit Stage Right

I love flying to Orlando during fall break.

I have to admit, I wasn’t terribly thrilled to arrive at my gate and find it crammed with small fry toting Belle backpacks. Obviously, I don’t begrudge families enjoying a long weekend at Disney World – little children excited to see Mickey is very energizing.

But not when you’re about to put their energized butts on an airplane with nowhere to go to work off the excitement.

So I pulled out my iPod ear buds and proceeded to zone out with Los Lonely Boys. And then I heard the announcement: “Would anyone willing to trade their seat for an exit row please come to the counter?” Get outta here – they were giving away EXIT ROW seats? I’d never make it in time, but I grabbed my luggage anyhow and started running toward the counter.

I was the only one there. Even more surreal, the flight attendant thanked me for volunteering. So I took another glance at my fellow travelers and their coloring books, Tigger stuffed animals and Jasmine costumes. Mom and Dad couldn’t leave them to fend for themselves while they jumped 11 rows away to stretch out their legs. And the FAA wisely doesn’t leave the safety of passengers during an emergency in the hands of a 3-year-old.

Huh. That left solo adult traveler Julie Sturgeon to hold down the fort, sacrificing her crappy seat for twice as much leg room. It was a great flight – and the toddler who shrieked intermittently during the 2-hour flight? I had a Los Lonely Boys concert in my ear.

UPDATE: I did it again. I just snagged an aisle exit seat on the return flight, too!

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