As I made my way down the terribly narrow, cramped aisle filled with honked-off people, I discovered that apparently, what I paid for was a tiny strip of royal blue pleather, barely wide enough for my butt cheeks.
The seats on the plane were smashed together … and I mean smashed.
We were packed in there like angry sardines, so everyone ate their own knees and each others’ elbows.
A few minutes later I could readily identify who hadn’t brushed their teeth that morning and who was still hung over from last night’s romp through rum and whiskey.
Every time the guy across the aisle yawned, I could see his tonsils.
Very quickly, I realized that my cheap ticket covered only where my butt was planted. Everything else on this journey had a different price tag.
“You have a carry-on bag? No, it’s not free.”
“I plan to hold the bag on my lap.”
“That’s not allowed.”
“OK, I will place it under my seat.”
“I’m sorry, that isn’t OK. You owe $30.”
“Excuse me, my friend and I bought seats beside each other.”
“Yes, our computer recognized that. And so, there’s your explanation for why you are two seats from the people in first class but your friend’s seat is in the back. If you want to sit beside your friend, the seat change will cost an additional $15.”
“Sorry, no complementary drinks. You would like a bottled water? That will be $5.”
As I eased into my seat, I decided to avoid the frustration by doing what I often do in nasty situations ... I escape into my mind and entertain myself with sarcasm.
What if the inside of this budget-friendly airplane looked more like a subway?
“Would you like to buy a seat? If we have available seats, you can purchase one for $200.”
“Sorry, the seats are all occupied. Please grab one of the rings and hold on tight.”
“Whoopsie, did you think seat belts were free? I’m sorry, lady. To access a seat belt, we need $50, please.”
“Bathroom? That will be $20 plus another $5 if you plan to wash your hands.”
When the plane finally landed, my grandpa’s voice was again in my ear, “If it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably not true.”
“Yep, I get that,” I groaned under my breath as I waited my turn to escape.
Then I tapped the shoulder of the sleepy guy across the aisle, “Excuse me, I just wanted to let you know that when you yawned a bit ago, I’m pretty sure I saw a couple of cavities on your back molars.”
“Thanks for the heads up,” he smiled.
As the attendant made her way down the congested aisle, I halfway expected her to lean over and say, “Do you want to get off of this aircraft? That will be $50, please.”