The Longest Takeoff

Arriving at the Las Vegas Airport, my first task was to get beyond the ticket kiosk and the TSA and then finally to the plane loading area where I discovered that I have an open seat which means you're the very last person to load onto the plane and you get what ever seat is left.

Oh, and, if the airlines by chance is over booked on your flight, then you just don't have a seat. So, no more open seats purchases in the future.

Entering the plane, I got to meet with the clear view of the cockpit and could hear the very loud flight recordings echoing from the cockpit “pull up, pull up" and “wind shear, wind shear,” as the pilot were testing buttons. I've heard these recorded sounds before but only in the movies  when the plane was going down but not in real life. The recorded voice this morning is the same voice from the movies. I have to tell you it put a chill to my spine. I just wonder if the pilot was having a bit of us at our expense.

Walking around the cabin, I scanned my surroundings while looking for an open seat and also studying the faces. It takes me a minute or so to come to the realization that others are watching me as well out of curiosity, maybe. Searching for a seat, I spotted one to my left where the seat is in between two guys who looked like perhaps they were in their late twenties.

Looking for a while now I gave up and decided this empty middle seat is mine.

Sitting down by excusing myself, a few words were shared between us three, and there I learned that my seatmates have been up all weekend in Las Vegas and are now returning back home all tired and exhausted……and drunk.

The air around them is filled with the smell of alcohol escaping through their pores. The young man between the window and myself had a hard time to manage keeping himself from passing out, but as the plane is building speed to capture the sky and then soon lifts up in the air my seatmate blacks out.

Fifty minutes later as we experience a runway bounce as the plane touches down in San Diego, my window mate is jolted awake. Looking over and checking his surroundings, he straight away blurted out, “This is the longest takeoff I’ve ever been on.” Pausing for a moment and with a confused look, he then continues to say, “Looks like we’re slowing down and turning around, I wonder what happened.”

And just like that, my entire trip from Las Vegas to San Diego could not have been any better. All thanks to my drunk and befuddled seatmate.
See you soon on the next flight.

Derek Wolf

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