This is an open letter to the grumpy old guy in seat 17C on today’s US Airways flight 115:
In case you don’t remember your seat number, you were the guy who was sitting in the aisle seat next to a dad and his son (in 17 A & B), and the kid’s mom was seated in front of you (16C). They got a bad break and weren’t able to get seats next to each other, presenting you with a great chance to help them out.
I was in the unfortunate position (across the aisle in 17D) to be able to observe this incident but unable to offer any help – that was your unique opportunity. Let me refresh your memory, since I’m guessing you didn’t even give it a second thought…
Giving you the benefit of the doubt that the thought hadn’t occurred to you, the flight attendant suggested that you switch seats with the mother in front of you so that they could be together, since her seat was identical to yours: an aisle seat in the very next row ahead of you.
You looked up from your book and asked if she could move you to first class. Good try, BTW, but since US Airways is really trying to push selling those upgrades at the gate, that was unlikely to happen. Can’t blame you for trying, but the shocking part was when the attendant said she couldn’t do that, and you told her that you “liked the seat you had”, and that you were totally unwilling to consider trading.
Fortunately for the family, the plane was not completely full. In fact, it was just full enough to contain people with hearts and a shred of decency that were willing to shuffle around until there was a whole row open that the family of three could be moved to.
In the end, you ended up with the whole row to yourself, since the boy and his father had moved to the space everyone else made for them. Congratulations, although you may want to ponder the significance of those two empty seats next to you as a metaphor for your life in general if you continue to treat people that way. Here’s hoping you consider something better next time…