Oh Lord, Why Me? My Flight from Narita (Tokyo, Japan) to Hartsfield (Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A)

So I finished up my last day at work, and after doing that, the following evening I stayed up all night packing, doing one more article for my Time Class at AEON (to make a smooth transition for the next teacher), and making thank-you gifts for all of my co-workers. I was incredibly exhausted because the night before I had stayed out until almost 4 a.m. because that’s how we do it at the AEON Welcome/Farewell parties. I caught the bus from Tsukuba to Narita Airport, and once I got my bags and things checked in, I breathed a sigh of relief because I knew the worst was over…or so I thought.

The initial leg of my trip took me from Narita Airport to Newark International Airport in New Jersey (I don’t know why, on the video, I keep saying New York City, I think that’s what my boarding pass said) in about 12 hours. That leg of the trip was okay, aside from the fact that around hour number 6 or 7, the man in front of me leaned his seat back into resting position. That’s completely normal for people to lean back and rest, but because I’m all legs, whenever a person does that, their chair always ends up leaning right into my knees…sigh. But, I was able to manage because I had the aisle seat. So when my knees needed a break, I would simply extend them into the aisle for a breather.

I arrived at Newark International in pretty good spirits. The customs process was pretty quick and painless, and I had plenty of time to get a smoothie and some food (Thanks Jamba Juice!) and chill out before taking a connecting flight from Newark International Airport to Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. The flight was scheduled for 6:55pm, and according to the flight marquis was later delayed to 8:55 pm. When 8:55pm rolled around and there was no boarding call, I got a little antsy. “Did I miss the boarding call when I went to bathroom or something?” Nope. An announcement came of the PA system telling all Atlanta flight passengers that the gate had been moved, and the flight had been delayed once more, to 10:30pm. I was something I absolutely had no control over, so I just waited. While I waited I saw this couple with three kids who running around, screaming, etc. I was fine, I just thought, it’s been a long day…please don’t let them sit by me (I love kids, but truth be told, I was tired).

When the plane did finally arrive, my name was called as I was going to be one of the first economy customers to board. It seemed as though they didn’t have time to even complete the de-planing process. When I got on this flight I saw goldfish (the kid’s snack) and delicious food leavings on the cabin floor, but again, it was something I had no control over, so I just plopped down into seat 14A and closed my eyes. I then saw the couple with the rambunctious kids walking towards me, and I thought to myself “Oh God….no….no…please don’t.” And sure enough they had purchased five seats and, guess where Mom and the louder daughter sat? In seat the two number seat 13s directly in front of me! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo!

What else? My seat had been double booked because of the flight change, so some woman had to find another place to sit when she found me occupying her space. I also gave up my aisle seat so this woman could sit closer to her son, I figured it was only a two-and-a-half-hour flight, so it couldn’t possibly be that bad, right? WRONG. The plane taxied down the runway, picked up speed and took off safely. It was a pretty turbulent flight, the little girl in front of me got pretty cranky and cried for nearly the entire duration of the trip, my knees REALLY started to ache around the hour mark, and near the last 30 minutes, the woman next to me got airsick, had to create makeshift airsick bag, and proceeded to vomit in it. I guess I just chose the wrong freakin’ seat. But let me tell you, I was so happy when the plane touched down, I nearly ran off the plane.

All in all my seat did suck, but I am really happy to be home.

Donald Ash

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  • Wow I probably would’ve spoken up and asked the mom to quiet her child, I can’t stand parents who just let their kids be loud and annoy others! At least you made the best of it.

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