April 17, 2024

Frequent Flier: Even James Bond Can Use Help Sometimes

I’ve gotten used to the quiet time on a plane, and use it to catch up on reading.

I have to fly almost every Monday morning. I’m picked up by the same Haitian cab driver, a great guy by the name of Love, who wears a suit every day, and takes a lot of pride in his job. He’s become a pal, and if I have to leave home at 5:30 in the morning to catch a flight, I’m glad I start the journey with him.

It seems that I also like ritual. One thing I rarely do on a flight is change my seat. Call me superstitious, but I think it’s bad luck.

Since I almost always travel alone, I’m often asked by other passengers if I could change my seat. If a middle-aged couple says that they are married and want to fly sitting next to each other, I say that they have been together for so long that I’m sure that they could overcome the separation anxiety for a few short hours.

If a younger married couple wants me to change, I say that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” If an unmarried couple asks me, I say that I only make exceptions for married people.

I have made a few exceptions recently, once for an elderly couple, and another time for a couple where the husband just had stomach surgery.

I’m not a complete grouch, and sometimes I am pleasantly surprised on flights. I adore dogs and had two of them over the years. I was on a flight where a fellow passenger got on with his service dog, an Afghan hound, which I thought was bizarre. But the passenger had all the right paperwork for bringing a service animal on the plane. The dog was huge, and I was expecting the worst. But instead, this animal didn’t move, didn’t bark, and was better behaved than most passengers. I was impressed.

That made up for the flight where someone in the first-class cabin kept letting their yappy little dog out of the carrier, despite the flight attendant’s warning. Once the plane landed, the people were detained. They seemed a little subdued at that point. Their dog, however, was still yapping away.

I’ve even helped some fellow passengers out of a jam. One time, I helped a woman put her bag in the overhead bin. No good deed goes unpunished. I reinjured an old bicep problem, and I hurt the rest of the flight, but that’s beside the point.

I even helped James Bond once. I was on a flight to Dallas recently and the actor Daniel Craig sat in front of me. I recognized him immediately. We nodded at each other, and then he fell right asleep.

But one passenger got the bright idea that she would use her smartphone to take a picture of him sprawled in his seat sleeping and then send it out over the plane’s Wi-Fi. I talked her out of it.

I’m really glad she listened to me, since no one needs a picture of themselves plastered on the Internet when they are unaware of what’s going on. It’s very invasive. And let’s face it. No one looks that great when they’re sleeping. Even someone as good-looking as James Bond.

By Michael Kosnitzky, as told to Joan Raymond. E-mail: joan.raymond@nytimes.com

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=56483c2779c55facc765eea0479eb7f7

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