Had a hellish flight experience this weekend due to weather conditions. What was supposed to be a one and a half hour flight turned into a ten hour ordeal, five of which were spent sitting on a plane on the tarmac.
Kill me now. No, really.
I was starting to get a little flippy right around Hour Four because when I made the decision to travel, white counts notwithstanding, I justified it on the basis of "oh for god's sake; it's only a 1 1/2 hour duration on the flying germ/recirculating oxygen aircraft." So as it approached that fourth hour in the plane I was starting to imagine myself in a scene from the movie Outbreak. I wore a surgical mask the entire time on the plane, but those babies only last about an hour then you have to get a new one. Luckily I was so rushed when I left the house that I just threw the whole bag of ten into my purse. I was never so grateful for sloppy, rushed packing than when the guy two rows in front of me sneezed about 6 times in that half-sneeze/half-shout way that tells you there are microscopic droplets aplenty coming at you at 120 miles per hour and no half-assed quote-unquote mask is gonna stop them.
So, short story long, I spent a good part of the ten hours in barely-restrained stress, praying to god that I was not currently breathing in dengue fever, tuberculosis or SARS. It sounds so dramatic, and it is a bit, but I had told my doctor that it was a short flight and that I'd be careful. Oops. I meant it would be a five hour plane ride and I'd be sitting right behind Typhoid Manny. My bad.
That said, what could have been an even larger nightmare was made somewhat bearable by the good people of Jet Blue airlines. The pilot came out and spoke to everyone, the flight attendants never stopped being solicitous and friendly, and the information never stopped coming regarding our chances for taking off within the next fortnight. Most importantly of all, they handed out Terra Blue potato chips like crack, which I thought was a good move weakened only by the fact that they were not also handing out gin and tonics.
So what's my point? First, if you see a woman on a plane with a mask on, don't assume she's a Michael Jackson fan. Second, if your doctor tells you to stay home and you take a trip anyway, pack extra meds. And third, if in doubt about flying conditions, make sure your employees are super nice, super friendly, super professional--and provisioned with a quantity of gourmet chips.