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Blue skies

My seatmate asked me if I have a favorite airline, and I was baffled. I don't like airlines which charge full fare prices to provide no frills service, as so many US airlines are doing with food and drink and headsets. I'm not keen on charters. Otherwise, I am not overly picky in my airlines. I'm fond of inexpensive tickets.

My seatmate lived in Australia for three years. There were eight-year-olds who boarded at his wife's school; they lived on a sheep farm, and the commute was too far.

My seatmate knew far more about the effects of Roman roads on the speed of a force march, as a geographer in the navy.

My seatmate passed on the lovely news that more and more conferences are taking place on cruise ships, and that for companies which send their executives flying first class across the Atlantic, it's actually cheaper for them to take a boat across the ocean, so long as they're willing to take the time out of their holidays.

The hour and a half sped by in conversation while the plane flew through blue skies flecked with fluffy white clouds. From the grey humidity of D.C. to the clear skies and heat of Toronto, we talked of spinning wheels, the Thames barrier, and the Pacific Rim.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 7th, 2005 11:46 am (UTC)
I usually just listen to my discman and doze. Though I can remember having met two really nice ladies on the way back from Romania to England.
Oct. 7th, 2005 05:37 pm (UTC)
I've been really lucky lately. My last two interview trips from hell were brightened by the fact that I ended up next to interesting people. On a hugely late flight from Chicago to Syracuse, where I had to beg for the last seat available (I was on standby, and they were finicky about giving me the first class seat -- at 10:30 at night), I ended up sitting next to an ex-pat Englishman -- biochem PhD. Between the free whisky and the tiredness, we had a great conversation that kept the irritation at the delay to a minimum.

The other flight was from DC, and after two hours of waiting for a storm to break, they put us on a plane and then we waited two more hous on the tarmac for another storm. Seatmate was on his way to an epidemiology conference (and writing his paper on the way ... ). It was great because we would both work for about half an hour, and then chat for ten minutes or so, then work ...

But I do find sleeping to be a good way of shutting down the conversation ...
Oct. 7th, 2005 08:45 pm (UTC)
I was once sat next to a chatty self-described free market economist. Fortunately this was on the short hop to a major hub to get my transatlantic flight rather than the other way round.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )