My plane from D.C. to Frankfurt took off three hours late. According to the pilot, the plane had a damaged safety feature that he wanted to have repaired before we left. Fair enough. The part was being flown in from Chicago, so we had to disembark the plane while we waited for it to arrive. He never explained what the safety feature was, but I probably didn’t want to know anyway.
As it turned out I was flying with Up With People. They were all very chipper and very friendly, of course. The person I sat next to was from western Venezuela. They had performed around the U.S. for a couple months, culminating in a show at the Luxor in Las Vegas. Then they rode a bus to Seattle to catch a flight that took them to D.C. There, they transferred to the Frankfurt plane, and now they are waiting for their connection to Milan. Whew!
As we were disembarking to wait for our safety feature to arrive, one of the Up With People group commented that they weren’t expecting to die on a plane because of a faulty safety feature. She said it in a chipper and friendly voice, which made it a very disconcerting comment.
We arrived in Frankfurt. No one seemed to be going to Frankfurt; they all were transferring to other flights. There were representatives from the airline to handle the passengers who had missed their flights and had been booked on new flights. My flight isn’t until after one and, besides, it was with a different airline. So I snuck out of the line and got to my next departure gate easily.
I guess the advantage to flying on Mondays and Tuesdays is that there is no one else traveling on those days. I mean, my flight was full, except for a couple of tantalizingly empty first class seats. But I got through security at Dulles quickly, and once in Frankfurt, I not only cleared customs easily (it helped that I snuck away from the throng of my fellow passengers), but got through security and to my gate easily. I was also thrilled to see my checked luggage made it safely.
I am not planning to bore you with transportation minutiae. I really just wanted to tell the story of overhearing someone from Up With People discussing death on a plane.