Tokyo Redux

by john on November 7, 2004

Back in Tokyo again, this time because of Mr. Sarbanes and Mr. Oxley, the evil bastards. See “here”: if you need to know more.

Because I didn’t have much lead time when booking my flight I didn’t get a very good seat, and through a series of poor decisions and bad luck the 12 hour flight from Minneapolis to Tokyo has officially been declared the worst flight I have ever taken. Let me count the ways:

Mistake number one – I chose a window seat instead of an aisle. I usually prefer the aisle but I have found it easier to sleep when on a window seat and for this long flight I was planning to get some slee My bad luck the window seat I chose was one of those where the window is forward of the seat such that there is just a wall where your shoulder can ordinarily tuck into the window a bit if needed.

And that space would have been nice because unfortunately this was a pretty full flight and there was a guy in the middle seat next to me. A big guy. No, I’m a big guy. This was a really big guy. Our shoulders were mated for the trip.

Next mistake – instead of stowing my backpack in the storage above the seats I put it under the seat in front of me. Except it was a little too stuffed so I actually had it under my legs. Seemed like a good idea for 10 minutes or so, by the time I realized it might be a good idea to stow it elsewhere the overhead bins had filled up.

The magazine storage pouch behind the seat in front of me was already full with some extra NWA magazines but I put 4 more into it plus a water bottle, so that effectively moved the seat in front of me closer by about an inch. Which really sucked because the moron in front of me went into full recline 15 minutes into the flight and kept it there for 12 hours.

A wall to my left, a big equally uncomfortable guy to my right, my legs over a backpack and the seat in front of me reclined back into my la I was essentially trapped. It’s a good thing I’m not claustrophobic. And to make it worse every time I looked at the bald head in my lap I looked to his right and looked at the empty seat he had lucked out with next to him.

As the guy next to me said as we exited the plane, “At least I didn’t have a guy reclined in front of me – that must have sucked.”

Great, the guy in the middle seat felt sorry for me. It doesn’t get any worse than that.

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