Friday, October 17, 2008

The Right Thing To Do

I was busy programming my flight computer for a JFK to San Francisco flight, when I heard the lead flight attendant make a public address announcement.  "If I could have your attention for a moment", she said.  She continued with, "We have a mother and young child that do not have seats together.  I am looking for two volunteers with adjacent seats who would like to volunteer to give up their seats, so they can sit together".  A few minutes later I heard her ask again for seat volunteers.

  I picked up the cabin inter phone and made an announcement over the public address system. I said, "Barbara, this is the captain speaking, If you cannot find two volunteers to give up their seats, the copilot and I are more than happy to give our seats away to the mother and child".  I heard laughter from the first class section over my ridiculous statement.

I turned around to look into the first class section.  As I did so, I saw two first class passengers get up out of their seats and walk back into coach.  Less than a minute later I saw a woman and a small boy sit in the same two first class seats.  Yes, they sat next to each other.   Gotta say I was pretty impressed with that random act of kindness.

  I told the copilot what I had just witnessed and he said, "Hell boss, if it makes you feel any better I would be more than willing to give up my seat for yours".  I am still mad at myself for not having a snappy comeback for that one, all I could muster was, "Alright smart ass, before start checklist".

Be Safe,



Blogger IIDLYYCKMA said...

While I made my reservations for San Francisco I thought about you. Not in the stalkerish way of course, but in the "Thanks for giving me inspiration" sort of way.

You see, I haven't flown since 9/11 -- I have been terrified to step foot on a plane. However, I am needed in San Francisco in November and on the 8th of November I and my husband and son are flying first class from PDX to SFO. I figured if this is my son's first flight, why not fly Alaska and go first class.

Thanks for the courage.

10:39 AM  
Blogger John Kelly said...

HA, that's some quick wit.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous David said...

I love your log. At first I didn't understand this post, thinking that you gave up your relief spot, but I laughed after I realised.

Please keep adding more posts.

8:53 PM  
Blogger StudCaptain said...

In these days of cattle car airlines and terrible customer service and general disgust with the airlines, your's excluded, of course, its great to see such compassion. Was the mom hot?

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Rich said...

1st Class!!
There's hope!

1:10 PM  
Blogger Laban said...

Apologies, because this is completely off topic, but I can't see an email address on your blog.

Have you ever read Ernest K Gann's flying memoir Fate Is The Hunter ? And if so what did you think ? I loved it, but I'm an armchair pilot.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing that this happens. I travel with my 5 year old daughter very often and we find ourselves in this situation a lot. I can't tell you how many people refuse to switch with us. It drives me wild that they just say "no".

That was very nice of them.

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is First Class?

10:35 AM  
Blogger fathi said...

Where are you Captain we miss your blogs please please come back...

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was young and we flew NR, the family was often spread all over the plane. My mom always tried to make it real obvious that she was going to be many rows away from my younger sister. The idea of sitting next to a small kid was usually enough to get the passenger in the adjoining seat to offer it to my mom.

11:50 AM  
Blogger DaveL said...

Sometimes I despair of people and their 'all about ME' attitudes these days...and then someone comes along and shows that there is still a spark of human kindness about.

Thank you for sharing this Captain.

Our model flying club tries to show some compassion for children each year by holding a flying weekend at our field in NC. If you are ever out our way on the third weekend in September come look us up and enjoy our hospitality.

Thank you.

12:56 PM  

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