Thought Repository

Single Serving Friend

Several times I have talked about how I enjoy meeting people in airports and on planes. I even talked my idea for a special airline class that would cater to people like me. I've been using a service that does this, but it doesn't work very well and so far has not found anyone else using the system on any of my flights. However, on my way back to Atlanta from Boston last thursday, I had the best "single serving friend" encounter to date.

I was flying from Boston to Atlanta via Philadelphia on USAir. I met Marie on the jetway waiting to get on the plane. I'd seen her sleeping under her hat in the gate area and decided to strike up a conversation by asking her where she was going. It turned out she was also going to Atlanta (where she was meeting up with a friend and driving to Savannah). When we found our rows, she was the window seat right behind mine, the two aisles already filled. I turned around and we discovered on the next flight we were in the same row, but opposite windows. Talk about coincidence. When the middle seat people arrived, they were together and since Marie and I were talking they asked if she could move up with me so they could be together. Fine with me. We talked most of that flight. We traversed the Philadelphia airport together, stopping to get "lunch", and taking the bus to the other terminal. The second plane was small, 2 and 2, and the guy on her side asked if she minded sitting on the aisle. I thought, "what the hell", and asked the guy on my side if he'd mind the window. Although traffic to the bathroom posed some interference, we completed two crosswords together across the aisle. In Atlanta we were together all the way to baggage and parted ways after our bags arrived. It was the most interesting air travel experience I think I've had, and perhaps someone I will stay in touch with.


Crossposted from LiveJournal:

I know [info]queiss will have something to say about me making a comment here, but what the hell...

Kudos to you, Sparky, and kudos to her for being equally willing to make contact with a stranger. Over the past year I've become a lot less anti-social in my travel, and in a couple cases I've struck up a good conversation (consequently, I found that red-eye flights on a weekend toward the calendar year are particularly good for finding other travel nerds).

I signed up for Airtroductions as well, but I found it generally useless. The interface is so tricky to use that there are very few regulars, and very few of the people who are on there seem to be willing to just have a casual conversation (most of the guys seem to want to find a date and nothing else, and most of the girls...well...there really aren't many 21-29-year-old girls).

Gradually I've migrated to a forum called FlyerTalk, on which there are groups of people who arrange meetings in the airline lounges. It's a skewed demographic, but so am I. I've still had a number of good conversations with my seatmates, and I think the best to date was on a flight SFO-HKG in coach (folks in business or first just don't make chit-chat...period).

[info]glex50 — 1/02/2007 11:32 pm