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Monday, September 15, 2014

Friends on a plane

.. as opposed to snakes on a plane.

In the years that I have been traveling on my own regularly, starting back in the early 1990s, I have talked to a whole lot of fellow travellers, some very briefly, some intermittently during a long flight, or even a short flight, and just with a very few there was an almost 'already knew you' feeling.

Recently I spent two weeks in Seattle training for my new job, and on the trip home I had the good fortune to sit beside Tina and A.D traveling to Austin from some outreach of Alaska where Tina (an Austin native) was an ER nurse. The mind boggles at the emergencies faced in a way back Alaskan ER compared with a metropolitan one, I just bet it was different.

A.D and Tina and I were seated in the less than salubrious seats, backing onto the toilets, with no possibility of putting our seats anything but in the upright position. When the drinks cart came around A.D had two vodkas and two Bloody Mary mixes, Tina had two coffees and two Baileys, I ordered a red wine and they paid for the entire order, so, naturally the second round was on me. And while it did cost me more than two red wines (as pointed out by my frugal husband) I only paid for a wine and two baileys, but I had the amazing experience of total strangers buying me a drink on a plane. I do love new experiences.

It set me thinking about all the people I have met on flights, mostly just to exchange names, enjoy conversations, or just drinks, but on one notable occasion I met an amazing woman. It really was like we had known each other all our lives, or in previous lives if you believe that stuff, whatever, we were like sisters who had not seen each other in ages, we spent at least half of the flight from Atlanta to Dublin non stop chatting.

Now, back in the early 1990s I guarantee you that would have been an end to it. But thanks to the Internet and social media in particular, by which of course I mean Facebook, we have stayed in touch. I am absolutely sure that if the occasion arises that I am in LA or Valerie is in Austin, we will meet up and pick up where we left off, just as sisters do.

I absolutely love flying - it opens up the world.