Monday, July 29, 2013

Traveling By Southwest Airplanes

It felt great when my daughter ran to me, arms outstretched as I came down the stairs.

"Mommy!" she yelled. "Mommy, you're here!"

I hadn't seen in her a week. She and her brother were with my mother in Texas while I got to enjoy a break in Oklahoma.

I was ready to see them again.

While my daughter latched onto me, my son stood with a scowl. He's 11, I don't hold it against him.

"I'm missing my streetpasses," he grumbled.

"Is that a new rap song?" I joked.

Tommy's scowl deepened. "My streetpass. On my 3DS. I could have gotten more streetpasses at the airport."

Oh. Right.

"Nona didn't let me bring it," he sighed. "Now I won't get streetpasses."

With the Nintendo 3DS, you can connect with other players through the streetpass. The airport is a great place to get that. My Mom admitted she had no idea what he meant.

So my boy sort of slumped against me as I pulled him in for a hug. I had missed them, even my tween of a son who has started muttering, "Whatever," under his breath if he's not happy with my response.

Traveling to Texas went smoothly enough. I rode a Southwest plane from Oklahoma City to Dallas and then from Dallas to San Antonio. I like Southwest, because you can choose your own seats. It works out if you get in the early group. But then you have to decide if you want the window or aisle. This is what usually happens if I choose the window:

I get stuck.

Meaning, when the plane lands, the people beside me decide to wait for the crowd to pass before they get off. I do not like getting stuck. I try to squeeze past but it's generally difficult and I'd rather not place my butt nor my crotch right next to a total stranger's face as I slide into the aisle.

If I pick the aisle seat, I'm next to someone who has a bladder the size of a pea. Someone who will decide they need to use the bathroom as soon as I crack open my book and get invested, as soon as my drink has come and my tray is out in front of me. And what can you do but grab your drink, close your book, unclasp your seatbelt and move out of the way? You can't say, "No. Sorry. I'm comfortable." Even if the person needs to use the bathroom 3, 4, 5 times.

If I decide to nap I will be next to a person who needs to use the bathroom or someone who will decide to tell me their life story. They'll ramble on and I'll nod politely because I don't want to be rude. I'll give noncommittal responses, but the chatterbox won't catch on.

In the window or the aisle seat, you also have the problem of Claiming The Armrest. If the person is my elder, I give it to them. If the person is my age or younger, it is fair game. But sometimes even if your arm is there, the person will not accept this and suddenly their arm is draped across yours or uncomfortably close. I did not have to play Armrest Wrestle this time. I had an older person next to me on each flight, therefore it belonged to them.

Of course as I thought about this, it occurred to me that I don't have to worry when I'm traveling with my kids. We take up an entire row. I'm generally in the aisle seat and I get the armrest, because I can easily knock off a tiny arm. But I do still have to get up because of a person with a tiny bladder--my daughter, Natalie. And sometimes I don't think she really has to go, she's just amazed at the bathroom in the sky. I'll stand squeezed against the sink, begging her to GO so we can get out. It's confined and stinky in airplane bathrooms. I will not let her in alone, because she'll no doubt lock herself in and start panicking, banging on the door, alarming the entire cabin.

Yes. Airline travel is not always pleasant. Some people might be like, "Drive then!" And we will drive when Tom is here. But I don't handle traffic well, I sort of have this highway phobia thing. So we'll travel by air until he returns.

We'll be flying again next week. We're having a mini reunion here in Texas with my side of the family. We're going to the beach and I'm seriously thinking of getting one of those Modest Swimsuits that the Duggar girls wear.

And oh, I should probably shave too.

(Though if I get a Modest Swimsuit, my legs would be covered so hey, problem solved..)


  1. I love Southwest, too! They are finally in Charlotte, so we are super excited! :)-Ashley

  2. I've only flown Southwest once and it was awesome. The flight attendant was pretty much a comedian. He had his whole act down.
    I'm a window person. I have a large bladder so it works for me. And yes, I get stuck when we try to get off the plane. Every time.

  3. OMG. I love your arm chair etiquette. I've never flown SW though. They never seem to be at the airports that we're flying from..

  4. I'm not wild about Southwest, but I don't know why. There isn't a specific reason. I love Alaska Airlines-- again, no specific reason. Once I rode on an American Airlines and there was no room for my feet. And the person next to me was pretty obese, so I had half of him lapping over on top of me. *sigh* Such is the life of flying.

  5. I HATE DRIVING! I am one of those people who will skip a 2 hour drive and take the 30 minute flight to get somewhere...seriously!!!

  6. I haven't flown without my family for a while, so we take up whole rows too. That makes certain things easier, but getting from one gate to another is quite the adventure!

  7. I'm not wild about flying but Southwest isn't bad. I like USA Air and American last flight on SW made me kiss the ground when I got off the plane - yeah it skidded and slid when we landed - I think the pilot had a bit too much to drink and forgot how to park LOL - and poor Tommy, but he'll get his streetpasses when you guys fly out next so win win?

  8. Aren't you the jetsetter this summer flying all over the place? ;)

    I usually like the window seat just so I can get my bearings if I get dizzy. But my husband likes the aisle seat and I like sitting next to him, so that means I'm smushed in the middle seat. We are flying to Florida in November, and this time we are both in aisle seats, across from each other. This is a first!

  9. I like SW too. Just because they're so cheap!

  10. SW saved my bacon one time and for that they will have a special place in my heart - while the "other" airline that left me stranded has made it to my Sh*( List.

  11. I'm an aisle seat person, I like to get up and walk around on long flights, but I've had the unfortunate "butt/chest in a stranger's face" a couple of times when I had to accept a window seat and didn't want to disturb the person in the aisle seat. Oops.


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