Flight US Airways 729 London to Philadelphia

Sitting in plane–aisle seat–but the young man at window seat is offered another single
seat if he likes—so! seat to myself. Nice. Fly on Tuesdays–lots of empty seats.

Family with three little kids next to me in the center 4 seats, so I edge over to the
window seat.

“Where are the games? Why aren’t the games playing?” asks the little boy eagerly.
He’s about five, the eldest. Apparently they’re on a return trip and the kids know
that there will be video games to fool with.

“When we’re flying? We wait five minutes til we’re flying? We wait ten minutes?”

Sitting on tarmac, watching other planes roll by ahead of us and taking off: British
Airways . . .United . . .Swiss Air . . .Thai . . .Malaysian Air . . . I think we’re
in line.

Still sitting 30 minutes after scheduled take-off time. Whenever we roll a little,
the cry of “We’re flying!” from the family group. The baby is adorable, other children
are polite, inquisitive.

“What’s the bag for? What’s the bag for?”
“If there’s no smoking, why is there no smoking?” (reading all to be read on
the back of the seat ahead of him, the little boy covers all the signs, and the
literature stuffed in the pocket.)

Air India . . . Air Canada—the beautiful shade of aqua with the maple leaf icon.

Captain: Ladies and Gentlemen, there’s a minor problem with the left wing. (mine!)
We’re going to return to the gate and let the mechanics look at it. Hopefully that
will take care of it.”

So we wait and then turn and taxi along back toward the gate.

“We’re flying!” pipe up the little kids. “Where are the games?”

So we sit at the gate. Everyone is standing in the aisles at this point. I
ask the woman ahead of me, “Would you rather fly with a bum wing or change
planes?”

“Change planes!” answers her husband. They’re going to Dayton, Ohio. “What about you?”

“I’d rather fly with the bum wing. Let’s get going! We’re an hour late,”
says I.

The little kids are playing with their own video games, kicking each other.

Captain: Ladies and Gentlemen, the mechanicsĀ think the problem is
resolved. They’ll run a test and if all works out, we’ll be on our way.

Water is served.

Aer Lingus . . .Singpore Airlines . . .

And still we wait an hour and a half past scheduled take-off time.
Now problem is fixed–we wait for “paperwork”.

More water.

We’re moving—backwards for some reason.

“We’re flying!” from you-know-who.

I don’t back up in my car anymore–too risky. And I certainly wouldn’t
attempt to back up an airplane.

I hope they’ve added more food while we were at the gate!

Stopped, motors revving . . .loud whirring, baby howling, poor thing.

“Now can I watch the movie? Where are the video games? Is it ten minutes?”

Now we’re rolling along at a pretty good clip. I think we’re
actually going to take off. Nope, stopped, waiting.

Lufthansa . . .British Airways . . .slight movement.

“Now?”

Captain: Flight attendants, be seated.
Two hours late, but rolling.

Out on the huge lighted runway finally. Those lights look as
good as diamonds to me.

OK! We’re flying!

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