Everyone knows the story of the sinking of the Titanic. History records- by flawed design- there weren’t enough lifeboats for all of the passengers. Most of the ones that were launched, famously weren’t full. Each open space on a lifeboat represented a person that drowned as the ship foundered.
I am reminded of this as my flight taxis down the runway as it departs Ft. Lauderdale Airport. I heard in the airport lounge a few hours ago (I got to the airport at 6 am, Friday- seven hours ahead of my flight for reasons that should be more than obvious!) that there were 60 “stand-by” passengers for this flight, which, given the circumstances, wasn’t remotely surprising.
What IS surprising is that not only do I have the row of seats all to myself, I count an additional ten open seats and that’s only what I can see from the back of the plane. You’d think, given the fact that a life-threatening hurricane is going to plow through the area in about 30 hours, every seat would be taken and if regulations permitted, there’d be people standing in the aisle! “But you’d be wrong, sir.”
I’ve been watching the news carefully over the last 24 hours and the stories of people desperately trying to book a seat to fly somewhere, anywhere to get out of harms way, were all over the airwaves. So, it’s quite perplexing that I have the entire row of seats to myself. There’s at least two other rows with only one person.
To quote TV talk show host, Jerry Springer, “What have we learned here, today?”
Well, usually the only time I’m likely to get a row to myself is by taking late, night flights. I can now confidently say it’s also a good plan to book a flight ahead of a devastating hurricane even though just about everyone is scrambling to find a way out of town. Just remember, that open seat next to you represents someone who drowned.