An open letter to Passenger 15 A

I found this letter posted on Buzzfeed.  It was a young woman who wrote an open letter to the man who was seated behind her on her Air Asia Flight.

Dear passenger 15A,

You do not know me but I was seated in front of you during the flight from Singapore to Sydney on April 12th.

What I had initially thought to be a routine flight turned out to be a once in a lifetime experience – and it was all because of you.

I am writing this letter to thank you personally.

Being the cheapskate Asian that I am, I did not pay extra for a seat next to the emergency exit.
Though it offered more legroom, I couldn’t be bothered to read the special safety procedures. The last thing I would want is to compromise the lives of all the innocent passengers because I do not know how to open the airplane door.

Despite my common economy seat, you offered me a full back massage by repeatedly kicking the back of chair.  To date, I have yet to regain full mobility of the lower half of my body. But since I am single, I suppose I don’t have much use for it anyway. 

I did not pay for the in-flight entertainment package and I was worried that I might get bored. But my concerns were unnecessary. You were talking so loudly, as if your friend was seated in the cargo hold rather than right next to you. 

Perhaps she’s hard of hearing? This might strike you as odd but for the first time in my life, I wished I had a hearing impairment too. 

Also, could you tell me where you bought those obnoxious snacks? I assume that they must have been delicious cause you rip one open every 30 minutes.

Thanks for the loud rustling and chewing ambient sounds!

At this point, I thought, “It can’t get any better than this.” But what I had meant as a rhetorical question, you took as a challenge.

For immediately, my nose was assaulted by a putrid smell of death and decay.

The stench was so strong that I turned to check if the old lady seated next to me was still breathing.

It was so nice of you to take off your shoes and put your feet between my seat and the plane window. It must have taken considerable effort – it was a small space but you stuck it as close to my face as you possibly could.

Your kindness moves me.

The sun is rising above the horizon; the sky is bleeding crimson and gold. But I cannot turn to gaze at this everyday miracle because every time I do, I smell the anus of Satan.

I had half the mind to pull down the oxygen mask above me. But then I remembered that I was flying on a budget airline, so I’d probably have to pay extra for that.

Did you know that you have made me a more religious person?

I have said more prayers in that eight-hour flight than I have in my entire life.

I was torn between asking God for strength to endure the rest of the journey and,

“SWEET GUAN YIN MA, TAKE ME HOME!”

This experience has been so memorable that I am writing this from my therapist’s office. I have also signed up for ten more sessions to talk about it.

Thank you once again.

Insincerely yours,

Passenger 14A 

People in general are weird, and they tend to get weirder on flights.  On my flight back from Buenos Aires to San Francisco I experienced something similar, but it didn’t just affect me, it was experience by the entire fuselage.

A man removed his shoes a few rows back and the stench of his rotten feet filled the economy class cabin.  The flight attendance even noticed, they ran up and down the hall of the Boeing 777 spraying air fresher.  It masked the smell, so now it smelled like fragrant death.  I think they found the source finally and reluctantly made him put his shoes back on.  But seriously? Cant you smell your own stench…

I categorized this post as a “Travel Tip”:  Here is the tip. Don’t take off your shoes, if your feet smell.

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