There was once a time when people actually talked to their seatmates on airline flights, perhaps because there was little else to do.
Airlines then didn’t offer the smorgasbord of in-flight entertainment they do today, business class seats were still configured for congeniality rather than privacy, and notebooks—the paper kind—were the standard carry-ons.
Socializing was the other activity travelers looked forward to, as an acceptable way of relieving the long flight’s ennui.
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PART 1 OF NEVER-ENDING STORIES
IN A NEVER-ENDING TRAVELIFE
With the frequency of our flights on a never-ending Travelife, there’s no shortage of amusing stories or encounters in-flight.
In fact, just last month, on the return flight back from South Africa to Hong Kong, an Asian couple had struck up a conversation with us just as we were about to land in Hong Kong.
FROM HONG KONG TO JOHANNESBURG,
AND BACK: CAPE TOWN – JOBURG – HONG KONG
“You were also on the flight with us two weeks ago from Hong Kong to Johannesburg,” the guy said to us with a smile, as we stood in the aisle fixing hand luggage and all.
We then compared notes on trip itineraries as they’d done almost exactly the same route we’d taken: Johannesburg, safari and Cape Town. However they’d chosen a self-drive safari while we’d flown to the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve for one of these all-inclusive safari holidays.
Read about our amazing safari experience in the current issue of Travelife Magazine. On sale everywhere now.
On our part, we’d not noticed anyone on any flight as we’d both slept most of the way to and from South Africa.
STRAIGHT TO SLEEP
On the way to South Africa, the flight left Hong Kong at midnight and I knew I needed to sleep since we were hitting the ground running as soon as we reached Johannesburg. So as soon as the plane was at cruising altitude, I hit the “flat bed button,” put on my eye mask and went to sleep — waking up just in time for breakfast before landing.
And on the way back to Asia, the flight left Joburg in the afternoon, but we forced ourselves to sleep even at that odd time, since we were landing in Manila and both heading straight for work from the airport, after two weeks away.
Then, just as we were ending our conversation and landing in Hong Kong, the guy said to me: “By the way, you were wearing exactly the same clothes on the way to South Africa.”
I looked at my pretty generic overnight travel outfit, which consisted of a white polo shirt, loose black pants and red ballerina flats, and thought to myself: There were so many flights and so many seats on the airplane, and I was wearing the most nondescript clothes possible. What are the odds of this happening?
Read about other inflight entertainment stories on flights to Paris, London and New York in the next blog entry….
For more stories like this, please pick up the latest issue of TRAVELIFE Magazine at the nearest bookstore.