“Jenna, do you want us to land the plane?” I can’t believe this was actually asked and writing this just gives me anxiety already. On our early Saturday morning flight as a cast headed to Woofstock, I got into an altercation with a stranger than nearly had the plane turned around and landed. I know, WHAT? Let me take you there.
From the moment I sat down in my window seat, I could tell the guy sitting behind me was going to be a nuisance. He had one of those booming voices that carries and he was already shouting about Trump’s policies and the 2nd amendment. Whether or not I agree with someone’s political opinions is irrelevant. No one wants to hear someone on their soapbox at 8 am. The people around me were clearly annoyed and then I hear a woman two row behind me call him out and say what everyone was thinking, “Sir, could you please lower your voice I’m trying to read and it’s making it difficult because you’re talking so loudly.” He quieted down for the moment.
Now we are about to takeoff and this is when I feel the most anxiety. I didn’t medicate like I usually do, because we have an appearance and I didn’t want to be sleepy. That’s when the conversation behind me turns to planes crashing and getting shot down. We are speeding on the runway now and as we slowly start to takeoff, this guy is on his 3rd plane getting shot down story. That’s when I can’t handle it anymore. I turn around and as politely as I can manage, say “Sir, I am terrified of flying so is there anyway you could stop talking about planes getting shot down. Anything else is fine, I’m just super anxious and can hear everything.” He says, “Oh, you’re scared of flying? It’s the safest thing ever.” I respond, “I know, I know, it’s just my fear and I’m feeling anxious.” I turn back around hoping he will switch topics. Then he yells, “You know what? No! I am going to talk about whatever I want. This woman behind me telling me to be quiet and now she’s telling me to stop talking. I am going to talk about whatever I want.”
I stood all the way up, turned around, and said “Really?”, he said, “”Yea, go put your headphones in, that’s what they’re there for.” I screamed, “You’re not going to talk about plane crashes while we are on a plane!!!!” That’s when everyone turned…my face was red. I hit the call button for the flight attendant. Once I quickly explained to her the situation, she moved me to another seat and told the guy he needed to stop talking about that topic because it’s making passengers uncomfortable. He argued with her and I saw her go phone the pilot. She told the man he needed to be quiet or they were going to turn around and land the plane. At first he said “go ahead”, but then he had a change of heart and said “Actually that won’t be necessary”.
That’s when the flight attendant returned to me and said the pilot felt comfortable and everything with him checked out and the plane in fine, but she asked me if I felt like they should land the plane anyway. I can’t believe they actually gave me that option! Of course, I was somewhat humiliated by the whole altercation and said, “no no please. I am fine and people have places to be.” I didn’t want things to get even more dramatic than they already were. I never want to be the reason people didn’t make their connecting flights that day. The flight was smooth after that and I saw the pilots pulled him to the side as we were exiting the plane. All I overheard was him saying, “People are too sensitive these days” to which the pilots said something along the lines of, “You just can’t talk about that kind of thing”. Just re-telling this story has made my palms sweaty and I need to go medicate.