Aisle seats, airport lounges, and Missed Connections

I returned from a warm locale in the wee hours of this morning, and have since been confronted with snow, an epic pile of laundry, an empty fridge, and some 1000 or so unread Missed Connections in my Google Reader.

Judging by a number of recent MC posts, I wasn’t the only one who jetted off recently, and logged some waiting time in airport lounges.

Close quarters in economy class create an opportunity to “accidentally” nudge an attractive neighbour. I think, perhaps, that the longer duration makes it a bit less awkward to strike up conversation than on a shorter trip (i.e., a subway ride) – but maybe that’s just me. And if there’s a delay – well, maybe that’s an opportune time to discuss the merits of baggage handlers’ unions, or something.

Then again, jet lag may interfere with one’s ability to initiate coherent, engaging conversation.

I always have some quasi-imaginary 1960s ideal of classed-up air travel in mind, but I always end up dressed pretty casually when I fly… I’d highly doubt that anyone would find me remarkable in my flight apparel, but I guess it works out for some people… in a sleeper? [Honestly, I’m not even sure what that means. Pajamas? A Snuggie? I digress…]

Air travel-related Missed Connections are sort of an amplified version of the more mundane daily public transit connections. Longer waiting times, with perhaps more opportunity for extended conversations than during a routine commute. But, these circumstances come with higher stakes – you’re less likely to run into the person again, and the flight’s destination may not be the final destination for either the Missed Connections writer or the subject of their interest.

One key difference: unlike a streetcar ride, there’s a greater chance of surreptitiously getting someone’s name, since they almost certainly have their identification and boarding pass handy. Granted, that might be creepy, but you could always hope that they drop their passport, allowing you to gallantly return it to them… stay tuned for more tips on “picking up at the airport.”

Bon voyage and all that.

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