Perspective on Tray Tables and Seat Backs

[Almost 200 evacuees from Haiti crowd into a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft Sunday evening at the Port-au-Prince airport. Photo from USA TODAY website.]

I remember sitting in around the table in Jakarta listening to Greg tell the story of an emergency evacuation to Australia which put two and three people in each seat. With no luggage below, they were well within their load limit for the plane — the issue was mostly seat belt (and in an evacuation, that issue has already be dwarfed into the “not an issue” category). Greg indicated that the person on the seat would fasten the belt low and tight and then become responsible for keeping the person on his or her lap from hitting the ceiling when the plane hit turbulents.

When I saw this photo of Haitian evacuees I was reminded of that story.

I was also reminded of how easily I complain about the lack of leg room in Coach or of the skimpiness of the current state of beverages and snacks on board domestic flights in the States.

For at least a few weeks, my perspective will be impacted enough by images like this one that I will be a bit less cranky and a bit more grateful when my tray table has to be returned to it’s locked position for landing even if I’m not done with the Crossword puzzle.

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