Facebook Flies the Friendly Skies

Posted on November 22, 2017


Life in the Boomer Lane is always seeking unique travel experiences. She has had them on all forms of transportation, as well as in airports and train stations. She has gotten her arm stuck in a vending machine, been smacked in the face with a belt buckle, been put into a room with travel felons, been yelled at and chased by a TSA person, came very close to being arrested in France for smuggling a baby across the border, been subjected to GPS mayhem, and been on a bus to nowhere. While her recent flight from New York to Charleston posed no threats to her life, nor possibility of incarceration, it did provide fodder for this blog.

LBL was seated next to a young (early to mid-twenties) woman. She (the young woman) was beautiful, impeccably groomed, and obviously agitated. In no particular order, she asked LBL how to turn the heat on in the plane, if she (LBL) had an emergency iPad charger (she was holding an iPhone, not an iPad), and if LBL had any Motrin.

LBL, in no particular order, explained to her that she could not turn heat on in a plane. She showed her the A/C vents and told her to turn them off and see if that helped. She then suggested that she ask the flight attendant for Motrin and an iPhone (not iPad) charger (non-emergency model would serve just as well)

The young woman then asked how she could call the flight attendant and LBL directed her to the overhead button. The flight attendant arrived and she spoke briefly to her (LBL was reading and not paying attention), then doubled over, clutching her abdomen. LBL assumed that:

1, She had terrible menstrual cramps

2, There was a terrible family emergency at home that she had to deal with

The flight attendant returned with antacid. The young woman showed the antacids to LBL and asked if these would help her cramps. LBL, loathe to give anyone medical advice or to perform CPR on any form of public transportation, said she thought not. She believed these were for a different issue entirely.  The flight attendant returned with Motrin but was unable to provide an iPhone charger, emergency or otherwise.

The young woman took the Motrin but became increasingly more agitated. Finally, she asked to use LBL’s cell phone. LBL was happy to help in a suspected emergency. She connected her cell to Jet Blue’s free wireless and handed her phone to the young woman.

The young woman gratefully accepted and logged in immediately to Facebook, where she spent the next hour scrolling through friends’ pages and commenting on their posts. LBL considered taking the phone back, but it was obvious that the young woman’s time on Facebook, more than the Motrin,  had cured the terrible cramps that she had been having.  She (LBL) was also mesmerized that this entire thing was happening. And so she did nothing.

Shortly before landing, the young woman handed the phone back to LBL and thanked her. LBL, attempting to be friendly, told her she was welcome and asked her how her trip to New York had been. The young woman said she enjoyed New York, but she did not enjoy the taxis or subway.  She said the next time she visited, she would rent a car and drive around the city herself. She believed that would be a more efficient way to get around.

Now, LBL was finally stumped. She could make no sense of that line of reasoning. It went beyond taking an antacid for menstrual cramps or asking for an iPad charger for an iPhone. She simply wished the young woman well and advised her to remember to bring Motrin and a cell phone charger with her on her next trip to New York.  Oh, and not to scroll through Facebook as she was efficiently navigating the streets of Manhattan by herself.