The sunrise flight from Las Vegas to Philly was packed, every seat was taken. That's just the way things are these days - empty seats have gone the way of in flight smoking and hot meals with silverware.
Of course I was in my usual zone 508 or something for boarding and one of the last ones on the plane. How I end up in the last zone EVERY. TIME. I'll never know, It must be part of the airline's "bendover" program for business travelers. The bendover program pays the highest possible amount for tickets and then gets zone 508.
Finally, I'm in the long slow line to get everyone seated and I feel like asking "is this the bus to Cartegena". I swear I saw a woman with a chicken along the way. Luckily, I only have my backpack with laptop and other in flight essentials, no luggage. This is good because zones 1-507 have taken all the overhead compartments.
For this early December flight, I have a windows seat which is unusual with the "bendover" program because I usually get a middle. I'm counting down to my row. 8, 9, ... I'm looking for my row. I look for my seat by the window.
There is a woman in my seat.Some woman has taken MY seat.
Of course I'm thinking "here we go". Now it's confrontation time. The long line to my seat only gives me more time to fuss and worry about the coming confrontation. Is she going to be a witch? Did they put two people in one seat? I'm I getting bumped?
I'm slowly making my way to my seat, step by step.(Of course I'll be the one to get bumped, they'll never bump some woman). I'm two rows away and I'm making the "you are in my seat" eye contact with the woman.
I get to my row, turn and look into my row, am about to say "you are in my seat" when I realize the woman has something in her arms and it's a baby., Before I can say anything, she says "the stewardess said I could sit here instead of on the aisle".
Of course I was looking forward to looking out the window but her need for not having her baby elbowed by 300 lb men making their way to the bathroom clearly exceeds my wanting to recognize Kansas City from the Interstates.
I've been trumped.
As I'm telling her "of course, you stay there" I'm thinking this baby is going to wail for the next 5 hours.
I smile and take my seat.
For the next 3 hours my seat mate and I are amazed that this seven week old baby doesn't make a peep, a wimper, a cry or a sound. For 3 hours.
Finally I have to go to the bathroom and when I'm returning, I find this:
My seatmate, a Master Sargent in the Air Force is holding the baby while the new Mom went to the bathroom.
I had to take a picture of it.
I never got the woman's name but that baby was quiet until the "put your seat backs and tray tables to the upright position" time of the flight.