A few days ago I flew back from Austin to Chicago. For all intents and purpose it was a very normal flight. It was as normal of an experience as traveling at a few hundred miles per hour in a flying pressurized metal tube could possibly be. During this almost magical process, I spent my time by taking a nap, drinking a coke, and getting through a few episodes of Breaking Bad.
As usual I had selected the aisle seat when checking in. Now any experienced traveler knows how sacred the aisle seat is. It is about as much freedom as you can get on an airplane, especially now that SkyMall is gone and we are no longer free to buy a toilet paper holder iPhone dock (feel free to look this up, it was a real thing at one point).
But something interesting happened on the first leg of that flight which reminded me about how great flying is. The airplane was more than half empty; in fact my whole row was empty. So during takeoff, I slid over to the window seat so I could get a better view. Side note; in the event that American Airlines sees this post, this is not an admission of guilt…please don’t charge me an additional $732 dollar fee for switching seats while aboard a flight.
Regardless, this made me consider why I stopped sitting in the window seat to begin with.
Over the past few months I have flown more than my fair share. In the last five months I have been on around fifteen flights. While this pales in comparison to consultants who fly on a weekly basis, I have been “randomly screened” one too many times to truly enjoy flying.
Similarly, I gave up taking the windows seat and the awe that comes along with it in exchange for the practicality and freedom that the aisle seat affords.
I think one grows up the day they no longer seek the window seat on an airplane. The day that the practicality of the aisle seat outweighs the desire to stare out of the window in wonder. All I can say is that for the second leg of that flight I took the window seat and I plan to the same next time.