Rode on the team plane this weekend, to throw an alumni pregame beforehand. The location was remote enough that riding the team plane for free was a much better (budget) option than purchasing two commercial tickets at over $500 apiece for two staff people. Disastrous. Cramped. Awful.
On the bus from campus to the airport, we were given our seat assignments for the plane. I was given 14C, Matt 14D. We were told that these were our seats for both flights, going and coming. When we boarded the plane, there were some very burly guys in our seats. I explained that I was holding a card saying “14C,” and the guy didn’t dispute that, just asked me to sit elsewhere.
Matt and I acquiesced, going up to the 9th row. We settled in a couple of seats, and then a couple of young’uns (cheerleaders?) came to claim their seats in the 9th row. We explained that it was tough tootie for them, but we’d been bumped and now they were being bumped. But unfortunately, the Athletics Marketing guy who was running the trip came down the aisle just then saying, “You need to be in your assigned seat. If someone is in your seat, tell them to move. You need to be in your assigned seat.”
So we begrudgingly went our way back to row 14, where the football players graciously offered to let us each have middle seats, which had previously been occupied by the players’ hats, lunch bags, etc. We started to sit down, but then someone barked out from the back, “Are you travelling together?” We affirmed that we were, and the barker told “Stevens” (or whomever) to move so that we could sit together. “Stevens” complained about not wanting to sit between fat people (believe me, Stevens, I hear ya), but moved.
So Matt and I enjoyed our flight there — he on the aisle, me in the middle, new football friend Corey on the window — including our sack lunches which contained two sandwiches apiece, a Three Musketeers bar, a bag of chips, and two cookies (we each commented on how we wished we could eat like football players all the time). Our pregame was great, although we did end up with only six guests, plus a bunch of people from our plane. The team lost.
We were pretty happy on the way back, though. They plied us with entire pizzas on the bus to the airport, and Matt and I got one whole pizza for just the two of us. Thinking that the proliferation of pizzas might mean we weren’t getting fed on the plane home, we dove in, but silly us — of course there were sack lunches on the plane (again with the eating like football players)!
On the other hand, the players were all very grumpy. We again went to row 14, and encountered the same guy. “Hi, we’re back,” I reintroduced myself, and he said, “Oh, are you supposed to sit here again?” (um, duh?) He glanced around, and I just said, “Can you just get your guys to double up again so we can sit together again?” He agreed, but a minute later, after looking around the plane, said, “Nobody wants to move.” Well, of course nobody wants to move, but you make them, right? Wrong. We each took a middle seat. The players on either sides of each of us made it clear via elbows in the chest and thighs slammed up against our knees that they were not pleased about having middle guests.