One is sort of familiar; one is surprising.
I just flew home from a business trip and encountered one very surprising element on my trip down; and one not so surprising (unfortunately) event on the way home.
On the outbound flight, everything was going along just beautifully for about 2 hours. As we began our descent, it was pandemonium - sort of. A few rows in front of me, the flight attendant grabbed the microphone and in a rather frantic, loud voice, announced the following: "If there is a doctor on the plane, I need you to come to Row 9 RIGHT NOW."
A few people walked up the aisle toward Row 9 and encountered...God knows what. By this time, the attendants - maybe as many as three of them - were hovering over someone in Row 9, seated by the window. One of them was screaming "Sir! Sir! Sir! I need you to sit down....Sir!!" Clearly, he wasn't responding.
Reminder that the plane is, in fact, getting closer and closer to the ground, and at this point we have several attendants leaning over Row 9, a few people who are medical types also hovering or kneeling near the passenger in distress, and at least one person seated in Row 9 standing in or near the aisle.
While this medical attention of some kind is being given to the passenger, the attendant came back on the intercom and asked everyone on the plane the following:
"Does anyone have a Xanax?"
A Xanax? For whom? For her? For the rest of us to split? For the passenger having a problem? For the pilot?
The pilot then announced that everyone must keep their seats after we land and allow the paramedics to board the plane and remove the passenger with the emergency. I kept thinking: so what's going on? Are we going to land with about six or seven people - including passengers - just standing there?
Yes, the answer is yes. The plane landed with two passengers from Row 9 standing; plus two or three medical people kneeling or standing, and two attendants also on their feet.
I'm not normally a difficult flier but I have to tell you: it's going to be very, very difficult to obey that "raise your tray table and put your seat up" directive the next time we're heading into an airport to land. It will be very, very difficult to not respond with something like the following: "My tray table is staying down and my seat is staying reclined! I was on a plane with people STANDING throughout the landing for God's sake! And not airline people, seemingly trained for just such events. Passengers like me who just happened to be in Row 9."
I won't say it of course. I'll raise my tray and bring my seat up. But I'll want to.
The story of the sadly familiar story on the return flight incident next time.