For the first 15 years of my career as a Computer Scientist for the FAA, I spent many hours on flights all over the place. I don’t know the number of commercial flights I’ve been on, but, it’s a staggering number, and none even close to as bad as what occurred on a personal trip to Europe.

On a Red-Eye trip home from Heathrow to NYC, I was in the cheap seats on a BA B747-400, seat 47E. That puts me in the center row (4 seats in the middle), in the second seat to right of the aisle. People on both sides of me as well as in front and behind. Surrounding me on all sides was a southern baptist church group. Probably the entire congregation, or at least it felt that way. About 2 hours into the flight as I was desperately trying to sleep, they started what amounted to a loud, religious service complete with the hallelujahs and all. Flight attendants asked them to keep it quiet and they seemed to try, but, I was dead in the middle and no where to go. To be clear, I have no problem with whatever religion you want to follow. I just have no particular interest in being stuck in what amounted to flash church mob. Is that even a thing?

The flight was very full. I begged the flight attendants to let me sit in a jump seat someplace. They were full, too. AHHH. After the “service” ended, they began unpacking the food they had brought on board and began distributing it to their group ACROSS me. I don’t honestly know what they were eating, but, it didn’t seem too wonderful to me at the time. Kinda about as annoying as that coworker who brings in leftover fish and eats lunch super slowly at their desk. To top it off, they were mostly large people with all manner of perfume and hair products.

There’s an argument for first class right there. At least the seats are further apart.