I flew to Amsterdam last night (for work) on a United 757-200 – booked in coach (you’re welcome, company) and upgraded using systemwide upgrade (I have enough miles that I know I won’t be buying any tickets this year, so I might as well use them for work). The front cabin was nearly empty, which I’ve never seen before on this flight – only 5 of us were sitting there, so I had no one next to me. Flight attendants were dressed wearing orange ties and headbands in celebration of Queens Day here in the Netherlands (two of my co-workers flew over on Delta, and they blew up orange balloons and batted them around the cabin after they landed).
The flight was fine, but I wanted to point out one thing about the front cabin on the United 757: all of the seats are pretty much the same, though I chose an aisle seat if one is available so I dont’ have to climb over someone to get to the bathroom. I did discover last night that all 16 seats aren’t exactly created equal. I was in 4E (4F next to me was empty). I had a glass of wine and a Tylenol PM and because I used the OTR Anti-Jetlag Method ™ – waking up at 4am the day before – I was pretty much asleep by 7pm (we had a 6pm departure). A bit later I turned over and saw that there is a light above the bathroom at the front of the coach cabin that was right in my sight line when I turned over. Then I was like a moth – the light was the only thing I could see. I have no idea why, but it became incredibly distracting, which I realize is ridiculous, but I’d have open my eye and there was the light.
This all sounds nutty, I know, not least of which for 2 reasons:
1) There are eyeshades in the amenity kit; and
2) I could’ve just gotten up and moved to the seat next to me (4F) and that would’ve been the end of it.
But I know I will sometimes wake up next to my wife and some part of her leg will be touching me, and I’ll be thinking, “ich, can you just move over?” but I won’t say that, and I’ll sit there annoyed that she’s in my space, when the easiest solution is for me to move over 3 inches. But when you’re tired and disoriented I don’t think to myself that I should move over 3 inches.
That’s how it was last night – the solution was right there in front of me, and I even thought to myself, “just move to the next seat.” But the voice in my brain responded, “why should I have to move? Why is that light there????” The answer, of course, is so people can see where the bathroom is. I was being ridiculous (to myself), and I did eventually fall asleep.
This is the long way of saying: I’d choose any seat other than 4E on the United 757-200 (international configuration) if you have the choice.