If you’re talking about flying standby, then the answer is no.

Sure, I’ll volunteer for all kinds of things: bringing napkins and utensils to parties (not food; I’m sure the guests want to live to see another day); picking people up or driving someone to a destination; taking my sister’s place so I can fight some kids for food. But when you’re talking about giving up my seat on the flight I paid for? And throwing my travel plans to the wind? In that instance, no, madame, I cannot volunteer as tribute.

Katniss
You’re a better woman than me, Katniss.

Am I the only one that remains unaffected and unmoved when they make this announcement at the airport? I remain right in my chair, flipping through my silly magazine, patiently waiting to board. There’s never a voice that says, “Self, help out a fellow passenger and give up your seat and take the voucher and just fly another time/the next day.” If anything, I marvel at the brave souls that respond to this cheerful plea by heading up to the counter. But I can marvel right from my seat, clutching my boarding pass until my knuckles turn white. Let me explain a few things about your flying Square Peg:

  1. Short of unavoidable/uncontrollable changes to a flight, my aim is to arrive where I need to be exactly the way I arranged it.
  2. This Square Peg is all for trying new things (within reason; I’m a proud square peg, after all), but let’s not get crazy.

The only time I’ve responded to an announcement to approach the counter was when they asked if anyone wanted to upgrade to first class. I basically raced up there. Selfish. Worth it, though.

Let me know: have you ever agreed to give up your ticket and fly standby? Did you collapse? Seriously, what inspired your decision? Kindly assuage my curiosity and tell me in the comments. Of course, it won’t change my mind, but I’ll marvel at you all the same.

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