I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen?
Yesterday, on 8/17/13, I sat at a table in Ronald Reagan National Airport awaiting my flight to Charlotte, North Carolina. Two pilots sat next to me sporting US Airways attire. I asked if they were going to be on my flight. They replied that they were on break and were attempting to fly home.
Adrian and Bob were both good looking and appeared very young – I was impressed that both were pilots. They informed me that, to be a pilot, they had a bachelors degree and went through pilot training school which involved simulations and other procedures. Their hometowns were both in Charlotte.
Bob kindly offered to get me a doughnut, but I had my food. He came back with a couple pieces for he and Adrian, and she soon got a Pepsi. They semi-seriously said that continuing their current diet would make them really fat. They have a long way to go.
Their work shifts usually takes them 4-5 days away from home, followed by a two day rest. They get paid by flight hours, so layover and overnight times do not count – an “increased salary which factored in those anomalies” was not justified, in their opinion.
Neither have never personally flown to California, although they have visited the west coast. They told me that, contrary to my belief, flying without breaks was less exhausting than sitting around waiting for their next shift. I could imagine how bored they would be sitting in the airport lounge awaiting the next departure time.
I curiously asked Adrian what her thoughts were on the American Airlines and US Airways merger. She said that most of the employees and labor unions liked it, even at the expense of the public’s scrutiny. She said that it seemed to be a necessary move to stay in competition with the other airlines who have already merged. She did indicate that domestic flights today are reaching an oligopoly.
It was time to go, and I wished the two farewell. I did not see them on the plane, so I fear there were no vacant spots. Either way, they were mighty friendly and interesting.
Adrian and Bob have been met, but I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen?