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Lessons in Patience from the Nine-Year-Old in Seat D

I flew 43 flight segments in 2000, more than half of them from Newark. I experienced delays from a few minutes to nine hours. Patience was a necessity to keep my sanity. All the horror stories are overshadowed by my one flight from Philadelphia to Atlanta in mid-July.

It was a late afternoon flight on a Friday. We boarded 90 minutes late. I was seated in the next to last row, seat F. Seat E was empty and in seat D sat a 9-year-old named Marcus. It was another 3 hours before we departed. In all that time, we were never offered drinks or snacks, and there were many complaints from the adult passengers. Marcus, however, hardly moved the entire time. He had a few toys and seemed very content.

After we took off, and the instant the flight attendant made the "in a few moments we will begin our beverage service" announcement, the young boy lowered his tray, and took out a juice box and PB&J sandwich. Later, when asked if he would like something, he replied, "No thank you. I have my own."

The minute we parked at the gate, he snaked his way through the aisle. He was captured at the front by another flight attendant and was quietly sitting in a first class seat as I said goodbye to him on my way out.




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