The scene: I've been unexpectedly upgraded, so sitting in the front row of a small commuter jet.
Describe your fellow traveller: A slightly disheveled 20-something man.
The review: It's around 9.30am and the guy just slumps into the seat next to me, sighing heavily.
"Everything OK?" I ask.
He looks sheepish. "Um, I guess. Man. This is the most expensive air ticket I've ever bought."
I encourage him to tell me more. He's been on a bachelor/stag weekend, and was due to be on a 7.30am flight back to Boston via Chicago that morning. After a predictably heavy night in New Orleans, he had managed to do the hard bit. Got up on time around 5.30am, hailed a cab, got to the airport and through security. At the gate, he decides to take a small nap. He wakes up at 8am, his plane long gone. Now, he needs to be in Boston that afternoon for a really important meeting. Trouble is, there's only one other seat leaving New Orleans that morning. It's the one he's in and it costs $1,200. The importance of making it to Boston is so great, however, that the guy has no choice. So his nap just cost him...$1,200.
I commiserate. He laughs. "I DID ALL THE HARD WORK!" At least he's seeing the funny side. Though he's probably still pretty drunk.
Verdict: Taking it all with impressive good humour.