AA #1019
January 28, 2010

iPhoneography: The Creepy View from Seat 33A

The Creepy View from Seat 33A

Toolbox: Perfectly Clear, Format126

No one really likes to sit in the back of the plane, even when the engines are wing mounted. It’s much worse on one of the old MD-80s or DC-9s, where the last two rows of seats are blocked by the nacelles of the engines. Sleep is impossible and the sound of the crying baby in seat 22E — the middle seat — is far preferable.

They don’t build these aircraft any more. When you’re close to the front of the plane, their ride is fairly quiet. Today, the flight wasn’t completely full and the original seatholders of row 33 wisely vacated and moved to a more quiet row — probably one with a guy snoring (and they were grateful).

I love to fly on the window seat. I’ll look out for hours if I can. I try to guess which cities or landmarks we’re flying over. I look for the contrails of other aircraft. I watch the clouds and the sun.

In seat 33A, instead all I see is the steel staring back at me as I try to peek around the intake. I am first in the plane to hear the engines power up for take off. I’m nervous flying inches away from that many sharp spinning things. I almost expect to look out the window and see the scary guy in the bad ape suit from that episode of The Twilight Zone.

I have flown in row 33 once. Seat 34T we joke. We were offered a seat on the exit row, but I declined. I wanted to experience the back of an MD-80 at least once. It’s something I never have to do again.