The Flight From Hell

Alan J. Schwarz
6 min readOct 31, 2023

Ignorance at 30,000 feet

qImage by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Jake Palmer was exhausted. The six thirty am flight to Fort Lauderdale meant that Jake had to be at the airport in Toronto three hours early. He took an Uber from Oshawa to the Pearson airport and for some reason the driver wouldn’t stop talking about the price of groceries. Jake felt bad that cucumbers cost twenty cents more than they should, but at three thirty in the morning, he really didn’t care.

When he arrived at Pearson, he entered the terminal, went to a kiosk and immediately got his boarding pass. Jake went through security and found his gate. He stood in line at Starbucks to grab a coffee and a bagel. He then took a seat in the gate area and waited patiently to board the West Jet flight. He was surprised at how packed the flight was. The desire to get away for some heat and sun was very obvious.

Jake was always amazed at the big deal the airlines made regarding carry on bags. It was kind of crazy. Why did there always seem to be a shortage of over head bin space? If every passenger brought one carry on bag wasn’t that expected? It always seemed to impact on the people sitting near the back of the plane. He was on an aisle in row eighteen.

When Zone 3 was finally called, he walked down the boarding tunnel to the plane and he was greeted warmly by the stewardess. He was amazed that she could exude such positive energy at such an early hour.

He put his bag into the over head bin and took his seat. There were three seats in the row and he was glad he had the aisle. He was just thinking about how nice it would be to get to his Condo in Hallandale Beach, when a heavy guy wearing sunglasses stood beside him. ‘’Hey man, I think I have the seat beside you.’’ Jake stood up and the guy sat down. He was about five foot seven, around forty five ane smelled like booze. It was strange, how could a guy smell like rum at six thirty in the morning? It was kind of disgusting.

Jake thought he’d close his eyes and ignore the guy. It was only a three hour flight. The plane filled and there was soon the perfunctory demonstration of how to put on a seatbelt, mask and life jacket if needed. The guy gave Jake a shot in the arm. ‘’How retarded do you have to be to not fucking know how to put on a seatbelt?’’ He then laughed. Jake disliked him…



Alan J. Schwarz

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.