howdy all, I never write these (probably because I am lazy and not a writer) but I thought some of you guys would enjoy this one, so here goes my first attempt at a report.
On Tuesday 13 Jan, I was on Southwest Flight 194 from OKC-DAL-ABQ. I was going to Kirtland for some Air Force stuff, with 7 other folks from my squadron -on the same flight. The flight was to leave at 11:55am but the MCC wanted everyone at the airport by 9:30. Anyway, I checked in, went through security and waited with the rest of my crewmates. All of this was a breeze, plus if you are traveling on orders, I've found, you don't get hassled as much at security (at least it seems that way) didn't even have to take my boots off. Anyway, since we checked in so early we were all in group A to be the first group to board.
Well the plane pulls up at about 11:20 and I was surprised to see it was the California One plane. Anyway the old flight deplanes and a few minutes later we board the plane. I go to the back, around row 20 and take a window seat (since we don't have windows on the E-3, I find them a luxury now LOL). One of my buds takes an aisle seat, and we get ready to go. The plane is about 1/3 full. I use some drink coupons and get a crown and coke, and our short flight to DFW at 19,000 is smooth, with no issues (those come later....) We land most of the folks get off and we wait for the rest of the flight to board. it was cool, as the FAs gave us some Luggage tags and other goodies, as we chatted about flying stuff, going through the FAA egress training in OKC, and the like.
The next leg of the flight boards, and the fun starts. A sloppy looking guy boards and sits in the row across from me (he is with his wife who takes a window seat) in the middle seat. He looked a bit drunk to begin with, but after climbout and such (~35 minutes) he pulls out a portable DVD player and is playing it VERY LOUD. Well several Pax occasionally stare at him and he just gives us all dirty looks, but eventually turns it off. I glanced over and the guy just stared at me then yelled 'Hey how's it going' loudly in a drunken slur, he did this to several people. Well about 40 minutes later, I see the guy stand up to go back the lav, and I see something in his hand, I do a double take, and yes it is a cigarette!!!. I couldn't believe it, I thought this guy is not really going to do this. I tell my buddy, and he couldn't believe it either. Well several other folks saw it too, it seems( I find this out later). Well the guy goes in the bathroom and tries to light the cigarette, but the FAs stop him. This was all done very quietly, which was good. They sit him down in the far back row (this guys wife is oblivious it seems) They had called the flight deck and I heard them talking to them, and they told him security would be waiting at ABQ. There was one male flight attendant (big guy too) and they kept him in the back next to the guy. Well as the plane touches down (right at touchdown) the guy jumps out of his seat, opens the bin above his row and gets his jacket. The FA jumps up screaming "you've got to sit down" and this guys is like 'whatever I'm getting my coat' then he sits back down. Well as soon as the seat belt light goes off he dashes up the aisle (as if he is going to sneak out-and his wife is still clueless) and of course all the other folks standing up to deplane get in his way. Well to my surprise the two guys in the row behind me were SWA employees. They get out radios and pull their ID badges out and radio to some folks, and one FA is on the phone describing the guy to security. Well I deplane and see boucoup security on the jetway interviewing the pilots, FAs and the ABQ police have the guy, with his license out asking him questions. I walk by and hear him say "yes I am from Arkansas" and I see his Arkansas license. I couldn't resist and the guy looked up as I walked by and I just smiled. Anyway that was my mini-adventure with the smoking bandit. The flight back on Friday was not as adventures (though packed) and we were delayed due to weather all over the place. I hope you enjoy though I am more of a math guy than an writer
Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Yankee Air Pirate