Thirteen Hours In A Plane

I’m sitting on a plane flying from Seoul to Detroit. The flight is 13 hours – it’s a long time.  

There is Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific time in the USA, but also “Flying Time!” When trapped with 400 other people in a plane – some touching your shoulders while others are kneeing you in the back through your seat – “Flying Time” expands to eternity!

You have been reading Interrupted Interruptions for the past 14 days while I’ve been traveling in the Philippines. I thought about writing on a topic of “end-times” significance in my first “return home” Interruptions.

But 13 hours on a plane makes me brain-dead. So, I thought it best to keep my theological opines to myself and write about the long hours on a plane sitting in a seat designed “space-wise” for Yoda!

My travel segments so far are:

  • 7 to 11:40 p.m.:  Left the hotel to stand in very long lines at the airport, while fervently praying to not miss the flight out of Manila.
  • Our flight left for an actual “on-time” departure, but my wife left her mobile phone in the taxi!
  • Arrived at Seoul airport for a six-hour layover before the 13-hour flight to Detroit!
  • Now writing this Interruption with 12 hours and 15 minutes left.

At the checkpoint in Seoul, coming off my flight from Manila, I was given a boarding pass with SSSS on it. The security agent smirked and said, “Oh, you have been selected for special screening when boarding your flight to Detroit!”

My thoughts, “I’m warned of a special screening six hours before boarding?!? HHHMMMHHM?! I have plenty of time to stash drugs, explosive devices, and bottles of water in the nearest trash receptacle!”

I also learned the meaning of SSSS. At my “special screening” I discovered it meant Senior Senile Specifically Selected as I have totally white hair, the lady in front me walked with a cane, and the guy behind me was being pushed in a wheelchair.

After a “me-with-red-face” full body “patdown” by an apologetic but smiling female security person, I entered the Airbus A-350. (Side note:  My wife was not selected for the SSSS, and though feeling the effects of food poisoning, still managed to laugh.)

This airplane has four sections that you walk through after boarding – Best, Better, Okay, and Purgatory. Those in Purgatory now know what we are missing in Best, Better, and Okay. The airline’s ploy is to extract thousands of dollars more to move up a class or two on your next flight.

I checked the prices:  Okay is an extra $300; Better is several thousand dollars; and Best is a new Home Equity Line of Credit. My thoughts were, “I now know why the Catholic Church was so successful in selling indulgences to escape Purgatory in the Middle Ages.”

To mask or not to mask on an airplane seems to be more complicated than figuring out world peace.

On the way to Seoul, we were told to put on our masks as we entered Korean airspace. On this flight from Seoul to Detroit, most entered the plane with masks and then took them off when the plane left the ground.

My wife and I took off our masks and then the girl sitting next to my wife began moaning, coughing, and sneezing – without her mask on and with little attempt to cover her mouth.

We are now praying for the next 11 hours and 15 minutes for the Lord’s protection from germs and viruses.

As for our mission trip to the Philippines – thank you for praying for our safety, powerful ministry, and especially good health!

I will write about the trip in tomorrow’s Interruption.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen (1 Corinthians 16:23, NASB1995).