Believing You Can Fly

I would not have joined the merry, famously YouTubed chorus of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” Stuck for nearly four hours on the McCarran tarmac in that sweltering, someone-vomited, did-we-pay-extra-for-this Allegiant airplane last week, I would’ve sung: I believe we will die.
But before succumbing to germs slithering onto me from the every surface, or to the odor of human discomfort, or to the general lack of oxygen and respect, I wouldíve stood, knocked my head on the overhead compartment, and unrolled my copy of the U.S. Department of Transportation Passenger Bill of Rights.

“This is illegal!” I would’ve groused, although the 2009 document actually says airlines don’t have to set you free if the delay is less than three hours. Allegiant’s recent PR disaster was broken into two, two-hour delays on two immobile planes. But I would’ve begun my revolt at the 30-minute mark.

Two hours is an agonizingly long time to be squished and going nowhere. Far worse if youíre surrounded by R. Kelly fans.