62F is a middle seat. That’s what she said. I don’t remember how it happened. Maybe it was because I booked at the last minute. Or was there some kind of mistake when I chose a seat? I did not even realise I booked a flight that goes a long way via Adelaide to get to Melbourne. Well, not that I know whether there was another option – was there a direct flight? Or do all CX flight to Melbourne take this path? Or was my preferred, originally requested seat taken by the time I got to the airport?

Michelle behind the counter in the red Cathay Pacific uniform was business-like at the start but with a little small talk became more friendly, and took some time to try to allocate an aisle seat for me. She was typing something, picking up the phone trying to speak to someone, and I was almost feeling bad. I said to her I felt bad about putting her through what looked to me like a trouble. The 62F may turn out to be a good seat, sitting in between two lovely girls for the night. Who knows?

I always sit in an aisle seat. I choose an aisle end of the middle group of seats. Unlike the window block, there is only one person who is likely to want to leave his/her seat via mine. Of course, there are smaller planes where there are only 2 seats on the window and/or 3 seats in the middle. Incidentally, this economy section is set up in 2-4-2. The odds are, however, that there is minimal distraction if I was at the middle-aisle. There is a chance that you may end up with a group and being the odd one, they tend to disturb their own people than a stranger… On top of that, of course, I would have a freedom to get out of my seat any time I want. I can go freshen up, or walk down to the back of the plane to do some quick stretch.

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Michelle was saying that she could see some unallocated aisle seats, but she was unable to put it down for me. It seemed like they were blocked. She put a request through in the system, though, so that if there was one available I would be given an aisle at the boarding gate. Some 5 or so hours later, when I finally got to the gate, the red light flashed in the gate as soon as the ground staff scanned my boarding pass. She took away the boarding pass she’d just returned to me, and instead picked up another one from the stack of 3-4 passes. 44G. I did not somehow enjoy the sound of that, but G is definitely an aisle.

When I got to the row 44, at the back of the first block of economy, somebody was sitting there. When I pointed out that I have the aisle seat, he quickly moved up to the seat in the middle, and F. I sat down, and noticed there were no seats on the window side. Instead, there was a grey wall with the toilet door on it.

Well, I got my wish. An aisle seat. But maybe, I should have tried my luck on two neighbours at 62F…

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