This story is the second among a three-part series. If you haven't read Part-I, read it here.
I was so disoriented when I stepped on the flight that I walked way past my seat, realised what I had done, turned around and apologised to a flight attendant (I'm not sure what for; perhaps wasting his energy on a welcome greeting that he might've reserved for other passengers who were actually in his assigned zone). He was more than empathetic; the kind man walked me to my actual seat, stopped the other passengers for a moment and stowed my handbag away for me. I thought he was just doing his job really well.
My aisle seat was unusual—I *always* get the window (I really was travelling shabbier than normal that time). Forgot to reserve a window seat so took what was left at the last minute. Not exactly bothered, I got a mini bottle of Merlot when the drinks cart came along minutes after we had taken off. That, coupled with a lack of sleep, had a woozier effect on me than two glasses of wine normally would've. I pulled over my blanket and fastened my seatbelt over it (airline code for "don't wake me for meals").
Nap time on flights never extends over an hour for me, though. I absentmindedly woke up to see the same helpful flight attendant knelt beside my seat. I widened my eyes to ensure I really was awake.
"Hi," he said looking up at me.
"Hello," I responded, confused and probably looking my scruffiest.
"Are you a Skywards member, ma'am?"
"Would you like to enroll with us?"
"Umm. I'm not sure..."
"You'll get to keep track of your miles. The bonus being that they're also redeemable on other airlines. Do you travel often?"
"I do, actually. What other airlines are you affiliated with?"
"Lufthansa. Do you use Lufthansa?"
"Haven't so far."
"What other airlines do you use?"
"We haven't tied up with Virgin Atlantic," he said, seeming like he was thinking of names I might actually use.
"What about BA?" I asked.
"BA's direct competition," he answered, with a wide smile that was almost a grin.
"That's fine. I'll go for it," I said, feeling sorry for the amount of persuasion he was having to put into this (also perhaps around the same time it subconsciously registered that he had a very charming smile).
He already had my name on record. Most likely from my seat number. "Seat A11. Miss... Vritti Bansal?"
"Where are you from, ma'am?"
"Well, since this is an Emirates flight, I can say half Delhi and half Dubai without being judged for it."
He looked down at the iPad he was holding and smiled. I couldn't tell whether he was amused or confused.
"Studied in Dubai?"
Slightly surprised but also impressed with the accuracy of his assumption, I replied: "yes".
"Where did you study?"
Slowly realising that this guy was chatting me up, I smiled and said "Indian High," knowing anyone familiar with Dubai would recognise shorthand for what's been elected the best school in the Gulf consistently for the past ten years.
"Yes," I nodded, pleased my judgment of him was turning out to be accurate too.
He paused for a moment, before his expression turned a little serious. "I'm from IHS too."
( ... to be continued.)
Read Part-III here.