The Slow Poke Passenger
Sometimes truth prevails.
The passengers inched their way onto the plane through the extended jet bridge, which was longer than normal and so was the line.
The man four ahead of Kyle seemed to be causing the greatest delay as he took one careful step at a time. He was large, old, and held onto the rail.
Kyle turned around to see the line growing longer as the gate attendants released more and more people into the jet bridge tunnel.
Even if a majority of the passengers decided to overpass the slow man, the plane wasn’t going anywhere until all were on board and seated. There was no need to rush. Plus it would have been rude to overpass him.
Kyle kept checking his watch to see how much time he had been standing in the tunnel. He overheard the man talking but didn’t think anything of it at the time, chocking it up to old people talking to themselves. No one was getting on the plane fast.
Finally, the man made the slight left turn, the last few steps before boarding. There, walking before him was a Mallard duck on a leash. Kyle wasn’t the only one to see it. Those who had a clear view of the man saw the duck, and the murmurs started.
The welcoming flight attendant – Jenn her name tag read – said, “Sorry sir, ducks aren’t permitted on board.”
“But she’s my service duck and they let me through back there already,” the man said in protest. Just the way he said it, Kyle thought he had used in dozens of times before.
Flight Attendant Jenn shook her head.
The man said, “I know for certain she identifies as a service dog.”
“Nice try,” Jenn said. “And how would you know for certain?”
“Because I identify as a duck, and I speak and think duck.”
“Sir, you’re not a duck.”
“I know that and you know that, but I identify as one. See the difference?”
“Uh, no,” she said as she brought her walkie-talkie to her lips.
Jenn said, “Gate, this is the lead attendant. We have a man here whose duck identifies as a service dog and he himself identifies as a duck. How copy?”
There was a long pause.
“Gate, did you copy?”
“Trying to, Lead, trying to. Getting guidance from Corporate now. Have the man and his duck or the duck and his service dog step aside as you board.”
The gate attendant released the mic key.
“No, on second thought, Jenn, no need for Corporate to get involved. Have him bring his duck back to the terminal. We’ll straighten it out here. No men identifying as ducks and no ducks identifying as service dogs on board. I just realized how stupid that sounds to normal people like you and me, Jenn. How copy?”
There was a chuckle in her voice.
“Roger that, Myra. Concur with the decision.”
Before the man turned to exit the plane, he threatened a lawsuit, legal battles, and a hostile social media campaign against the airlines.
“But of course,” Flight Attendant Jenn said as she greeted the next passenger with a smile, knowing she just denied passage to a sick and insane man.