One of the greatest unexpected airplane trip surprises, save for a very rare upgrade to business class, is finding an unoccupied seat next to you, giving you space to stretch your legs and store your collection of magazines impulse-purchased at an airport kiosk. But one lucky traveler was gifted with something even better: she accidentally got an airplane all to herself, and it’s TBH an inspiration. (The other dream, of course, is unlimited airplane wine, but this'll definitely do.)
Redditor @shadybaby22 posted a photo of her solo flight to Reddit on Wednesday. She was headed to Washington, D.C. from New York, Mashable reported, but had unintentionally been placed on a flight meant for airline staff, gifting her with an empty plane. Apparently, her first flight back to our nation's capitol had been canceled earlier, and though airline workers initially placed her and some of the other passengers on the staff flight, they ended up moving everyone else onto an earlier one. Shadybaby22 missed the announcement, and though this meant she had to suffer an extra eight hour delay, she didn't have to deal with any screaming babies or seat-kickers as a reward. She posted a full explanation for the other curious Redditors:
For people asking what happened: I realized something was wrong when I was the only one in the waiting area 45 minutes before take off. One of the airport agents came over while I was waiting and asked if that was the flight I was waiting for then said "I knew this would happen." When my flight was canceled about 8 hours earlier a confused agent gave me and half the passengers a seat for the plane in the pic before another agent realized everyone could go on an earlier flight. They made an announcement on the speaker but I'd already left to go back to my parent's house nearby to wait for the next few hours. I was never contacted about the flight change.
Respondents were impressed, but also confused. "So was there an attendant present and did they do the whole spiel about emergency exits with the hand movements and everything?" one asked. Others made suggestions: "Listen to me. This is important. I need you to be in a different seat every time a flight attendant comes to check on you. I have always wanted to do this. Please get back to me after." (It does not appear the OP followed suit.)
Some Redditors also shared stories about taking similar empty or near-empty flights, since apparently, as long as someone is booked on a flight, the plane must fly. Some of the lucky fliers said they got special treatment from the flight attendants, like free wine and cheese, or a first-class seat. Unfortunately, no one got to skip the safety presentation. "The attendant was nice and we both kept breaking into awkward giggles," Shadybaby22 said.
It appears the OP got home without incident, and she got to share a few fun moments with the airline staff (see safety presentation above). It's unclear if she took full advantage of all her vacant plane had to offer, though since the flight from New York to Washington is only about 45 minutes, she didn't get all that much time alone.
Personally, though, if I were blessed with an empty flight, I'd definitely post up in first class, unless weight-related safety rules mandated I sit in the back, plus I'd drink all the free soda, especially since there's no else to hold up the bathroom line. Bonus points if it were a Delta or American Airlines flight, where there'd be ample Biscoff cookies to feed me until we finally landed. Ah, what a dream.