With a wide range of stories that warmed our hearts, made us cry, and laugh out loud, all of you put forth a commendable effort by sharing your stories in our March Facebook Contest about the most interesting people you’ve met on an airplane. As our good friend and travel blogger Spencer Spellman once wrote “I will swear until the day I die that travel is less about the places and more about the conversations and experiences.” While we’d love to give you all a free ticket for your story, we can only have one winner. However we do have some gifts for those who came very close.
First Runner Up: Sabrina Tauato Crumback and her Heartwarming Tale of a Pastor and Navy Officer
I was flying from San Diego to Denver, sitting in the window seat, asleep for most of the flight. Next to me there was a man reading a book about the Bible and a man actually reading the Bible.Towards the end of the flight, I learned the first man was a 25 year active duty navy officer, going home for the weekend for the last time until he finally would retire in September 2011. The second man was a pastor for YoungLife. At the end of their conversation, the pastor turned to the officer & so genuinely said, “I know you probably get this a lot but I really mean it. Thank you for serving this country. Thank you for all of your hard work and sacrifice for 25 years. Thank your wife & family for me too. It must have been difficult to live so far away from them for so long. Thank you.” The officer, so humbly was just speechless. It’s not often people remember to thank the families of our soldiers for their sacrifice. It was such a simple yet touching & compelling moment to witness.
Second Runner Up: Jason McCauley’s tale of a retired pilot
The most interesting person I met on a flight was a elderly man who was a retired pilot. Although he and his lived in london all their adult life, they moved to Florida to retire because that’s where their grandson lived. Despite that, they took several trips a month to a cancer treatment center in Texas, where he could live, but didn’t so he could see his nephew, hence all the travel.
Winner: Philip Koch’s Tale of Enemies Becoming Lifelong Friends (133 “likes”)
I had known Jim for seven years. We went to the same middle school and high school together. We hated each other. Over those years we had multiple run ins over random nonsense: girls, sports, academics, friends, you name it. We hated each other.
Fast forward 8 years
I was flying to L.A. and noticed Jim was on the same flight. I remember…ed the bad blood so I acted like I didn’t see him. I boarded first and took a seat. Not a minute later my antagonist takes the adjacent seat.GREAT. When he discover me his eyes widened. I thought he was going to punch me…Nothing…After the plane takes off he turns to me and in a direct and absolutlely precise way he discloses all the things I did that he loathed. This went on for a good twenty minutes. After his rant there was a pause. He got teary eyed. I began to speak. I confessed all the bitterness he caused me…I got teary eyed. The rest of the plane ride we exchanged apologies and began a friendship that has lasted to this day.
Phillip will receive a domestic round trip ticket. Jason and Sabrina will receive a $50.00 flight credit for use on Cheapair.com Congratulations!
Thanks to everyone else who participated. For those of you wondering when we’ll be running our next contest for a domestic round trip ticket, stay connected to our Facebook page and we’ll let you know what’s coming next. We have some exciting things currently in the works for all you travel lovers out there.