I was reading this article and it was close to home for two reasons: 1) I went to Florida State and it talked about Willie Williams infamous recruiting visit, and 2) it talked about he was the only passenger on a commercial flight. The second point sounds like a stretch, but it can happen.
Years ago, I was flying from Phoenix to Denver. I got to the airport early and went to the United Red Carpet club as my flight was delayed. My flight was so delayed that the “next” flight was scheduled to leave before mine. Because I was in the Red Carpet club, I missed the announcement they were putting everyone on my flight on the next scheduled flight, which would actually leave before my originally scheduled flight. Since I missed the “next” flight, they put me back on my original flight, which actually left after the “next” flight. Got all that?
I got to the gate and looked curiously around as I saw one other gentleman sitting in the waiting area. The plane was there and they weren’t boarding yet, but the flight was leaving in 35 minutes. The started boarding, and the gate agent announced that we could board. The entire passenger manifest was me and one other guy. Needless to say, we got upgraded to first class.
The flight attendant pretty much blew off the pre-flight instructions – she came up to us and said “You both look like you’ve done this before and you’re buckled up – do I need to go over everything?” We said no, and she brought us drinks. She told us she’d be in the first row of coach if we needed anything. I’m sure someone at the FAA is probably having a coronary right now, but I know what to do if the fit hits the shan.
The pilots had some fun with it, too. A few minutes after we leveled off, the pilot came over the PA and said “Good afternoon, gentlemen – both of you! Sean, if you look outside your side of the plane, you’ll see the Grand Canyon. Jeff, on your side you’ll see [whatever it was to see].” We had a good laugh and the service was great the whole flight.
It was a surreal, interesting experience to be one of two passengers on a 737.