Monday, April 16, 2012

Fly The Friendly Skies!

Let me be the first to say that I love flying. I love the time to read, watch movies, listen to music and catch up on the all important sleep. BUT… let me also be the first to say that I love – and I mean love talking to people.

Now of course some of you reading this are thinking – “Please don’t talk to me.” But, then again you must be a person who doesn’t “need” anyone! I am the opposite. I “need” everyone. I believe strongly in serendipity or the random moments of connection.

Of course, you are a weary traveler – you made it through security without the “friendly pat down” or 'TSA Massage' as I call it, you got a bite before the flight, bought the most recent magazines and are all settled in. And then you meet Cindy!

At least introduce yourself to your seat companion – “Hi my name is Cindy, looks like you have some great magazines for the flight.” You may be thinking – no way, but I challenge your thinking. You are going to be sitting next to this person for a few hours and in my case sleeping next to this person on long haul flights. I think it is only polite to say hello.
I look for some common interests. Recently on a flight back from the Middle East I sat next to a gentleman who was carrying a guitar. Of course I mentioned the guitar and asked what kind of music he played and where he was playing on this trip. He said we are with a band that plays Persian music and I said, oh I used to go to a Persian restaurant in Irvine and I loved their music. This created a great conversation that lead to many more interests and now a new customer for our restaurant.

Of course, there is always time to read your book, watch the movie and move into your “zen zone.” But I will argue with anyone that doesn’t want to talk to people on planes. Likeminded people find common interests and they find new opportunities. Unless you love pounding the pavement for new contacts and new business I would suggest saying hello to your seat mate on your next flight.

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