The wife and I are on our way to the Boarding Area Convention, known as BACON.  Been looking forward to this for awhile, especially because this will be the first opportunity to meet my co-blogger, Andy, in person!  Yep, a year together and it has all been virtual until now.  We’re going BWI-LAX-LAS to add a few more miles in there.  Vegas, baby, Vegas!

Anyway, back to the story.  Yesterday, we had been offered to volunteer to take a later flight in exchange for $200 flight credit.  We passed, but I thought that I would check again just to see if the offer had increased and, more importantly, how we could still get to Vegas on time.  The poor Gate Agent at BWI had no help and was trying to work everything by herself.  She politely asked me to wait while she made a call.  I heard her say, “I’ve got a prisoner in 38E, but don’t show the escorts”.  OK, maybe I shouldn’t eavesdrop, but this was really interesting!  I guess she go the answer she wanted and then dealt with me.  No love for the bump, so I sat back down.

It wasn’t long before I saw a very clean cut guy walking behind a guy who I wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley and point for him to sit in a certain seat.  The guy then went to stand behind him.  No visible cuffs, but his hands were together and covered by a jacket, so pretty obvious if you were looking for the bad guy.  I was really surprised as I had never noticed a prisoner being escorted on a plane before, but maybe it happens all the time!

They boarded after the people with disabilities and I got a glimpse of the handcuffs and they were pretty substantial!  Like “bike chain” substantial.  I had looked at the seating chart on the display and noticed that seat 38E was the last row and right in front of the lavatory.  At least the Government was kind enough to give him the worst seat on the plane.

Later in the flight, I had to go to the latrine and passed by the happy couple.  He was just babbling like a homeless guy in the street corner.  Mostly reciting the bible or his version of it.  I felt sorry for the passengers stuck right in front of him if he was doing that all flight!  I stopped on the way back from the lav and politely said to the Marshall, “thanks for your service”.  He was a bit taken aback, undoubtedly because I can’t imagine that he hears “thanks” very much in his line of work.  Sounds like a good job to get miles and status, trouble is you couldn’t use them when flying for work.  Well, maybe if you wanted to upgrade your prisoner as your companion?

Anyone else every have an experience like this?  More to follow from Vegas!

Posted by glenn | 3 Comments

3 responses to “Are You Flying on “Con Air”?”

  1. Brad says:

    Came across this flying out of Okinawa to Tokyo and connecting back to the US. 4 or 5 young American men in handcuffs walking in a line with toward the boarding area with several escorts. No coats hiding their cuffs. They boarded before everyone else and went to the back of the plane. I assume they had been stationed at one of the local military bases and run into trouble and were being sent back stateside.

  2. Atif says:

    Many years ago I was on a NWA CRJ-200 from a small upstate NY airport to DTW. I was first on board and in the first row so I got to watch everyone board.

    During boarding we had a prisoner (much as you described) and then a sick child with an IV, and then a NUN, a freaking NUN and she was carrying a guitar case!

    For a second I really thought I was in one of those airplane disaster movies!

  3. DaninMCI says:

    I have this phobia about flying with sports teams in the Winter and it would bother me a little to see this on my flight.

    I think the movie Black Rain with Michael Douglas has a scene about escorting a prisoner on a commercial flight.

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