Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cheap Trick: Borrowing Plane Magazines

Long gone are the days flying was a carefree and easy experience. Added fees, few blankets, and limited free treats await those who are too frugal for first class. Flying may no longer be much fun, but one thing I'm pleased to know hasn't gone the way of ample overhead space is the magazine sharing.

Unlike on trains, in restaurants, parks, and nearly everywhere else, it's actually a polite thing to leave one's magazine behind when she disembarks from a plane. They are usually collected and left in a plastic box on the wall for the next passengers, who can borrow them for their trip.

I had nearly forgotten about these little magazine boxes until a long line for the restroom on my last flight allowed me ample time to observe the plane. As I looked about, I was excited to re-discover the box with free reading material located on a back wall of the plane. When I was ready to return to my seat, I took a look at the options, and found a couple fun choices.

Just as useful as the "shared" umbrella one finds in a cab on a rainy day only to later forget and leave behind in another cab, the magazines are a moment of community and kindness during the otherwise annoying task of flying to and from one's destination. It's a simple but undeniable joy to find something additional to read when one is bored with everything she brought. I know I was happy someone had -- purposely or not -- left a few magazines behind for me to enjoy.

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"There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- God damn it, you've got to be kind."
-Kurt Vonnegut