The flight was OK. There was a glimmer of hope at the last second that I was going to be bumped into business class when the flight attendant asked me (as the plane was backing out of the gate):
Flight attendant: Sir...how tall are you?
TBF: Wha'? Who? Me? Um...six foot five.
Flight attendant: I'll see what I can do for you (winking!).
About a minute later, he motioned from several rows ahead for me to follow him, so I grabbed my bag from the overhead bin and followed him toward the front of the plane.
Imagine my disappointment when he pointed to an empty seat that was in the center section of the front row of coach. Technically, it was a better seat because there was no seat in front of it (just a wall), but the wall made it impossible for me to stretch my legs. With my bad knees, being able to stretch my legs is an absolute must!
I turned around and told the flight attendant that I didn't want to appear ungrateful, but I couldn't sit in the seat because of...leg room...bad knees, etc., etc. So, I left my carry-on in the overhead bin above that seat, and I went back to my original seat (which I had picked myself on the BA website the day before) right after the seatbelt light went off after taking off.
That's when I met "Fillis" (named misspelled deliberately)...
Don't get me wrong. She was a very, VERY nice lady. She was pleasant, she didn't take up a lot of room, she didn't smell, but...MAN...COULD SHE TALK!!! NON-STOP!!! FOR HOURS!!!
I couldn't stop her...
I had on Bose noise-reduction headphones, and I'd be listening to my iPod when I'd suddenly notice that she was talking to me. I'd take off my headphones and point out to her that I couldn't hear her because of the headphones, and she said...
"That's OK. When you notice that I'm talking to you...just take off your headphones."
Why me....WHY ME????
Fillis was on her way to Tanzania with her church to help the poor...she had just been in the Galapagos islands with her husband who doesn't have diabetes but has a condition where sores don't heal quickly (sounds like diabetes to me!)...she lives in Oklahoma City...on...and on...AND ON!!! The only way to stop her was to eventually tell her that I was going to put my headphones back on...AND GO TO SLEEP.
I managed to sleep for two or three hours until breakfast was served, and then she began talking to me all over again. About thirty minutes before landing, I told her that I needed to get up to go to the bathroom. I (without her noticing) grabbed my magazines and Ziploc bag of hand cream and other liquids, went to the bathroom, and then I proceeded to walk through the back galley...to the other side of the plane...TO THE SEAT IN THE FRONT ROW OF COACH THAT WAS STILL VACANT.
That was the end of my acquaintance with Fillis. She's probably still wondering what happened to me.
I got off the plane quickly, went to the BA desk to get a new boarding pass because the delay in Chicago had caused me to miss my connection to Basel, and then proceeded to the Holideck lounge (I had very slyly found out from Fillis that she had no lounge privileges!) where I sat for nearly six hours...enjoying not having anybody talking to me.
Oh...by the way...
I sat next to Bryan Adams when I was in the lounge, and I was so worn out by Fillis that I didn't even bother to join the couple who were enjoying their "brush with fame" by talking his ears off a la Fillis. I have to say that Bryan Adams seemed like a really nice, genuine guy. He didn't seem to mind the intrusive British couple at all, and I overheard him tell them that although he is Canadian, he now lives in England.
Ahhhhh...that's why you now have...A FAUX BRITISH ACCENT! Yes, really a nice guy, but a British accent??? WHAT THE HELL???
I wanted to ask him if he had really had an affair with Princess Di, but...I didn't want to turn into the male Fillis. Oh well...maybe some other time.
I finally made it to Basel at 5:30 p.m. instead of 11:15 a.m. Yes, I had finally made it to Basel, but...my bag didn't.
It's now nearly five days since I arrived in Basel. I still don't have my bag.