United has this shitty system on a bunch of their flights where the planes are divided into “Economy” and “Economy Plus”. The latter has slightly more legroom and are in the front half of the plane and the former are packed in like sardines in the back half. And even though a bunch of “plus” seats are vacant at takeoff, they won’t let you switch to them. I was in one of the last boarding groups for my flight yesterday to San Francisco from LA, sandwiching myself in the middle seat between a very portly guy to my right and a nervous (but thankfully thin) one to my left. Just before they closed up the plane a couple of minutes later, a guy starts leading a tall blind man down the aisle towards us and I realize that this guy looks a LOT like Stevie Wonder. And everyone on the plane is staring, and a couple of people say things to him as he comes down the aisle and it strikes me that this IS him! (And I verified this morning on twitter that he was indeed in San Francisco last night.) He and his two companions pass by me to to take their seats two rows behind mine in the cramped section. People keep turning around from in front of me to look and whisper to each other.
At this point I am wondering why Stevie Wonder is sitting in the shitty section of this shitty United flight. Why would a world renowned superstar travel in this way? I come up with the following possibilities:
1. He gets a kick out of traveling with the common people from time to time and hearing their gasps when they see him.
2. This was a very last minute trip, and they just needed the very next flight to SF, whatever that was.
3. He is in serious financial trouble (so much so that, even though he is a very big man and would clearly benefit, he can’t afford the $15 upgrade to “Economy Plus”?)
Anyone else have a theory?