When Steve Cullum was unable to wake or move the passenger seated next to him on his one-hour flight earlier this month from Baltimore to Manchester he did the next-best thing, he filmed her sleeping and posted it on YouTube.
“I thought it was humorous to begin with,” said Cullum, 30, a youth minister who lives with his wife, Yvette, in Salem, New Hampshire. “I just thought she must be tired.”
“Eventually she became dead weight on my arm and I tried shaking her, startling her, moving her around and nothing was working,” he said.
The woman, whom Cullum did not know and did not speak to on the plane, did eventually shift positions, but only to move her head from resting on Cullum to resting on their third row mate in the aisle seat.
“He just sat there, actually,” Cullum said of the reaction, or lack thereof, from the woman’s new human pillow. “Eventually he turned to me and said something like, ‘Well, I guess she was really tired’,” and we just kind of laughed it off.”
Making matters worse, the passengers had been told at the beginning of the flight that, due to turbulence, the flight attendants would be seated the whole flight and should only be paged for medical emergencies.
Asked if Cullum ever considered classifying the woman’s evident lethargy as a medical emergency, he replied, “no.”
“I’ve always been able to look at the humor of the situation and I realized there was no need to make a scene over it,” Cullum said. “I would just deal with it and go on.”
When their flight landed in Manchester the woman, according to Cullum, popped up in her seat and exited the plane without uttering a word to her seatmates upon whom she’d just enjoyed a one-hour nap.
“I don’t know if she was embarrassed or just wanted to get off the plane,” Cullum said.