Do flights ever leave at a normal time? 6am from Vegas to Denver certainly isn't one of them so I thought nothing of it when the guy occupying the window seat on my row of three was already sound asleep (head on the tray table style) when I took my place next to the aisle.
Soon enough the cabin crews final check confirmed one of life's little wins for me. The middle seat was left empty - jackpot, extra sprawling space.
Back to the sleeping friend, he was committing an airline crime - tray table down during take off - bang out of order. Unresponsive to verbal requests it took a fairly forceful shake from the air hostess to rouse him. At this point alarm bells started ringing.
Bloodshot, vacant eyes. No luggage. Shirt, trousers and smart shoes. Las Vegas post Saturday night. We had here a young man who was flying straight home to avoid the hotel costs.
Thirty minutes later he is sat eyes closed in his inebriated state rolling with the turbulence that we encounter as we fly over the Rockies. He lets out a few small warning groans before he begins to casually vomit on himself. The sick dribbling out of his mouth wherever his head happens to be lolling at each particular moment.
I watch for a while smiling at his demise and the empty seat between us before letting the air hostess know that there was a situation and that I was moving seats.
Did he make it home? I didn't stick around to find out but I made a mental to always always go for the hotel option.