Airline Passengers Share Drop-Down Tray without Consulting Lawyers

Salt Lake City, UT (GlossyNews) — Delta Airline passengers Cynthia Grey of seat 7D and Ed Towson of seat 7F each laid joint tenancy claims to the drop-down tray table in the unoccupied center seat between them upon take-off from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

The non-verbal, unwritten agreement was established hastily and without negotiation, just seconds prior to the delivery of Grey’s orange juice and honey roasted peanuts and Towson’s Pepsi and pair of Jim Beam mini bottles. Neither party opted to consult with legal counsel.

Each contract participant’s refreshment was to be provided on their own allocated 16.625 by 9.625 inch square horizontal surface but the flight attendant’s planned service for the two passengers was impeded by her laptop and his Super Sudoku book.

Towson’s quick action to unclasp and lower the unused center seat’s tray table drew implicit approval from Grey as she immediately secured half of the much needed surface space.  Her requisition of the left side of the tray table was met without objection from Towson.

The two-hour agreement was not without some contentious moments however.  Just minutes after the seat-belt sign turned off, Grey got up and went to the restroom.  It was at that moment that Towson attempted to obtain 10% more space upon her departure.  His assumption was that by her vacating the area, it was an act of acquiescence by Grey of any property claims.

An immediate challenge was levied by Grey upon her return and a new agreement was reached after fifteen minutes of non-verbal negotiations.  Tactical napkin placement and subtle maneuvering of their Biscoff cookies once again resulted in a relatively equal, although rather asymmetric, sharing of the tray.

Jewels Beck, a lawyer with the National Foundation to Preserve Litigation told Glossy News that this kind of informal contract, though rare, was a dangerous precedent for all parties.

“This kind of action, where one performs complex legal bargaining without the proper training and experience, can cause long term problems for society. This can lead to such things as people making major purchases such as bicycles and Bowflex machines off the internet without any legal advice or without the benefit of extensive legal research and documentation. What kind of society would we have if we just conducted all of our business with just a handshake? THe law is the fabric that binds American society, just as you can’t hang someone without a rope and a noose.”

When the plane’s final descent into Denver was announced, the joint-use arrangement was dissolved just as effortlessly as it was created.  Without so much as a spoken word, Grey and Towson each fulfilled their final obligation to the initial agreement, applying an equal and simultaneous force to the bottom of the tray and returning it to its full upright and locked position.

Author: J. Goodbody