The following transpired on a flight from Dallas to San Francisco recently:
- Me (ME), a cash-poor flier stuck in seat 24A on an Airbus A320 (last row corner, no recline)
- Flight Attendant (FA), a middle-aged lady obliged to keep us safe, and serve us if safety permits
- John Doe (JD), a cash-rich infrequent flier in seat 24C
I rarely drink on a flight, and as a former very frequent flier, I have amassed quite a collection of drink coupons. Each coupon is good for one alcoholic beverage - normally sold for $5 in cash. Some flights have snack boxes available, also for $5 in cash, and there are no coupons that specifically pertain to snack boxes.
FA: Would you like to purchase a snack box today?
ME: Yes please. Is there any chance I could use this drink coupon that I have, which is worth the same amount, to buy the snack box?
FA: Sorry, those can only be used for beverages. I need cash for the snack box.
ME: Fair enough. The gentlemen in 23C in front of me just gave you $5 cash for a beverage. Could I buy him his drink with my coupon, and then use his cash for my snack box?
FA: No, I need cash for the snack box, I can't accept the coupon.
JD: (chuckles to self)
ME: Ah. umm, the problem is I don't have any cash. It seems logical that I could effectively swap my coupon for somebody's cash.
FA: Sure, if you can find someone who is willing to do that, then I'm okay with it.
ME: Aha. Okay.
FA: Well, I need cash for the snack box, not the coupon.
FA: That's great. Which snack box did you say you wanted again?