Flying can be a pretty uneventful pastime. Bar the odd nap and a gin and tonic here and there, you really have to get creative when it comes to entertaining yourself at 30,000ft.
Luckily, finding entertainment wasn’t an issue for Tinger Hseih, a health-conscious foodie blogger at Dash of Ting. When she boarded her flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco, she was amused by the sight of a large, stuffed teddy bear taking up a whole seat on the plane. After she took a picture of the bear, she shared it on the Girls LOVE Travel Facebook group, and settled in for what she was expecting to be a pretty uneventful flight.
Except, the internet had other things in mind. And a whole load of questions. Namely: who the hell is the attractive guy smiling riiiight into the camera?!
(Go on. Admit it. You didn’t notice the bear either.)
Before long, fellow travellers on the Girls LOVE Travel group, which aims to support and encourage each other to explore the world safely, were in a tizz, wanting to know more about the tall, dark mysterious stranger in question. Why was he smiling at Tinger? Could this be the start of a mid-air romance? Would Tinger go over and talk to him? They needed answers!
The only problem was that Tinger was on a flight. Without any WiFi. For an hour. And that’s where the waiting commenced.
Over the next 60 minutes the group exploded with a flurry of excitement as they waited on news of this potential romance at 30,000ft. A sweepstake on what the guy’s name could possibly be was started. (‘Ted’, rather aptly, was the most popular.) Some members even started off the script for the inevitable accompanying Hollywood rom-com.
Oh, and in a similar vein to that Ridiculously Photogenic Guy photo, a lot of memes were made.
So How Did The Tale Of The Guy On The Plane End?
As it turns out, while the Girls LOVE Travel group were waiting nervously on the edge of their seats, Tinger had already struck up a conversation with the guy, called Jimmy, during the flight. They even took a selfie together!
She also got a selfie with that giant bear (remember that?). But no one really cared about it by that point.
Tinger told RiseFeed:
“Once I landed I saw that I had a few hundred likes and over 1000 comments with words of encouragement to talk to Jimmy. And I’m happy to respond that he was so sweet. We exchanged information, talked about our favourite restaurants in LA, and made plans to check out our favourite healthy eating spots for my blog.”
When Jimmy found out he was causing quite the stir amongst the travelling community, he was a massive sport about it. Far from being freaked out, he even recorded a message for the girls, calling himself ‘Jimmy from the plane’ (which then led to the hashtag, uh, #JimmyFromThePlane). In the video he even agreed to arrange a meet-up in LA with the Girls LOVE Travel group at some point in the future.
Speaking to RiseFeed about the first photo that sparked it all off, Jimmy said:
“The smile was definitely intentional, but I wasn’t quite sure why I had a camera pointed in my direction. I’m a happy guy, so I figured if I do make it into this picture, I’m going to put my best foot forward.”
“The Girls LOVE Travel reaction has been a bit overwhelming, but flattering more than anything else. Everything I’ve read has been incredibly positive. When this many women are willing to share such kind and heartfelt thoughts, it’s a beautiful example of how infectious good vibes can be.”
As for what the future holds for Tinger and #JimmyFromThePlane? Watch this space! Tinger told us:
“As much fun as we had chatting, San Francisco was my final stop and his connecting. So we parted ways for now and plan to meet back up when we are both in LA later this month.”
Let us know your thoughts on this #JimmyFromThePlane story over on our Facebook page, or in the comments below.