Americana: Kindergarten in the Sky

When Richard Lent, a tax lawyer, boarded an 8 a.m. Eastern Air Lines shuttle in Washington bound for New York City last week, he took a seat in the rear section of the plane and, mindful of his rights, demanded that his area on the filled aircraft be designated a nonsmoking section. The flight attendants obliged, but some passengers apparently did not hear the ensuing announcement. When a few lit up, Lent lashed out. The fuming smokers decided they would rather fight than switch. Then, according to one flight attendant, "The screaming, yelling and hollering, shoving and insults really started."

Captain Larry...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!