When the pilot on my MIA to ORD flight announced he’s never seen something like this in 27 years, I was prepared for something serious. Or comical. Wait, is that Korean Air nut lady on my flight? Nope. The cause of our 1hr+ delay was much more mundane.

Reading lights. A handful of passenger reading lights were not working. According to the pilot, the FAA would not allow the airline to fill seats that had malfunctioning lights. As it was supposed to be a completely full flight and I’m sure the airline was not keen on losing revenue, we were waylaid until every single light was in working order again.

Curious to find the reason reading lights must work properly to fill the seat, I searched the trusty internet for an answer. Alas, my search got me nowhere. I’ve flown on planes with busted tray tables, torn seatback pockets and seats stuck on recline but I guess those aren’t dealbreakers to the FAA.


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