flightmum











I had a very short domestic layover last week. We are talking  just under eleven hours of crew rest. We landed at 7 pm, and we were on duty at 6 am the next morning. Essentially,  a ‘sleeping’ layover.

The guy flight attendant I was working with asked myself and the other flight attendant what we were going to do on our layover. We just looked at him and simultaneously replied: Sleep.

He mentioned that he was going to go to the gym and then meet up with a friend afterwards for a night on the town. We thought he was a little bit crazy to be so ambitious on such a short layover,  but whatever.  His choice.

When we got to the hotel, I reminded him that the taxi was to pick us up at the hotel at 5:45 am and to make sure he was there on time. Also, I half joked that I was going to give him a breathalyzer test the next morning. At my airline, we have a 12 hour rule called ‘bottle to throttle’,  which means that we can’t drink alcohol twelve hours prior to departure.

The next morning,  I head downstairs to the hotel lobby to meet up with the pilots and flight attendants so that we can get shuttled  to the airport together.  The male flight attendant was a no show. I was a few minutes early so I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt that he was on his way downstairs.  Meanwhile,  the rest of the crew went to wait in the airport van.

Finally,  I called his room and he answered the phone with a sleepy ‘hello?’ 

I said, ” What are you doing?  It’s pick up time right now. How long until you can be downstairs?”

Party boy answered, “Ten minutes”

I replied,  ” No, two minutes”

He said,” I need ten”

I told him that we can’t wait for him and he will have to find his own way to the airport. I inquired about a cab and it was going to cost around thirty dollars.  He said that he would meet me at the airport. 

Meanwhile,  one of the hotel guests overheard my conversation and mentioned he was heading to the airport and would be happy to give a lift to the flight attendant. 

And he did.

On the way to the airport,  I second guessed my decision to leave him behind. But, I felt that he was being irresponsible by not being well rested for the flight and I needed to teach him a lesson. 

Tardy flight attendant showed up, didn’t apologize,  and we still managed to leave on time.

Technically,  the Captain could have booted this young man off the flight stating that he wasn’t fit to fly. The Captain has the final say on all matters.

Luckily for him, this guy got off way too easy. It could have ended very differently.  In the end,  I don’t think he really learnt any lessons. 

I found out that he only got back to the hotel at 1:30 am.  He tried to convince me that he was awake when I called that morning, but lost track of time. Ya, right.

Reality is that he dragged his sorry ass out of bed, chugged a Red Bull, and somehow made it to the flight on time.

I don’t think he will be in the airline industry for much longer.

 

 

 

 

 



{August 8, 2013}   Wake up Sleepy Head

Certain destinations I fly to are known for their ‘drinkers’. They drink a lot of booze but it’s fine because they can hold their liquor.  So, the flight proceeds without any incidents.  Sometimes we run out of their preferred drink.  But, no worries! These passengers are very accommodating.  They just drink something else. 

I worked one of those boozy flights recently and didn’t think anything about one of my business class passengers downing his gin and tonics. I love gin and tonics too! Cheers!

The passenger was chatting me up, mentioning that he is buddies with our CEO ( ya, right! ) and that he was going to send him an email the next day about how great of a flight attendant I am (Thank you but was that you or the gin and tonic talking?)

After the fourth drink, he assured me that he was not driving when we landed.  And, again after the sixth drink, he told me he was taking a cab upon arrival.  He spoke in a clear and coherent manner.  He wasn’t slurring his words or getting loud and obnoxious.  He seemed fine. 

Finally,  towards the end of this four hour flight,  he asked me for his seventh and final drink.  I obliged. Shortly after,  he was in his seat,  sleeping like a baby. 

When it was time to prepare the cabin for landing,  I noticed that his seat was still reclined. So, I pressed the recessed button and pulled his seat all the way upright.  Usually this action wakes  up the passenger, but not Mr. Gin and Tonic.

It was around 10 PM when we landed.  I made my boring announcements over the p.a. that nobody listens to, especially Mr. G & T. 

He was sitting in the second row of the airplane.  All the passengers were deplaning and staring at his sleeping figure as they passed him by. Some passengers laughed and others gave him a funny look.

Finally,  it was just the crew and Mr. Sleeping Beauty left on the plane. After a long day, we were anxious to get home.  He, apparently,  was not.

I shook his shoulder more forcefully and talked to him in a louder voice. No dice.  The Captain also tried to wake him up. Nope. Nothing.  Nada. What were we going to do? I saw his chest rising up and down.  He was breathing,  so that was good.

Finally,  I called our operations and explained the situation.  They suggested pouring water on him and then reneged.  Perhaps they were thinking ‘law suit’.

After a few minutes later, the passenger miraculously woke up. He got his belongings and staggered very unsteadily up the bridgeway. He kept on banging into the wall.  I don’t know who got more bruises : him or the wall.

What Mr Business Class passenger did not factor in is that an alcoholic beverage in the air affects us differently than on the ground.  Inflight, your tolerance is lowered due to being in a pressurized environment and less oxygen flow.  One drink in the air affects you like 3 on the ground. Yikes! That’s some serious drinking.!

Poor Chap! I guess he got home okay because I did not hear anything more about this situation from my airline. 

 

 



{June 6, 2013}   THE PHONE CALL

Last week,  I was at home, minding my own business and trying to keep busy (yes, it is extremely  difficult  to keep busy with three young  kids!). 

I was on the phone with my bank when lo and behold,  my other line rang. I asked the nice banking woman to hold on a minute while I answered call waiting:

Hello?

Hi. This is your son’s teacher.  Do you have a minute?

Yes, hang on. I’ll just get off the other line.

I swiftly hung up on the banking person. My mind was racing with different scenarios of why my younger son’s teacher was calling me during the school day.  What did he do this time? I started sweating and hyperventilating a little.  I was forming apologies in my head to extend to the teacher or the latest victim. I was crafting firm punishments to force upon my son as soon as he walked through the front door. I imagined saying in a Ricky Ricardo voice: Lucy, you have some ‘splainin to do.

I took a few deep breathes and a couple of swigs of booze (conveniently kept close for JUST these occasions) and used up all my courage to breathe:

Hello? I’m back.

Yes. I am just calling about something that happened today at school.  I tested all the children’s reading levels today and your son scored a 28 out of 30. Even though he is in grade two, his reading level is two thirds through grade three.

Wow! That was not the phone call I expected to get.

Well, I thought it would be nice to get a feel good phone call for a change.

Thanks!  I really appreciate it!

Both your son’s are great readers. You are very lucky that they enjoy reading. In fact,  I think your middle son might even be a higher achiever reader than your oldest son was at the same age.

Thank you but I think I had something to do with their love of reading!

Oh yes. Of course.

Thanks for the phone call.  Bye.

And that was that. I worried for nothing. I drank in the middle of the day (gasp. BEFORE noon) and all by my lonesome for no good or valid reason. Something to think about, indeed.

When my son came home from school, I gave him a great big hug and told him how proud I was of him.

When my husband got home, I told him that our son got a call from his teacher today.

Instantly, he started sweating and shaking with anticipation of the news from today’s PHONE CALL.

I silently chuckled and sat back to enjoy the show.



et cetera