{March 15, 2013}   Pen for your thoughts?

What is it with passengers who steal my pens? I mean really!

People are always asking to borrow my pens on flights,  especially routes where we have to hand out custom and declaration cards.

My airline does not provide me with pens to hand out to my passengers. I lend out the pens that I, ahem, borrowed from the hotels I stay at. During my layovers, I take my favourites. It’s the pens with the blue ink. Always the ones with the blue ink.

Whenever passengers ask to borrow some ink, I always reach into the inside pocket of my blazer and hand it to them. I look them straight in the eyes and say, “Could you please return it when you are done?”. They reply with a, “Yes, of course”. But, generally, they are liars.

Most of the time,  unless I chase them down and directly ask for MY pen back,  I can kiss my pen goodbye forever. Sometimes,  I get busy and I forget to ask.

I’ve walked by people using my pen and noticed them using it to scratch the inside of their ear or they have the pen in their mouths and are nibbling on it.

Other times, when I remember to ask for them for my pen, they go into their purse to retrieve it for me. Why is it in their purse if they were planning on returning it straight away? Hmm.

When I am really lucky, I ask them for my writing utensil and they tell me that  they already returned it…because all us flight attendants look the same. Right?

But, the real question is, why aren’t people travelling with a pen in their carry-on baggage when they know that they will have to fill out a form on the aircraft. 




{February 15, 2013}   Squirrel Airlines

Flight attendants are hoarders on the aircraft. We are used to the times when we were missing something semi important at 25,000 feet that we needed for our passengers.  Of course, we can’t  just duck into the local 7-11 for the missing item and we don’t like disappointing our passengers.  We are  people pleasers. We like to make them happy. 

So, at the end of the flight, if there are extra napkin/swizel sticks/ a corkscrew/mixed nuts/cute guy etc, we will find a spot to stow it for the next crew to use.  We are, like little squirrels, collecting items for the winter’s hibernation.  There are many cubby holes and hiding spots where we can stow our treasures. We even collect items in our personal suitcases, just in case we run out of decaf coffee on the plane.

We especially love to collect People magazine and other gossip magazines. When you deplane, we sniff it out and raid the seat pockets for our next reading pleasure. This find, however, is rarely shared with the passenger.  But, it gets passed from flight attendant to flight attendant until eventually all is left are ripped pages and a half finished crossword.  But, at least we are up  to date on our Hollywood  news.

Sometimes, when we board our aircraft,  we search the cubbies and find the usual bottles of water and tea bags neatly placed. Other times, it looks like a bad episode of Hoarders or perhaps the flight attendant thought we would crash land on a deserted island and would have to survive for an indefinite amount of time with the collected supplies. And other times, there is a nice surprise waiting for us, like a granola bar from the previous crew snacks that they chose not to eat. Hooray!

Once, I went to distribute custom cards to the passengers.  To my horror, the cards were missing. Passengers don’t like that! I instructed the flight attendants to scour the airplane and look for custom cards because that is something we squirrel away too. We checked every cubby, closet, overhead bins and seat pocket. There was not one custom card to be had. Shocking, I know! Even the flight attendants didn’t have any in their bags. I had to make an announcement to the passengers that we would not be distributing custom cards as they were not boarded.

However, I had a nagging feeling that I HAD seen them at the beginning of the flight but I had searched EVERYWHERE to no avail. Perhaps I had seen them on my LAST flight.  

After everyone had deplaned, I was tidying up and found the custom cards! Apparently I had removed them from the plane’s satchel and placed them temporarily on 1D seat. When passengers came on board, the passenger at 1F had thrown her pillow and blanket on 1D seat, hence covering the cards effectively for 5 hours. Seat 1D remained empty.  I felt bad. Oops….I was a bad squirrel that day.


et cetera