{June 10, 2013}   Twins

A passenger boards the aircraft and asks when will we be landing because he has a tight connection.  I reply that we should be on time. He starts explaining how he HAS TO make his connecting flight. Meanwhile,  as he is explaining his predicament,  he is holding up the boarding process; risking delaying the flight!

After we finish boarding,  I seek out this passenger and he tells me that his connecting flight leaves exactly five minutes after we land. I give him a ‘You gotta be kidding!’ look. He tells me that he is a police officer and he was supposed to be on the earlier flight that would have given him plenty of time to make his connecting flight. Normally he could check-in his service revolver at the check-in counter, but this time, they made him go to the special services counter which made him miss his flight.  I sympathized with him and told him I’d look into his next flight after take-off…perhaps it was delayed.

I asked the pilots about the guy’s  flight and then I went to inform the passenger that unfortunately, his flight was on time and he would misconnect.  Also, since it was eleven o’clock at night, there wouldn’t be any more flights tonight and he’d have to overnight.  He asked me what I would do in his shoes. He said that his wife had called and told him she was in labour with their twins and on the way to the hospital. He NEEDS to get home as soon as possible. I told him that that changed everything and I’d go speak to the pilots again. 

I called the guys up front and said,” Do you want to be a hero tonight?”. I quickly explained them the story and they told me that they would do everything in their power to try and hold the other flight to wait for that passenger.

I envisioned being in the newspaper in the feel good section. Perhaps the passenger would name his son Jett. Boy, do I LOVE a happy ending!

I have to admit that the thought did cross my mind that the passenger was full of shit and making up the ‘pregnant wife’ story to better his chance of making the flight. I mean, why did he wait until our third interaction to bring it up? But, I decided that I’d believe him for now.

I moved his seat to the front of the aircraft so he could be the first person to deplane…just in case it all worked out.

After we landed and while we were taxiing, the captain called me to tell me that unfortunately the other aircraft pushed from the gate five minutes early. Since, it was not us, but our feeder airline, there was nothing they could do. 

I reluctantly gave my passenger the bad news while trying to suss out if he was telling the truth or not. I asked him a few pertinent questions about his situation. He seemed to say the right things.  He said that he was going to rent a car, drive the four hours and hope for the best. At least he didn’t have to worry about getting a speeding ticket, chuckled Mr. Police Officer.

I’ll never know what happened or whether he was telling the truth. I’d like to think that he made it to the birthing room in the nick of time… 





{May 1, 2013}   Tight connection

Last week, I was working my last flight of the night.  It was a full flight,  of course.

One of the flight attendants noticed that the very first passenger to board,  put her two carry-on bags in the overhead bins at row one, in business class, and then continued walking towards the back of the aircraft. I rushed over to the passenger to confront her.

Excuse me. Are these your bags?

Yes they are.

You have to move them.

Well, I have a tight connection upon arrival.

I understand, but there is plenty of overhead space at row 15 where you are sitting.

Well, I am frequent flyer and I do this all the time.

But, surely you don’t expect the passengers at row one to stow their bags at row 15?

Well, I tried to get upgraded but it was full.

You NEED to move your bags. I will help you.

(We walk over to her row with both her bags. She continues arguing with me.)

I will show you my boarding card. I have a VERY TIGHT connection.

You only have 16 minutes to make your connection. That’s not even a legal connection. It’s impossible. You are never going to make it.

I do it all the time. Just watch me!

Well, if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to try to get this flight out on time, if that’s okay with you.

I stormed to the front of the aircraft in disbelief. It made no sense! If the passenger placed her bags above her seat vs at row one…how is that saving her time? She is not going to make her connection anyway!

We continued boarding our full flight and shut the aircraft door on time. As I closed the business class overhead bins, I noticed there were some empty spots in them after all, which is HIGHLY unusual. But, nevertheless, rules are rules and that passenger was not in the right to place her bags up there without asking first.

The captain made an announcement that we would be 10 minutes late pushing from the gate due to weather delays.

The other flight attendant spoke to this woman and the woman had explained that she had put her bags at row one because her plan was to be the first one off the aircraft. She she’d get up, rush to front and then get her bags. But if she had to retrieve her bags at her row, then she would NOT be the first passenger off. Also, she had been at meeting that ran late and she was suppose to have been  on an earlier flight, which would have giving her an hour sixteen to make her connection instead. The passenger also said to the flight attendant that sometimes the purser makes an announcement to let her off first due to her tight connection.

At least I understand the passenger’s reasoning, but it still does not excuse her selfish actions or her rudeness.

Anyways, after take-off, I decide to play nice and ask the pilots to inquire about her connecting flight to see whether it is on time or not. They inform me that it is. In fact, we will be landing five minutes after it leaves.

I go see the passenger and inform her that I checked with the pilots and unfortunately, we will be landing five minutes after her other flight takes off, so she will be misconnecting. But, she should speak to the passenger agent upon deplaning and they will be able to put her on the next flight that leaves an hour and a half later.

As we are deplaning, the passenger sees me and says: You people were NOT helpful AT ALL!

I answered with a jaw drop.

et cetera