flightmum











{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. 

 

 

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{April 7, 2013}   Fight Club

What happens at flight club, stays at flight club. 

I worked a turn around flight to the Dominican Republic the other day and boy, was that one a doozy!

I don’t want to sound like a snob, but I will anyway.  The cheap all-inclusive price tag attracts the low class passengers.  (i.e. trailer park) 

Wow! So much happened on that flight, I don’t even know where to begin. 

During boarding,  we packed in over 130 passengers into their sardine-like seats. There wasn’t an empty seat to be had. There was a mix of people: couples,  families,  locals and also a wedding party consisting of around 30 or so guests.

After take-off, we went through the aisle with food and drinks.  As expected,  the service took longer than usual as people were drinking heavily. About half way through the cabin, we experienced some minor turbulence. A woman grabbed me and asked me what’s going on. I explained that it was simply normal bumps and it was nothing to worry about. She looked at me suspiciously and said: You know something! And you are not telling me. What do you know? 

I tried to assure her that she was safe but I don’t think she was buying it. We managed to finish the service before the really bad turbulence started and the pilots asked the flight attendants to sit down.  As I headed to my jumpseat,  I saw a look of terror on that poor woman’s face.  Later, another passenger offered her a prescription pill (perhaps Valium), and she was quite alright for the rest of the flight. Passengers were requesting more drinks as I was bouncing around the cabin heading towards the safety of my seat. I told them all that I’d be back. 

After about 20 minutes, the turbulence subsided and off I went, trying to find my passengers with their drink orders. Of course, on these  kind of flights,  it’s impossible to venture into the cabin without getting even more drink orders. So, there I was racing around the aircraft like a chicken with its head cut off. A passenger asked me for two cups filled with ice, which always makes me suspicious of them. Are they drinking their own alcohol?

I casualty mentioned that it is against aviation law to drink your own alcohol onboard and he could get arrested upon arrival. I then asked him if he still wanted two glasses of ice. He replied with a simple, “No”.

As I was mixing yet another Caesar, a passenger in the first row shouted to me to come. “What seems to be the problem?” I inquired. The passengers that summoned my attention, were a couple sitting in the window and middle seats who were unlike any of the other peeps onboard. They were well dressed and she was wearing pearls, for goodness sake! The woman gestured to the man sitting in the aisle seat and said, “That man is being extremely rude!”. Rude man answered,”I simply asked them to close the window shade as the sun is shining right in my eyes.” It went on and on about the way it was asked and why didn’t you, rude man,switch seats with your wife, etc, with me trying to play mediator. I suggested the window passenger close the shade and use the reading light instead. He replied with, “I need natural light to read by” Obviously, I wasn’t going to get a solution satisfactory to both parties, and I couldn’t exactly give them a time out, although I was really tempted! I used my best patient mother voice and said,” I have no empty seats to move you. We have two hours left in the flight to get along. Do you think we can all just get along for two more hours?” They nodded slowly like little kids that just got in trouble. Disaster averted…

I had to make announcements asking passengers to please keep the aisles free and refrain from asking for drinks as we would be out in the cabin for a second service. Otherwise, it would have been never ending.

As promised, we were out once again to offer drinks and food. But nobody was interested in food this time. We had to hussle because we had less than an hour left in the flight. One of the flight attendants came upon two men sitting one row apart, ready to duke it out. Apparently, the guy sitting in the seat in front of the other guy was by then sick of the BIG guy in back of him knocking into his seat the whole time. There was a lot of,”What’s your problem?”. Followed by the BIG guy replying with, “I have my baby on my lap. What’s wrong with YOU?” Of course, this argument was fueled by many a drinks consumed. The flight attendant was pretty sure fists were about to fly. She switched the seats of the passenger who had been drinking his own alcohol with the ‘What’s your problem’ passenger. Once again, everyone scathed unharmed.

Nobody was more happy to land then the flight attendants even though we were not laying over. Back in the day, passengers used to clap when we landed. You never see that anymore except Clap Clap. They clapped. Figures.

Upon deplaning, my snooty couple were still bickering with the sun in eyes passenger. “Excuse me! Can you move? I am TRYING to get my bag!”

Finally, everyone was off except the ‘What’s your problem?’ passenger and the couple with the baby. It looked like he was waiting for them to continue where it had left off. The flight attendant and I looked at each other and sprung into action. “Where are your carry-on bags, sir?” We got them for him and ushered him off the plane.

I promised the crew, that the next flight wouldn’t be as challenging as the last, especially since we had ran out of beer and vodka. Passengers would be tired from a weeks worth of drinking and sun worshipping.

Halfway through, the first service for these new passengers, I heard a woman shout to the woman right in front of her,”Excuse me. Could you NOT recline your seat?!” Oh oh, I thought. Here we go again! But, the other woman replied softly,” I have the right to recline my seat”, but then put her seat back to the normal upright position. Ah, no drunken testosterone to deal with. Phew!



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