Monday, August 23, 2010

another episode of "youre the reason i drink"

Today I got to write up a disruptive guest and have a “CRO” or complaint resolution officer meet said guest when we arrived at our destination. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning.

It is a beautiful east coast morning as my crew and I begin our one and only flight back to our base on the west coast. We get to the plane, find that its having an entertainment/video issue and send for maintenance. Maintenance guys shows up, we’ll call him super M (m=maintenance) and tinkers for awhile. Boarding commences while super M is still tinkering around so he gets to witness the boarding process. A humongous man (400+ lbs.) is wheeled down the jet bridge by 3, yes, t-h-r-e-e wheelchair assistants and is struggling at the aircraft door to get up from a seated position, through the door, and to his seat. The wheel chair assistants are not allowed to step on board the aircraft which leaves my two coworkers who were stationed in the fwd part of the aircraft to help this man and his luggage to his seat. Now my 2 coworkers are very lovely, petite, pinays and they are staring in astonishment at this man who is waving frantically at them to pull on his arms. He demands that a man help him but having an all female crew, with our pilots busy doing safety calibrations which cannot be interrupted, is out of luck. He is waving to first class guests demanding that they help him out of his wheel chair and into the plane. They just stare. Finally my pinays get him standing and he wriggles his way to one of the first rows in economy, leaving some of his luggage and a crock pot, yes, a crock pot on a first class guest’s chair. My lead pinay tells him that he cannot leave his baggage on a first class seat and must stow it in an over head bin near his row. Also I don’t know this yet, but he boards with 8 bags!!!! Mr. 400, that’s what we’ll call him, throws a fit, delays boarding to retrieve his crock pot and spouts on about how he flies us every week and own a bazillion travel agencies and he can do whatever he want and that crock pot is soooo important to him. Pinay number 2 is trying to help him get settled, put things away, get a seatbelt extension and also help other guests in the front of the aircraft. Super M sees the guys and warns us that he has seen this guy every other week on another carrier, that they had such problems with him that he is not allowed to fly with them anymore. 86’d from an entire airline, can you imagine?! He tells us be careful. After that, at some point during boarding the gate agent supervisor talks to Mr. 400 about his inappropriate behavior to the gate agents and tells him to treat the crew with respect. This is the first that we, the inflight crew, hear of Mr. 400’s history of in appropriate and disrespectful behavior towards airline staff and we know that we are in for it on THIS flight.

Pre departure, we have not even closed the doors yet and he is demanding that lead pinay give him two diet cokes, he’s diabetic he says, which I don’t doubt. Unfortunately for him we are not allowed to open our carts until we’re are in the air. He then asks pinay 2 for two cups of hot water which she gives him but probably should not have. Pinay 2 walks to the back of the plane and lead pinay spots Mr. 400 mixing butter into one of his cups and take a sip! Eww. The doors close and we do our demo, as I’m doing a walkthrough I notice that he has his tray table down with his cups of butter and now oatmeal mix sitting on, I ask him to put it away, he says ok and I keep walking. Half a second later I get called up to the front, by lead pinay, she asked him to comply with the tray table and throwing away the cups we’ve given him and he is ignoring her. We are taxiing out and near our takeoff time. I meet her at his seat and he is chatting away on his cell with this oatmeal still out tray table down. “Sir,” I say interrupting him, “ we have waited as long as we can. I really do need your tray table up, your cell turned off and those cups have to be thrown away”. He is barely listening to me. So I tap him on the shoulder . he looks up at me looking down on him with a not so please frowny face and tells me that he’s putting his cell away. he asks me for SALT! I tell him no, we are about to take off and that we are not allowed to have any of our service items floating about the cabin for take off, I need to throw his cups out, gesturing to his oatmeal. I get the schpeal about diabetic blah blah blah and tell him again that he can eat it right now but I am taking those cups. He whips out a bow!?!l? From where? His ass, I don’t know and transfers the contents to it and gives me the cup. “the tray table needs to be up.” I tell him without patience. He complys and I go sit down just as we are about to leave the ground. As we are getting airborne I cannot help but dread the flight home, ‘all this and we haven’t even started yet!’ I think to myself. As soon as the seatbelt light goes off, Mr. 400 is up and making his way to the first class bathroom from coach. Usually this is a NO, No. but due to his immense stature he cannot fit down the aisle sideways let alone walk the 21 rows to the back of the cabin to the economy restrooms. The pinays and I consult over the phone and decide that it’s a size related disability and safety concern and he should just use the first class bathroom which is only 4 rows away. This does not jive with one of our first class passengers who after Mr. 400 uses the rest room is subjugated to harassment and unwanted questions about his business, and is solicited to join Mr. 400 in conversation about work and other details. So now, we have non compliance issues against Mr. 400 about service items, tray tables, loitering in the fwd of the aircraft and harassment of another passenger not to mention using the first class bathroom and yelling at me and my co workers for not being men, able to give him diet coke, or salt and taking his cups. Mr. 400 then asks us if he could move up to first class so that he can continue his unsolicited conversation with the first class guest. Lead pinay tells him “No.” point blank. He yells about how he paid for three seats and should be able to sit in first class. We all look for him on the manifest and find that not only is this a lie but there is no one listed for the row that he IS occupying. At this point my pinays and I are compiling a list of grievances against Mr. 400 and planning on writing a report about his disruptive behavior. We get the captain involved and dreading making a scene by asking for him boarding card do a sneaky thing and have the gate agents and security cooperate to find out who he is, his flying background and arrange for someone to meet him when we land. By the way, we still have 4 hours to go before we actually get there and can kick him the hell off our plane. For the rest of the flight he demands, not asks for various items including 5 kosher snack, 6+ diet cokes, endless cups of ice, and bottles of water. Each time saying something along the lines of its good for my diet, I’m diabetic and loudly chastising us for not giving him a first class meal when he’s in coach. Pssssst. Those aren’t kosher either. He yells down the aisle at us instead of use the call button, which I don’t respond to. Ha. I make him figure out where the light is before I walk my cute ass down the aisle to see what he wants. Mostly he wants food, food, diet coke, and please let the guy in first class know that I am ready for HIM to come back to ECONOMY to talk to me. “Uhhhhh.. no” I think to myself knowing that the guest in first class doesn’t want to talk to Mr. 400. “He’s a friend of mine”. Yeah and I’m Jesus Christ returned to earth to save everyone’s souls. I tell Mr. 400 that I will ask to see if first class guy will come see him and very humbly, with a thousand apologies approach first class guy and relay the message. First class guy is a man of diplomacy and gives a very neutral but resounding no. I am so happy to relay the message to Mr. 400 that his “friend” is busy with some business that needs to be completed and will see him as we disembark the aircraft. Not sure if he gets my drift, he says ok. And I go merrily on my way to the back galley. The last incident before landing is over chex mix. If this man were a guest in my house he would have eaten me out of house and home. He asks pinay 2 to see the package of chex mix. She brings it to him. He looks, bites, and slobbers on the bag to straighten out the packaging and tells her he’ll take it. Why is this an issue? We weren’t going to feed him anymore! Because our entertainment was out we were comping food all day long and due to the limited food resources were trying to ration everything. We needed food for kids, the elderly and for people with conditions such as diabetes. He just took everything we had and wanted more and slobbered on something I could have fed any one of those other people who haven’t eaten that day let alone chug down a million sodas, nuts, chips, and butter!!!! Jesus!

When we land we are all toooooo eager to see him go, including the passengers who had to sit near him for 5 hours (we got them drunk to ease the pain). Buuuuuuut he had other plans, the torture wasn’t over quite yet. The CRO appeared and tried to talk to him about his behavior, tried to get him off the plane to accompany her in conversation on the jet bridge. He yelled, wouldn’t budge and proceeded to ignore both her and our captain so that he could call someone on his cell phone. The plane is supposed to be cleaned catered and boarded in 40 minutes and this guy is refusing to cooperate with the very person there to protect his passenger rights he fights with everyone trying to help him get his bags, get up, to a wheel chair and off the aircraft. I pass him on my way off the aircraft and he is still fighting with passenger rights lady.

Good fucking riddance I say. I do my report and request that he be 86’d from yet another airline. Let’s all hope that he gets grounded and never sets foot in my plane again. Because if I see him I am automatically denying him boarding and he is going to have to find some other means of getting across the U.S.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

if a sonic boom occurs in the sky what does it sound like from the ground?

   Today president Obama visited my favorite place in seattle, pikes place market. At the same time i was visiting my grandmother 30 miles south of the city, and a cessna 180 coming from eastern washington entered low into restricted air space causing the military to quickly dispatch 2 F-15's (fighter jets) to intercept the plane and assertain if it was a threat or not. my sister, grandmother, dog and i were sitting in the living room chatting, unaware of the potential threat when all of a sudden there was a loud BoOOOoM! as if something heavy had fallen on the roof over our heads. the house shook and windows rattled like in a small earthquake. we shot straight up, the dog started barking, "what the F**K was that?!!!?!" we asked eachother (remembering a small plane crash that happened awhile back) and ran to the back yard to see if anything had landed in the yard. we looked out over the backyards into the distance still hearing dogs and birds barking and sqwaking in alarm when a second BoOOOoM!!!!! occurred. It honestly sounded like something exploded only 100 ft away from us. But still we saw nothing out of the ordinary. we walked back inside and with nothing on the news to explain the low flying plane situation, quickly forgot about the incident. later when my mother came home she asked if i heard the sonic boom of the 2 fighter jets flying overhead. "THATS what that was?!" i exclaimed as she filled me in on the news.

   Those two explosions i heard were the sonic booms of the F-15's sent to save the day. They flew from Portland Oregon to Seattle Washington in T-E-N minutes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

This flight attendant queen is my hero of the moment!

Just the other day a jetblue flight attendant became my hero when he decided that he had been abused by passengers for the LAST time! after an altercation with a guest, whose bag fell on the poor flight attendant. the jetblue employee blew a slide and escaped from the plane!!!!! unheard of!!! you must read the following article!!! i am stunned and giddy with amusement!!!!! jumping out of the plane mid-flight with a parachute, blowing a slide and running away, locking verbally abusive guests in the bathroom, and resetting an irritating guests entertainment system all flight long are things we flight attendants think about but never act upon when we have a flight from hell.

instructions: copy the following and paste into browser!!! lol!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"guest relations"

working on an aircraft you witness quite the variety a relationships.  The other day i saw my first "cougar". what i thought to be a mother with her  7 yr old daughter and college aged son turned out to be mom and daughter plus mom's boyfriend. Now this cougar is no where near the league of  the tight bodied and ever youthful madonna and demi moore.  she was... well OLD!!!! she appeared to be in her mid 60's  with long frizzy white and grey streaked hair and the over all frayed and worn look of an old berkeley inhabiting hippy. the boy at first glance looked to be in his late teens, skinny and tall, a bit awkward in his movements. they sat and watched the disney channel together, snuggled and then started making out. i was shocked at first to see this "mom and son" going at it like newly weds.. and as "Sweet" as that sounds it was not something i wanted to see.

i thought i was liberal, but apparently but i need a few more experiences to broaden my perspective.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Being healthy on the go.

I may be a flight attendant extraordinare but my sometimes my body is not aware of this. Recently I've been feeling a bit like the frumpier version of flight attendant and not the young sexy version. so i'm revamping my eating and exercise routine and since your here i thought i'd share. 

So, for a three day trip like the one i'm on it's fairly easy to pack. in your suitcase you just need a pair of running shoes, at least two pairs of socks, exercise pants or shorts, an exercise bra, and two gym shirts. 

Now get your lunch box out and turn it upside down and shake it until all your chocolate, pastry, and bagel for breakfast tendencies are on the floor. yes, say good bye to all that. and say hello to this! for my trip i have packed a salad which i made at home and put in my favorite to-go container "Fit&Fresh" which you can find at Target. it includes the purple boxes you see on the right. the big box has my salad on the bottom, a flat reusable ice pack in the middle and the little box on the right? well it comes with two of those that you can put right on top of the icepack and snap the lid on. I put lightly salted peanuts for protein in one little box, and greek yogurt in the other. i still had room in my lunch bag for both the container of strawberries and blueberries, which went very nicely with my yogurt this morning. i also have a plum and asian pear there, inside my lunch box which you can't see i have dried mango and instant miso soup along with a variety of tea bags and drink mixes. it looks like alot huh.... yeah maybe i over did it.. any whoo as day one is already over this will feed me for the next 2 days and hopefully i'll have a little left over for my flight home after work!

Next, exercise!!! im sure you've heard it but many hotel gyms are really nicely equipped to keep you in shape during your stay. and as i personally do not belong to a gym at home (what would be the point? im only home one or two days a week?) i try to take advantage of  what the hotel offers on every layover on every day of the trip. for instance day one i had a late show so i walked two miles around my neighborhood before work, then after work when i reached my hotel i IMMEDIATELY went to the gym to jog 3 more miles and  do some weights focusing on my legs and abs. i say immediately because the longer you sit around in your room the less likely you will get to the gym. something will come up and you'll never make it. on that note, don't turn on your t.v. ever. if you want to watch a show just take your earphones down to the gym, plug in to one of the machines and march your way through that episode of "dancing with the stars". If youre not a fan of exercise watching a tv show will help pass the time, i like to bring a magazine and my mp3 player to keep me occupied. Today i am hitting the gym again. goal: 5 miles of jogging and walking uphill. plus lap swimming if the weather gets a bit nicer. and of course weights for my arms and core.

lets make a list of things to be remembered when traveling:
  • pack fresh food
  • always pack gym clothes even if you don't think you'll have time to run.
  • go to the gym immediately unless you have super will power. but go.
  • don't turn on the t.v. in your room. just watch while you run, jog, or walk on the treadmill. or bring a magazine, book, or music with you.
  • have a goal of how far you want to jog. or how long you want to run. and stick to it. 
  • work different muscle groups each day. legs, arms, core, abs etc..
  • vary your daily work out and sometimes just get outside for your walk. you'll see things, get some vitamin D, and some exercise.
  • most importantly you have to be CONSISTENT. which is my greatest sin. EVERY DAY! do some sort of exercise. 

well, i'm off to the gym! wish me health!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You make me want to never have kids

Its only the beginning of summer vacation but already the mass flux of families from one part of the country to another, like the winter migration of birds, is under way.
My father says "it's good birth control for ya." in regards to screaming infants and tantrum throwing children. i agree. but whats more concerning than the bratty kids are the parents of the bratty kids. you've flown. you know who i'm talking about. the parents whose capability at child rearing you question as you try in vain to drown out the cries, whines, and temperamental explosions of their kids with earplugs, booze, and loud music in your headphones. they sit there oblivious, or in denial of the unacceptable behavior of their kids.

For THOSE parents and the few of you who are considering bringing another life into this world i have a few words before you get down to business:

1. flight attendants are not babysitters. your child should stay with you at all times during the flight. letting them run up and down the aisles shrieking at the top of their lungs is not going to make you very popular with us, or the guests.

2. Feeding your children is YOUR responsibility. so, please remember to pack a snack for your little ones and milk for your babies. you CAN get these items through security. also there are restaurants throughout the terminal you can buy food from so there is NO excuse. i do not personally carry happy meals around with me to feed YOUR kids.

3. The overhead bin space is NOT an appropriate place to leave your baby while you stand in line for the restroom.

4. Flight attendants are not human vending machines of picture books, videos, toys,  or board games. if you feel the need to distract your child with one of the mentioned items you need to bring it with you from home.

5. changing diapers on the seats and grossing out everyone around you is a NO NO. handing the dirty diaper to the flight attendant is a HELL NO! there are changing tables in most aircraft restrooms, please use them and dispose of that bio hazard in the trash receptacle your self.

6. believe it or not YOU are the adult, the child should listen and obey YOU not the other way around.

7. If you break into tears because your kid is screaming hollaring and demanding things from you, if you feel you need a nanny to take care of your one child while flying, if you come to the flight attendant for help because you need a break from being the parent, you should probably not have had children in the first place.

if any of this sounds  like you!!!!! all i have to say is vasectomy, hysterectomy, termination, adoption. pick one.

i'm not trying to be mean but if flight attendants wanted to take care of pooping, puking, screaming, eating, crying kids we'd have our own. please take care of yours.

Pillows and Blankets

Two nights ago i worked a cross country night flight. during boarding a guest stops me in the aisle and asks for a pillow and blanket, tooo tired to go through the whole schpeel about airlines not carrying complimentary pillows and blankets since the swine flu epidemic, i simply told him that we didn't have any onboard. he pointed out that first class had blankets. i pointed out that first class tickets are a hell of a lot more expensive and therefore get "complimentary" items. With a tone full of disdain and an anger that makes me think that someone didn't love him enough as a child he told me that "YOU should put that on your website!" not wanting to fight before the plane even took off i chose this moment to walk away and help other more grateful passengers with their carry on items. but in my mind i was having a different conversation with him. it went something like this:

passenger: "You should put that on your website!!!!"

flight attendant: "you know youre right! i've been meaning to update that old thing for ages, let me whip out my laptop and get right on that."

passenger: "Really?"

flight attendant: "no, not really."

passenger: "why would you say such a thing?"

flight attendant: "why, would you think that i, the flight attendant, had any control of what information is put on the company website?!


Sunday, June 27, 2010

theres a first time for everything right?

i have been flying for two years and being new to the airline industry i didn't really know what to expect; the outrageousness i would encounter. i've heard stories of horror and hilarity about mile high sexcapades, druggies, smokers and boozers. i've never had my own story...until now.

          i was working a red eye to the east coast from L.A. i'm not sure what it is about red eyes that make some people think they can get away with anything.. maybe because its dark, and quiet, and the body clocks of most people tell them to sleep. maybe they think that the flight attendants are going to succumb to the melatonin inducing dimness of the cabin (just so you know, we can't. and we crave something to keep us busy so we're usually more alert than normal.) the few guests who remain awake on red eyes are naturally or caffeinated night owls and on this night i appeared to have just that, two night owls sitting in the very last row in a very dim cabin ordering drink after drink.
     Around their 3rd or 4th mixed beverage i begun to worry about them a little bit, the pair were long and lanky and they had not ordered any food all night long nor been drinking water. As i was preparing their latest beverage order i thought that i'd let them know how the altitude DOES affect your body. i stopped by their row and spoke quietly to them about how drinking one beverage in the sky is like drinking two on the ground and i offered to complete their latests order as long as they also accepted some water. they agreed that water would be nice. so, back to my galley i went to fetch some water.  as i was returning, walking up on them from behind, i caught one of my night owls leaning over his tray table with a rolled up dollar bill to his nose and inhaling "SoMeThInG" that i could not see, presumably because it was the same color as the table. I.WAS.SHOCKED. i had never been around drugs like that before. sure there was the odor of maryjane wafting through the dorms of my college days, but this was not some "Gateway" drug. this was hardcore. this was in front of my face. and in plain view of the all the other guests, some of which were children and all of which were sleeping. so shocked was i, that the first thing out of my mouth was " I KNOW youre NOT doing what I think youre doing." the night owls looked up at me and in a manner that makes me think they've been caught before said "no.. were not." still clutching the rolled up bill. Protocol whipped through my head.. did i have my written notice to cease? i didn't. so i gave them the only thing i could, a verbal warning that if they didn't stop and any one of my coworkers or guests saw them that i would have to alert authorities once we landed. i left them to phone my lead and let her know what i just encountered. at the same time another coworker walked by so i had him take a peek at the night owls too just in case they decided to continue their criminal activity. all the flight attendants and i got together to discuss the situation, none of us had the written warning and weren't sure what level of action drug usage required. we decided to tell the capt. who decided to call operations who decided to wake up the head of security who told us to let them go. LET THEM GO?! there is now drug residue on our plane. our night owls are hopped up and drunk and if something happens and they need medical attention i really wouldn't know what to do in case of an overdose, on top of that what if they start freaking out and i need to restrain them.. dude this had bad news written all over it, i lost respect for mr. head of security.... *sigh*
    anyways the rest of the flight went off without a hitch. our night owls decided they WERE tired after all and fell asleep. when we landed there were no police, no medical staff and no drug sniffing dogs, the night owls just walked off the plane and into the sunrise.
the crew walked off in disbelief and decided our new billboard ad campaign should say something to the affect of "Come snort coke with us!" "High, in the Sky!"

     for those of you thinking "cool, who are you so i can be high in the sky?" i discourage whatever you have planned in that pea sized brain of yours. if you do drugs in the air i am not going to take care of you as you have seizures lying in a pool of your own vomit. you'd better leave "IT" at home.

good night for now, and happy flying.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

when things go right, they GO RIGHT!

so, i do not work first class.. and there have been so many menu changes that i have stopped paying attention to what is served up there and when and how many of each choice there is and where the caterers hide the red and white wines. but today, which is the beginning of a three day trip and day five of working and traveling for me, i am serving first class. i have 2 legs this afternoon, one from sfo to sea and one from sea to lax. two legs to get back into to the swing of things before our nyc flight tomorrow... i have some doubts in my ability to professionally and efficiently  lead this crew, take care of my pilots and cater to these people. but guess what?!! God, Buddha, Allah, and Yahweh must feel some sort of sympathy for me because there was not a single complaint,  problem, or bag that needed to be gate checked. my crew was fantastic. the kids decided to vomit from motion sickness AFTER they disembarked. the pilots didn't even come out for a potty break or ask for food or extra coffee. everyone said thank you, good night, and smiled at me as they left the airplane.

it was a perfect day of work..a memory i will have to refer back to when im having a HELL flight and worry that the agony will never end.

for now, its bliss. :)