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.

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