Carrying on in the Clouds
There’s an old saying among flight attendants: “Passengers sometimes check their brains with their bags at the ticket counter.” As true as that might have been, since most airlines are now charging for checking items, more and more people should be boarding planeswith their brains, but that’s not always the case.
For the past seven years I’ve been flying the friendly (and sometimes not-so-friendly) skies and comparatively speaking, my flights have been uneventful. There was a period of time, however, when I had a black cloud over my airplane at all times and I slowly gained the reputation where people whispered, “Oh, you don’t want to fly with Bobby. He has the craziest things happen.” Now it’s down to maybe one or two crazy things every four months or so, but regardless, when people get elevated to 35,000 feet, things can get just plain weird. I’ll share with you just a few of my favorites from my time in the sky.
When you work flights out of Las Vegas you should always expect the unexpected. What you can expect are drunk, broke and hungover passengers who board by the dozens. Technically, you’re not allowed to board an airliner intoxicated and we’re supposed to have you deplaned if we “suspect” that you have been drinking; but some people know how to hold their alcohol (better than most of the Instinct staff) and get by until they start getting.…let’s just say “frisky.” One one memorable flight, there was a couple seated across the aisle from each other in the very last row on a flight from Vegas to Boston. About half way across the country one of the two male passengers (yes, they were gay) came to the galley and very point blank asked, “So, if I were to go in the restroom, with my boyfriend.. would that be okay?” The three of us in the back looked at each other with a smirk. Was he really asking us for permission to join the mile high club?
“Would you be…helping him with something?” I replied. “Yeah, sure — you can say that.” One of the other flight attendants said “Yeah, that would be fine. But.. be quiet. Whoever you wake up, you serve for the rest of the flight.” The two went into the lavatory and with only a few loud thumps on the wall, emerged a bit later. When the door opened, we were all a bit shocked. It seemed the passengers seated in the last few rows of the plane overheard the couple ask for permission to enter the lavatory and waited for the door to open before giving them a standing ovation and cheering them on. For the record, airlines don’t train flight attendants on how to handle “mile high” situations, and, no, I’m not a member.
Something that you never read from other flight attendant bloggers is celebrity gossip. Well, this is Instinct, so I’m going to dive in with a little bit of dishy dirt (while keeping the “innocent” unnamed). For the most part, the celebrities that have flown on planes with me, have been incredibly gracious and down to earth. And, although we’re technically, not allowed to ask for photos, a lot of them love to chat and hang out in the galleys with us, which in turn gets them out of their seats and out of passenger view. But, what’s a celebrity to do when they want to sleep but not want the “general public” to see them? Well, they erect a tent of course. On a flight from New York to Phoenix a few years back one very well known star of “jurassic” proportions decided to stuff one end of his blanket in the air vent, while pushing the seam into the crevices around the seatbelt sign. That created a barricade between him and the passenger next to him. Further, he took an extra blanket and managed to stuff it in another opening shielding the front of his personal space. Then, being truly innovative, took their goose-neck reading lights and positioned them vertically (picture two vertical pillars), draped their jacket around the back of their seat and propped it up on the lights. They then had complete privacy. Until we hit turbulence, of course, and the structure came tumbling down, much like his career. What was their next request? “Do you have any duct tape?” Yes, in fact I do, I always carry it with me in case someone asks for it. Seriously? Of course not.
But the newest trend in air travel is something that really makes me laugh and weirds me out at the same time. It’s the newest craze, Galley Yoga. Well, let’s not limit it — yoga, in general, on an airplane. The passengers who do this are nothing less than exhibionists in my opinion. The back galley on planes has become a place where passengers come to ‘stretch their legs’ but not before long they’re doing aerobics and yoga poses in front of everyone and with other passengers making it look like a scene straight from a soft-core porn movie. Imagine sitting at your desk at work and someone standing right infront of you bending down, with their backside facing you in a downward dog position while you tried to eat your lunch and/or get work done. What’s even funnier is people who do this in the aisle. In front of everyone, in a very–very confined space they have no inhibitions about showing off their body and their flexibility. Believe it or not there are stretches you can do without leaving your seat. But even then, be respectful of passengers next to you. Don’t believe me? Check this bitty out below.
Being a flight attendant is not something I dreamed of doing growing up. It’s a career that I fell into and grew to love. Every flight brings 150 new people, 150 new conversations to be had, 150 potential new friends…but let’s not forget a lot of fun people watching.