An article was recently posted on The Telegraph about “things that annoy flight attendants”. The highlight of the article was based on a post I wrote in 2013 about pouring diet coke. The article quotes a few lines from my blog post and a video demonstration I did at the time.

However it takes my post out of context. It implies that I find it irritating when passengers order diet coke. It also implies I was interviewed for the article so I want to make this clear:

I was not contacted by The Telegraph, this is evident in that they refer to me as “she” in their article. They never asked my permission to use my content, and I’m annoyed by the context in which they used my material.

Here is my official stance on passengers ordering Diet Coke, not that anyone should actually care: I don’t care what you want to drink. I’ll pour it, and I wont have a second thought about it.

Okay? Please stop sending me emails about this.
Thank you, have a pleasant flight.


Insecticide set off Smoke Detector

callington-20top-20of-20descent-250x250The regulations for some countries we fly to require we spray the cabin with an insecticide before we can land there. I was operating a flight to Cuba the other day, which is one of these countries.

I’ve done this procedure countless times. I spray around the forward ground level exits, the forward lav, and the galley areas. I then head down the aisle, spraying near the floor level in bursts between passenger rows (to minimize any discomfort to the pax). In the back of the plane again I spray the around the ground level exits, the galley and the lavs.

This usually uses up most of the two full cans of spray, which is the requirement for the 737-800. I’ll usually have a little bit of pressure in the cans, which I’ll just discharge into a garbage.

But the other day I still had quite a bit left when I got to the back of the plane. One of the lavs was occupied, so I sprayed extra into the other lav while I was waiting.

I’m still waiting on the back galley when suddenly I hear a loud chiming noise “Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!…” I look around and see the lavatory notification light is blinking. The smoke detector is going off. Immediately I know what’s happened. I open the lavatory door and see the space is still fogged with the insecticide, and it’s gotten into the smoke detector which sensed the tiny particles. The alarm is still going off, “Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!”. All the passengers are looking back at me trying to figure out what’s happening. I’m fanning the lav with it’s own door and repeatedly trying to flush the toilet, trying to use the suction from it to get rid of all the fog.

After what was probably only a few seconds, I realize I need to call the forward galley, and have that flight attendant inform the flight deck what’s happening. I press the call button on the interphone, but I can’t hear it “ring”. The ringing on the interphone is a “ding dong” chime in the cabin, but with the consistent “Ding! Ding! Ding!” from the smoke detector I couldn’t hear it.

However both the flight attendant and the pilots were already on the line. They’d been calling me and I couldn’t hear it. As soon as I said, “Hi, it’s Jet” the pilot said, “We have a fire indication in the flight deck! What’s going on?!”

I proceeded to explain the spray and the lav, which raised a whole bunch of other questions. “Why are you spraying the cabin? Why the lavs? Shouldn’t that be done before the flight?”

“Are you sure there’s no fire!? Jet, ARE YOU SURE?”

“Yes, I’m looking into the lav right now! There’s no smoke, only fog. And it’s dissipating.”

During all this the spray fog has begun to dissipate the the alarm was stopping. It went through a short period of stopping and restarting, but after a minute it finally shut off when it stopped sensing any particles in the air.

I continued to explain and reexplain the the procedure. We must spray the entire aircraft, including galleys and lavs, after the doors are closed and before we land into Cuba. Apparently the pilots have never been made aware of this.

After it was all over and I hung up the interphone, and looked into the cabin. Everyone was looking back at me.

Silently I picked up my bug sprays and used up the remainder of the cans doing short bursts up the aisle, into the forward galley, where I closed the curtain behind me. The pax went back to watching their movie.

All the while I’m thinking, “how am I going to explain all this in my flight report?”.

I ended up submitting a single line;
“Insecticide set off smoke detector.”



Lucy Flies to London

It’s been a very busy December! My airline’s new hire class just went online, and I spent a good chunk of the month instructing their service classes. I’ve also been providing refresher training to a number of returning employees. I’m working on a number of posts about my recent adventures, but that combined with training and the holiday season hasn’t left me much time to complete anything recently.

So in the mean time, here’s an episode of The Lucy Show!

8 Converstations with Pax and Crew

Here are some weird, occasionally funny conversations I’ve had on the plane. A couple of these have taken place several times, but most of them are one-offs.

  1. What Language is that?
    Why is there French on the plane?
    This is a Canadian airline. We have to use both official languages.
    But we’re flying from [any city not in Quebec]! Who the hell speaks French? 
    Half the Crew and several other passengers: I do.

  2. Why do I have to rent a blanket? What airline rents blankets? This is ridiculous.
    I’m not sure where you got that impression. You have to purchase the blanket kit, but it’s yours to keep.
    Yeah well, since when do airline’s charge for blankets?
    Wanted to say: Since SARS.
    Actually said: Most airlines charge for blanket kits, they have for a long time.

  3. *I’m collecting garbage in the cabin when a passenger hands me an empty pop can*
    *I twist the can and press it down into a puck before putting it in the gash cart*
    Wow, you’re really strong.
    Oh that? People are impressed by it, but I think it’s just Soda-Pressing.

  4. (On a flight from Cuba) Can I ask you a hypothetical question?
    If I brought cigars with me, can I take them into the country?
    Yes, of course. Cuban Cigars are completely legal in Canada.
    Well, I have a connecting flight back to the USA.
    Oh. Cuban cigars are illegal in the States.
    So I shouldn’t tell them I have them?
    Are you asking me if I think you should break the law?
    Hypothetically, you should not break the law.

  5. Can I use my cell phone?
    Yeah, as long as it’s in airplane mode.
    But I want to make a call.
    You can’t.
    Why not?
    Mostly because we’re at 35,000 feet. There’s no cell phone service this high up. But also because it’s a safety requirement. You’re not allowed to use devices that are sending or receiving a signal.
    But why not? I want to make a call.
    I’m… I’m not sure how to better explain this.

  6. *Over the PA* “…please remain seated until the aircraft comes to a full and complete stop at the gate, and most importantly the seat-belt sign must be switched off.”
    *Plane stops short of the gate. Seat-belt sign is still on* Everyone stands up.
    “What did I just say?”

  7. *Pilot steps out of the flight deck, looks into the cabin, and turns off the lights*
    What are you doing?
    The lights don’t need to be on.
    We need the lights to do our service.
    But the lights should be off.
    They actually shouldn’t be. Not according to the service guide.
    Well they’re better off.
    Okay, well if you’d like to make that call you can apply to be a cabin manager and then play with the lights all you like. Until then I’ll decide what’s best for the cabin crew.

  8. Can I have a vodka, please?

Welcome to Freeport

WP_000556 Upon landing in Freeport we turned off the runway. As we entered the taxi way I noticed the passengers began murmuring things like “what’s going on?” and “is it raining?”. I looked out my window just in time to see us taxing past the firetrucks. It was instantly clear to me what had just happened. I waited for our Cabin Manager to make an announcement, and when no announcement came I picked up the interphone myself and said,

“Ladies and Gentlemen, you may have noticed that we just received a water canon salute. This is because you are arriving on [Name Redacted] Airline’s inaugural flight to Grand Bahama Island from western Canada. Thank you, and once again welcome to Freeport.”

WP_000559At the terminal they literally unrolled the red carpet for us. As our passengers disembarked, they walked down the carpet and were greeted by a number of officials from Freeport. Television crews were filming our arrival; this was a big deal. There was even a marching band playing for us!

Inside the terminal our passengers were given free drinks (Bahama Mama’s!) as a toast, welcoming them to Grand Bahama Island.


WP_000553 (2)Once all of our passengers had disembarked, we as crew came down and met the officials and took a few quick photos. A few of us went inside as well to visit the duty free store. They offered us drinks as well, however since we were in uniform we enjoyed only the fruit punch instead of the Bahama Mamas.

Being an inaugural flight, we had no passengers to take home. So as soon as everyone was off, the airport authority rolled up the red carpet. Once the crew returned to the aircraft and we finished fueling we took off back to Vancouver. It’s a shame, I would have loved to stay for a layover. Maybe I’ll get the chance sometime this winter. Fingers Crossed!


as filmed by the pilot

Red Carpet, Marching Band, TV crews!
I’d like to thank my whole crew for supplying me with the photos they took! Unfortunately the airline either didn’t know FPO was going to give us a red carpet welcome, or they just didn’t tell the operating crew. I would have brought my good camera if I had known.