Every flight always has mention worthy passengers, and Ottawa had a lot of them! But only because I had a lot of flights for that pairing. I had a few passengers during the trip that were down right undesirable. Here are three particular situations I as a flight attendant had to face on the trip.
1) Blue Haired Girl
The blue haired girl (BHG) was in the row just after my section. She was extremely demanding and for lack of a better term, disobedient. She did not like the fact that she wasn’t in control while aboard the aircraft. Throughout the flight I had other FAs telling me what a pain in the ass she was. Apparently she refused to follow simple requirements like putting her bag under the seat or fastening her seatbelt. Since she wasn’t in my section I didn’t see too much of her, but there were two specific events that stick out:
Firstly, when I started serving the last row of my section BHG stopped me and said, “Umm excuse me but my boyfriend didn’t know the lasagna was vegetarian. Can you give him the chicken?” I thought to myself “It’s vegetarian. Not poison.” Of course out loud I said, “We’ll see what I have when I finish.” Once done I indeed had a chicken left over, so I offered it to her boyfriend. He declined. Frankly he seemed a little embarrassed that she’d said that to me.
At the end of the flight while landing we were seated in our jump seats. I want to emphasize here that we are less than 2 minutes to touching down. Suddenly we hear a rattling sound. We look and see BHG trying to open the locked washrooms. One of the other FAs says “SIT DOWN AND PUT ON YOUR SEATBELT!” She replies with “I don’t want to.” The FA says “We’re Landing! SIT DOWN and PUT ON YOUR SEATBELT!” This time BHG turns around and goes back to her seat. I’m just wide eyed and jaw dropped.
I just want to mention here; it doesn’t take much when a plane is touching down to knock a standing passenger into a seat or down the aisle. It’s very possible to be seriously injured or worse. When your FA is telling you to sit down and buckle up they are saying it for a reason, so do it!
2) Row 23
The passengers in row 23 on one of my flights were a royal pain in my arse! I couldn’t walk past that row without being asked for something. When we came by with a bar cart each person would order complex and specific drinks. It made serving that row take forever. When taking the orders I would ask one lady, and three would simultaneously give me their orders. Whenever I asked for clarification (since each order was a modified version of the same drink) they would give me some attitude like I should know exactly what they wanted from when they all incoherently blurted it out at the same time. No one ever said please or thank you. Worst of all they were demanding. For example, I was taking Tea and Coffee orders for row 22 and two of the gentlemen in Row 23 continually kept barking “Coffee! Black!” at me. Seriously! Just wait until I get to you!
Okay, granted they weren’t asking for anything impossible. In fact every request was well within the amenities my airline offers. None the less, is a little grace and tact too much to ask for? I’m not bothered by these passengers. It’s all in the line of work, and there were plenty of wonderful passengers onboard that outnumber row 23. Still, it makes a good story.
Wendy’s name is totally made up. I hope… I never got her real name. Now to be perfectly honest, I loved her to bits. Which makes no sense since really she was a nuisance. She was ordering plenty of wine and we had to be careful not to over serve her. The other FAs really didn’t like her, but again I thought she was great. After a few glasses of wine she was taking every opportunity to chat up the FAs. I love chatty passengers. Anyway, at one point she asked me “How long have you been with (Airline)?” I replied to her, “I’ve been flying for about 2 months.”
“TWO MONTHS?!” She started laughing hysterically. “You’re a NEWBIE! You’ve been flying for two months!!”
But the icing on the cake was when she asked “Can I ask you a personal question?” “Oh god.” I thought. “Sure.” I said as I leaned in close so she could ask quietly. She then whispers, “Are you gay?” My very first instinct was to say “I’m a flight attendant.” But I know if I had said that she only would have continued to enquire about it. I also could have said “I can’t answer that, I’m sorry.” and it would have ended the conversation. But I’m very open, so I just decided to be truthful and say “Yes.”
After asking I think she sort of realized that it wasn’t the most appropriate question to ask. She then said “Oh okay. I don’t have a problem with it, my instincts thought so and I wanted to find out. I hope it’s okay!” I said “It’s fine… it’s not like it’s exactly a secret.” “No! It’s Not” she said, laughing again “I could tell!” At this time her husband who is sitting across the aisle and on the other side of my beverage cart realized what was going on and said “Oh god you didn’t ask him!” He turns to me and apologizes. He’d been doing so for a lot of the flight. I told him it’s okay and that I don’t mind. Really I didn’t.
It’s just good that she asked ME. We had another FA on board who although is just as open as I am, was very offended when I told him what Wendy had asked. “Well I knew you were too when we met but I didn’t go outright and ask you about it!” (to which I laughed hysterically) He continued to say “What if you weren’t okay with being asked?” He makes a valid statement. It’s not okay to ask someone you don’t know if they’re gay. It’s a very personal situation. A good rule of thumb would be not to ask any personal questions of anyone on the clock in any line of work. …Luckily for everyone I didn’t mind.
So those are my top 3 of last week. As always the vast majority of my passengers were fabulous. Of course the less than ideal passengers are the ones that make the best stories!