If there is anything I, as a blogger, am known for, it’s hopefully my attempt to write fair posts that cover all aspects of the situation. From my perspective, that of the company, and the passengers. But not today. Today I’m going to complain! I’m sorry but I just don’t like operating CUN (Cancun) flights, and I’m going to write a post to blow off steam. While the following describes my average CUN turn, it’s written specifically about the one I operated most recently.
1) It’s a very long day
The flight time averages 6 hours each way. Out of YVR (Vancouver), the CUN pairing is a turn. SO! Including time on the ground, that works out to a 14 hour day. For some reason CUN flights always seem to be delayed too. Usually we don’t find out about the delay until we get to the airport. The one I did last week they called me in advance, but I was just arriving at the airport when I got the call.
2) It’s a party destination
A) Many (at least 25%) of our passengers heading to CUN are party animals, and they seem to think the aircraft is a party bus. Immediately after take off there are always a few that come into the galley and say “Can I get a beer bro?” This is fine. I just let them know that I haven’t had a chance to open the bar yet. Here’s where the problems kick in though: They get mad when I inform them that it’s not ready yet. Please! At least give me a chance to set up the handheld!
B) Once the bar is open, I’m answering a call light every 5 minutes. Again this alone doesn’t bother me. In fact it’s great! I make a commission on alcohol sales. The part that bothers me is how mad people get when I can’t fill the drink order. There are three specific times when this occurs. The first is during meal service when I’m blocked in by carts. The second is during coffee and tea service when I’m blocked in by carts, and the third is during meal pickup service when I’m blocked in by carts and handling dirty meal trays. Is it that ridiculous to wait 30 minutes? The other passengers want their trays cleared.
I’ve never understood why so many people are spending $6 per drink when in a matter of hours they’ll be at an all inclusive resort anyway.
C) That 25% behaves boisterously. They’ll yell across the cabin to other people they know, they’ll get mad at me if I’m “in their way” with a cart while they’re going to or coming from the lavatory, and they generally annoy the other passengers. I do my best to remind them that they are disturbing others, but it doesn’t always help.
3) There are a lot of rude passengers
I’ll just use examples for this:
A) During coffee and tea service, I’m holding a coffee and a tea pot in each hand and taking them to the galley to be refilled. Suddenly I hear “Hey, Bro.” I look to see a passenger holding two used meal trays out at me. “I’ll take that from you in a minute.” “What, why not now?” I hold up the coffee puts currently occupying all available limbs. He sneered at me. Once I put the pots down in the galley I turned around to grab the trays, but he’d sent his girlfriend down to the galley with their garbage.
B) The little airplane on the map that many airlines display on screen is ridiculously popular. But up until recently there was a law stating airlines couldn’t use that system over American airspace. For that reason most of our aircraft are not equipped with “airshow”. We do have one leased plane that is equipped with airshow and when I learned we had that plane I was very excited. I was excited because I love how excited the passengers get when those screens drop down and the map comes up. On one specific CUN turn, however, I brought up airshow and was immediately met with “WHAT! How can there be THAT much time left in the flight?” from one lady. “Well, we’re flying from one end of the continent to the other… that takes time.” “It didn’t take this long the first time!” “We’re fighting a headwind this time. On the way down the wind was pushing the tail.” She just rolled her eyes at me. Trying to help I mention “We’ll have another movie on in a few minutes.” “You’ve done enough.” was her reply.
C) “Dude, this is all we get?” one passenger said to me as I handed him his meal. “I want two.” “When I finish serving the cabin I’ll bring you another if there are any left.” “But I’m a big guy. I want two.” “We only have enough for one per person. I’ll see what I can do.” Luckily for him that was a red eye flight, and lots of people didn’t eat. In the end I was able to give him a second meal.
D) At the end of the southbound flight a passenger came into the galley and said “can I buy a vodka?” “I’m sorry,” I said, “We just closed the bar.” “What! I waited 5 hours for a drink and now you say I can’t buy one. What kind of a game are you playing?” Then he stormed off. The thing that really grinds my gears about this is that I personally came to his seat with a full beverage cart TWICE in that flight and both times he asked for orange juice. Nothing more. How can he say he waited 5 hours? I asked him if he wanted a drink! Twice! He also could have called at any time! What am I missing here?
Anyways if I let myself, I could rant on about Cancun forever. The unfortunate combination of long work days, ultra-busy flights (even by my airline’s standards), and higher concentrations of rude and/or demanding passengers is almost lethal. Luckily I like to think I have strong character. I was able to keep my smile on and maintain my professionalism, and I’m proud of that. Still; it’s exhausting.