Monday, August 8, 2016

Adventures in Flight: When Men Act Like Children

The woman I was working with was recently hired and was wide-eyed about many things; asking lots of questions and soaking things in like a sponge. She entered the aft galley at the tail end of the boarding process rolling her eyes, and gushed, “There was a fight in first class.” Without needing an explanation, I knew what she was talking about; passengers acting like third graders-- happens all the time. I asked her what it was about this time. Overhead bin space.

Our plane was leaving Denver and would set back down in the Oregon city of Portland. There were something like 30 seats open, and in first class, there were 5 seats open; this is a rarity. Tiffs usually break out on crowded flights. Empty flights are usually a piece of cake, but tonight that cake was fruit cake! No one wants fruit cake!

I had walked into first class and saw that there was a lot of open space in the overhead bins. Why would anyone be fighting in first class over so much space in the bins?

I was told it was much like watching TV's Frazier Crane arguing with Redd Foxx. It seems they both wanted to use the small bin over 1B, which is where Redd, a short, stocky man sat with his wife. Crane, a taller and seemingly more educated fellow, was in 2F next to his wife and never took off his head phones, so to compensate, he was yelling even louder than he probably realized.

The purser tried to ignore the situation, thinking to himself, if he gets involved he'll have to tell the captain. The captain may end up putting someone off of the flight. Getting put off of the flight could land someone on the airline's No Fly List. It involves reports, stress and most likely a delay. Even though he wanted it all to disappear and went into ignore mode, the captain actually could hear the argument ramping up from his seat in the cockpit.

Crane: I got here first!
Redd: This bin is over my seat, it belongs to me!
Crane: You want to have a go at it?
Redd: You gonna get all up in my grill and we'll have a go at it!

See, third graders!

Flight attendants have bags and we store them like passengers the overhead bins. I was working a flight to Asia a few years back and had stowed my bag in an overhead bin as assigned by Mother Airline. Boarding commenced and the first passenger to come to the back of the plane reached his seat just in front of my jump seat. He opened the overhead bin, which I had closed because it now contained the bags of 2 flight attendants, including mine. He looked quite confused and looked at me for a moment.

“Where am I to put my suitcase?” he asked. I was bewildered as I observed all of the empty overhead bins, and replied, “You're the first person here, every bin is available to you. How about right here,” as I pointed out a perfect location for his bag across the aisle. “But this is my seat here...someone has placed their bag in my overhead bin.”

Really? OK, folks, first of all the bins are not assigned like seats are. Many passengers get that, as they place their bags in the space for first class passengers and then head to the back of the plane. I know when I fly, I prefer to have my bag across the aisle so I can keep an eye on it.

I had a flight attendant friend who once had her bag mistakenly taken off by a passenger. She found his number on his bag and called him as he was waiting in baggage claim. She told him to wait right there and she would meet him with his bag to make the exchange. He ignored this and started back to the gate, meaning he had to go through security. All of her liquids were confiscated, because he was not a flight attendant. If you're not a flight attendant, you can't take liquids through security. She was so upset at him; that was expensive perfume! Bags look alike and this happens often.
How about checking your bag for less hassle!

The fight came to a close when Redd's wife stepped in and made her husband behave. Crane took his seat with his obnoxious red head phones and never seemed to look up again. His wife moved to another seat and pretended not to know the man in the silly head phones for the rest of the flight.

My flying partner asked if I see grown men acting like that often; she has only been flying for 3 months. I was reminded of the 2 men fighting over a seat reclining, “You're reclining into my space!” “I bought a seat that reclines so I'm going to lay back.” And then I'm all like, “Boys, do I need to separate you two? Because if you keep this up I'll have to notify the authorities to meet the plane when we land, and you'll both be in detention.” Yeah, it happens from time to time. It's a spin of the wheel and bound to happen. If they're going to act like third graders...!

Letting off some steam

1 comment:

  1. Very funny and I love the pic. I have never quite known the bin rules because at 5 ft 2 in I can't reach them anyway.