Conversations from Sky Chicks

Tales, travel, drama and just a little bit of gossip that's every day life for a flight attendant.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Delays & Tempers

Just a quick note to say hi. It's been unreal the last couple of weeks in Chicago. We've had major weather delays, like ATL and SFO, which of course leads to long lines at the customer service desks and angry pax. We had one couple board, after a two hour delay, who were so sweet and I think if any of us could have moved heaven and earth for them, we would have done so. They overheard one pissed off guy boarding, telling me how he missed his connecting flight now and won't make his meeting. He holds up boarding to ask me why ORD can't get it together and get planes off the ground with low visability. Pointless talking to this guy, right?!?!? Finally he shuts up and moves on...guess me asking nicely was a waste of breath.

So anyway, as this older couple boards they quickly tell me "it's not your fault" and then explain how they missed their connecting flight too but their flight out of the country happens only every three days, so now they'll have to wait three days before actually starting their vacation. We were all amazed at how understanding they were, not blaming us, as if the title flight attendant and the uniform translated Goddess, well actually it does!:-) Wish everyone could grasp that concept.

As for the guy, well after he got seated, he stopped me while I was doing a safety sweep and said, "sweetie, would you get me some water, afterall, you owe me." RIGHT.......let me jump on that. He got his water though, well actually I think it was some apple juice. He ended up having a mother with two children next to him......god I love karma!! See ya!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Where's the Etiquette?

Yesterday I finished a four day trip, arriving in Chicago exhausted and anxious to get home to Florida. As I waited to see if I would make a flight out, I noticed a family of four waiting for the same flight. The children were both toddler to preschool age, which translates to active and curious. The young parents had obviously done this before and were prepared and for almost anything. Mom and Dad were focused, alert and made me feel like I was watching an organized, tag-team sporting event. In fact, several people complimented them, more interested in the family than their laptops and cell phones.

So, watching them got me thinking about the vast families I daily assist on our flights. Many of them are a pleasure and memorable in their own right but I have to admit, it’s the bad ones that end up as crew lounge stories. And it’s to them that I dedicate this list to, because many times, it’s not the kids that need the etiquette but the parents. And I’m sure most flight attendants will agree with me, that these six things can keep your family from becoming “Gossip of the Galley”.

1. Protect the Inflight Magazines – I realize these are miraculously in the seatback pockets and appear to have little value, but airlines do spend a lot to provide passengers with reading material. The editors, writers and photographers work long hours to create interesting articles and didn’t envision them to be ripped into millions of pieces all over the cabin floor. And I assume I would never walk into your home and find magazines shredded into pieces, waiting to be mysteriously cleaned up. Besides, would you want your flight delayed because the cleaning crew is having to spend extra time picking up someone else’s pieces, before you can board?

2. Upholstery & Carpet Care – What more can I say about this other than, would you want to sit in a seat after a child has been allowed to stand in the seat, while eating cookies? I’m sure you wouldn’t and yes, our cleaning crews have mini-vacs but after a three hour flight, those food stains are hard to treat. I believe sitting in the seat and utilizing the tray will work just fine.

3. Full Flight – I know we all get restless during a long flight but allowing kids to run up and down the aisle, or play in the aisle is not acceptable. Yes, flight attendants will sometimes allow it to a degree because we are tired, busy and overall understanding people. But, we also recognize the safety factor for your children. Turbulence can happen at anytime and no one wants to see a child injured. And yes, you paid for your tickets and have that right, but so did the business man/woman next to you who would prefer not to have their elbow continuously bumped. Plus, others would like us to be able to get the galley cart down the aisle.

4. Sibling Rivalry – All I know is, siblings fight and the best way to diffuse it is to seat a parent between them. Yes that does mean that sometimes Mom and Dad can’t sit beside each other, or that one child has to sit next to the aisle but isn’t life about compromise, especially as an adult? And trust me, everyone around you will be grateful.

5. Alert & Cleanliness – Now I know there is something about flying that makes everyone want to get on board and fall asleep. But placing your infant or toddler on the floor at your feet to play so you can sleep isn’t smart. Again, turbulence can happen at any time, startling or injuring a child. And don’t get me talking about the germs that live on the floor, where your child may drop a cookie, pick it up and then place it in their mouth. Wouldn’t you rather stay awake, make sure they are safe, so you can all enjoy your destination?

6. Dirty Diapers – Wow, a loaded topic but I’ll briefly say that if you change your infant’s diaper, please do not stuff it in the seatback pocket, under your seat on top of someone else’s luggage and please do not try to shove it between your seats as you leave. We will find it and in the case of one passenger, the Captain might just chase you down and ceremoniously handed it back, for you to dispose of properly.

See ya soon!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Crash Pad Drama

Sorry it's been a while since I posted but I've had a crazy time lately with a VERY unique roommate! Here's the thing, we all knew when we got into the crashpad with C that she was interesting, dramatic and emotional...we just had NO idea the rollercoaster ride she'd take us on. Two months ago, there were six of us in this one bedroom apartment in Chicago; now there are four.

So here's what happened. E I were both out on four day trips and finishing up on Friday. A was off visiting one of her five boyfriends, I think this one was in AZ, but who can keep up. Anyway, my showtime for the hotel shuttle was 5:30AM with a 6:50AM departure. Fortunately it was a quiet, uneventful flight, except for the guy in first class who snored or should I say, snorted loudly. We always appreciate the passengers who give us a good laugh!

Ok, back to the crashpad. So I got done around 9AM, hit the crew lounge and then the train. Ten minutes later I was off at the Cumberland stop and dragging my suitcase in the cold, down the street and through a parking garage. I finally got to the apartment, ready to kick off my 3" heels when a surprise literally hit me in the face. I unlocked the door, opened it part way only to see my naked neighbor frantically throwing on shorts and a naked C slamming the door back in my face. So now I'm back in FL recovering from a bruised cheekbone that looks like some madman punched me. And C, she's on a trip right now. I think we've all yelled at her for doing the neighbor on the sofa. Now here's hoping a Jaeger Bomb will remove that image from my mind!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ok, so I was sitting in my jumpseat yesterday during takeoff and noticed all these faces staring at me, watching my every move. (Like how much can you do strapped down to a seat going 100 mph backwards?!?) Granted, I like being the center of attention but having 40+ men leaning into the aisle, trying to get a peek up my dress is not exactly a highlight of this job. Course some are really creative like, pulling their sunglasses down, leaning as far out into the aisle as they can without being overly obvious, cocking their head sideways towards the floor and not moving. Yeah, comfortable takeoff position.

And that's why I'm writing this....because every day up there is an adventure; endless stories that make us laugh, get us frustrated and never ever fail to amaze us. Thank god for fun crews and great bartenders at the end of the day!