Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Flying the Not-So-Friendly Skies
Yes, another post about Steven Slater... the JetBlue employee who quit his job in a blaze of Glory, with a beer in one hand and a rant on the intercom, before leaping (or sliding) off into the wild (Jet) Blue Yonder-after being apparently pissed at a rude passenger.
While what he did was stupid, I mean, the guy is sitting in jail right now and his mother is very sick-I understand where he comes from. When I flew from Boston to Miami and then on to Guatemala City in June and then returned back to the States in July, I saw firsthand how ignorant some passengers can be.
First, they announce (and in SEVERAL languages to boot) that people need to be seated at all times. Yes, that includes the screaming child in seat 11C whose mother allowed him to have run of the plane earlier. The airline plane aisle is narrow enough without having to weave around some child who wants to sit there and pout as you try to make your way to the bathroom because you've had one drink too many. Child gets whacked on the side of the head by another elderly passenger as the plane gets a little bumpy over the Gulf and you'd have thought that someone had just been murdered. Lucky for that kid, I was not on my way to the bathroom-because if I lost my balance and my fat butt had fallen on the kid, it'd have been over. The worst part-the kids mother glaring at the poor elderly woman who walked with a CANE mind you, who had genuinely lost her balance and felt terrible about the whole thing. Um, lady-keep your kid out of the aisle and strapped in the seat. You have no one to blame but yourself.
Then there are the "my electronics don't apply" passengers. You know the type, the ones who, after hearing the announcement AND being told by the attendants are unwilling to get off their cell phone or put away their iPods, iPhones or whatever it is they have and WAIT until we are safely in the air before they pull out their bullshit and do whatever it is they deem so important. Got some advice for you people... BRING A BOOK! There was this one man across the aisle from me-he would NOT get off his cell phone for anything. Let me explain to you all that I am terrified of flying in the first place. I don't want to be on a plane when the pilot's number is up, and I get quite upset to see others not giving a shit if their electronics mess up the pilot's radar or whatever while he is taking off and landing. Heck, when we get to a cruising altitude you can take out your toys and play with them people. Anyways, every time the attendant went by the guy hid his cell phone by his side. I was getting pretty annoyed and nervous. The attendant had asked him one time already to put it away, but he had never disconnected his call. He knew I saw him, and was not pleased with his blatant disregard for rules. I won't repeat to you what I said to him as our plane was taking off, but he got the hint. And shut his phone. The rest of the flight, he just glared at me out of the side of his eye. And I glared back. I will say that my short, but brief conversation with him sounded a bit like what Mr. Slater said to the passenger-I did notice the woman sitting behind him smiling, so I think she agreed with me. :)
And finally, the "I can't wait to get off the plane" people. You know the ones. Before the plane has even stopped rolling they are standing up and taking their luggage from the overhead above your seat. I sit on the outside aisle seat, and have had a couple close calls myself with almost getting whacked in the head by people who can't control their luggage. I am sure we all remember back in grade school they taught us to line up and take our turn, but something happened along the way and these individuals totally forgot how to do that. So they push and shove and reach and grab not caring about anyone but themselves. Maybe they need to go back to Romper Room and learn how to play nice.
The motto "Fly the Friendly Skies" doesn't apply anymore. People have forgotten the basics: respect, courtesy, and listening to others. On a couple of the flights I was on, I observed the attendants a bit stressed and shaking their heads because people just were not listening. Several times they had to tell the same passenger the same thing. People, listen up to what they have to say. And be nice. These people might just save your ass some day if there happens to be an emergency on board. And if you're not nice, you just might be the last one out...
and for those wondering, on the pics above, from our very moisture condensed window, those two dark images are the tops of the volcanoes above the clouds that we saw as we were leaving Guatemala...