20 August 2009

The Diary of Getting Home

I just worked my last trip of the month out of my new base, Frankfurt. As I was done for the month I planned on flying right back to the states, known as a 'turn and burn' among commuters. This meant working a flight from Chicago to Frankfurt, then flying as a passenger from Frankfurt to Washington DC, then making my way to Maryland. 

0930- Land at Frankfurt-Main Airport after working an 8 hour flight from Chicago. Hooray that we actually have a gate versus a 'remote stand'  ( parking on the tarmac and being taken in buses to the terminal).
1000- Queue up at the transfer desk to check in for my flight home. Watch a Lufthansa agent  being told to f$&^ off by a crabby Greek passenger. Nice.
1030- Finally get checked in for a seriously oversold flight home. Hope floats..
1045- Attempt to redo the makeup which must have fallen off as I served breakfast.
1100- Make way on the Skytrain to the pier where my flight is leaving.
1100-1145- As I am still in uniform, apparently serve as the information desk for where flights to Romania leave from, where the toilets are located (that I CAN answer) and whether or not their seat is a window seat on their flights, among other questions asked in 2 languages.
1145- Befriend another crew member hoping to also get on the flight to Washington.She is waiting for her transfer to Frankfurt as she lives in Bremen and is based in Washington DC (not as unusual as it sounds).
1200- Realize the only way the 2 of us are making it on this flight is to ride the jumpseat as NO passenger seats will be open on this bird. Rats..Smile sweetly and beg for the jumpseat.
1220- Board the plane home, introduce self to cabin crew and cockpit as jumpseater. 2 minutes of smiling and chatting with the pilots nets me a spot in their crew rest area for the flight- which means a bunk to sleep on rather than a jumpseat (thanks boys!)
1230 until landing- Lapse into a coma.
1500 EST- Land in Washington Dulles airport.
1615- Catch the Washington flyer bus to the train station, having missed the prior one by 3 minutes.
1640- Board the metro to Union Station, to catch the commuter train to Maryland.
1800- Finally figure out where to buy ticket at Union Station, grab a pretzel and lug bags onto train, thank you to the soldier who hefted my bags onto the train!
1900-Make it to Point of Rocks, board bus to stop close to home
1945-Home...........Lapse into second coma. 

15 August 2009

No Good Deed.....

Dear 29A, When I was walking through economy offering the leftover newspapers from business class you asked me for mint chewing gum. Sorry, we do not stock chewing gum, was my answer to you. I soon remembered I had bought a big container of menthol gum, and as I was in a swell mood that morning, decided to wade back upstream to offer you a piece from my personal stash.

Imagine my surprise when I offer you my gum and you wrinkle your nose at it and say that you had really wanted bubble gum.  Young lady, you are ungrateful.  

04 August 2009

The New Crowd

Now that I have transferred bases, I have to get used to a whole new 'crowd' of passengers, (and crew, but that will be a different post) . The UK passengers in economy seemed to be either school groups wearing matching sweatshirts/Tshirts, elderly tour groups,English families going to the US to visit Disney and shop, college graduates backpacking abroad for the first time or passengers travelling to either the middle east or Africa. Toss in a few random soldiers , a Hasidic Jewish family, a grungy band ending their less than successful European tour and that is our economy cabin on flights to /from London.

Oh how different a Frankfurt flight is.  Yes we have the soldiers, economy is FULL of US military and their dependants travelling back and forth, that much is similar. The 'color' has moved from the middle east to Eastern Europe. My German is used on the Birkenstock wearing Germans travelling to their holiday homes in Florida, but really Romanian or Ukrainian would be more useful. I swear a Gypsy woman was asleep at door 3 right in front of the jumpseat on my last overnight flight. I tripped over the humongous bare feet poking out from the many skirts she seemed to be wearing. I would have made her move but was afraid she would put a curse on me or try to clean me with a dirty rag and a bottle of 'Windex'. 

She was not the horror of the trip, it was the unaccompanied minor . This poor child was sent on an overnight flight back to his German mother wearing flip flops on his feet, NOTHING to occupy him, much less a toothbrush. The fact he apparently had ADD only added to the fun. He was so high maintenance we literally had to assign 1 crew member to watch him full time, 1 guy even gave up his crew break to keep him under control. He was slipperier than an eel, appearing in first class seemingly out of nowhere. Then under a seat, then in a bathroom flushing various things down the toilet. Even the female pilot tried to entertain him with a coloring book she had purchased for her child, but that only slowed him down for about 37 seconds.  Naturally he fell asleep just before landing.

This in a nutshell my friends, is why I work First Class.....