27 June 2009

I Thought You Had Been Fired

Dear Flight Attendant X,

I had heard through the grapevine ( or jumpseat wireless) you had been fired years ago. You, the crew member whose name we all knew and had half a dozen horror stories about. Second in notoriety only to Alex, the post op alcoholic who WAS fired. Hell, no one could compete with her, don't feel bad for coming in second..

A few years ago rumor spread that you had either been hired with British Airways, got married to your lunatic pilot boyfriend and moved to the states, were out on medical leave or had dissappeared under dubious circumstances. I was never sure which story I liked best but all had their merits.

Now all my fantasies of never seeing you again have gone poof as I have flown with you twice this month. You are back and as welcome as a case of herpes, head lice or a broken middle seat in economy. The reasons for your return are as mysterious as crop circles, Stonehenge or the plot of Lost.

Its not as though past flights with you were uneventful. There was the time an out of base crew made you sit down as your very presence was slowing down the service, your continual insistence that you could really make us look better with your professional make up artist skills, and lets not forget when you were pregnant and were asking passengers if you should keep the baby. Those were fun times.

Then, your mailbox disappeared from work, the stories about you dimmed from memory. Heck, there were people new to the base who had never flown with or heard of you. Now they get their chance. I really liked the flight where you watched me work during boarding while standing absolutely still. I was working first class, yet somehow had to work business as you were busy imitating a statue. Your laziness has increased, the force is strong around you , Lazy One Kenobi.

Flight Attendant X, you could make a Buddhist turn to violence, so lazy are you. I will miss many many things about being based in London but sweetheart, you ain't one of them. I bid a fond flight attendant buh-bye to you.


22 June 2009

Some Gentle Instructions

Dear Passenger, Here are a few tips for successful use of the airplane toilet and its many amenities. 



The drawer above is where you find supplies for ladies as well as ill passengers. It is NOT a place to put used tissues, toilet paper, or hair pulled from your hairbrush. It is clearly labeled no matter the airline or aircraft. Bottom line, if you see unused supplies in a drawer, on a shelf, or behind a door, do not place used items there.



Behold the waste container above. Yes there is a red X on it, but upon examination you will see that applies to cigarettes only. ONLY. This is where all the refuse I see in the container above really needs to go. 

Below you will see a magic button which will whisk away any solids or liquids you leave behind in the toilet on the plane. Gentlemen, do not be afraid, PLEASE push it. If I had a dollar for the amount of times I have entered the toilet after a pilot, or male passenger and there is a sample for me, well, I would be a passenger in first class rather than serving that cabin. I am not familiar with a urinal, but this piece of equipment does need to be flushed. I and the passengers using the toilets after you thank you profusely.





                                                 





16 June 2009

Crime Doesn't Pay, or Buy a One Way Ticket

Dear 25E,

When the captain told us that we had a passenger that was going to be met by the authorities, we wouldn't have guessed it was you. Your only crime seemed to be poor fashion choices, you were certainly polite enough.

We were assigned a remote stand (not a gate with a jetway) and on the airstairs were 6 of Heathrow Police's finest ( the blonde in particular). We were able to have everyone stay seated under the guise of a passenger needing assistance off the plane. Boy were you shocked that it was you, I imagine your girlfriend was too.

I am certain you have learned either to show up for your court appearances for theft to prevent this happening in the future, or to only buy one way tickets out of the country. Big brother really is watching and knows if we have been naughty or nice!


12 June 2009

Ch-ch-ch-changes!!!

I am moving!! Not my blog, but actually me. My transfer was awarded to our Frankfurt base, after 7 years of waiting. Of course this is awarded after I moved back from Germany and broke up with the German guy, but my timing has never been great.

I was panicking as I accepted the transfer in the computer. BIG deal after living in England for the bulk of my flying career, I feel like I am changing schools. At least I do not have to worry about what to wear on the first day! 

Never did I think I would leave London but I really need a change and also, FICA. The social tax of the US which I have not been contributing to for a few years (this is British law). I need to be fiscally responsible for once and not let fun interfere with my old age, after all, who really wants to have to eat cat food like they joke about? 

The minuses- I LOVE the crews based in London. Well not all of them (you know who you are..) but at least knowing who they are allows me to selectively choose to work in the cabin they will not be in.  I also love London. I will never stop seeing things I have not seen before, finding new restaurants , museums, statues, etc.  The bulk of my friends are here.

The pluses- Frankfurt is far cheaper than London. Flying in and out of London as a passenger is going to soon be an extravagance thanks to the departure taxes. Lufthansa offers us dirt cheap standby tickets, so it will be affordable to pop over to a neighboring country to visit for a few days. The ability to pay US taxes again , as well as FICA (never did I think I would list that as a plus in any context!)

So my flying career out of Heathrow will conclude July 31st. I am incredible excited, scared , sad and happy at the same time. Change is good, right? 


02 June 2009

Member of the Board...Really??

I recently had a member of the board if directors of my airline on my flight, travelling with his family. Confirmed first class travel is one of the many perks bestowed on members of the board, probably common among all airlines. These board members are usually CEOs of their own companies, who, in my eyes, rubber stamp pay rises for other CEOs. Still, I expected he and his family to be reasonable well mannered and have a modicum of etiquette. Boy was I wrong.

I imagined the CEO of a company would have a wife who dressed according to her position. Silly me, maybe a bedazzled  hot pink tank top and stretch pants does match her position. The son in jeans , scruffy shirt was not much better. Maybe the outfits would not bother me so much, I see things like that in first class, but the fact that I as an actual employee has to dress to a certain standard, heck even our CEO has to adhere to this dress code, but this idiots family does not, is what rankled a bit.

The behavior was even better. SHOUTING to get the crews attention. This when in the first class cabin you are really never more that 10 feet away from any given passenger, and we are working in a front to back fashion. Shouting that your wife wants breakfast, at 5 am, is this really necessary?  Getting up when the seat belt sign is on, 'smuggling' back food and drink to the few family members travelling in business class ( the poor souls) and throwing your used Kleenexes on the floor ( all 20 plus of them). Seriously, this is how a CEO behaves? No wonder your company is in the crapper Mr X. (For the curious, his company name is the same as where you would have found an oracle in ancient Greece, and a temple too).