The Flight Attendant asked for our attention. As usual, most ignored her but she was patient and asked again, this time using a sarcastic tone. It was a small commuter jet and she stood at the front, hands on her hips, smiling deviously. With everybody looking on, she announced that today was her last day and this, her last flight. She pulled out the demo-seatbelt, held it up and then tossed it back in the cabinet. The yellow life jacket, oxygen mask and safety card soon followed the path of the seatbelt as she stood there grinning from ear to ear.
She then said what I imagine every Flight Attendant wishes they could say; that if you are too stupid to not know how to use a seatbelt, you’ve got bigger problems than a seatbelt demonstration can fix. The whole plane was giggling. She then told us that we will not be flying over water so forget about the life vest, that if the oxygen mask falls, to do our best but realistically, we’re probably screwed anyway and to forget about the safety card, it’s a dull read. At this point, the laughter was so loud, I was surprised that the Pilot didn’t pop his head out of the cockpit. She then smiled and told us to relax and enjoy the flight. She was my new hero. I’ll bet she felt wonderful getting that off her chest, I know I would.
This happened a couple of years ago and I think of her every time I hear the spiel. It resonated with me. Think of the amount of steps you have to endure just to actually get on a plane, from navigating the schedules, buying the ticket, getting to the airport and then making sure you comply with all of the TSA requirements and procedures and then, if you’re lucky, getting physically on the plane, only to have someone then demand your full attention, while they explain the proper use of a seatbelt as if you just crawled out from under a rock.
Clearly, I’ve spent too much time on airplanes this year as I’m getting kinda bitchy. Indulge me though for just one more gripe.
Earlier this year, we flew to Vietnam, Cambodia and China. When the plane landed, the passengers grabbed their luggage and beat a path off the plane as if someone had yelled fire. It was glorious. This happened in all three countries and it was impressive. For some bizarre reason, we (people who live in America), are at our leisure when we travel. We land, the door opens and people just take their time. Ironically, it’s not the senior citizens. They usually have the courtesy to wait in their seats, allowing everyone else to exit. It’s everybody else. They chit-chat with fellow passengers and linger in the aisle as they casually pull their carry-on luggage from the overhead storage, while everybody else behind them waits and waits.
Today, I flew domestically and all of the above happened. It was completely maddening! So to all the inconsiderate (fill in the blank) passengers, who I desperately want to beat, grab your (fill in the blank) and get the (fill in the blank) off the damn plane! I keep hoping for the Flight Attendant who announces “today is my last day and this is my last flight” as she is jabbing these people in the backside with a cattle prod. Oh, dare to dream…