A life spent burning the midnight oil.
One job… so many names, so many stories, so many clichés, so many sleepless nights… so many passengers!
“They look so gorgeous in their uniform! Always immaculate! It’s so lovely to see them walking thorough the airport. I feel safe just by watching them. So elegant…”
You should see me after a little present from a passenger who has forgotten to take her tablets for motion sickness.
“I’ve always wondered… Do pilots marry stewardesses? How can they manage otherwise? They are always away!”
So, what’s left for stewards… fairies?
“At the end of the day, they are just waiters in the sky.”
As far as I know, at The Ritz, they don’t have bunks, kamikazes and handcuffs… but they do get tips though!
“I don’t think they have a house. Renting one would be a waste of money while buying it wouldn’t make any sense at all! It would get old without being used. Besides, I don’t even know if they can get a mortgage…”
Praised be the Lord for the last instalment!
“Would you believe it? They can’t even donate their organs!”
We can’t give blood either, for that matter!
“How do they cope with kids?”
Folding children in a suitcase is indeed an extremely complicated business, but it can be done!
Cabin crew. So many stories have been told about us! How many of these are a figment of wannabe aviators or passengers’ troubled minds and how many are true or even vaguely resembling reality?
Lo and behold, this is showdown time! The chips are down, we are holding the life jacket toggle! Time to get even and fill that ‘air pocket’ that all too often goes under the radar. What do passengers do onboard long-haul flights? And why? And if at that altitude they still know what they are doing, will there be Someone willing to forgive their actions and trespasses?
One thing is for sure, in the highest heavens, reality far exceeds any earthly imagination and this time it won’t be boring and lazy pub tales spread by passengers – kings and queens for a night - but confessions from two horses’ mouths, two mouthy bewildered stewards sharing what they see and hear flight in flight out.
Thus, fasten your seatbelt and get ready for take-off. We will take you on an around-the-world discovery voyage into human turbulence: fifty short stories where the only moral is the madness set off by hypoxia, where anything is allowed, where nobody knows anybody, in no-man’s airspace, where tomorrow is another day, and the sky is the only limit.
Here we go again, same old story! The overbooking phenomenon strikes back! Out of the 54 passengers in Business Class, 20 are full-fare customers, whilst the rest have all been upgraded. In ‘plane’ English, more bums than seats in Economy Class. That would not be much of a problem, if it weren’t for the fact that many of the blessed have unrealistic, futuristic and, let’s be honest, compulsive expectations.
As if we didn’t know that they are mere Business parvenus. The passenger list shows the profile of every single customer. We even know if we are to keep a safe distance from those with halitosis, better known in Economy as bad breath. The ground staff are unforgivably ruthless in their final evaluation.
Anyhow, on the Miami-London leg, here are our top ten (in random order) pearls of wisdom of passengers in Business Class by the skin of their teeth. Indulge yourself at will in creating your own personal favourite chart!
Ready, steady, go!
“Can I have a glass of blue champagne, pleaZe?”
“Madam, we’ve got Taittinger or Rosé Champagne. Regrettably, we don’t carry a drop of Blue Champagne on board, I’m afraid!”
“Oh, I saw it in a movie, I thought you might have it.”
What film did she see? ‘Airplane!’?
“The light in the restroom won’t turn on, can you help?”
The wardrobe is not illuminated, Sir.
Get out of there or you’ll get hurt.
And there’s no flush either by the way!
“I would like a glass of pink champagne and I’m going to drink it French style. Would you be so kind as to put two ice cubes and one peppercorn?”
Oh là là! French Overseas Territories… what a mess!
“We would like two glasses of boiled water… cooled.”
Harder by the minute.
“Can I offer it to you straight from the bottle at room temperature?”
“Absolutely not! We are from India; we are used to the pure water of the Himalaya. Have you got a thermometer?”
How come that every time I go to India, the mere thought of opening a tap gives me diarrhoea? It must all boil down to the pure water of the Himalaya, surely.
Ayurveda will save the world, one glass at a time.
“When is the Captain coming to see us?”
It ain’t a cruise liner, love!
The only occasion when you will ever see the captain strolling down the aisle of an aircraft is when the food didn’t agree with their stomach and they don’t want to turn the flight deck into a gas chamber. Do not stop them, let them pass through…as quickly as possible.
“Nothing for me, thanks.”
“Darling, you must try something, for God’s sake.”
“Honestly, I’m not thirsty.”
“Come on, honey bunch! When will you get such an opportunity again?”
“Go on then, order something special. Surprise me!”
“A Coca-Cola… with ice… and… lemon.”
Aw! The chance of a lifetime: A Coca-Cola in Business Class is just something else.
“Is this the rainbow zone?”
“What do you mean, madam?”
“20E and F. Even our gay friends booked these seats on their flight to Hong Kong. They told us they are very comfy and… private. Thanx.”
Crikey, I can see the spark of conception in their eyes but what’s in their mind?
“For me, a medium size please. I’ve already got my slippers.”
You misinformed! We provide pyjamas only for our First Class passengers… And by the way, do you bring your own slippers before even knowing if you might be upgraded? What about if they don’t match?
“If you have finished with your starter, Sir, let me take your plate.”
“Oh, but I have already eaten my crème caramel… why, was there something else?”
“Yes, your hot entrée is on its way.”
“Alright then, so I would like beef, but then I will have to have another dessert… otherwise I feel… as if I was doing everything the wrong way around.”
You cheeky glutton! Just tell me you want two desserts. End of story!
“What button should I press to rotate my flat-bed chair?”
This is NOT ‘The Voice’ and I am not Jennifer Hudson.