Notes from the cocktail napkin...

July 08, 2009 4 Comments A+ a-

On many of my trips, I take little notes on a cocktail napkin (or, as we call them at my airline, serviettes). Each day brings new things, new people and new circumstances--it is a way I use to remember what happened on that trip. The wrinkled serviette is shoved in and out of my pocket so many times a trip--as I scribble my notes all over it.

Last week's serviette was fairly typical and not unusual at all. So, here are a few things that transpired on my trips.

A woman's husband had died and she was on a flight to get back home, with her sister. Apparently she had shared her story with a couple in the same row. That couple insisted on paying for the cocktails the newly widowed woman and her sister ordered, for the whole flight. They only ordered a couple of drinks each, but it was a kind gesture on the part of the husband and wife, their new airplane friends.

On one of my flights, a twenty-something woman was in the aft galley for a bit, just sorta waiting around. Not unusual--many people come to the back just to stretch their legs a bit. I went through the aisle and offered water to our passengers...a few minutes later, I went back up and down the aisle collecting trash. Finished with my immediate tasks, I started to pour myself a glass of water in the galley, when the young woman, pointed to the lavatory door and asked me, "Is anyone in there?" I looked at the door, with the green sign that said vacant on it, smiled and just said, "No, there is no one in there."

(By the way, that small conversation with a Flight Attendant occurs every single day on a gazillion flights.)

In a similar vein, another young, twenty-something woman came back to the aft galley and stared at the lavatory door. She looked at the door, then looked at me, pointed to the door and asked, "Is this one open?" I just replied, "The one that says "occupied"? No, it's not open." Then we both looked at each other and just cracked up at her missing the obvious red occupied sign on the door.

Today's helpful airplane hint from your Flight Attendant (just another service I provide!): Green means go, red means stop. Uh, huh--you're welcome!

Me: (placing serviette on tray table in front of my passenger) "Would you like something to drink?"

Lady Passenger: "No, thanks, nothing to drink."

Me: (removing serviette and starting towards the next passenger)

Same Lady Passenger: "Just a tomato juice, with ice and can I have a lemon with it, please."

My next helpful airplane hint: No means no!

On our departure from Orange County (SNA) last week, we had to wait a few minutes because of the airport's noise curfew-no take-offs prior to 7 a.m. We were about 10 minutes early. While sitting on our jumpseats, the Flight Attendant call light sounded. I got up, located the light and went to see what the problem was. The lady asked me if I would call the pilots and tell them to stop blowing the jet exhaust into the cabin. She didn't like the smell of it.

(Only in Orange County, ya'll!)
Lastly from my "notes on a napkin" is one I don't condone--I merely report the story.

We were boarding one of the transcons I worked in the last couple of weeks. On the 757, passengers usually enter at Door 2L, and First Class folks make a left turn and folks in the village turn right to go to their seats. On the 757, two Flight Attendants work at the boarding door, with one of them assisting in First Class as needed (coats, drinks, etc.)

One of our Super-Duper Flyers appeared a bit miffed--he did not get his upgrade and started working the #4-let's call her Cathy-who was working First Class with the Purser. Sitting in Row 10 in the coach section, he rang his Flight Attendant call light--to request a glass of orange juice, and a seat in First if it was available--while we still had 100+ people on the jetbridge waiting to board the plane. He went on to explain to Cathy that he was a Super-Duper Flyer and deserved to be in First as he had paid so much money for his ticket.

Jumpseat Confession

Truth is, at that point during boarding, we are all about getting folks onboard, settled and getting the door closed for an on-time departure. Not much else. Unless you have a medical emergency, don't use the call light during boarding. Okay, maybe if there are duplicate seats, or something like that, but don't use the call light to make requests we can't give (upgrades)--especially while we're boarding!

Cathy went on to explain that she would be happy to make sure he received some orange juice when the beverage cart was pulled out, and would he like some water for right now? Oh, and "I'm sorry, First Class is completely full." He takes the sport coat on his lap, and holds it out to her with the command, "Here. Hang this."

Taking his coat to the closet up front, she then went back to her boarding position. We're all "buttoned up" with the safety demo showing on the video during our taxi-out, and he rings his call light again-this time to check and be sure there wasn't an upgrade available. Cathy assures him that there wasn't one.

Once airborne, he was a little short with me as we came down the aisle with the beverage cart--but nothing too much. During the flight, he went forward towards the First Class galley--which happens to be through a dividing mesh curtain and right next to the cockpit door. Cathy stopped him in the aisle--he was coming up to use the lavatory there--and she redirected him to the lavatory located in coach, behind 6 AB. During the flight, he would go right up to the dividing curtain, hold out his glass, and request more orange juice or water from the First Class galley. (People! Whether in First Class or Coach, the orange juice, water and lavatory are all the same!)

Just prior to landing, Cathy was handing out coats and jackets to the First Class passengers. Before she had a chance to pass all the coats out, the call light went off again. It was Mr. Super-Duper Flyer in coach. Cathy walked to his row where he demanded "Bring me my coat!"

Oh, no he di-in't...

At this point, Cathy had just about enough of this man and his attitude. She went forward, put on a pile of pretty pink lipstick, kissed a napkin, leaving a big ol' lip print on it. She placed the napkin in his coat pocket (presumably for his wife to find) and returned the coat to him, with a big ol' smile, said "Here ya go, Sir!"

I'm just' sayin'....

My View 1 year ago: The week that was...

My View 2 years ago Bonjour, ya'll!



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flying mum
July 9, 2009 at 5:04 PM delete

I was laughing so hard at Cathy's reaction. Hope his husband DID find that napkin. I'll have to remember that one.

I have a little notebook I carry around to jot down notes about trips. Except I forget that I have it!

July 14, 2009 at 3:56 PM delete

Reminds me of the time that I was taking a flight and some of my wife's co-workers got on the PA and asked if Mr. X would please stay on board after the flight as they had found a pill bottle of Viagara with his (my) name on it. Talk about the need to get even!!

Grant Ryan
July 15, 2009 at 2:54 AM delete

HA silly passenger, if he was really a super duper passenger he'd a watched this video....

Awesome comeback though i'll bet he finds it and just think cathy wants him....

July 22, 2009 at 8:00 AM delete

re: Green means go, red means stop.

Some people do have red/green color blindness and have a hard time differentiating the two, especially in low light situations. If the sign says vacant or occupied I'm fine, but on some planes I've seen cryptic symbols and I'm always confused.

Most of the time pushing in the door will help me figure it out, but sometimes people don't lock the doors.