Ladies and Gentleman a very warm welcome onboard. Do you ever wonder why cabin crew always give you dirty looks? Why the trolley always seems to bang into your elbows or knees as it passes? Why every time the crew get to your seat there’s only the veggie option left?
Being a glamorous international Trolley Dolly is no easy feat; neither is dealing with you, our ‘guests’. Here, we give you some useful hints and tips on how to avoid pissing off your crew, the people who may one day save your life.
So sit back and relax as we teach you ‘How To Be The Perfect Airline Passenger’.
Before The Flight
Remember those glorious days when flying used to be all about the glamour? When people used to dress up and make an effort to get onboard an aircraft? I don’t care if you’re flying first class or slumming it in economy, remember those good old days and make a bloody effort.
Manners, I’ve always been taught, don’t cost anything. Nowadays we’re lucky to get so much as a thank you if we pull your arse off a burning Boeing. A grunt and dirty look is NOT a sufficient response when I ask if you want anything from the trolley. Manners, don’t leave home without them.
At The Airport
Airports can be a magical place, they see more sincere kisses than wedding halls. People jetting off on well-earned holidays, travelling to see loved ones or heading off to clinch that all important business deal. It can also turn the most patient of people into quivering wrecks.
Let’s start at the beginning, Check In. Don’t act like an idiot and above all don’t be thinking your funny by mentioning the word ‘bomb’ or you’ll be whisked off to have a gloved hand up your backside quicker than you can say Concorde. You do NOT want to get on the wrong side of the check in staff. If you do, be prepared to pay a hefty fine for ‘over-weight’ luggage. A few notes on the computer under your booking and you may just end up stranded at your destination, no luggage and your return flight cancelled.
Security. I agree, airport security is a pain in the arse, but unfortunately those crazy terrorists are still hell-bent on causing mayhem. As crew we pass through everyday and are subjected to the same, often humiliating checks as everyone else. Take your belt off, empty your pockets, take off your shoes, take your liquids out of the bag and for f@*Ks sake make sure they’re under 100ml. There’s nothing worse than a smug security officer taking away your brand new Eau De Parfum.
You’ve checked-in and passed through security in one piece, now it’s time to relax a while before boarding. Bars, restaurants and endless shops, airports have it all. Try not to spend all of your holiday money before you fly. Firstly, the stuff is often cheaper onboard and your helpful, friendly cabin crew often get paid commission on what you buy, so feel free to spend away once your on the plane. And this way, you avoid being judged when you board with hundreds of duty-free bags, 10 mins after we should have taken off.
Fancy a drink? Just remember, everything in moderation. Please don’t get too drunk before your flight or we WILL refuse you boarding.
“Patience is a virtue”
Your flight has just been called, but there’s really no need for you to all run up to the gate at once. You won’t get onboard any quicker. Sit back down, relax and wait for your seat number or zone to be called. When it is, take everything with you. We will not be running back up to the gate for a deserted jacket, iPad or child. Have your ID and boarding cards ready, passports open on the photo page. Don’t be the idiot that puts it all away and then has to go rummaging through their bags holding everyone else up. And keep your boarding cards handy. Some airlines will want to see it, not to annoy you, because we have to.
So you’ve made it on to the plane, time now to find your seat. If you’re lucky enough to be flying First or Business, you’ll be greeted with a smile and asked to turn left, before being personally escorted to your individual suite, complete with lay-flat bed and complimentary champagne. If you’re economy, take a right and find your own bloody seat.
Hand luggage should be kept to a minimum. A small designer handbag for the ladies, a stylish man bag for the gents which fit nicely under the seat in-front of you is just perfect; not a case that looks big enough to fit in your whole wardrobe. By the way I hope you can lift whatever you’ve brought onboard because I will not be putting it up for you. Sorry, but will you be paying my wages while I’m off with a damaged back? No I didn’t think so.
‘You pack it, you stack it!’.
It’s time for the obligatory safety demo. We just love standing in front of you all, waving our arms around, pointing out the exits and messing up our hair as we show you how to put on a life jacket. But you know what’s really funny? When our delightful passengers mock and imitate us. Yep, its hilarious and completely original – you copying us pointing out the exits. No seriously, we’ve never seen anyone do it before, keep it up…..Idiots! All we ask for is a couple of minutes of your undivided attention, surely that’s not too much to ask? Oh you’d rather read your newspaper? Fair enough, but good luck finding your life jacket and nearest exit.
We’re now trapped together at 35,000 feet, locked in a big metal tube hurtling through the air at over 500 mph, what could possibly go wrong? It’s our job to feed and water you. Keep your arms and legs out of the aisle, stay sat down and please control your kids. Free amputations are available for passengers daft enough to leave any protruding limbs. Remember, you paid for a seat, not the aisle.
Some airlines may provide you with a ‘delicious’ complimentary meal. You might (depending on how the crew are feeling) get a choice, usually beef or chicken. It’s not a difficult question. I’m not asking you to choose between life and death, just pick one.
“You want chicken? Sorry we’ve only got beef left”.
Call bells are for emergencies only. If you press it and you’re not having a heart attack and the wing isn’t on fire, then you’re going to have to have a damn good reason why your finger connected with it in the first place. Also, it’s not a toy, so if your child keeps pressing it we will be popping the little cherub into the overhead locker for the remainder of the flight. Please also note that your reading light can be turned on by pressing the button marked with a light bulb. Pressing the crew call bell will NOT turn on your cabin crew.
The aeroplane toilet. We’ll begin with the door. For some this is a complex piece of equipment and many struggle to use it correctly. It may surprise you but it works just like every other door and no the ashtray on the front is not the handle. The door also has a lock, please use it. The button marked ‘flush’ is there for a reason, feel free to press it.
We would also REALLY appreciate it if you could leave your seating area in a similar state to the way you found it not, I repeat NOT full of used nappies, newspapers, torn up inflight magazines, used cups, pillows, blankets and your delicious airline meal all over the floor and up the cabin walls. Why should anyone, no matter how much they get paid, have to clean up after you!
And one other thing, the galley is for crew use only. It is not, I repeat NOT a child’s playground, your personal stretching space or somewhere you should linger for longer than a minute whilst waiting for the loo. Please don’t oggle us whilst we’re eating our dinner. Yes it is lovely and no you can’t have any.
Congratulations, you’ve managed to survive the whole flight without having to be restrained, or the aircraft diverted and you offloaded. We’ve finally began our descent and the captain has just switched on the seat-belt sign. Now is NOT the time for you to get up and use the toilet, you’ve had 10 bloody hours! Please pop away your tray table, turn off your iPad and for god’s sake pick up all that rubbish you’ve accumulated around you. Please note that all airlines have different rules regarding the use of electronic equipment. If your crew ask you to turn off your iPads, games etc and take out your earphones just do it. Oh and for the Kindle owners amongst you, it’s still is a piece of electronic equipment so no it’s not exempt from me asking you to switch it off. Next time bring a good old paper-back.
Unless you fancy your chances stood up as we hurtle towards the ground at 180+mph, then i’d take our advice, sit down and buckle up. You may think we’re joking, but the First Officer is on youth training and it really is his first attempt.
“Ladies and gentleman if you didn’t notice, we have just landed. Once the tire smoke has cleared, the warning bells have been silenced and we have gathered all the pieces of the aircraft , we will taxi you to the gate. Please remain seated until the seat-belt sign has been switched off, you won’t get off any quicker standing up now while we’re still a mile from the terminal”.
Don’t forget to take everything with you. Leave anything on board, especially after we’ve reminded you a million times to take all your personal belongings and you’ll be buying it back off eBay a week later.
Please don’t faff. Get your sh!t and get off. We’ve all got places to be and we’ve put up with you for long enough.
Good-bye and thank you for flying with us today.
And no you can’t go in the cockpit and meet the captain.