I like flying and do it a lot. I also think flight attendants have a difficult job and their resume should read “being nice to stupid people.” I wouldn’t want to be a flight attendant but one of my fantasy jobs would be getting people on board the aircraft. Once they’re on and settled in, I’d exit.
I fly Alaska Airlines quite often and I’d love to be the one to enforce each and every one of its rules and would gladly throw every rule breaker off the plane. My husband says I wouldn’t keep my job very long. I said, “Well, when I’m Empress of the world, things will be different and they will follow the rules.”
Here’s what I’m talking about.
The moment “pre-boarding” is announced, rude people start hovering near the check-in line so that the families with babies in strollers and old people with walkers have to navigate around them.
Next, you have people trying to get on board even though they’re not sitting in first class or holding MVP status. Rather than hold up the lines, I often see the airline employee letting people on even though their category isn’t called. Here’s where I would put my foot down – wait your turn!
Then you have the baggage announcements. You’re allowed one carry-on item that goes in the overhead compartments and one personal item that goes under the seat in front of you. How many times do I see women carrying a purse, a carry-on and a shopping bag? “Can’t you count, lady?” Some of the backpacks people carry could hold a small child. Some of the carry ons are as big as steamer trunks and certainly wouldn’t fit in that little thingamagiggy that’s at the door to the jet way that measures whether your bag is the correct size. The airline threatens to take those bags and check them through but I’ve yet to see anyone’s bag confiscated at the jet way because it was too big – even though it clearly was.
Here’s where people really lose all sense of reasoning – in the jet way. Once they’re in the plane, all rational behavior ceases. The flight attendant will explain the rules once again. Carry-ons in the overhead bin; personal totes under the seats. No coats in the overhead compartment unless they can be folded and placed on top of the carry-on. Well, I’m sitting and watching some 6 ½ foot man in a large coat come lumbering down the aisle with a cowboy hat that clearly is squishing his brain and what does he do? He puts the coat in the overhead bin taking up the space of a carry on. Why can’t people just follow the rules?
Then, of course, there are the people who stand in the aisle while they pick their nose, pull up their socks, reach up into the overhead bins to pull something out, talk to the person across from them – all while other passengers are trying to make their way down the aisle to their seats. All this is going on while the flight attendant, again, cautions people to step into the seating area to allow other passengers to pass.
I recently read that Alec Baldwin got kicked off his flight because he wouldn’t turn off his electronic game. I’ve never seen this happen but I commend the flight attendant who wouldn’t take any guff from the likes of Mr. Baldwin who clearly doesn’t think the rules apply to him.
My favorite rule breakers are those that are warned ahead of time to use the bathroom because the flight attendants would be coming down the aisle with the food and beverage carts in five minutes. It never fails. The moment those little wheels on the carts start to squeak by, people’s bladders become irritated and they have to pop up and stand behind the flight attendant and inch their way towards the back of the plane while the flight attendants are trying to feed a whole lot of thirsty and hungry passengers. It’s truly mind boggling to me.
I’m not of the mind that “rules are meant to be broken.” The airlines have a very important job to do and flight attendants have an incredibly thankless and hard job trying to keep us safe.
Why people think the rules simply don’t apply to them is a mystery to me. If you get it, God bless you.
Copyright © 2013 BernardGoldberg.com