My brother flies cargo, and if you ask him how he likes it, inevitably he will say, “Boxes don’t bitch.”
And gosh, are there ever days that I wish the body occupying seat 15F was an inanimate, muteless cardboard shape. A shape that couldn’t ring a flight attendant call button, roll their eyes, or complain because water costs $2.
People often say to me, “You must have some crazy and terrible passengers! What’s your craziest passenger story?” And honestly, I don’t have that many, or maybe it’s that I’ve blocked those memories from my mind. More often, my work days are filled with smiling, friendly, engaging, and entertaining travelers. Of course, they have their quirks, but don’t we all?
I am like that teacher in elementary school, the one that picked favorites, because I certainly have mine. I can’t help it! Here are some passengers that have stood out.
I met Ms. Dorothy, a 90-something, petite and spry Grand-mother, who dressed impeccably, nails painted, hair done, and had such a beautiful smile. Dorothy had more life than a 20-year-old, and graciously invited me to brunch at her beautiful home that overlooked the Pacific Ocean.
And then there was Mr. A, his wife, and son, who after a long delay, still laughed and joked about Springfield “Misery.” Mr. A generously offered to take the three of us flight attendants out kayaking in Redondo Beach, as he owned a kayak and jet ski rental company in the harbor.
The recent football charters brought with them a plane full of young athletes and attractive coaches. Not bad scenery I’d say:) It was fun joking with, teasing, and trying to learn the names of most of the players. The boys teased back and thought it was funny to push the flight attendant call button, only to turn it back off again before we arrived at the scene, blaming it on a sleeping teammate. I’m not sure if boys ever grow up. Cleverly, the guys renamed the orange light “The Pretty Lady Button,” What flight attendant can be angry about that? Football players may look tough and intimidating but it’s all just a show. I observed Ian, on the outbound and return flights, watching The Lion King, which is his absolute favorite movie, and chatted with sweetheart Dwight, who is graduating with a degree in education and wants to help inner city kids. Then there was the favorite, adorable and outgoing Cedric, who made our day by drawing a picture for us.
These are the types of passengers I get to meet. My flight attendant friend, Emily stated emphatically on our European adventure, “Kara, of course you meet these types of people. Of course you would.” And, when I try to explain it, I just shrug. I can’t. I’m just lucky I guess.