Can’t Make The Connection

| Chicago, IL, USA | Working | October 6, 2013

(I am flying to Tucson, AZ for college. After a layover at Chicago, we are taxiing to the runway.)

Flight Attendant: “Hey, turn your cell phone off! They all need to be off RIGHT NOW!”

Passenger: “My cell phone is off!”

Flight Attendant: “No, it needs to be all the way off. Hit the power button!”

Passenger: “But if I hit the power button, it’ll turn back on. It’s already off!”

Flight Attendant: “I’m not joking. Turn it off. All the way off. Hit that power button!”

Passenger: “What is wrong with you? I’m telling you it’s all the way off. OFF! The power button will turn it ON!”

Flight Attendant: “Look, I’m not playing games with you. If you don’t turn it off, we’re going back to the gate and throwing you off the aircraft. Your phone could interfere with aircraft systems, and we can’t have that. So hit the power button and turn it off. I’m not telling you again.”

Passenger: “But if I hit the power button, it’ll turn ON! If it’s on, it can interfere with the aircraft systems. Lady, it’s off, I promise you. You want to check it? Go ahead, check it.”

Flight Attendant: *to the senior flight attendant* “Tell the captain to take us back to the gate. I have an uncooperative passenger who won’t turn off her phone.”

Other Passengers: “We saw her turn it off! This is delaying us! Can we just go?”

Flight Attendant: “No, we’re going back to the gate! We can’t leave because your fellow passenger here won’t turn off her phone.”

Senior Flight Attendant: “Have you actually checked the phone yet?”

Flight Attendant: “Well, no. But I don’t need to. I know it’s on.”

Senior Flight Attendant: *to passenger* “May I see your phone, ma’am?” *checks the phone* “She’s right. The phone is powered off. Now, if you don’t mind, [Flight Attendant], I’m going to tell the captain to take us back. You need to be more careful about things like this.”

(We did end up departing only five minutes late, thankfully. And the passenger got an apology. Luckily, she was a better sport about it than the rest of us.)

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