Not Trying To Be A (Buda)Pest

, , , , | Right | January 10, 2020

About six years ago, I went on a family vacation to Budapest on Portugal’s flag carrier. This happened on the flight back home.

After climbing for about fifteen or twenty minutes, the Captain made an announcement.

“Hello. Unfortunately, we will have to return to Budapest to pick up some passengers who did not board. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

We turned back, landed twenty or so minutes after the announcement, and taxied to a gate only for the doors to open and a four-member family to board. They were not famous and they were not important; they were a family on vacation in Budapest, just like mine.

Later on, we found out they made a mistake and entered the wrong bus, saw our plane depart, and spoke to the bus driver who passed the information along for everyone to coordinate the return of the aircraft and boarding of the passengers. It was nice to see that, for a change, an airline didn’t have a “Your mistake, your problem, buy a new ticket, we won’t waste our money with fees and fuel” attitude, but were rather truly interested in getting all their passengers from A to B.

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The Biggest Tantrums Do Not Come From The Babies

, , , , , | Working | January 8, 2020

(When my daughter is sixteen months old, I fly to Vancouver with her to visit my parents. The two-and-a-half-hour flight there is fine, and the visit goes well. Then comes the flight home…)

Mum: “Here, [My Name].” *hands me a brand-new umbrella stroller*

Me: “Um, thanks, Mum, but we’re just about to leave for the airport; what am I supposed to do with this?”

Mum: “It’s all folded up, so you can put it in the overhead compartment, and then you can use it to take [Daughter] off the plane. I have a friend with grandchildren, and she says it’s a great idea.”

Me: “Well, okay. Thanks.”

(We drive to the airport, I get myself and my little girl checked in, and then the two of us get on the plane. I struggle to get the stroller into the overhead compartment. It takes a few minutes, but luckily – due to that rule that “passengers with small children are allowed to board first” – I don’t hold anyone up. I keep looking hopefully at the flight attendant, thinking that she might help me, but all she does is give me nasty looks. Oh, well, I guess she is busy. My daughter and I take our seats. She gets the window seat, and I get the middle, leaving the aisle seat unoccupied, until…)

Passenger: “What? Oh, no. This is unacceptable.”

Me: “Sorry?”

Passenger: *presses button for flight attendant*

Flight Attendant: “Yes, ma’am? How can I help you?”

Passenger: “I don’t want to sit next to a kid. You need to move me.”

Flight Attendant: “I’m so sorry, ma’am; this is a full flight. There’s nowhere to move you to.”

Passenger: “You can’t be serious. I have to sit next to that for two and a half hours?”

Flight Attendant: “I wish I could help, ma’am. I’m very sorry.”

Me: *thinking* “You know, I can hear you.”

(The flight begins. I thought I’d packed plenty of juice and milk for my daughter, but she gets extra thirsty and drinks everything I brought, and then she starts to fuss. I press the button for a flight attendant, but no one comes.)

Daughter: *whimpers*

Passenger: *glares*

(I press the button again, but still no one comes. My daughter starts to cry.)

Passenger: “UGH.”

Me: *presses the button repeatedly*

Flight Attendant:What? What do you want?”

Me: “Could I get some apple juice, please?”

Flight Attendant: “Fine. I’ll be a few minutes.” *turns to the woman again* “I asked around, just to be sure, ma’am, and there are no extra seats. Again, I am so sorry!”

Passenger: “Hmph.”

(My daughter eventually gets her juice and is a lot happier. The rest of the flight is fairly uneventful, aside from the fact that our seatmate is wearing shiny leather pants that my daughter finds irresistible. She keeps reaching across me to try to touch them, which – naturally – does NOT impress the woman one bit. She shrinks back from my little girl as though she has rabies. Have you ever spent two hours constantly pulling a small child’s hand back from something she’s dying to touch and telling her, “No!”? It gets tiring after a while. Finally, we land, and I get up to get our new stroller.)

Me: “Uh-oh – this thing is really hard to open.” *struggles*

Flight Attendant: “Ma’am, you need to get out of the way so that passengers can disembark.”

Me: *near tears* “I’m doing my best; can you help me?”

Flight Attendant: “No, I’m too busy. Hurry up.”

(I finally give up on the f****** stroller and carry it, my bag, and my little girl off the plane to where my husband is waiting.)

Husband: “How was your flight?”

Me: “You do not want to know.”

(I was so glad to get home!)

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They Both Landed On The Wrong Detail

, , , | Right | January 3, 2020

(I am on a flight from Austria to Bristol in the UK. Unfortunately, due to bad weather causing poor visibility, we are unable to land at Bristol airport. Our pilot informs us that we will be diverted to Cardiff, about forty-five miles away, land there, wait about twenty minutes to half an hour, and then take off and try again to land at Bristol. The party seated behind us calls a stewardess over.)

Male Passenger #1: “Can we get off at Cardiff?”

Stewardess: “No. We won’t be going to a gate, just waiting a little while until the weather clears at Bristol.”

Male Passenger #2: “But we live in Cardiff. Can’t you let us get off here?”

Female Passenger: “Guys…”

Male Passenger #1: “It really won’t take long just to let us get off, and we live in Cardiff.”

Male Passenger #2: “If we’re just waiting around, it won’t delay anyone.”

Female Passenger: “But guys…”

Male Passenger #1: “Yeah, nobody will be inconvenienced.”

Stewardess: “It just isn’t possible.”

Female Passenger:Guys! Think for a moment! Where did we leave the bloody car?!”

Male Passengers: “Oh.”

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Charging Into A Bad Situation

, , , , , | Friendly | December 27, 2019

(I’m on a plane that doesn’t have any built-in TVs. The man next to me has made several irate comments about this, as he was apparently counting on the in-flight movies to keep him occupied. As far as I can tell, the only entertainment of his own that he’s brought is his phone. He’s been playing games on it the whole flight. While I’m in the middle of watching a movie on my laptop, he taps my shoulder and gestures for me to take out my headphones. I pause the movie and do so.)

Man: “Hey, my phone’s dead. I need to charge it.”

Me: “I don’t think this plane has any plugs. Sorry.”

Man: “That’s all right. I can just plug it into your laptop.”

Me: “Um, no. No, you can’t.”

Man: “I have the cord right here!”

Me: “Sorry, but I’m not comfortable allowing a stranger to plug an unknown device into my computer. And anyway, there’s only just enough charge left to finish the movie.”

Man: “Come on, I don’t need much!” *starts trying to plug his phone in despite my refusal*

Me: *loudly* “I said no!”

(By this point, we were attracting a bit of attention. I look young for my age — I’m often mistaken for a teenager — and from an outside perspective, this seemed worse than it was. Other passengers saw a young woman who they probably assumed was underage yelling, “I said no!” at a middle-aged man, and clearly made some assumptions. Noticing all the glaring and muttering, the man stopped trying to plug his phone in, and I was able to get back to my movie. Ten minutes later, though, I caught him trying to sneak his phone charger into my computer’s USB port. I tried for another ten minutes to watch the movie with my hand covering the USB port, but he started repeatedly ramming the charger into my hand. Eventually, I gave up and put my computer away without finishing the movie. In retrospect, I should’ve just flagged down a flight attendant.)

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Who Can Math Before Coffee?

, , , | Right | November 19, 2019

(I’m a flight attendant. I ask a passenger what she wants to drink.) 

Passenger: “Coffee… black with two sugars, please.”

(I repeat it back to confirm and she nods. I hand her a coffee with two sugar packets on the side.)

Passenger: *as she takes it from me* “Two more sugars, please.”

Me: “Oh, sorry, I thought you said two.” 

Passenger: “I did. But when I said two I really mean four.”

Me: “…”

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