Always Room For A Little Kindness

, , , , , | Hopeless | February 28, 2019

I’m on a flight to New Zealand; it’s a 30-hour flight that stops in LA to refuel and change the crew.

The first leg of the flight is literally hell for me. I am a fairly large person and the seats in economy are quite cramped. This would be tricky enough, but the person in front decides to recline his seat — which is entirely his right — but it stops when it hits my knees. He notices his neighbor’s seat goes further back, and so decides that force may help the problem; he slams himself backward whilst holding the recline button. After doing this twice, he notices nothing, and turns around to ask me if there is something blocking his seat… at which point he sees that it’s my knees and sheepishly turns around.

Then, the fact that my shoulder pokes slightly into the aisle means that I am constantly hit by people walking past. The solution is to hold myself in a very uncomfortable position that results in my arm going numb. I practically limp off the plane 12 hours later.

Fortunately, a stewardess notices my discomfort and asks if everything is okay. I explain that I was just so uncomfortable and that it’s no ones fault, but I’m just a little too large for economy. She promises to talk to the handover crew and try and sort me out. Feeling a bit cynical at this stage, I don’t expect much.

To my surprise, when I reboard for the next leg of the journey, a stewardess approaches me and explains that she heard from her colleague how much trouble I had on the previous flight and wants to move me to a seat that has opened up. I get moved to a new seat where there is no one beside me or in front, and during the meal service I get an extra dessert. I pretty much sleep for the next leg of the flight and feel much better when I get off in New Zealand.

To the stewardesses out there who saw my plight and did something for me, thank you!

As a side note, that airline actually changed its economy seating not long after this, giving passengers a few extra inches of width and legroom.

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They Are First-Class Jerks

, , , , | Right | February 15, 2019

(I am required to travel from the US to one of my company’s offices in London the week before Christmas, in order to train people on a new system we were going to implement after New Years. I am annoyed with having to leave my wife alone with our two young children and that I am having to travel so close to the holidays. At least my managers understand that someone in my position would be frustrated, so they arrange for me to fly first class on both the flight to London and the returning one. I am one of the last people to board my flight to London, and I am greeted by a man sitting in my seat, kissing the female passenger next to him. They realize I am standing there and start talking.)

Guy: “Is this your seat? We have been waiting for you.”

Me: *with a confused look* “Excuse me?”

Guy: “Well, me and my wife here are going on our honeymoon, and we got an upgrade to first class, but we are not sitting together. We were wondering if you would be willing to switch seats with me so I can sit next to her?”

Me: “Where is your seat?”

Guy: “It’s [seat that is not only in economy, but is also a middle seat]. Thanks so much for this buddy. Really appreciate it.” *immediately goes back to talking to his wife*

Me: *as I start putting my bags in the overhead bin* “Sir, I’m sorry, but I did not say I would switch with you; I was asking where your seat was to see if I would switch. Can you please move from my seat?”

Guy: “You just said you would switch with me, and now you’re taking it back. Are you really going to be like this?”

Me: “As I said, I was asking where your seat was before I agreed to change seats. No offense, but while it is your honeymoon, I am not comfortable trading my first class seat for one in economy.”

Guy: “Come on, man. I really want to sit with my wife. We could only get one upgrade from the lady at the desk because first class is full. I really would like to sit with her.”

Me: *trying to be nice, but not caving in to his idea to switch* “Again, I understand that, but I would like to sit in my seat. Maybe someone else here is willing to switch, but it is not me. Or maybe you could ask one of the people sitting next to you in economy if they will switch so you and your wife can sit together back there.”

Guy: *with a look like I just pissed in his coffee* “Listen to me. I want to sit with my wife, here in first class. Just stop making this difficult. It is our honeymoon. Maybe have some kindness.”

Me: “Sir, you are asking a complete stranger to take a downgraded seat and give you their better seat for free. I am kind of shocked that you thought anyone would take that agreement. I did not pay for you to sit in my seat, so please move.”

(I notice the wife has pressed her button for the flight attendant and she shows up soon.)

Attendant: “Is everything okay here?”

(I try to talk but the wife immediately starts speaking.)

Woman: “This man has been harassing my husband and me since he boarded. He keeps claiming I am sitting in his seat, but this seat is mine.” *shows her ticket* “Can you please move him away from us?”

(The attendant is about to speak with me when the passenger sitting behind the man and woman speaks up.)

Passenger: “This woman is lying through her teeth. The husband is sitting in that man’s seat and he refused to move, and pretty much threatened him to switch seats and go to economy.”

(The flight attendant asks to see my ticket and then the husband’s. She then asks me to come with her to the front of the plane and have me wait while she talks to the captain. I can see how she is getting frustrated, since the plane is about ready to take off and this whole mishap is causing a delay. After she is done talking, she goes back with me to my seat and talks to the couple.)

Attendant: “So, I have spoken with the pilot about this issue. We have called the desk agents and determined this man has paid for his ticket while you—“ *pointing at the wife* “—were given a free upgrade. Now that the two of you treated a passenger terribly and then lied, we have two options for you. A: both of you get up and sit in economy, since there are still plenty of seats back there, or B: you two leave this plane, either by your free will or by security.”

Woman: *suddenly looking a bit panicked* “Oh, don’t worry. My husband will move back to his seat, and I promise I will be on my best behavior up here.”

Attendant: “Sorry, miss, but that is no longer an option, because you used an opportunity to sit in first class to harass another passenger. I have told you what your two options are, and I will need your decision immediately. In all honesty, I wouldn’t have even given you two the option to go back to economy if the pilot didn’t feel bad it was your honeymoon.”

(The husband and wife then got up, while glaring at me, and moved back to economy. I was feeling good after that, because I not only had room in first class, but an empty seat next to me, as well. The flight attendant also talked to me and said that she was sorry for how that couple had treated me, and that the pilot requested a flag be put on the couple’s names so that they would not receive any other upgrades when flying with the airline.)

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They Also Know Where They Can “Stick” That Passenger

, , , | Right | January 23, 2019

I just took a flight. Since the duration of the flight was only one hour, they did not serve any hot meals to the passengers. This was announced before the flight attendants brought out the food cart.

A middle-aged gentleman was sitting right in front of me, and he ordered a sandwich. A flight attendant handed him his sandwich and continued her service.

Once the man finished his sandwich, he summoned a flight attendant. Once he came to the man, he started getting angry at the flight attendant, because “his food was cold.” The flight attendant apologized and informed him that since it was a short flight, they could not serve hot meals. The man seemed to let it go.

After a few minutes, when the flight attendant was passing by, he told him, “You know what? When you serve food like this going forward, you should probably also give a stick with it, so that we can push it down our throats.”

The flight attendant smiled and handled the situation gracefully, but I don’t know what the man was expecting!

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Reacting To Bad Parenting By Being A Bad Parent

, , | Right | November 27, 2018

(I work for an airline and am currently operating a busy flight. This takes place during trolley service. There are two children that have been running up and down the cabin and literally pushing the trolley to get past.)

Me: “One second, guys. Let me finish pouring this hot drink, and then you can squeeze past.”

(The kids scuttle off to their mum, who then comes down herself.)

Mother:Excuse me! Is there a reason my kids aren’t allowed past the trolley?!”

Me: “Yes, madam. I was pouring a cup of tea, and if they pushed it, then boiling water would have spilled all over me and the gentleman I was serving. They are more than welcome to pass now, if they would like.”

Mother: “Everyone else has been allowed past!”

Me: “Not while I’ve been pouring. Plus, your children have been chasing each other up and down the cabin for the past twenty-five minutes, pushing past the trolley and other passengers standing in the aisle. If there was a problem, someone would have spoken to you before.

Mother: “I’ve paid for their f****** seats!”

Me: “Then might I suggest that they sit in them?”

Mother: “You’ve got a f****** attitude problem! What’s your name? I’m f****** reporting you!”

(I have a very common name that is shortened to something that, while a bit unusual, is not that odd.)

Me: [Nickname]. Pretty sure I am the only one at this company, but just in case, that’s spelt with two S’s. You just need that and the flight number.”

Mother: “That is a f****** ridiculous name. That’s not real. Why are you lying to me? What’s that f****** short for? What kind of parents would give you that name? F****** h***!”

Me: “It’s on my name badge. You can have my birth name, but I am known in the company by [Nickname], and there are at least fifty crew members with my actual name, so [Nickname] is much easier to identify me personally to management.”

(The mother stormed off to the area of the cabin where my senior was working, still screaming obscenities, shouting about my ridiculous name, and claiming she “wanted compensation for how THAT spoke to her.” The kids looked a bit bemused and ran back to their seats, where they then stayed for the rest of the flight. She did eventually write in about my “stupid name” which made everyone in the office chuckle. As far as I’m concerned, everybody won, minus those poor kids!)

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Les Enfants Not-So-Terribles

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 18, 2018

I was flying back home from an event in Florida, and a woman sat down in front of me with a screaming infant. “Oh, this is going to be fun,” I thought.

Right then another woman with an active infant sat down next to me. She looked at the woman in front, then leaned over and said, “I guess this is your lucky day!”

If had been drinking something, I surely would have done a spit-take, it was so funny. That comment alone would have made up for any annoyances due to the babies.

After take-off she found a seat surrounded by fewer people, while the other tyke stayed remarkably quiet through the rest of the flight.

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