Category Archives: STEW STORIES

TRAVEL /// STEW STORIES /// I NEED A VACATION…

Seriously, I am in dire need of a vacation.  Half of you who may or may not read this assume flight attendants are only about pouring Cokes, picking up trash, hanging coats, and apparently putting your bags up for you (although I don’t know why a man at 6’2, 200+ lbs would need me to help him with his bag, but hey).  The other half of you sort of, kind of understand that our jobs are more physically demanding than one may think!  I would like to thank the second half and tell the first half to go to hell, thanks.  I fly 100-125 hours every month, this means I get paid for 100-125 hours every month, but actually I’m on “duty” (working) for almost double that.  Don’t ask me how that works, really, I don’t know any other job who says, “Hey, why don’t you go ahead and clock-in 1-1.5 hours early, get started, and I’ll wait to pay you until later on!”…  Needless to say, though I’ve said it anyway, I need a freaking vacation!

I’ve just completed a five-day domestic trip with overnights in Washington, DC/Baltimore, Maryland/Memphis, TN/ and Las Vegas, NV.  Are those even the correct city and state pairings?  Or the correct two-letter abbreviation for the state?  I really don’t know you guys, I only speak in airport codes!  I’ve got to admit, I sort of misjudged my crew a little bit right off the bat.  The reason for that is all I saw were two old hags who have been with the company for 24-36 years who are wrinkled and never smile and hardly speak to you.  Once I realized they share the same enjoyment of swearing, all was well.  It’s like we developed an instant common bond.  Thank you, f-word, I love you.

This round, I am willing to share with you some of my discoveries (sure, I’ll call them that to temporarily sound semi-nice) over the past five days.  I know how much you adore my lists (basically because A. I am terrible at composing any type of writing and lists tend to disguise that and B. Some people reading this may just be learning to read at age 32 and need something easy to go by, for that I feel as though I’m contributing something to society)…

1. DCA is incredibly easy to navigate, but a bitch to bear in the wind and cold.  Kindly enough, my boyfriend was able to join me on my DCA layover because he wanted to see some of the monuments.  Thanks to my company for allowing me to register him as my domestic partner. I’m thinking of referring to him as my “partner” altogether just to throw people off.  “You know Rei (Ray) and Alex?  Yeah, they’re partners.”  Awesome.  Anyway!  The metro-rail is amazing in DC.  Super easy, and if you’re seeing the monuments get off at Federal Triangle or Smithsonian and you’re gold!  From the Mall’s point A to point B it takes about 30 minutes to walk.

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Might I recommend eight cups of hot chocolate, three winter hats, two scarves, two jackets, long johns, and six sets of gloves plus maybe a ski mask to walk around DC in winter?  Also, I suggest speaking very clearly when making an order at a Chinese restaurant for take-out or this happens (Gray?  Rei?)…

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But, then this happens, and it’s all okay…

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2. Not so much a discovery, but I’ve made it a tradition to always visit the Edgar Allan Poe gravesite every time I go through Baltimore.  He’s my favourite author, so I enjoy paying my respects.  It’s extra fun when it’s dark outside and snowing.  I like to pretend the snow are orbs when I take pictures, it makes it way cooler.

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3. Don’t discuss the company’s lack of union representation with a 36-year flight attendant.  Actually, it’s almost inevitable because even if you don’t bring anything up about it, they’ll work their way towards that conversation.  Rei, “Man, I just banged my knee on the armrest really hard,” Senior FA, “You know, that wouldn’t have happened if we had a Union,” oh, okay!

4. Flight attendants, and probably any person working in some type of team operation (advertising collaboration, script writing, gang bangs…) have the tendency to misdescribe their work ethic.  What I mean is instead of saying, “I’m easy-going,” they simply say, “I’m easy” and in the case of Rei vs Flight Attendant, I usually win.  My typical response is, “That’s what’s I’ve heard,” or “I wouldn’t go around telling everyone that”.

5. Haven’t I mentioned not traveling with children before?  I certainly have!  The new addition to this “don’t” is don’t travel with a child unless you have proper provisions for them.  No, I don’t have diapers stashed away for you.  No, I don’t have baby food or formula in my bag.  If you have babies or kids and you simply insist on traveling with them, bring the proper supplies with you.  Never expect airlines to have the supplies you need.  First of all, some of the requests you make are outrageous.  Do you really think I have an extra breast pump lying around?  Secondly, some supplies, such as milk, we typically have, but due to catering issues we may not have it onboard when we’re supposed to.  Pack accordingly.  Also, today, we had a gentleman and his wife board with their toddler who was asleep in the mother’s arms.  The dad boarded (a fit guy, much taller than me) and immediately asked harshly, “Excuse me, can I get some help with these bags?”  My colleague inquired whether he was disabled and required assistance to which the passenger replied, “I have a child” to which I said, “That’s not a disability”.  Here’s the thing, if you can’t handle your luggage, then don’t bring it on, just check it.  If you require a wheelchair, are pregnant, are too fucking old, or whatever makes you unable to lift your large bag into the overhead, please don’t bring it on board.  The problem here is that we flight attendants don’t get paid until the plane pushes back from the gate which means that if we lift your bag for you without your assistance and we get injured, we aren’t covered by our health insurance because we’re not technically on company time.  I may have mentioned this before, but I cannot stress it enough!  If you pack it, you lift it or you check it.  My bag is heavy as hell and I would never expect anyone else to lift it except me!

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6. I forgot what I was saying.  Where am I?  Oh my god.  What time is it?  Oh, okay, hang on.  So this lady boards today and immediately has an attitude.  You’re messing with the wrong crew, lady.  She wants to know why she was moved from the bulkhead seat of 1B to the window seat of 5A.  Bitch, you’re still in first class, so I don’t know what you’re complaining about.  You’re old and short, so you don’t need a bulkhead.  You’re old and short, and the bulkhead seats require all items to be stowed in an overhead and as I mentioned before I am not putting your shit up for you, so actually, this is benefitting you!  Yes, please sit in 5D because that’s the exact same thing as 5A, please confuse 5D when he arrives so he stops me from my duties to remedy the situation.  I just got distracted from writing because my fat, Siamese cat wandered across the carpet and I thought it was a huge, Black Plague rat.  My life was in danger for a moment.  Anyway!  Karma is a wonderful thing.  It turns out this   Second cranky and rude lady had about five inches of toilet paper sticking out of the back of her pants.  She was lucky that my fellow coworker told her about it.  Still, I couldn’t control my snickering.  I debated asking her if she could spare a square, but knew she would write me a bad letter for amazing humour.

7. It’s amazing how many people travel without gum.  Firstly, if you sleep, you wake up with “morning breath” and what better way to fix that nastiness than popping a piece of gum in your mouth!  Who cares if you have TMJ?  I have it and I chew gum all the time!  Sometimes it’s for the best because it’ll lock my jaw shut from the muscle tightness so I can’t yell at you and everybody wins, well, except me because I really want to yell at you.  Second of all, your ears tend to plug up and pop constantly due to the cabin pressurization and altitude change, many people like to chew gum on take-off and landing.  Bring your own goddamn gum, don’t ask me for a piece.  Remember when I mentioned airlines not having particular supplies onboard?  Yeah.  We don’t have gum.  What you’re asking me for is to dip into my personal stash and if that’s the case, I’m going to charge you $5 for one piece of Trident gum.  Sound unfair?  Well, life isn’t fair, and I don’t feel like donating my personal supplies.  Some guy asked me for a piece today because we were descending and his ears hurt.  I feel for you, man, I really do, but if you’re flying, bring some with and be prepared.  That’s one thing the TSA won’t take from you!  He acted upset that I wouldn’t give him my own gum.  Do you want to use my deodorant too?  How about my Chapstick?  Maybe a pantyliner?

8. Why is it that so many of you insist on pushing your roller bags up and down the aisle?  Yes, pushing is better for your shoulders and back, but when it comes to boarding and deplaning, we need speed!  When you pull your bag, you tend to have more control.  Somehow, roller bags have minds of their own.  When you push them, they wobble and stray to the side, smacking the armrests and taking you twice as long to get to your seat and off the plane.  Just pull the damn bag behind you.  Ever wonder why the flight attendants are always saying, “You know, it’s easier to pull your bag behind you…”?  It’s frustrating day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year seeing so many of you making this mistake!  It will benefit us all if you just pull your bag.  Thank you!

9. Some flight attendants make cart set-up a lot more difficult than it has to be.  I always tend to set up a beautiful, user-friendly cart when I am designated the “galley” position.  One of two things happen, either the flight attendants remark on how nice the cart is and off they go to start service, or the flight attendants tear the cart apart, make it look ghetto, and take 30 minutes to redo what I just did because it’s “their way”.  Bitches.

10. Men should never wear platform shoes, especially platform sandals.  No one wants to see your talons.  I don’t care if it helps you roll your dice in Las Vegas because you’re too short to reach over the table.  It’s sincerely unacceptable.

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Don’t set off fire alarms at hotels at 2:40AM.

Don’t smoke crack.

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Over and out.

-skipididu

TRAVEL /// STEW STORIES /// A REUNION…

I’ve got to admit, I forgot this blog even existed. I’ve been far too busy frolicking around the Earth by plane that I forgot about this blog, my cats, my bills, and my boyfriend. Just kidding, I could never forget about my cats. Seriously, though, I apologize to my fans for letting you down. However, I am alive and relatively well in general.

It’s probable you are wondering where my travels have taken me. It’s also probable that a majority of you genuinely don’t care. For those of you interested… I actually don’t really remember all of the places I’ve been, probably because I had a few too many beers in a few too many cities. Totally worth it.
Now that we’re up to speed, lets talk actual travel here. Remember when I made an attempt at educating the public on how to travel? Apparently, no one has read that. In addition to the fore mentioned, I would like to add a couple of “don’ts” when it comes to traveling by airplane (or just in general):

1. Don’t travel when you’re sick. Not only are you an idiot for traveling with a sinus infection because your ears are probably going to explode, but you’re an asshole for traveling with the flu. Do you not realize you’re subjecting everyone else onboard, including flight attendants, to your illness? How dare you! I can’t afford to get sick! When I even get remotely sick, I have to call in sick, and guess what? I only have 38 hours of sick time a year! A five-day trip for me is worth 30 hours so now I’m left with eight hours because you’re an idiot and want to bring your sick self in a confined area and throw up everywhere. Go vomit and shit in your own house, not on my airplane!  Don’t try to tell me you don’t have a choice because you do. You’re other choice is for me to beat the crap out of you, I may as well because you’re going to get me sick anyway. Thanks!
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2. Please don’t travel drunk. Sometimes I get a little laugh out of you clunking your head while getting out of your seat, or when you stumble and fall into the lavatory, okay. When you’re so drunk that you get sick, this is not cool! I worked a Los Angeles redeye turn around and on both segments we had a drunk person who decided it was an awesome idea to throw up in our galleys. Are you serious?! If you’re that sick that you can’t make it to the bathroom, grab a barf bag or just throw up on yourself, in your purse, in a blanket, or on the person in front of you, but not in my galley! Totally unsanitary considering now you’ve just exposed us to bodily fluids and those fluids have potentially come in contact with our carts which means now we can’t complete a beverage service and you’ve pissed off a lot of people, including me. I have to clean it up because you’re too drunk to do it, and waste my good perfume on the air so it doesn’t smell like vomit. What is wrong with some of you people?!
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Okay, maybe I’ll add one more don’t, or maybe two:
3. Don’t travel with pets. As cute as I think your dog, Henry, is, the thing is that he’s supposed to be in a carrier and you keep taking him out even after I tell you that you can’t do that because of allergens. Also, I’m beginning to think people are labeling animals as “emotional support” for absolutely no reason other than to get out of paying a fee for bringing their pet onboard which is a bunch of bullshit. The moment an animal like that is out of their carrier and on our plane half of the time they start getting out of control, barking, whimpering, running around, and probably crapping in some corner somewhere. Guess what? I am not cleaning that up, that’s all you, bozo!
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4. Don’t travel with children unless you can control them. A crying baby is one thing, I get that, babies cry. It’s not their fault you forced them to travel at an ungodly young age, popping their eardrums and subjecting them to loud engines and fart-smelling air. I’m talking about toddlers and up, even teenagers I’ve seen get out of control! They need to sit down when the seatbelt sign is on, stop throwing tantrums, quit making a mess, knock off kicking people’s seats, and the like. If you cannot control your child, I am going to throw it out the emergency exit and send you right after it! The cheering from your fellow passengers will be outrageously delightful. I once heard a gate agent refer to children as “carry-on luggage” and I couldn’t agree more. Keep your children under control!
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Fine, I’ll make it an “even” five:
5. Don’t ask your flight attendants for something they’re not offering at the time. If I’m coming through offering water in between beverage services, don’t ask me for a coffee. If I’m coming through offering coffee on a morning flight, don’t ask me for tea. If I’m coming through collecting trash, don’t ask me for a Diet Coke with a slice of lime. I’m happy to accommodate your requests after I have fulfilled my current duties, but it’s kind of weird and rude to me that when I ask, “Coffee?” you respond, “No, but I’ll take a tea with one creamer, one sugar, and a slice of lemon”. What you’re really asking for is a swift kick in your ass!
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You got questions for me? Shoot them my way!

Over and out.

-skipididu

TRAVEL… stew stories: surprises around every corner…

I know, I’m the worst “blogger” ever because I am way too leisurely.  So leisurely that I should be wearing a Kate Jackson leisure suit–fact.

  Since my last update, I have flown a couple three-day trips and sat a couple of OPR shifts.  Somehow, these trips and OPR shifts have had some of the best flight attendants.  Obviously, I’m not talking about myself.  Remember, I never said I was a good flight attendant, I just am a flight attendant, period.

January 14-16, 2012, I flew a three-day trip taking me to overnight layovers such as Fort Myers and Tampa.  Being a Minnesotan, I was thrilled at the opportunity to temporarily escape the cold!  In your face, Minnesota!  The first day didn’t start off great as it was clear to me I was stuck with three senior ladies who seemed to have no personality.  Inevitably, I was deferred the Flight Leader position, and off we went.  Our first night in RSW was uneventful, but our night in TPA was remarkable!  Two of the ladies and I met up in the lobby for some glasses of wine and relaxing conversation.  One glass turned to two and turned to three and suddenly, I realized that these senior ladies are seriously cool!  They swore, they said naughty things, and they drank like fish.  I recall one of the ladies asking the other for a cigarette in the middle of our conversation, and amidst our laughter we noticed that she had lit up the cigarette in the lobby without thinking.  A security dude started walking by, so quickly she shoved the cigarette in her empty glasses case to put it out, and we frantically waved our hands to rid the area of smoke.  It was like drinking with high school students (which is wrong because they’re underage, of course)!  According to these ladies, midnight was just the start of the evening, and so we moved the “party” to one of their rooms.  I remember going to a vending machine to get a bottle of soda, coming back into the room to find one of the gals changing into her pajamas.  Don’t worry, I only saw the back, but yes, she was braless.  Old ladies like these get loud and rowdy once they’ve been drinking, they also tend to break their $2 flipflops and have the urge to throw them off the balcony.  This I did not know.  Luckily, I convinced her to simply put the flipflops in the dresser drawer and see how long they stay in there.  (The next day, she did not recall this happening, which means her broken flipflops stayed in the dresser and are probably still there considering the lack of cleanliness in that particular hotel.)  I will not tell you how late we stayed up until for my own safety and protection, but I don’t know how these girls were able to do it.  They definitely earned my love and respect.  I haven’t seen such cool older ladies since Mrs. Slocombe.

My next three-day trip lead me to Phoenix and a reschedule to Boston.  My first crew, including myself, were all junior and had been sitting OPR.  One of them happened to be my friend, A.  Our flight and night was short, but our conversations consisted of old lady haircuts, fiber, farting, everything being for babies, being pissed off at our shuttle driver for being extremely late, and pilots being jerks for trying to make fun of our accents.  (Seriously, like their stupid southern accents were any better!)  I am sad to announce that when we arrived at our hotel, I retrieved my bags and found an eight-legged crawly thing on one of my bags.  For those of you who know me, this was traumatizing as I am extremely arachniphobic.  I thought I was going to throw up and die!  Another crew member inspected my bag and assured me it was gone, so all was well, though I still could not sleep that night.

The next day, instead of going home as scheduled, I was “tagged” (rescheduled an addition to my trip) by Scheduling to go to Boston for another short over night.  The Flight Leader and I had flown together before, our flight was half full (or half empty, if you’re that pessimistic), and although our night was short, we all met for dinner and a drink.  For some reason the bartender was extraordinarily nice to me by giving me expensive beers at a cheap price.  I never understand why these things happen, but I’m cheap, so I wasn’t going to argue.  The following day I managed to escape getting tagged and made it home safely, though later on I noticed Scheduling had tried to tag me, but failed.  See, if they don’t send us a message in flight or have an agent or manager meet our flight to give us a message, we’re home free.  Scheduling contacted me too late, which is not my problem!

The rest of my month has consisted of sitting two OPR (On Premise Reserve–we sit at the airport for six hours in case we’re needed at the last-minute) from 17:00 to 23:00.  Each day I was with other junior people who either I know or are friends with, which made the time fly by!  (Ba-dum-bum-ccchhhh!)  You would think we were having a party in the little crew quarters we set up for ourselves at inflight.  I’m sure the managers and other flight attendants in the area weren’t super appreciative of our laughter and loudness, but hey, if we’re sitting there for six hours, we’ve got to make the most of it!  Side note: my phone never has reception in the area to which I am required to sit at for OPR, which seriously sucks, and I would like to sarcastically thank T-Mobile for that.  Jerks.  I sincerely thank Sa, De, Aa, and Da for making OPR such a joy!  I couldn’t have survived without you guys!

Over and out.

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: disappointment…

Hello lovelies!  Unfortunately, I don’t have much to say as I have only flown an uneventful turn on December 31st with the #22 flight attendant system-wide, and a charter flights on January 2nd and 3rd.  I would like to fill you in on my last trip, although not too much happened.  That’s why I’ve decided, for your sake, to call this “disappointment” because it probably is.  Although, if you were really looking forward to my writing, you should be ashamed.  Do you really think I have interesting crap to write all the time?  Silly you!  Go in the corner Blair Witch style and think about what you’ve done!

It was January 2, 2012 and the temperature outside was 17 degrees in Minneapolis.  Of course, on one of the coldest days we’ve had so far, I was on my way to the airport to start my work day!  My crew was fortunate enough to be deadheading on the flight over to LAX.  To my dismay, the flight crew line was extremely long.  My heart jumped as I noticed my dear friend K ahead in the line!  I approached her saying “K, I f-ing see you!” and when she turned I exclaimed “Not K!” and turned away very quickly in embarrassment for mistaking a random blonde flight attendant for my friend.  I was off to a good start!

On the flight over I was stuck with seat 20E, the middle seat, next to a guy who looked like trailer trash and snored while awake.  He attempted to make conversation with me (as passengers usually do to us flight crews, and just so you know, not all of us wish to engage in conversation during a flight in which we miraculously don’t have to work for once, we would rather sit there quietly reading or taking a much needed nap) which I was able to shoot down right away by responding with one or two words.  He eventually got the picture, thank goodness, and I was home free for three hours to enjoy the Badgers game on my in-seat Satellite TV option!  They lost…  It was sad times for us.

We landed, deplaned, and caught our shuttle to our hotel approximately 30 minutes away in downtown Los Angeles.  To no surprise, the hotel had no reservations for us.  It seems our company can never come through for us, especially when it comes to charter flying.  Something always has to be messed up, and it’s extraordinarily frustrating for this same thing to happen every time we go to check into a hotel.  With the exception of the ghetto hotel in Indianapolis who had our rooms ready right away as I suspect they probably don’t get many guests as they do welfare participants looking for homes at $60/night.

The hotel was confusing as all can be.  Colours were associated with room numbers and towers.  Somehow we made it to our rooms, changed, and decided to meet by the pool on the fourth floor for some adult beverages and the inevitable ordering of pizza.  I stepped into the elevator to realize that there is no fourth floor.  Actually, what you have to do is get off on either the fifth or third floor and take the stairs to the fourth floor.  Okay, I can handle that.  I got off on the third floor and walked up to the fourth floor.  I went around in a big circle and could not find the pool to save my life.  What is the deal with this hotel?!  It seems to me this place would make a better prison as no one would figure out how to escape it.  Finally, I saw a little sign indicating the pool was to the left.  I came to some doors.  Is the pool outside?  So I go outside and see a courtyard, but no pool.  Seriously?  Oh, excuse me, I didn’t realize I had to go across the courtyard grass and up two more sets of stairs outside in order to get to a pool that had no lights around it.  Nice and dark.  Good for a midnight raping, I would imagine.  Once again, something appropriate for a prison.

We all finally found the pool, had some drinks, ate some pizza once we found a delivery place that didn’t close at freakin’ 9PM for some bizarre reason, and jammed to some tunes.  Yes, I said jammed to some tunes.  A little after 10PM a security guy approached us informing us that the pool closes at 10PM.  What?  We don’t even get to the hotel until 9PM and take a half hour just to find our rooms and the pool, now we get kicked out.  Luckily, my fellow crew member S speaks jive (as the security guy was black).  Just kidding, it’s not jive, but she has a super light touch of ghetto in her, so she connected with this man by way of comedy, and talked him into letting us stay as long as we weren’t disruptive and didn’t stay the whole night.  Success!  Or so we thought.  Until a different security guy came by and told us we had to leave.  We didn’t want to get the other jive brother in trouble, so we opted to leave him out of it.  For some reason or another, this security guy felt the need to ask what group we were with.  I have no idea what that had to do with anything, but if our airline gets kicked out of that hotel I guess we’ll know why!

We flew the team back to Madison the next morning after some confusion with Scheduling as to our whereabouts (we chose to leave even earlier from the hotel to give ourselves enough time to prepare the flight and yet Scheduling still was panicked to know where we were an hour before we were scheduled to be at the airport–what idiots).  We landed a little late, deplaned an entire A330, made our way to the terminal and to the next gate only to find that we were to work the flight back to Minneapolis.  It’s no big deal, I mean, we didn’t have our uniforms, but whatever.  Unfortunately, the Captain and the Customer Service Agent were a little pushy with us as we arrived at the gate late (not our fault–once again, I blame Scheduling for assigning us such a short connection).  We were exhausted from our last flight then having to haul our luggage from the plane parked outside to the terminal inside.  Don’t be pushy with us!  They were lucky enough to have us!

We made it to Minneapolis and booked it home.  End of story.  Exciting, right?  See, I warned you it would be disappointing, but you decided to read it anyway!

This is you:

Just kidding.

Over and out.

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: worst jet lag ever…

At long last, I have come back!  Some of you, though possibly none of you, may be wondering where it is I’ve been all month.  I apologize to my non-readers for not updating sooner.  You see, this month I actually had a schedule.  Crazy, I know.  This means that instead of being on-call certain days of the month, I actually had trips set up so I knew where I was going all month.  I had the first 15 days off of the month (except they snuck a 3-day charter trip in there), which sounds insane.  That seems pretty amazing, except the fact that this means I was to cram 80 hours of flight time into the last half of the month.  Ouch.  If you want to see the terror that was my monthly schedule, here you go:

Dec. 2-4: IND layover

Dec. 15-17: PIT, LAS layovers

Dec. 18-20: ELP layover

Dec. 23: TPA turnaround

Dec. 24: SEA turnaround

Dec. 25: PHX, DTW, TPA layovers

Dec. 31: ATL turnaround

Yes, you read that correctly.  Working six days in a row at a time.  That really wears you out when it comes to flying, especially domestically.  Sometimes I forget that even the slightest time change can mess with your body.  It certainly did this time!

Luckily, I was able to change a couple of trips, though.  I ended up with Christmas Day off and did a 2-day charter on the 26th, then traded my ATL turnaround for a MIA turnaround on the 31st.  How exciting!  Somehow, I’m still wiped out.

Now it’s time to “summarize” my trips for you, because I know you’re dying to find out how they went.

  1. Dec. 2-4: IND layover.  We had 45 hours in IND.  You would think that with that much time in one place, we would be in a sweet hotel downtown next to everything you ever wanted.  Not this time.  Our company pretty much messed this up.  Instead, they thought it was a great idea to put us up at a “back up” hotel which was connected to a hospital/mental health facility/rehabilitation center.  Our van driver didn’t even want to leave us there.  We tried to make other logical arrangements, but we were denied.  It was extremely frustrating mainly because we want our company to work with us as they promised, but they definitely weren’t working with us by leaving six women in a shady part of town.  We felt extremely unsafe, but it went unnoticed and we were told “too bad” because the rooms were already paid for.  People were living in this $60/night hotel.  There were random wheelchairs scattered throughout the hallway.  There was some type of preschool in the basement.  The bar sat two people and ran out of Coors Light after four bottles.  The restaurant was dingy and closed at 9.  When we asked about places to eat, the kind man at the front desk laughed and replied, “How energetic are you?”  Not cool.  Luckily, we were saved for one night and brought downtown by a very cool guy we know.  We lived it up and made the best of it knowing that we would have to return to Hell at the end of the night.  Another flight attendant and I begged for someone to drive us to get something to eat or to give us some donuts or something because we were so starving.  The next day was the Big Ten championship game, which we were fortunate enough to attend.  Although, we could have done without the kid behind us throwing up onto our jackets.  Yeah…  I firmly believe the father shouldn’t have attempted to bring the kid back to their seats after that.  A responsible parent should’ve taken the child home, but not this guy.  He wanted to see the game, darnit!  Don’t worry though, the kid threw up again all down the stairwell, then they left.  One flight attendant spent 45 minutes just trying to clean her jacket in the bathroom.  Disgusting.  Did she get an apology from the parent?  No.  Fantastic.  One more night in the craptastic hotel and we were back home the next day!  Completely unacceptable.  Worst hotel I have ever stayed at.
  2. Dec. 15-17: PIT, LAS layovers.  Not as eventful as Indianapolis, I assure you.  One flight attendant didn’t show up so an OPR was called out and she turned out to be a little airheaded and nutty.  Actually, I would say that by the end of the trip I wanted to kick her in the face, but I refrained from doing so.  The good side is that the flight attendant who took the “Lead” position has to be one of my favourites.  If it weren’t for him, I may have committed a murder.  Another FA and I found an excellent restaurant in Pittsburgh right by our hotel after walking up and down the streets in the rain for 30 minutes.  The rain was cold, but it was nothing a good beer couldn’t fix!  Our night in Las Vegas the next night was nice and cheap from the free hour-long happy hour to the $1.75 tall beers and cheap food at Ellis Island.  We didn’t win or lose any money because we didn’t play.  Don’t ask how I managed to not hit up at least one slot machine in Vegas.  Somehow, on this trip, I managed to receive a “Job Well Done” certificate from a passenger.  We love those things because not only do they make us feel awesome, but because they’re worth points and we can redeem those points for various things.  Thank you, passenger, for recognizing my great customer service!  Sorry to my fellow crew members, but you should have considered being as amazing as me and you may have gotten one too.  Just kidding, you guys rock, except for the crazy chick who didn’t understand the concept of anything that had to do with anything.
  3. Dec. 18-20: ELP layover.  I was “legal” for this trip by four minutes.  You heard me, four minutes. Ridiculous.  When I say legal, what I mean is that at our own base we must have 12 hours of rest from release time (15 minutes after we get to the gate) to report time (1+ hours prior to departure).  I had 12:04 to rush home, do laundry, eat, repack my bag, sleep, and get ready the next day for a 13-hour day.  Fortunately, I ended up having probably the best crew I have ever had.  These ladies made me laugh so hard that not only did I cry, but I almost let out a surprise fart due to the force of my laugh.  That, my dears, is incredible.  For some reason Andrew Zimmern (from Bizarre Foods) was on our initial flight with his wife and kid.  Go figure, I get the one guy who, while I know who he is, I definitely don’t like his show.  He felt the need to ask what was on the salad that was being served for lunch…  What?  Dude, you eat spiders and testicles, what do you care what’s on a salad served on an airplane?  Perhaps airplane food is worse than what he eats.   Anyway, I’m sure our passengers didn’t appreciate the constant laughter from the galley, but we did.  We survived our day and discussed important things (or not) over dinner and drinks the following day.  We got a little last-minute Christmas shopping done, watched a kid knock over an entire display of toys at the mall, and realized that I was the only white person in sight in El Paso.  My how the tables have turned, yes?  It was a good trip.
  4. Dec. 23: TPA turnaround.  Nothing to see here, folks.  I had a good crew, but nothing eventful occurred during the day.  I returned home for another minimal rest night.
  5. Dec. 24: SEA turnaround.  Everyone cool was working this day!  By that I mean all the junior people.  I have never ran into so many co-workers that I actually know.  Passengers were very lucky this day!  I got to fly with an incredibly dear friend of mine and one of my class mates from flight attendant training!  Our “lead” was a little nuts, but not too bad.  Aside from the pilots inaccurately telling us the weather forecast resulting in unpredicted turbulence which delayed our service, everything went smoothly.  I returned home and frantically put dinner together for my mum, brother, and dad.
  6. Dec. 25: got my trip dropped!  Merry Christmas to me!  Spent the day home alone instead watching Love Actually and eating too many sweets.
  7. Dec. 26: LAX layover.  The charter flight from Madison to Los Angeles couldn’t have been more hectic.  Turbulence.  First class service for almost 300 people.  Logically short two flight attendants.  It was a nightmare.  Supposedly, all things considered, it went much better than last year.  That scares me a little bit.  Kids throwing up.  One particular man being an impatient jerk, which I will not document.  Virtually no time to eat.  Hardly had enough time to pick up and this was an almost four-hour flight!  Total insanity!  As you can imagine, our layover in LAX consisted of two words: beer and pizza.  I swear to you that I am not an alcoholic, in fact I hardly drink when I’m home, but if you had the job that I have, you would understand the need for a couple of drinks when you have the time!  Though, if I were an alcoholic, I would probably look like this:

Now all that is left is a Miami turnaround tomorrow morning in which I am flying with a #200 senior mama.  To put this in perspective, I am seniority #6975.  Should make for an interesting day!  I’ll return to Minneapolis at 4:00 PM, eat something that is terrible for me (as I am determined to make myself fit next year), have a drink, watch some Twilight Zone, and see the stupid ball drop again.

Happy New Year, guys!

Over and out.

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: generals (flight)…

At long last I have returned and I bet you thought I forgot about you!  This is not the case.  Between cleaning the house, flying a Charter, flying a two-day trip, cleaning the house more, cooking Thanksgiving dinner on my only day off, making my hair look like a cross between a turkey’s feathers and Betty Rubble, I just haven’t had the time to write!  I’m here now, and I will continue with educating you on flying.

You’ve cleared security, Angelina Jolie has left her millions of children behind, you’ve made it to the gate and boarded the plane.  Congratulations!  The hard parts are over.  The next part ranging anywhere from 20 minutes to 15+ hours is all flight time, and I am now your stewardess!  Whether you are excited or frightened by this idea, you’re going to have to deal with it because I have you right where I want you: in a confined area with nothing but recycled air and a couple of old, possibly pervy pilots keeping us alive.  Yay!

The first thing you need to know about being a passenger is that you seriously need to abide by crew instructions.  Watch and listen to the safety demonstration that we either perform or have you watch on a monitor.  You don’t know how many times I have looked at each and every one of you as I stand up there demonstrating the seatbelt and see maybe half of you watching me.  The other half is either sleeping, not paying attention, on their phones (which we told you to turn off a few times and you still haven’t listened), listening to their music (once again, turn it off), or just being obnoxious by talking loudly to someone next to you which is distracting the first half who is actually trying to pay attention.  We tell you that you have to abide by crew instructions in the demo.  This means you listen to us.  If you continue not to listen to us, we can drop you off somewhere you’ve never heard of and leave you for dead, basically!  This is the most important rule of flying: listen to the flight attendants (sit down, fasten your seatbelt, stow your luggage, turn off your electronics, turn down your music, use headphones, don’t stand in the galley, keep your feet out of the aisle, don’t use that tone of voice with me, etc.) or suffer the consequences!

If you can get that down, the rest of the flight is easy as pie!  Except personally I don’t think pie is easy, so, let’s change it to cake.  Easy as cake.  A piece of cake.  The like.

When it’s safe for us to move about the cabin there will be a beverage service probably served with a little snack if the flight is long enough and sometimes snacks for sale.  If you want something to drink, have something in mind.  There’s (almost) always water, coffee, tea, soda, and juice.  Coke products if you’re flying Delta.  No we do not have Mountain Dew anymore, sorry folks!  Also, we do not carry iced tea, soy milk (vanilla, regular, or chocolate), grapefruit juice, chocolate milk, Dr Pepper, root beer, lemonade (except for pink lemonade in October, for sale only, for the BCRF), green tea (with the exception of Asia flights), grape juice, koolaid, purple stuff, cream soda, cherry Coke, diet caffeine-free Coke (what is wrong with you people who drink that?!) and basically anything that doesn’t sound like something that is normally ordered.  There’s liquor, beer, and wine usually for purchase.  If you don’t know what you want to drink right away, I will ask the next person if it’s a 35-minute flight because I want to serve everyone and don’t have much time.  If you managed to smuggle your child past me onboard, don’t let them order for themselves because what usually happens is the kid will either get shy and not say what they want, or they’ll just take forever, so just speak for them.  Remember please and thank you’s are always appreciated as are tips (though I cannot actually advocate for accepting tips)!  Sometimes there’s a choice of snack: peanuts, pretzels, or cookies.  Sometimes on short flights only one of these are offered.  Our company sent us this silly e-mail (maybe I’m not supposed to say this, but I don’t care) requiring us to only give one bag of peanuts, so unfortunately when we’re out, we’re out!  Crazy isn’t it?

I know I made that sound super complicated, but it’s not.  Sometimes there are snacks for sale if the flight is long enough and you can always ask us what we have available (although usually we do our best to make an announcement prior to service to give you a heads up) or you can look in the back of Sky Magazine in your seat pocket for current selections!  Have your credit card ready because, unless it’s certain Delta Connection flights, we only accept cards for all purchases.  Sorry!

If the flight is extra long (snicker-snicker) not only is there a meal in first class/business elite, but there is a meal in coach!  Usually it’s chicken of some sort, beef of some sort, or pasta of some sort.  If you have an allergy, are vegetarian (or something similar), have a picky-eating smuggled child, or have a baby, you may want to consider putting in a special meal request when you book your ticket because we cannot guarantee we will have a choice for you onboard.  It’s unfortunate, I know.  Even our crew meals have meat and I don’t eat a lot of meat when it comes to airplane food, so I am out of luck.  I feel for you!

Try your best to stay out of the aisle and keep other objects (including limbs or I may take them right off) out of the aisle as well while we are serving.  The carts we push/pull are extremely heavy and it’s very inconvenient if we constantly have to move for you.  Try to go to the bathroom before we get in the aisle or wait until after.  Another option is wearing a very large diaper, but don’t try to hand it to me when you’re through!  It’s not that we’re trying to be mean (maybe some flight attendants are), but seriously, if you knew how much those carts weighed and how hard it is on our bodies to maneuver them considering some of them don’t function properly, then you would stay out of the aisle and not ask us to move for you.  Sometimes I do move the cart for passengers, but because the carts weigh twice as much as me, I try not to.  Just a heads up.

Keep your garbage with you and don’t worry because we’ll be coming through to pick it up once service is complete!  Some of you get all panicked and ring your call lights like we’re never going to show our faces in the aisle again.  It cracks me up!  It’s like you think I have somewhere to hide.  I have nowhere to go!  I will be there with a trash bag or cart to pick up your junk once I get service done and all my crap put away, don’t get your knickers in a twist!  If all else fails, bring it to the galley and we’ll throw it away for you.

Use the bathroom as you like, but always observe the fasten seatbelt sign and know that we are not liable for any injury if you are out of your seatbelt when that sign is illuminated.  That’s all on you!  Your best bet on entering the lavatory is to push or pull the door open.  Usually there is a placard that will tell you!  So many people are perplexed as to how to open these doors.  It’s not rocket science, guys.  Doors have to open.  Everywhere else there are doors you either push or pull them (unless they’re automatic or revolving which these are neither), so why not an airplane lavatory?  Sometimes I watch you for a while, deliberately not helping just to see how long it takes for you to figure it out.

Please do not stand in the galleys.  Though you may not realize it, it’s the only space we have to ourselves, and we still have to share it with other flight attendants.  It’s our only workspace and it gets crowded really fast!  I know it’s tough to sit in your seat for hours and I don’t expect you to.  Maybe if you ask me nicely I’ll let you stand for a couple of minutes.  Maybe if you give me money I’ll let you stand there longer.  Just saying.

If you have a severe problem that you cannot solve yourself, ring your call button and I will be happy to help you!  However, if it’s to ask me about your connection, I cannot help you.  Our aircraft are unable to send out for or receive that type of information anymore.  You will have to ask the agent once we land or locate a monitor!  I realize the connections are sometimes tight (thanks a lot, Atlanta, you’re the worst), but I still cannot guarantee anything or give you any information.  Please do not take my word for it if I tell you I think you’ll probably make it.  If you take it as a sure thing then you miss your flight then come find me to scream at me I am going to chop off your legs with a machete!  You don’t think I always carry one with me..?

There may be another service depending on how long the flight is and maybe another meal service on extended flights, and it’s probably close to the same thing except if there’s a meal it’s probably a breakfast of some kind.  Plan accordingly.

After that it’s probably about 45 minutes until we land, so you’re almost there!  Give me your last bit of trash.  If you don’t, leave it, I don’t care, I don’t clean the darn plane anyway.  Use the bathroom quickly.  Start powering down your electronic devices again.  Stow your luggage.  Fasten your seatbelts.  No more beverages or snacks will be served!

Ding-ding!  We’ve reached 10,000 feet which means you need to return your seat backs and tray tables to their upright and locked positions, stow tv monitors and footrests if applicable, lower aisle armrests, stow all remaining luggage, turn your electronics completely off (not in airplane mode gosh darnit!), and make sure your seatbelts are fastened.  We will be landing shortly.

Once we’ve landed and your flight leader makes their announcement, you may turn on your cell phones!  The moment you’ve been waiting for, right?!  I mean, your significant other hasn’t received a text message from you in an hour!  They probably think you’re dead!  Pay attention to the seatbelt sign and do not unfasten your seatbelts or get up until that is turned off!  The aircraft may make frequent stops and I assure you that we are not at the gate yet or your flight attendants would be the first to stand up.  If you stand up before then, I have to make a call to the Captain to have him stop the plane and all those people with tight connections in Hotlanta are going to be so pissed at you once I or the Captain make the announcement singling you out!  Don’t make me do it.

Once we’ve reached the gate check around your seat for all your belongings unless you would like to make an item donation to your flight attendants, I will gladly accept your left-behind iPod, DS, money, or really cool scarf (sorry Emily).  Don’t push or shove unless you’re some prick from New York who likes to push around old guys because he has a connection and is wearing a track suit, then by all means.  Say goodbye and thank you to the flight crew as they smile and thank you back!  Remember that we cannot get off the aircraft until you do, so don’t travel with too much crap or too many children (this means you, Angelina, cough-cough).

Direct any further questions to the customer service agent at the podium at the top of the jetbridge.  Check out those monitors for up-to-date connecting gate information.  I am so proud of you!

Enjoy your stay here in (insert name of city here) or wherever your final destination may take you!

Over and out.

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: generals (gate and board)…

Now that you’ve collected all your belongings from security, put your shoes back on, potentially forgot your cell phone, and have (most importantly) left your children behind, it’s time to get to your gate!

Numerous times I am stopped in the airport (probably because people assume that since I am wearing a flight attendant uniform, I must know the location of everything in every single airport ever created) because people don’t know how to get to their departure gates.  Look, what I’ve learned is that each airport has signs and monitors throughout the terminal.

First, locate your gate on a departure screen.  If you’re pressed for time, find the nearest agent who isn’t being attacked by passengers and ask them, they can always look it up on the computer for you.  Next step is to look around you, you’ll probably find signs saying something like “F,G Gates” with an arrow pointing in that direction.  If I were you, I would go in the direction of the appropriate arrow!  Sometimes you will find a tram which connects either gates (if it’s a long distance to walk) or terminals (if it’s a very large airport like Atlanta–ew).  Don’t get stressed out by having to get on a tram!  Just hop on and listen to the man or lady on the speakers yell when to get off the darn thing.  Sometimes it’s in a British accent and I don’t know why.

If you’re unable to read signs (blind, foreign, baby, stupid) then feel free to ask someone.  However, I would suggest you do not stop a flight attendant because we are usually trying to get from gate to gate very quickly, get to our crew bus to get home, or catch our shuttle to the hotel for our minimal layover!  If you absolutely have to stop us, have a present or cash ready, both are accepted.

Once you have successfully made it to your gate, there is no need to check in for your flight if you already have your boarding pass.  You already did this at check-in or online.  I mean, you do have a boarding pass, don’t you?  The only reason you need to see the agent is if your ticket says “Seat Request”.  I would now like to address speaking to Customer Service Agents.  Trust me, I know some CSA can be jerks because they can be jerks to us too.  There are also those who are extremely kind and will bend over backwards to help people!  You don’t know which you’re dealing with as you approach them with your questions, so don’t tear their heads off right away.  Be kind.  It goes back to the whole “Treat others how you wish to be treated” or whatever.  If you want to be treated like a piece of crap, then treat an agent like it and I am sure they will gladly show the same in return!  You may also get a kick to the head, I cannot guarantee that you won’t.  I also cannot guarantee that you didn’t deserve it, because you probably did!  Seriously, a lot of you are real jerks to those poor agents.  They don’t get paid enough to deal with the crap you give them, plus they’re understaffed these days which makes their situations a whole lot more stressful than you not getting that First Class upgrade on a 40-minute flight!

It’s time to board!  Welcome!  Here are some rules, guidelines, and suggestions for you to follow while boarding (this is where I sound like a b-word, but I really am trying to be helpful because not all of you think of these things):

  1. Always say “Hi” back when your flight attendant greets you.  I hate it when people think they’re above me enough to not even say hi.  Who do you think you are anyway?!
  2. Do not ask us to rearrange your family if you have already asked the agent to do so.  It’s not that I won’t help, because I always do, but usually it’s that you think I have a magical plan from the front of the plane to get your situation worked out when you’re sitting at row 35.  Sometimes you get angry with me when I suggest to ask people arround you (which usually does work, mind you, because they see you’re a family with small kids that you didn’t leave behind like I told you so they feel bad for you).  If you didn’t want me to help, you shouldn’t have asked what I thought was best.
  3. Do not bring bags that you are unable to lift yourself.  (Included are: unaccompanied minors with huge bags, wheelchair passengers unable to lift, elderly unable to lift, and pregnant women.)  We are taught in flight attendant training only to assist you with your bags, not to lift them for you.  Would you like to know why?  It’s because if we get severely injured while lifting your bags, that’s our fault and although we can attempt to file an injury report, the company will just ask us why we lifted your bag in the first place.  Not to mention we’re not actually getting paid until the plane pushes back from the gate.  Everything we do before then is out of the kindness of our hearts: taking jackets, mixing drinks, helping with luggage, helping with seating discrepancies, etc.
  4. Do not immediately place your bag in the first bin you see available.  It may be a First Class bin in which case, not to be rude, but if someone has paid more for that FC seat, they should be allowed to utilize that space first.  If every other option is gone, then by all means, put it there!
  5. Only place large items in the overhead bins, save your small items and place them under the seat in front of you.  We always make this announcement, then you find a million purses and briefcases in the bins, not to mention coats, and you wonder why people get angry when there’s no space.  The exception to this rule is if you have only brought one carry on with you, in that case I feel you’re entitled to a spot in the overheads.  I am also proud of you for packing lightly!  If you have a coat, as I mentioned, hang onto it until boarding is completely, then put them in the overheads.  Please make sure the bin closes because if it doesn’t and the bins fill up, we’ll start taking down the luggage that is sticking out and check it to the destination of our choice…  No, not really, but we will check it, and you may not be happy!
  6. Try to limit your requests for us to take your trash to a minimum.  We have many other preparations to make before the door can close.  Also, do I look like a human waste basket to you?  I’ll gladly take it from you once the timing is convenient.
  7. Before you board, buy a bottle of water.  That way if you need to take your pill, you’ll be ready instead of flagging me down and asking for one while I’m sweating trying to rearrange luggage and solving seating issues.  I am always shocked at how many people ask for something to drink or something to eat while we’re boarding.  Was there nothing to eat or drink in the terminal?  I find that hard to believe!
  8. Feel free to use the rest room, you don’t have to ask, silly!  However, you may want to look at the sign that says “Push” or “Pull” before you ask me how you open it.  Watch your fingers as the door shuts because those suckers snap back.  Also, look out for people who have forgotten to lock the door…  SURPRISE!
  9. Stow your belongings quickly and efficiently, then take your seat and fasten your seatbelt.  All passengers must be seated before the aircraft can move, so you may as well get a head start!
  10. Go ahead and turn your electronics off.  If I have to tell you more than twice to turn them off when it’s required to, then I may have to inform the Captain that a passenger is not “abiding by crew instructions” which will mean you could either be removed from the flight or given a nice little fine!  You wouldn’t want that, would you?  Remember that the aircraft is our work place.  We take our job seriously and don’t appreciate you disrespecting us!  We totally own you on that plane.

Honestly, I would like to let you know that I really am a somewhat fantastic and fun flight attendant to be around!  I am aware that this list is going to make me seem like something different.  It’s not that I am pissed, it’s just that these things should be common sense, but they’re not.  When these things happen to you every day you work, it just gets a little old!  I am trying to make you a little wiser when you travel is all.  You would love for me to be your flight attendant!  Maybe.

Cheer up, it’s not that bad!  You’re a pro at boarding now!  Go show off, you deserve it!

Over and out.

-SkipidiDu

 

TRAVEL… stew stories: generals (security)…

Since I have potentially five days off and will not be flying until the weekend, I have decided that this is the perfect time to teach you the generals of travel.  Now, this is a broad topic as it covers everything from clearing security to not pissing off your flight attendants.  This means that some of these generals are opinionated, but I am allowed to be opinionated on this subject as this is what I do for a living!  As this could be a long blog, I will do my best to split it up.

Clearing Security:

  1. Before you leave the house, ensure that your bag is properly packed.  You should double-check your liquids.  All liquids must be in a 3oz or smaller container.  These liquids must be placed in one quart-size, clear, plastic bag.  (No, not even water is allowed through.  Also, if you’ve purchased any presents that have liquids in them such as a snowglobe, make sure it’s within the 3oz limitations as well.  It’s very sad to see old ladies having to give up their giant snowglobes that they bought for their grandkid.  Yes, you must remove these from your bag as well.)  Ladies, check your purses and make sure you take out your lotion, perfume, and whatever the hell else real ladies carry in their purses because obviously I am not a real lady.  Men, discard your travel-size lube from your pants pocket altogether, nobody wants to see that.  Make sure your bag of liquids is easy to reach as you will need to remove this bag to go through security.  You may want to show up at the airport 2-3 hours in advance.
  2. Be sure to have your boarding pass and photo identification out just before you go through security, they will initially ask you for these items.  You will only need your boarding pass to physically go through the security screening, so tuck that I.D. away after you’ve displayed it to the initial TSA.
  3. For the love of Gods, get your crap together.  Know exactly how many bins you’ll need, where your liquids are, what you need to take off, locate your laptop and other large electronic devices before you go through.  This way you don’t piss everyone else off behind you!  Also, this way the flight crews will be impressed with you and not feel the need to cut in front of you in line to make our flights.  (If you ever see crew members do that and you get all angry about it, just remember that we need to be on the aircraft to make our cabin preparations long before you board, so shove it.)
  4. Don’t travel with children.  They only make things difficult for you and cramp your style.  If you absolutely have to travel with a child, make sure their bags are packed properly as well, and make sure they’re not those shy types that won’t go through the screening on their own.  They have to go solo, unless their babies of course, so if they won’t go willingly, pick them up and throw them through.  I hate waiting in security behind large families who have no idea how to travel and the kids are a pain in the butt.
  5. As I mentioned before, know what you need to take off before you attempt to go through.  Shoes, jackets, hoodies, belts/buckles, watches, jewelry, hats.  Loose change, cell phones, iPods, wallets, keys.  Lose them!  Chuck them all in a big bin and let’s get moving!
  6. Remember that your laptops (you may leave them in their protective casing, though) and other large electronics need to be removed from your luggage and placed in a separate bin so they can be scanned properly.  If you leave it in your bag, they’ll remove your bag, make you come back and take it out, send it through again, then you need to go through again.  All the while you’re holding up the people behind you and they’re probably going to start throwing their shoes at you shortly.  If you’re traveling with kids, make sure they take their electronics out as well.  If you have one of those kids who is glued to their Nintendo 3DS and refuse to give it up through security, leave them behind.  You don’t really need that kid anyway, do you?
  7. Keep your boarding pass out to show the second TSA as you go through the actual screening!  Do not forget this step or you will be going through your bags all over again trying to find it!  Have your family members do the same.  Tell your stupid kids the boarding pass is not a place to spit their gum into until after the flight is complete.
  8. Once you’ve cleared security (and you should relatively quickly if you listen to what I have said) the most important thing is to get everything put away quickly.  This goes along with envisioning where the items were to begin with.  It’s practically a race!  Those bins and bags line up pretty fast once they’ve gone through and the last thing you want is to hold up people on the other side.  Remember where everything goes and get it put away quickly.  Take your bins with your shoes, jewelry, etc. to a bench (which should be nearby) and finish putting yourself together there.
  9. Double check to make sure nothing is left behind.
  10. Leave your children behind:

(Yes, they’re all children.)

Check that out, now you’re a pro!  If I’ve forgotten anything or if you have any questions, please let me know as I don’t usually see mornings so my brain may not be fully functioning yet and I could have missed something.

Also, if you still take too long to clear security, then you’re doing something incorrectly and I don’t know what the heck is wrong with you.

Over and out.

-SkipidiDu

 

TRAVEL… stew stories: so much excitement…

It sure has been a while since I’ve had something to write about regarding my travels.  The reason is because November is another slow month for flying!  Sure, the time off can be slightly enjoyable, but after a while of twiddling your thumbs just waiting for an assignment, you get bored and lazy.  After the boredom, you start thinking about randomly yelling at your significant other just for something to do and for some excitement!  Just kidding.  Maybe.

On Tuesday I began a three-day trip that would take me on two Florida overnights: Melbourne and Orlando.  Excellent!  The weather in Minnesota is starting to turn grim as we notice surrounding states beginning to get snow, so you can imagine how grateful I was to get some sun and warmth.  As per the usual, I was deferred “Flight Leader” because I am always the most junior on my flights, so when we bid for our positions on the aircraft, the more senior flight attendants usually prefer to hide in the back of the plane.  Suggestion to passengers: bother the flight attendants in the back as much as possible!  They’re probably the most senior and trying to stay out of the spotlight!  So, unless you see me in the back of the aircraft, do your best to keep those senior mamas busy.  Maybe then they’ll prefer to take the FL position instead of handing it down each time!

(This is how fancy a FL I am):

 

Surprisingly enough, our first day went pretty well!  Well, unless you factor in our airplane from MSP to ATL not having brewing baskets in two out of three of the coffee makers and all of our demonstration equipment/seatbelt extensions missing, causing a three-minute delay to have those items brought to the aircraft.  A dear friend of mine, M (the gal from DE-troit), was able to join me on my Melbourne layover, and we weren’t even delayed out of ATL!  That’s a miracle in itself.  Atlanta is notorious for never having on time departures, probably because it sucks so much.  Oh, did I say that?  My bad.  Some pool action in the sun, beers, a bottle of wine, a walk in the light rain, and Chinese food was all we needed for the night!  It was delightful despite my exhaustion from getting a mere two hours of sleep the night before.

 

This is where the real excitement begins, my friends.  Our flight back to ATL in the morning was practically uneventful.  I know, you’re wondering why I said the excitement was beginning, but just trust me, it’s coming.  Upon landing, I reached for my interphone to make my arrival PA when I heard a call light go off.  I poked my head around the corner to see the light on about mid-cabin and my fellow flight attendant was already on his way to check it out.  Not thinking anything of it, I continued with my announcement, we arrived at the gate, we deplaned, and then my crew members approached me.  “We need to let the agent and cleaners know that there’s a mess in back,” one said.  I inquired as to what happened.  It turns out that a male passenger (who my crew members firmly believe was on drugs of some sort) suddenly became overwhelmingly sick.  Yeah, he projectile vomited on the window, down the wall, and on the floor.  “You do not want to go back there, trust me, it’s really bad.  They’re going to need the biohazard kit.”

Now, when a flight attendant says a throw up mess is really bad, then it’s really bad, because we deal with that sort of crap all the time that we become slightly immune to it happening.  Needless to say, but I’m obviously saying it anyway, I did not go back there!  We felt terrible for the cleaning crew and for the next flight crew that came on board (yes, we did inform them).

I wish I could say that this morning (as it is actually 11:07 PM central time as I write this) was easier.  We were all still sleep deprived and de-energized.  Our first stop from MCO (Orlando) was LGA (La Guardia).  A passenger came on halfway through boarding asking if we were delayed.  We told her no, we weren’t aware of any delay.  Only two minutes later we find out that there is severe weather in LGA causing a ground stop.  Not just any ground stop, one hour and fifteen minute ground stop.  Are you kidding me?  Alas, they were not joking.  We remained on board with the passengers for a total of an hour and a half before we were released to fly.  As you can imagine, people had connections.  Luckily, everything in LGA was backed up.  Side note: don’t ask us to check on your connection because unfortunately we have no way to obtain connection information anymore.  Also, you can ask me if I think you’ll make your connection, but don’t take that as a definite answer.  It’s just my opinion!  As we were supposed to begin our descent into LGA a couple of hours later, there as a “holding pattern” initiated which basically means we need to circle around because the weather is bad.  This lasted an extra 45 minutes.

Once we finally landed and were deplaning, a woman told me, “You have a passenger acting crazy back there,” but she wouldn’t explain the situation.  Another passenger told me that a male passenger in the back of the aircraft was physically pushing people out-of-the-way to get out and cursing at them!  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get back there, because it’s like swimming upstream.  I can’t swim well anyway, so you can imagine.  I then saw the guy coming my way, he was behind an older gentlemen, and I heard him talking to the older guy, “Last time you ever lay your hands on me, you f***ing old fart!”  Whoa!  It was then that I told this guy the worst possible thing you can tell someone in that situation, but I couldn’t help it.  I told him, “Dude, you need to calm down,” he didn’t even acknowledge me, it was very weird.  Our Captain went running after him once he heard and got the cops involved because he was physically and verbally assaulting other passengers!  I’m not sure how it ended up, but it was crazy.  What would make a person act that way?  He wasn’t running off the plane, so it didn’t even seem like he was in a hurry to make a connection or anything.  Why would he start pushing people aside like that?  I’ll tell you what the reason was: he’s from New York.  You New Yorkers are nuts, I’m telling you, I notice your attitudes more than any other place I fly!  Sometimes I just want to hit you, but I refrain.  So help me, though, if you start throwing your giant fur coats at me while you’re seated in coach this winter, I may just ram my cart into your knee, elbow, or over your foot!  That’s right, don’t mess with the flight attendants!

We arrived an hour late into MSP, which is pretty good considering all the delays during the previous flight.  It feels good to be home.

Tomorrow I leave on a day trip for my football charter, and once again on Saturday before going into five days off!  I may die after flying five days in a row like that.  If that happens, I want you to remember me like this…

Nothing but class.

Over and out.

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: a good scare…

Silly me, I forgot to mention a little something earlier for the sake of Halloween!

Once again, Blessed Samhain to you (if we’re being technical) and Happy Halloween (for everyone who just wants to party and eat candy)!  A discussion on Latisse occurred on my trip that I won’t forget.  Nevermind that I already did forget it enough to not put it in the last post, that doesn’t matter right now.  Anyway, when I think about it, the discussion could be used for good!  If today you find yourself out of material for scaring people, I suggest you use this:

1. Talk about how it would be really cool for a woman to wear a sleeveless t-shirt.  Not only that, but if she put Latisse on her armpits for a while and didn’t bother to shower.  You may also include something about her smoking a cigar, wearing striped overalls, and maybe having a beer gut.

2.  Discuss the idea of where else you could put Latisse.  Someone I know thought it would be funny if a woman put Latisse on her pubic area.  That way it poses a challenge for a man (or, let’s not discriminate, perhaps another woman) heading down there.  The visual that was used during this topic was a cross between swimming and parting some trees to see a clearing.  Either way works.

Both of these topics made someone else we know leave the room entirely and flee to a bar downstairs.  That’s how I know this scaring tactic works!  I highly recommend it.

Have fun, dearies.  It’s a strange world out there.

Over and out.

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: the missing half…

I’m sure you’re all wondering what happened during the second half of my trip after I remained awake for 21ish hours.  Maybe not, but I’m going to tell you anyway, because I can, and you’re going to like it!

Unfortunately, the beginning of Saturday was pretty uneventful considering I probably slept until about 3:00 P.M.  Yeah, that’s right, I slept way the “f” in!  You know what?  I totally deserved it, and it felt amazing.  My wonderful crew and I were invited to the college football game that evening, so we gladly accepted and off we went!  I may have mentioned before I don’t really follow football, which poses a problem.  Even if I did have a clue, I couldn’t see the darn ball for my life.  Whatever, it was still fun!  We froze our butts (literally, I think I have one cheek left)  off until halftime (we needed to leave early in order to prepare the plane in advance) then discovered the only warm place in the stadium was the women’s restroom.  Let me tell you, I am sure there is nothing like walking into the bathroom only to find four flight attendants (though you don’t know that we are) huddled to keep warm and sharing nachos.  It makes perfect sense.

Sadly, our team lost, and so the flight home was fairly depressing.  That didn’t stop me from chowing down on a chicken sandwich and a Dove bar, because nothing could stop that, let’s be honest.  A disastrous night was upon us: a loss, the wrong aircraft configuration, seating issues, no ovens in the back galley (to heat 150+ sandwiches), forward galley ovens not heating properly, coffee spilling/burning, too much food and no space for the extras, etc.  Needless to say, we were excited to get to Madison and sleep!  Before we made it to the hotel, I made a point of putting on a happy face just for you…

Oh dear, it seems I have revealed my airline.  Darn.  Well, I guess now you know where to look for me in case you either want to shake my hand or throw a baseball at my face.  Either way, I will gladly accept the recognition!  Just remember that I took this photo especially for you.  (I didn’t really, another flight attendant told me she wanted to get a picture of me with the plane instead of me just taking one of the plane alone.)

Considering our extremely short “overnight” in Madison (which was really sort of during the day considering we arrived at maybe 1:45 A.M. and departed at 11:45 A.M.) I wisely used my time by playing Angry Birds on my fancy new phone until about 4:00 A.M. because I’m a loser!  On our shuttle ride back to the airport to deadhead home to Minneapolis, I encountered a sign amongst the construction for Turning Vehicles to Yield to Pedestrians/Bikers (complete with graphics).  Now, tell me if you’re thinking what I’m thinking!

…I was thinking that the sign didn’t include handicaps in wheelchairs and rascals…

Does this mean that we’re supposed to actually speed up for anyone who isn’t walking or on a bike?  Hmm…  I am going to go ahead and say yes!  I also never said that I was a nice person, for your information.

The TSA hate us because our uniforms aren’t our traditional flight crew uniforms when traveling for charter purposes, so they get confused and can’t figure out that we’re still crew (most of us dressed alike anyway) and make it a lot harder than it needs to be when it comes to scanning our bags.  I will simplify the process for you, TSA:  just let us through, thanks!  It’s really not that difficult!  We’re still in uniform, just not traditional uniform, because the team prefer we wear shirts supporting them.  Let us through like normal and stop questioning us, especially when you’ve seen us through that same airport the past two weekends in a row!  Perhaps we’re just terrible people who think of ourselves as celebrities around those parts for no particular reason.  Don’t they know who we are?!

Anyway, to finish up, the flight home was a delight.  By a delight I mean sort of gross because we got stuck next to some broad in the back who kept throwing up into a bag for 45 minutes.  I say if you’re that sick you probably shouldn’t be flying.

Happy Halloween, folks!  Folks?  I have no idea why it is I used that word.  Have a great time wherever you are!  Remember, don’t hesitate to respond “Trick” when a child comes to your door asking, “Trick or Treat?” then grab them by the face and kindly push them over while laughing.  If you’re feeling extra nice, maybe throw a candy bar at their crotch while they’re on the ground crying and exclaim, “Happy Halloween sucker!”

Also, if that one lady throwing up turned out to have the flu, I am going to be so pissed if I get sick!  Remind me to seek her out and projectile vomit in her direction, thanks.

Over and out.

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: 21 hours awake…

An adventurous day beginning in Minneapolis, leading to Madison, and ending in Columbus!  My sleep in the past day has totaled almost two hours.  Don’t even ask how I’m still alive, I really don’t know.  When we thought we would be able to sleep (like during our seven hour sit an Madison), we didn’t.  By the time there was a real opportunity, we were in Columbus.  Being at our final destination means no sleep, it means going out!

No matter how tired we are, we find the energy to embrace our surroundings and get together!  Well, usually, unless you’re with a super senior, “slam-click” crew.  Slam-click is what it sounds like.  It’s when crew members go directly to their rooms and you never see them I again.

That’s a lie.  You just don’t see them until pick up time.  They’re basically boring as hell!

Our pick up isn’t until tomorrow night and so I must catch up on sleep!  I just figured I would tide you crazy people over with a little glimpse into my world this weekend.  That being said, I will leave you with an unflattering photo of my exhausted self simply because I’m sure a) you could use a laugh and b) I need to test out this phone business!

(I feel like dying, I hope you’re happy!)

Over and out (at last, no offense).

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: going mobile…

That’s right people, your favourite stew has finally gone mobile!  You see, I have had the same old school flip phone for going on two years, but today, my friends, that has changed.  I finally upgraded and am trying out a fancy new app for this!  You know what this means?  Yeah, I can now blog while on the go, complete with pictures!  However, this does mean that I will have to figure out all this fanciness first…  This also means don’t hold your breath, I am three years behind, so you may die first.
Unfortunately this also means my format may be screwed up which is going to drive Hitchcockblonde absolutely bonkers…  I apologize in advance.  Though I am also finding myself snickering a bit.
Regardless, I set out again tomorrow on another three day charter adventure!  This time my travels will take me to a 30 hour layover in Columbus, OH.  Once again, I remind you that I live a very glamorous lifestyle!  I am already sensing the need for a beer…  or ten.  It’s practically the same thing really, right?  Rhetorical question, don’t answer.
Over and out.

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: halloween is upon us…

We here at Cookies & Gold Stars take pride in the fact that we unconditionally love Halloween.  It is the best holiday by far, unless you truly count St. Patrick’s Day solely for the drinking aspect, then that is also a contender!  Considering this is October, though, let’s focus on what’s most important about this month:  scary movies, hauntings/ghosts, candy, costumes, parties, and scaring little children.

What, like you’ve never scared an innocent little child?  Yeah, right.  We all have, or at least we’ve had this crazy urge to.  Personally, I used to hide either behind trees or under leaf piles and jump out at kids on Halloween.  Although, this is really an activity that can be done all year round.  Hitchcockblonde and I have a little brother who we love to scare at every opportunity.  Nevermind that he is 15 years old, we still get him every time.

Moving on, I actually would like to focus mainly on hauntings.  Primarily, the most haunted places in the world.  I am making it a personal goal to be a Flight Attendant Ghost Hunter in which I travel around to investigate these places!  (This is going to be an extremely slow process and I would also like to point out that just because I say I am going to do something, doesn’t mean that I will, but it sure sounds like a good idea!)  It’s the type of person I am–I love a scare, I do jump easily, but I would much rather go towards something than run away from it.

These, my friends, are some of the places I would like to visit.

1. The Winchester Mansion.

If you don’t know the story behind this crazy house, then you need to look into it.  I am not fully convinced that this place is actually haunted, but the story makes it fascinating and worth a look!  This “mystery house” has so many turns in it, you’ll probably vomit on yourself.  It has staircases that lead to floors you didn’t even know existed, doors that lead to deathly drops outside (so don’t go walking around sleepily in the dark in search of a bathroom or you may fall to your death), and stairs that lead to nowhere except maybe a brick wall behind a door or a random ceiling.

2. Dracula’s Castle.  Now, the problem here is that Bran Castle has been labeled “Castle Dracula” because of Bram Stoker’s novel, but the real castle (Poenari Castle) actually is in ruins.  Vlad Tepes (the Impaler) simply used Bran Castle as temporary headquarters, but he was mostly linked to Poenari Castle.  So, which do I investigate?  Hmm…  I would have to say both because of their histories, although the now-known Dracula’s Castle probably isn’t really haunted, it sure does look awesome!

3. The Stanley Hotel.  We know the inspiration for The Shining came from this particular hotel, which makes it scary enough.  Actually, this hotel has its own share of history and hauntings.  It’s considered one of the most haunted hotels!  It’s probably extremely expensive, which could pose a problem, but if I end up encountering two little dead girls in the hallway at night, it may just be worth it.  I mean, I may crap my pants and die, but at least I’ll have that experience taken with me to the grave!

4. The Catacombs of Paris.

It’s sort of a nasty thought what with all the bones and skulls around, but I’ll be darned if it isn’t beautiful in its own way!  It must have taken forever to create something like that, especially underground.  Come on!  It’s basically amazing.  I’m not certain that this place is haunted either, but the creepy feel of the place is enough for me.  It’s definitely worth a look.

5. Clinton Road in New Jersey.  Yes, I know, the thought of N.J. is enough to make you wet your pants and go running home.  Not to mention their scary woods and Jersey Devils running around!  (Which may have to be investigated also!)  This road intrigues me because it is said that a phantom truck tailgates you on the road, flashing its lights in order to make you run right off the road and die.  You speed up to escape it only to find you’re going 80mph around Dead Man’s Curve and meet your end.  For me, though, if some jerk is that close behind my car, I would more than likely stop to see who it was.  If I got hit, then I would know it’s real and call LIES on the stories.  However, if the truck disappeared, I would know the truth and then very quickly hop into my car screaming (and probably, once again, soiling myself) and get the hell out of there!

There are many other haunted places I would like to visit, of course, but I am going to cut it short for the time being.

I would love to hear what your favourite haunted places are and where either you would like to investigate or where you think I should see for myself!  Drop us a comment or find me on Twitter (the link is through my “about me” section found on this site because I am too lazy to link it again and would rather type something much longer, apparently).

Trick or Treat.

Over and out.

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: d-town…

Now that the complaining is out of the way, let’s talk Detroit!  D-town.  The D.  I would like to start off by saying that I did not get shot!  Although that would’ve been the ultimate souvenir, I suppose.  Still, I think I’m pretty glad that I came back alive and not even wounded!  You’ll be happy to know that I accomplished the two things that I set out to do in Detroit: eat a chili dog and see a friend of mine.  You know what this means, right?  Yeah, it means that there is not something wrong with me after all!  (I know what you’re thinking and you need to shut it!)  …And there was much rejoicing…

I have decided to make this a special blog article because I intend on using many visual aids!  Pictures sometimes speak louder than words, however, I will be using both just to make sure that I am loud enough for you.

First of all, I would like to know what this guy is doing…

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  If you guessed either “total pimp” or “old dude escaped from a nursing home” then you are correct!

Although I would love to share a photo of the friend I visited, I have decided not to reveal the identity of anyone other than myself, and obviously the old pimp who escaped the nursing home.  She is not imaginary, I promise.  If she were imaginary, then she would be the best imaginary friend ever because I totally think she’s real!

Are you wondering about my chili dogs?  I’m still thinking about them as we speak!  You’ve probably seen the show Man vs Food in the past and if you have you know that there are two coney island places right next to each other that are basically rivals derived from the same family (I believe this is correct).  American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island.  We found these two restaurants!

It was in my best interest and logic that in order to determine which place had the best chili dog, I had to visit both places.  Yes, this means shoveling down two chili dogs.  I may not look like much, but I can pack food away like nothing!  First up was American Coney Island…

As you can plainly see, I am very excited to be here!  I would like to give a special shout out to our wonderful server at this fine establishment!  His name is Tommy, and not only did he make sure we had everything we needed (including amusement), but because he knew I was from out-of-town, he treated us to a free piece of baklava each!

Thank you, Tommy, for being so awesome!  Also, thank you for being a good sport and taking this embarrassing picture with me…

Next up was Lafayette Coney Island, right next door!  Let me first say that we felt the need to go around the block beforehand for a couple of reasons…

1. To walk off what we just ate and prepare ourselves for round two.

2. To sneak in the back way as to avoid anyone from American Coney Island seeing us enter the enemy’s territory!

I’m sorry, Tommy, for what you are about to see next…

Is it sad that I genuinely feel bad for trying both places?  Ugh.  Anyway, about two minutes after this photo was taken, my chili dog was devoured.  A special thanks to my friend, M, for taking these pictures and for coming along to both places.  She may have had a big salad at the first location, but when I proposed going next door for round two and being concerned that she may be simply watching me eat, she exclaimed, “Hell, there’s still room for dessert!” or something to that effect because I already can’t remember the exact quote, but let me tell you that she was on fire with sassy statements yesterday!  All that was left was to determine which coney dog was the best…

Ladies and gentlemen, I have reached a decision.  My favourite coney dog was in fact from…  American Coney Island.  Let me tell you why!  Besides Tommy, the atmosphere was a lot more delightful in general.  At Lafayette, the staff wasn’t very interested in the customer and basically wanted you to get in and get out (perhaps that’s what they were going for, but it just wasn’t working for me), plus the place wasn’t as large so it was a little too crowded for me considering I almost elbowed an old lady behind me in the face while simply trying to swing my coat onto the back of my chair.  Lafayette makes a mean dog, the chili has a little more of a kick to it, but I just wasn’t digging it as much as American.  American Coney Island, you win in my book!  I will definitely return!

I’m sure you were partially expecting me to write something constructive and artsy, but really, I came to Detroit for the food (and M, of course).  This is what I care about most, and this is what you get!

Congratulations, D-town, for having awesome coney dogs.

Bump it.

(That’s as artsy as we’ll be getting today.  Just to remind you–yes, I am a flight attendant.  A super classy one, I might add.)

Over and out.

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: the return…

It’s been three days that I’ve been gone, did you miss me?  I didn’t think so!

I would like to start out by saying that when it comes to football, my mind-set is that the teams, in general, are just a bunch of jerks who are completely full of themselves.  To be honest, I’m sure this is true when it comes to the NFL and perhaps some college teams, but when it comes to the particular team I just flew for, this is not true.  It’s weird, but I cannot believe how well-mannered they all were!  Sure, the flight was hectic what with an entire meal and beverage service while boarding, including dessert served during the 40 minutes in the air, and not to mention all the trash pickup, but I’ll be darned if all of that chaos didn’t go smoothly.  If this team had been a bunch of jerks, we never would’ve gotten done in time.  They thanked us repeatedly, said “please” and even expressed their appreciation for what we do.  I would like to thank the coaches for this because you know that sort of behavior comes from the top!

Now that I have that sentimental crap out of the way, let’s get down to business!  Whoever built this particular trip is an idiot.  As my co-worker exclaimed, “They obviously have never flown before!” and that couldn’t be more true.  Who thinks it’s productive for flight attendants to have seven flights in two days, but only actually work two of them?!  The other five we were either ferrying a flight or unnecessarily deadheading to a destination!  Did I mention all the excessive sit times at airports?  Anywhere from two to almost seven hours!  Really?!  Our duty days were 12-13 hours long, but we only worked a total of maybe three hours!  My crew came up with multiple ways that this trip could logically be improved (taking earlier flights to avoid deadheading, overnighting at one city and taking a flight at the same time in the morning to get us home which would not change how much we get paid, etc.), but when we revealed these ideas to Scheduling, we were immediately shot down.  Not only were we shot down, but we were lied to and treated like we were an enemy.  This is not how it should be and it is very upsetting to think that this is what things have come to!  Nevertheless, we’re home now and all is well.  The charter flights were incredible and I couldn’t have asked for a better crew or group of people to fly for!

I’m going to do something a little bit different this round!  What I’m going to do is end here and make an oh-so-special article dedicated to the D!  Deal with it!

Over and out.

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: uncharted territory…

It sounds a lot more exciting than it really is!  It’s really a terrible play on words.  Tomorrow I begin a new adventure of working on a “charter” trip for a certain college football team.  Let me first say that I know nothing about football (go team something-or-other against team what’s-their-faces, yeah!), but this is an opportunity!  I actually know where I’m going in advance for once.  It’s glorious!

Unless you factor in the 26-hour-layover in…

It’s about as thrilling as Detroitees (Detroiters?) having a 26-hour-layover in Minneapolis.  Nothing to look forward to in particular, but you know that with such a long period of time there, you’re bound to find something interesting to do!  On my list is: eat a chili cheese dog and see a friend of mine who lives out there.  If I can’t accomplish that in 26 hours, then something is severely wrong with me.  Actually, there is something severely wrong with me anyway, so strike that.

Due to the fact that my laptop is from 2005, weighs one million pounds, overheats in five minutes, and can hardly function in general, I will not be bringing it with me.  Such a drag, I know.  However, I shall report back with my findings when I return to base on Sunday!  I bet you’re almost wetting your pants in excitement just as I am!

Until Sunday, stay dry.

Over and out.

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: three days wasted…

It’s official, people, the Airline has decided that they didn’t need me three days in a row.  I am not sure whether to be relieved or feel sad and unwanted.  Because of my mixed feelings, I would like to post a letter…

Dear Anonymous (but probably not so much) Airline,

Why don’t you like me?  I ask you this because you left me hanging for three days without a trip assignment.  You never called me back!  You’re like a date that went so right in my head that actually more than likely was a disaster.  Three days and no call.  Really?  Don’t think that I am going to call you and beg for a trip, no sir!  I am only upset because over the past three days I have hardly been productive due to the fact that I have been sitting on edge wondering if you’re going to short-call me to London.  (I’ve never been to London, but I sure wanted to go!)  You wouldn’t do that to me though, would you?  I mean, you would definitely short-call me, but not to London.  No, you would short call me to Milwaukee then laugh in my face!  Whatever, Airline, I don’t need to take this crap!  I am going to enjoy my one-and-a-half days off thoroughly!  By that, of course I mean I am going to have my annual physical exam tomorrow, pick up a prescription, buy some socks and groceries (they make sense together, come on), and grab my freshly renewed license from my parents’ house (which it will continue to get sent to because I don’t want to pay extra money to have my address changed, thank you)!  Until Halloween, Airline…

(Actually, I guess technically I’ll be back at the airport on Friday, but I won’t be on call, I’ll have an actual pre-assigned trip which I am looking forward to.  This is completely beside the point!)

On the bright side, since I know I’ll actually be flying this weekend, I’ll actually have something to write about rather than just rambling on about nothing!  (I just don’t like to keep you waiting so long.)  Exciting, no?  No, probably not.  Thanks for trying, though.

Over and out.

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: “opr”…

I apologize to our readers for not updating sooner and I bet you would like an explanation as to why I haven’t written anything in a few days.  Well, to tell you the truth, I had three back-to-back OPR shifts and didn’t get sent anywhere!  Instead of boring you with my un-adventurous tales of spending 18 hours in three days at the airport, I decided, well, not to.

Even the crew bus wasn’t anything to “write home about” really.  Aside from running into ZZ Top.  I should explain…  ZZ Top is what we call one of the guys who drives our crew bus when we can’t remember what his actual name is.

The most excitement I had was a friend of mine having the same OPR shift as me (which actually is pretty exciting considering the circumstances: being junior and never getting what you want yet miraculously getting three shifts you wanted and one with your friend).  Actually, a couple other friends ended up being around at the same time as well.  The closest we ever came to being assigned a trip was another flight attendant on the 4:00 P.M. shift being called to Amsterdam.  We decided it was best to just live vicariously through her as we didn’t feel like being sent internationally.  She was irritated, but it was for the best.

Instead, we opted to go the productive route of sitting around for six hours:  eat a Dairy Queen Blizzard, walk around, discuss hauntings (being that it’s October and all), b.s. with the other flight attendants, laugh to the point of crying and disturbing the rest of the flight attendant lounge, take unnecessary photos (and an accidental video), and watch a little football (which I still don’t understand that sport).

In case you’re wondering what productivity on OPR looks like, it’s a little something like this:

Now, if that isn’t productive, then, ladies and gentlemen, I just don’t know what is!

Two days left on call.  We’ll see where this takes me.

Over and out.

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: 14oct11 part uno…

Another “airport jail” (OPR) shift for me today from 4:00 P.M. until 10:00 P.M.  Therefore, you will be reading a lot of nonsense, unless of course I actually get assigned a trip, in which case you will be left alone for some hours while I am in flight.  Then, naturally, I will post even more nonsense than what you would have had to deal with originally.  In my heart I know that you’re hoping I don’t get assigned a trip.  Thank you in advance for the wishful thinking mainly because I am thinking Arby’s tonight!

The highlight of my day so far was on the crew bus coming to work.  We inevitably eves drop on one another because of the confined space combined with the significant projection of one’s voice trying to talk over everyone else that is trying to hold a conversation.  Today, I eves dropped on a flight attendant discussing how windy it has been in Minnesota lately.  Typical conversation piece, until she went a little further…

“I was heading for the bus the other day and decided I don’t really need three pairs of shoes in my bag, so I opened my suitcase to take out one of the pairs when all of a sudden a pair of my underwear went flying out of my bag!  It was so windy that it was being carried along the parking lot and I had to chase after them!  They stopped underneath a car, so here I am, on my knees, crawling under someone’s car trying to get my underwear back.”

I imagine them being a little bit like this:

You could tell just about everyone (except the “cool kids” at the back of the bus) was listening in on this conversation/story when we all busted out in laughter at the very image of this semi-senior flight attendant trying to retrieve her underwear in the wind.  So far, this has been the highlight of my day and I am already a little less than three hours in.

To be continued…

Perhaps…

TRAVEL… stew stories: the second segment…

Yes, the moment you have been dreading since my last post–a second part!

Dear Passenger 28D,

As you boarded today and I was extremely busy shifting luggage around in the overhead bins and closing them, you approached me on your way to your seat saying, “It’s really warm in here!”  You’re absolutely right, it is basically hot on the aircraft and I’ll tell you why: the pilots figured it was a completely brilliant idea to crank the heat to one million degrees because it was “a little chilly” on board earlier.  I get what you’re saying completely, so you don’t have to give me that look like I don’t care about what you’re saying…

Actually, I don’t care what you’re saying.  Do you know why?  I’ll give you two reasons why I don’t care as much as I should: 1. It’s overly apparent that it’s more than a bit warm on the aircraft.  Take a look around you at the other passengers fanning their face and dripping sweat.  I, myself, can tell that it’s an inferno, practically an oven (an oven cooking people, that is, and how modern!) judging by my crotch-sweat.  Crotch sweat doesn’t happen often, so when it does, you know it’s bad news.  2. The way you exclaimed, “It’s really warm in here!” by looking directly at me as if I were either the cause or the solution to this occurrence.  I am neither.  Then you look at me accusingly when I tell you that the pilots increased the heat too much to make up for how cold it was on board earlier.  You didn’t believe me.  I mean, who would?  Why would the pilots have anything to do with the aircraft temperature?!  Therefore I don’t take kindly to your tone and I don’t care as much as I should!

Dear Same Passenger,

This Boeing 737 is equipped with in-seat video touch screens for your convenience.  However, most travelers know that the safety demo is a normal procedure before the start of the flight.  You don’t see the importance in this video we show.  You first ask, “How do I turn this off?” in the middle of the video which could save your life.  Upon the conclusion of the video (annoying as it is) a ridiculous car commercial is played and is a little louder to grasp the attention and get people to buy this car.  You motion to me in a panic, “How do I turn this down?!” and I explain that you’ll have complete control of what you watch and the volume it is at when we are in the air at 10,000 feet, but at this time the commercial is a standard following the safety demo, but will be over shortly.  You do this little scough/laugh thing at me as if you can’t believe how many things are wrong on today’s flight.

I am quite sure I ruined her entire flight by being completely honest with her and for not making things her way or to her standards.  My dear, I apologize from the bottom of my–oop, I just farted.  What was I saying?  Nevermind.

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: the first segment…

A 7:00 a.m. flight to Seattle, WA.  My alarm goes off at 3:50 a.m. and let me just say that I am not a morning person.  Nevertheless, I get ready, shove a piece of toast down my throat, chug some orange juice, and head out to work.

The crew bus is crowded this morning and I have to wonder: Who in their right mind would actually bid for this early of a departure, especially on a Sunday?

Let me start out (though I already started a while back) by saying that my crew is a delight and that I actually am flying with someone who I have flown with a few times before.  This doesn’t happen extremely often.  I remember her because of her beauty, her kindness, her calmness, her love for her job, and her favourite word–the “f-bomb”.  Like I said, a delight!

Our first officer is a might too talkative for the morning.  In fact, another crew member mouthed to me that our F.O. should “shut up” and I would have to agree.  Somehow our flight ended up having a total of 52 people on board a 757, which is pretty much like having no one on board.  This wouldn’t be so bad if the flight weren’t so early, the flight weren’t so long, and I wasn’t so tired.  On top of that, because of our low passenger count, we left Minneapolis early.  For passengers, this is great news because it generally means we will arrive at our destination early!  For flight crews, unless we’re going to a hotel for an over night or going home, this is disappointing.  Our two and a half hour “sit” in SEA now just became a three-hour sit.  (It feels like a three-hour tour…  A three-hour tour.)  That being said, my sweetheart crew member dropped the f-bomb.  I couldn’t agree more!

(A three-hour sit is why I am on my computer writing to you about absolutely nothing.)

With only 52 people on board, our flight was basically uneventful.  We gave out free headsets for the movie being shown and as I walked through asking each passenger if they would like one (reminding them that they are free), I was surprised that not everyone wanted one.  Don’t worry, though, when I passed through with the beverage cart, they asked me for them and of course I had left them in the back galley because I thought I had already gone through.  Weird, I must not have!

Moral of the story: pay attention to your flight attendants and take free things whenever offered.

There will possibly be a continuation of this boring story later.  Stay tuned…  or don’t.  Your choice!

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: the unknown part 2…

I take back what I said about my Vancouver flights being absolutely perfect.  You’re going to think I am crazy for bringing such a subject to attention…

Look at this picture.

These are called PENS.  Not to be confused with penis.  No, these are PENS.  Please bring at least a couple of them with you when you are flying internationally as you will have forms to fill out.  This way, you don’t have to constantly ask either a flight attendant or your fellow passengers for one.

You know what happens when you ask a flight attendant for a pen?  Nine times out of ten you won’t give the pen back to him/her and generally he/she will forget because of other duties to fulfill on the plane.  What’s worse is that was probably his/her favourite pen, and you just went ahead and kept it because you didn’t think to bring one yourself on an international flight.

(Insert sad face here.)

-SkipidiDu

TRAVEL… stew stories: the unknown…

Granted, I know my posts are mainly about travel, but I would like to start this out by sharing with you about the unknown world of the OPR Flight Attendant.  OPR is an acronym for On Premise Reserve which means we are, occasionally, forced to literally sit at the airport for six hours and wait to see if we’re needed for any last-minute cancellations/severe mechanicals, etc.

Yesterday, I began my OPR shift at 6 a.m.  To my surprise, the flight attendant lounge was completely deserted.  I have never witnessed this before, and so the logical thing for me to do was to take a picture to capture the essence of this beauty.  I know you’re expecting to see a photo, but I don’t believe I have the authority to post one.  If the visual you have in your head is me (which you’re not sure what I look like) balancing only on my hands on an ottoman with my legs out and my mouth hanging open with a row of empty chairs behind me, then you’re absolutely correct!

Unfortunately, a mere few minutes into my mid-shift nap, I was called upon by the Scheduling “gods” to cover a Vancouver trip.  The flight there and back were perfect depictions of what every flight should be like: 40-50% full and not one passenger complaint.  Everyone was so wonderful, everything was so perfect, that I, for the first time in months, have not one bad thing to say nor do I have a wise remark to make…  I am not sure what to do with myself now.

You’re a little disappointed, aren’t you?  Secretly, I am, too.

As I stated in my earlier post, there was a specific photo that I took on the joyous occasion that is the empty flight attendant lounge at just a wee bit past 6 a.m.

If this is the precise image you had in your head, then I am both impressed and disgusted.  Also, I feel a bit sorry for you, as you will have to live with it.

-SkipidiDu