Schools out, and vacations have been planned for months. Whether it’s a trip to a theme park, family reunion, or something more exotic, most travel this summer will be via air. With rates down on all the major airline carriers, most families are trading road maps for passports. Travel has never been more affordable, or difficult if you don’t travel often.
With that being said, grab a sweater, yes, you will need one…the airplane is cold,( even if it is hot outside). We cannot give you a blanket or change the temperature for each individual’s preference…Welcome to air travel 2016. There are some do’s and don’ts if you have not traveled lately, so let’s read the safety card together. And the safety card I am referring to are these unpublished rules to make it more enjoyable for you, your fellow passengers and your flight crew!
Take a few minutes and go to http://www.tsa.gov There you can find a section on travel tips such as the 3-1-1 rule. Please, don’t think that your super size aerosol can of hairspray will be allowed through security because you paid over $20. for it, or your brand new bottle of unopened water will be allowed, even if you just bought it at the overpriced store/restaurant outside security. Remember give yourself plenty of time for screening, in case you have not read about that lately, TSA is experiencing some challenges. Remember, these rules are designed to keep us all safe, so patience is number one. I am sure the person behind you in line will be much more pleasant if you dress for travel. Stiletto lace up heels, hundreds of bracelets, and lots of metal (This includes sequin jeans, hair accessories, belts, etc.) although, very cute, it won’t quite look the same once you have to take it all off and try to redress, nor will you like a pat down to start your trip off. I love to see traveler’s dress stylishly, yet for comfort.
Once you arrive to your gate, use the restroom, you have plenty of time. Please don’t wait till you get on the plane and decide to use the lavoratory while we are trying to board 180 plus passengers all going in one stream of traffic. Also if you elect to bring food on board, we don’t have cutlery, condiments or items you might need for your food. We serve drinks and light snacks.
Remember the FAA rule about carry on items, if the gate agent misses that you have 6 carry on items, your flight attendant will not miss it. The overhead space is designed for large items, such as rollerboards, your floppy beach hat does not get to have first dibbs, or does your hat get the seat beside you. Also, as you come on board, if you have a back pack or large tote over your shoulder, use caution so you don’t hit your crew and every other passenger as you make your way to your seat. A nice hello is always appreciated and a smile will go very far with your stews.It amazes me how many people do not say hello, or grunt as they come onboard. I have had many sweet passengers who actually bring treats for the crew, that will always rate high!
I am sure you are reading and perhaps you might be getting annoyed at all these rules, but honestly, they are for everyone’s comfort and safety…now back to boarding, once you get to your seat and get comfy, please don’t ring the call bell for the flight attendant to come pick up your trash, we are performing lots of duties related to takeoff. I promise, we will pick it up. Once we get everyone on, and make the PED announcement, please comply, and make sure your teenagers do, too. There is nothing worse then for us to have to ask your child/tween/teen to turn it off and get an eye rolling… Don’t think we can’t hear your cell phone ringing or the ting from your facebook alert, etc. Now that we got that bit of unpleasantness out of the way, let’s move on. When the seatbelt sign is illuminated, that means it is unsafe to move about the cabin. If you ask us if it is okay to use the lav, we cannot possibly say yes. That means if you get hurt, we just told you it was okay, and that is not okay. Which brings me to the drink cart/beverage service, we know you are thirsty and paid a lot of money for your ticket, but asking for 3 drinks (water, coffee, juice)for an hour and a half flight is a bit excessive. Plus you will need to use the lav again, most likely by the time the seat belt sign is back on. Also use courtesy when placing your order, a simple please and thank-you is most appreciated. And remember, most of our hearing has been diminished from the loud engines sounds we have been exposed to for years, whispering your order will not yield good results. When ordering coffee or tea, need I ask 180x to every coffee drinker how they take it? At Starbucks, you order it how you want it, the Barista does not need to employ psychic powers, should your flight attendant? If you are sleeping, we will not wake you, we did not skip you. And we do not have mango, pineapple, or any other exotic fruit drink, the selection is fairly basic and can be found on the menu card in the seat pocket. I am sure the 180 other passengers waiting for service will appreciate if you know what you would like before we get to you.
Another key point is that we do not control the weather, delays or mechanical difficulties or can we possibly know what location we are at being up at 31,000 feet, or if you will make your connection…
If the simple requests I have outlined here seem snarky, rude or offensive, remember that your flight crew was most likely up at O’dark thirty, have already flown several legs before your flight that day, then multiply that by 180 plus passengers each flight, and you can see why we can get a bit tense.
I love my passengers, nothing pleases me more than to see people happy with their families going on vacation. However, there are other passengers, who also are traveling, and not everyone is going on vacation. Perhaps, they may not appreciate little Johnny kicking the seat, or tween Ashley’s music blaring out of her earbuds…these are just some of the challenges to keeping everyone happy. It’s a small tin can suspended in the air, so exercising kindness, patience and a great attitude will make it an enjoyable trip, not an agonizing journey!
And one last thing, I don’t have crayons, tape, scissors, pens, milk, diapers…BUT I do have a smile, and I promise to keep you safe!