Between Helen and Earth

Tracy Stewart, December 18, 2009
Fares from Washington DC:

    In all our travels, we've had the displeasure of sitting next to some real characters. There was the exhibitionist stretcher (ew), the drooler, the cranky drunk, the gassy sleeper, the person who may or may not have been smuggling a six pack of onions under his arms, the person who splashed on gallons of Drakkar Noir before leaving home, rude ones, loud ones, you name it. But overall, interactions with our fellow passengers is pretty limited. And that's fine by us. Flight attendants on the other hand? They have to interact. With everybody! If your seatmate, Mr Onion-pits, has a complete meltdown over being served ice cubes vs. crushed ice, or the drooler keeps sneaking phone calls during take off, it's the flight attendant who has to step in and deal. So, hats off to you, flight attendants of the world, for putting up with us passengers and all of our potentially annoying travel habits. If our work day consisted of trying to convince a grab bag of personality types to check their way-too-big carry-ons instead of clogging the aisle and stuffing the overhead, well, we would probably snap. And apparently, sometimes, some do snap. Do you already know where we're going with this? If not, there was a bit of a fiasco on an American Airlines flight involving a passenger seated in Business, a glass of orange juice, and a flight attendant by the name of Helen. Helen was not having this gentleman's request for an orange juice, things escalated, meal trays were pointedly slammed, and the feds were phoned. If you haven't already, do check out the full story in juicy detail over at Consumerist.



    What about you? Have you had a similar encounter with someone so gruff and frazzled while flying? And is there a danger of this becoming the norm, as airlines cut back service and remaining employees are spread thin to cover fewer but fuller flights? Share your stories and comments below.

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