Flight Attendants Have the Very Best Stories

My last flight of last year unexpectedly ended up as a delayed Houston – Austin flight on United.

It was a short hop, and wound up being one of the most fun domestic flights I had all year, sitting next to someone who was supposed to be on the same Washington Dulles – Austin flight with me the night before and who had a similar idea to what I came up with.. we both wanted out of DC as snow storms rolled in (in fact, Washington Dulles wound up closed the next morning) and with a delayed and ultimately cancelled flight we were happy with anything out of the DC area that didn’t involve flying into snow. I wound up with a first class seat to Jacksonville and a night at the Aloft by the airport (my 100th Starwood night) and he wound up with a flight to Atlanta. Each of use grabbed a first thing in the morning flight to Houston, and then connected to Austin.

Our first class flight attendant was awesome, and she regaled us with stories for the full length of our… 140 mile hop.

It turns out that she had been a passenger on British Airways Flight 2276, the Las Vegas – London flight that caught fire on takeoff last year. That was the only flight that day she could assure herself a spot on as a non-rev. Plaintiffs attorneys sought her cooperation to sue, hoping that her testimony as a flight attendant would have weight criticizing the evacuation procedures. (She declined, and was mostly critical of passengers trying to get their belongings out of overhead bins.)

She told us about two incidents on flights she worked where passengers had to be met on arrival by law enforcement.

  • The cabin lights were off, and so a passenger decided that the best reading light would be a lighter. He kept flicking the lighter on and off. She went over to him and told him that he couldn’t start fires onboard the aircraft. But he kept doing it.

  • Another passenger boarded drunk and she refused to serve him any more alcohol. He became belligerent. When he went into the lavatory he started pounding on the door. He took the lav door off its hinges. She wound up locking him in the lav using a seatbelt to secure the door.

I’ve witnessed alcohol disturbances and other passengers behaving badly. But whenever you can get a fun flight attendant talking about their stories, they’re bound to be so much better.

Now that I’ve been home for a week, I’m reveling in holiday and home things, and not missing the road at all…

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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