We all hate delays. But the crew can’t do anything about them. If they happen, you can only mumble under your breath. Being grumpy and rude towards the crew won’t make you leave the runway on time.
We get it. You’re frustrated. But do you think we’re thrilled to be on ground, with 350 people in a confined space, with no AC and the eventuality of having to disembark if the snag is more serious than expected? Of course, I couldn’t be more excited to deal with these situations. That’s exactly what I signed up for when i read the vacancy notice.
Hiring shock absorbers willing to handle delays and other tantrums in a metal tube. Duties include putting your patience to its limits and ability to cope with pissed off people in a very hostile environment. We decline all responsibility and leave everything up to you.
But instead that’s what the advert read:
Hiring cabin crews with high levels of customer service and communication skills. Be the ambassador of the company and promote our brand.
You have the right to be mad that we’re late. After all, they make you checkin 2 hours before the flight with less and less luggage allowance, go through security where you are searched, scanned and groped by unfriendly security officers who force you to throw your LAGs (Liquids Aerosols Gels) which mean the world to you. You barely have the time to purchase something from duty free to compensate because boarding started as soon as you cleared the body search. And on top of that we’re late! I would be pissed too.
The last time I shoved something down my throat was when the reminder wakeup call rang in my room. That was about 7 hours before I boarded the plane. People starve everyday. So I should be able to survive this one. I went through security just as you did and the delay also means I’m going to land later than scheduled. So here’s the breaking news. Delays don’t affect passengers only but the crew also. If you haven’t noticed we’re on the same plane as you!
The only reason I’m smiling is not because I’m paid to smile. No Sir. Anything on ground and static does not count as flying hours. Basically I’m doing charity. I’m saving my energy for the coming hours of pain and suffering you’ll make me go through once we’ve been cleared by the control tower.
Of course I would have preferred to spend these delayed hours sleeping. It took us twelve long hours and twenty five minutes to get here yesterday. Although we got 16 hours to rest. I barely slept 6 hours because my sleeping pattern doesn’t adjust to the jet lag on request. Things beyond my control include jet lag, delays and shopping.
Ask me where to eat, where to shop, where to party. But don’t ask me when we’re taking off, if you’re going to make it for your connection, or what’s the technical snag. Divination and fortune telling were not modules of the Security Emergency Procedures training.
Hopefully the pilot found out about these issues before we reached cruising altitude. Delays are meant to solve what could have quickly escalated in an emergency situation. And none of us are hoping for these to happen. So unless you have desires of burning alive on your economy seat or scatter your body parts over the Atlantic, you better shut the fuck up and frown in silence.