Thursday, July 24, 2014

An interesting story contributed by an ex-stewardess

It was my first US flight to New York, working B3 from Fra-JFK. There was a German couple and their son seated at 32 ABC. Nothing extraordinary on the flight, except on the return sector, JFK-FRA, the same German family boarded again and there were now on 49HJK (I think) and I was working C4. I recognized them from the earlier sector and enquired why such a short New York trip. Apparently it was the teenager boy's birthday and they were in NYC just to celebrate it.

We crew do what we do best, and we planned to put together some form of a small birthday celebration with extra desserts and champagne from premium classes after the first meal service, during lull period.

During tray collection after the first meal service, I accidentally spilled coffee on a male passenger across the aisle (bulkhead seat 49F) from the German family. I honestly believe it was the gentleman's fault because he had left the tray on the floor and was distracted with his movie as he picked it up to pass it to me. When that incident happen, this gentleman got up and started screaming expletives at me, like, "You d***b b***h! My $200 pants! You f***ing ruined it!" etc etc extremely loudly and every other passenger could hear. I was just so shell-shocked at what just happened and apologized profusely and tried to help with paper towels. My LS came out and helped with the situation, where he first asked if there were any burns. Then he went to first class to get a pair of sleeping pants for him to wear instead as we try to remove the stains from his jeans. This LS, I wish I can remember his name, is the NICEST guy ever. He never once did scold me. Once when everything calmed down, he talked to me in the galley and I started crying, not because the passenger was rude, but because this LS was just so patient and understanding. With the passenger being so aggressive, he asked if I wanted to work on another aisle instead. The other stewardesses had also witnessed what happened and were willing to change positions with me. I said yes. As I was eating my meal, I asked myself, why should I run away from a bully and I should be professional and continue working as designated. Also, this guy should be the one to apologize for the rudeness. So I told my LS that I changed my mind and would it be possible to continue working on my original position. The LS commended on my brave decision. The passenger did apologize later. That was my most horrible passenger incident I have ever encountered in my 3-year flying career.

Anyway, I continued on my duties and during lull period we celebrated the German boy's birthday by surprising him with a cake and served Champagne to his parents. They were very surprised and touched. The family took lots of pictures with the crew and I exchanged emails with them so that they could share the pictures. When the family visited Singapore a few months later, I invited them for a satay dinner with my family. They following year for my birthday gift, they brought me to Naples and Capri in Italy. And in 2006, when Germany hosted the World Cup, I went to watch the opening games with them at Allianz Arena, all courtesy of them. While at the games, just into the second half, a guy somewhere behind me suddenly fell into epileptic seizure. His friends and people around him were in shock and did not know what to do and stood there speechless. Somehow, SQ's first aid training kicked-in, and I rushed over. People were shouting to put something into his mouth so he does not bite himself, but I recall from our training that we should never do that. I checked if there was anything in his mouth and asked people to help me roll him over to the side. Some fluid came out as we did this and that was when the official medics and first aid arrived and they took over taking care of him. Phew!

From just one flight, I experienced 2 extreme sets of emotions. The lowest point (passenger facing point, not including personal matters) in my flying career, but also at the same time one of the highlights, by meeting a wonderful family who showered me with a lot of love.

A lot of times, as a crew, we are always presented with very unfortunate situations, but somewhere in there, there's some form of sunshine peeking out. So do keep a lookout for those possibly wonderful moments. And I have been fortunate to encounter quite a few of these wonderful moments with other passengers as well.

(In case you're wondering, no I never had any sexual relation with the son. He was like a little brother to me. And I was like a daughter they never had.)

Ok I think I am a bit long-winded. Please feel free to edit, or if it's not blog-worthy, there's no need to publish it at all! Thanks so much!


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