Sunday, November 1, 2009

The airport chronicles....

Did I really think that I could get by a whole two vacations without an airport story?
(or in this case...two!)

Airport story #1
(short and sweet)

It would have been nice for the travel agent that booked our trip to put the time of the return flight in accordance with the time change in Brasil. Yes, we knew the clock changed, we changed our watches....the problem was the travel agent. He put the departure time at 2:50. Well, now I don't know why, but here they also then change the time of the flights! In winter, the flight is at 2:50. Once the clock "springs ahead" for summer, the flight changes to 1:50.
Needless to say, we missed our return flight home from vacation. So instead of a nice direct flight that takes about 3 hours, which would of put us back in our home by about 7 pm, we ended up having to take the only other flight that had 4 seats available. This flight stopped for a 3 hour layover...putting us in our home at 1 am. Good thing our kids are used to traveling, they are great no matter what happens! I felt responsible too, because I was the one who said...we can go to that airport only about an hour and half before the flight. It's a small airport and a domestic hour and a half should be fine, right? Well obviously not...
We survived, but it was a long evening to say the least!

Airport story #2
(grab a coffee or tea, have a seat and read on...this is a long doozy!)

The plane configuration from most planes to Brasil, are 2-3-2.
I was in the aisle of one of the 2 seater sides. The doors closed and no one was sitting next to me. This is a complete joy because then I could stretch out, "while still leaving my seatbelt fastened and in view of a flight attendant should I fall asleep". Then all of a sudden, this strange lady in high heels, skin tight skinny jeans, coat and purse comes from the back of the plane and points to the seat next to me. I assumed it was her seat...and maybe that is where I made a mistake. I did not feel that I had the right to ask to see her seat assignment, hahaha, so I got up and let her in. Well, the first sensation I got from her was her smell. She was totally smelling of alcohol. I know when someone has had too much. She definitely had too much. I was hoping for a pass out drunk...ha, no such luck! She started folding her jacket about 20 times. Then they started to hand out the forms that you need when you enter another country. I pulled out my pen, she was looking all around the entire plane...for what, I dunno. I was thinking for a pen to borrow. I figured she could borrow mine, even though it is a beautiful pen that my husband bought for me. I started filling mine out, waiting for the "can I borrow that" question, but it never came. After I put everything all away, she goes into her purse, after taking out and folding her jacket two more times, and pulls out a pen. In the meantime, I am just reading my book, ho humming along.
So, as it is a late night flight (we left around midnight, and remember Brasil is two hours ahead of US Eastern time). The attendants come around with drinks and start with the food. Well, that's where she finds her voice, and then the rest is soon to be history!
She starts in with, "what is this? They have no organization. It was never like this before. I used to fly these flights 2 or 3 times a year. They used to announce when they were going to do things like serve dinner. This is crazy. I have no time." (insert taking out and folding her jacket again).
The whole problem was that the lady asked her if she would like a dinner, meat or chicken. She said, "can you bring it back later?" The attendant said, "hmm, hmm, yes, around 2 am ok?" I was cracking up at this point. The attendant asked me if I wanted dinner and I declined. She said "ah, you've eaten here before!" Now I was really laughing!
The lady is fidgeting and fussing over her papers to fill out. She started humphing and puffing about the man sitting in front of her moving his seat too much. (I never really noticed it actually).

*do you need a refill yet? we still have a lot more to go!*

so, then the next male flight attendant comes by and asks if she would like a drink. She says, "what is this. First, you ask me if I want this, then that. Can't you see I can't do everything at once. This is never how you used to do it." He replies, "Well, we have for the 20 years I have been working for the company", and gives a soft chuckle. Again, me cracking up and him noticing, so now he knows he has an ally! So, she goes on to tell him, "I asked the lady if I could have dinner later. Since she seems to be ignoring me could you get me one with meat please?". He gets her one, and then she gets all flustered again. She says, "where do you expect me to put it? I have no room, you made no announcements to let us know!". So she looks to me and motions to my tray. She says, "can I use that just for a little bit. They just overtook me here, and I don't know what to do!" So I open my tray and she puts her dinner on it.
Cue for the male flight attendant, "Ma'am would you like something to drink with that? "
Oh my gosh, I though she was going to explode right then and there!
She looks at him with a look of complete exasperation and says, "Seriously? Now. Yes, then, if I have to. I'll take a wine."
Oh come on lady, you haven't had enough?
He gives her the wine and mentions that it will be $6. she just looks at him while he stands there. She then starts to finish filling out her papers!
He says, a little exasperated because he really needs to get the rest of the plane their drinks, "are you going to get that now? or ....?"
She gives him a look of helplessness, and splutters out, "where do you think I am going to go? I already have my dinner here and my papers here. Oh fine, just give me a minute."
She reaches down, puts her papers away, and gets her wallet. She fumbles for the money and shoves it in his face. then she proceeds to continue complaining...I assume to me, but I am just looking either straight ahead or into my book. I am giggling as discreetly as possible because I just thought this whole situation so funny!

Well, she starts eating, drinking...oh sorry, when she put her wallet away she brought the trusty jacket again and folded it twice. Things are going fairly calm. Then after a little bit, they turn on the movie. Harmless right?

HA! She goes into her seat pocket to look for the head phones. Her bag is already torn open and no head phones to be found! She looks to me, and starts again...
"this plane is *#X! . I remember when they had screens right on every seat. Now I can't even get a pair of head phones. this is ridiculous."
I scurry into my seat back, and find my bag. I gladly giver he mine. There was a nice man behind us who offered me his, but I was planning on sleeping anyways.

*refill time*

I thought this time she would be quiet and just watch the movie. Well, silly me, the lights were kept on! Her, "how can they keep the lights on. this is nuts. this plane is so full of %*#$ . I am so sick of this. We have 6 more hours of this terrible service! 6 hours! Can you believe it? what do they think? This is not a 2 hour flight! this is all the way to Brasil, 6 more hours!"

Ha, she is telling me this? I am wishing that I would have questioned her about her proper seat!
So, she finally gets up and starts roaming the aisles for an attendant to turn off the lights. she must not find any...or at least anyone that will actually attend to her. she comes back, sinks into her seat with a thud, folds her jacket many more times, humphs and shrugs, and just plops back into her seat.
now, at least I was able to go to sleep. the male attendant asked if I wanted to be moved away from the crazy lady, but I declined. Way too much fun, plus there weren't really any seats in first class anyways.
Somehow, some time, she fell asleep. She slept all the way until we had to leave our seats to get off the plane.
Thank goodness!

That's the short and long of it...
Brasil vacation post to follow soon :)


Brenda said...

Those are great stories, they remind me of some of mine. In Paraguay they change the flight times when the time changes also.

I'm not sure how you handled the entire flight with her beside you. . . . but it does help to see the humor in the situation!

Betty said...

HOW did you stay seated there??!! I would NEVER have been able to handle that woman! It shows you have traveled a lot and can see the "funny" in such a situation.
I really don´t miss all the traveling mishaps, but I DO miss travel!

BLOGitse said...

hahah, I've been in that kind of funny/weird situations quite often.
Only thing to survive is to meditate/be calm yourself. Otherwise you spoil your own feeling and can't relax at all...
Sometimes not at all easy but what else can you do - nothing!

Have a good day!
I did my first NaBloPoMo posting already - are you in?

mythopolis said...

You have great patience. I would have bluntly told the woman to shut up!

Scriber's Web said...

Ha ha. Too funny! Glad that you kept your sense of humor! I am going to Chicago for Thanksgiving. I am sure that I will have the most vile person sitting next to me:)

Fabiola said...

I am laughing really hard.
I already faced a few "nut" people on my side especially on long flights. But this nut lady is the funniest.


FancyHorse said...

I'm glad you could laugh about it - saves the blood pressure!