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In this fourth installment of “Carrie’s Galley Gossip,” TPG Insider Carrie A. Trey — a flight attendant for a major airline — shares some of her favorite stories about life at 35,000 feet. Be sure to also check out Part One, Part Two and Part Three.
Really Stepped in it This Time
Not long after the “bad potato” incident with delightful Southern belle Amy Jo Baker, I had the pleasure of flying with her again — always an entertaining experience.
On the way home from Brussels, there was a passenger who didn’t have the time of day for anyone. Dismissive, rude, used hand gestures and rolled his eyes in lieu of verbal communication, etc. Amy Jo was working his aisle, and of course she continued to be polite and charming, doing her best to provide legendary service while making the gentleman in question feel fairly small for being so rude. He finally had had enough of her boundless politesse, flowery attitude and lessons in etiquette, and he snapped at her, “Ma’am, you’re just a witch!”
“Well, pumpkin, I reckon that’s just about right,” she said. And with a flick of her wrist, “Poof! You’re a pile of puppy poo,” and she strolled off down the aisle, leaving the poor man stunned.
Unbeknownst to all of us, he whipped out his cell phone the second we touched down and called the airline’s elite helpline. They arranged to have a supervisor meet the flight when we arrived, and he was waiting for us when we opened the door. Surprise!
After business class had deplaned, the gentleman in question, the purser and Amy Jo had a little pow wow in business class. Mr. Rude was fuming, spluttering away at the supervisor: “She called me puppy poo! Puppy poo! This is an outrage!”
The supervisor tried to calm him down and explained that he understood, but asked that the man kindly calm down long enough for someone else to get a word in edgewise. “Amy Jo, what happened?” asked the supervisor.
“Well, he was misbehavin’, and I did turn him into puppy poo. But look! I turned him back just fine before the end of the flight — so I don’t see what the problem is.” And with that, she grabbed her bags and walked off, leaving pretty much everyone stunned… and me rolling/laughing on the galley floor.
Once again, Amy Jo had the last word.
For whatever reason, there are those Brits who come back from the beach looking like an overdone lobster and others who come back looking like a golden Adonis. The same goes for Scandinavians. I’m half of each, so it could have gone either way, really. Fortunately, I tan beautifully and come back from a beach holiday looking not unlike Naomi Campbell.
I was flying to Moscow after spending a week on Menorca with some friends and still had my golden glow about me. A portly Russian gentleman in first class held up his bejeweled hand to get my attention, and inquired about my plans in Moscow. “Vodka and caviar, of course,” was what I thought — but out loud, I went with, “We have tickets to the ballet,” (which was also true) instead.
“Ballet? So you appreciate culture. I am producer of shows, too. Not ballet, but similar. TV productions.” I feigned interest so as not to be rude, and he continued, “You know, you could be star. I make you star in one of my little films. Stop by studio.”
I had a very good idea what sort of films he was talking about and politely declined, but he insisted on handing me his business card anyway. “If you change you mind, Brown Sugar, you call me.” Staring at him both unblinking and unamused, having just been given a name ideal for a part-time porn actress, it was the only time in my life I ever regretted having a tan.
What Does a Chicken Look Like?
I was once doing a turn to Delhi with my dear friend Orla, a lovely girl from Galway whose charming Irish accent allows her to say pretty much anything and get away with it. Halfway through the service on the return leg to Dubai, a woman stopped Orla in the aisle and in a rhythmic West Bengal accent, said sternly, “Madam! I told you I vanted chicken and this does not look like chicken! Take it!”
Orla couldn’t resist the opportunity to provide excellent customer service, delivering the following gentle response:
“Madam, allow me to tell ya tale about that there chook. It was slaughtered, plucked, cut up into tiny pieces, cooked for hours in a curry sauce, frozen and then reheated in an airplane oven. What in the world makes you think it’s still going to look like a chicken?”
The woman thought about this for a second, bobbed her head slowly and waved Orla off.
Was it really chicken? We’ll never know. What I do know is that she ate it and liked it. (Also, I love Orla.)