Dear Virgin Atlantic cabin crew,
I know it’s not the usual practice for passengers to write you letters. You expect a lot of things but a letter-writing passenger isn’t one of them. You expect that on every flight, you will have certain types of passengers including;
- Difficult Darren – As he trundles down the jet bridge laden down with several pieces of ‘hand luggage’, you heave a sigh. You know that DD is going to refuse to check in any of those bags even when you ask him politely and will insist you find room for them in the overhead compartments. You know this is just the first of much aggravation he will cause you and you wish it was standard policy to drug DD‘s and his ilk’s welcome-on-board drinks with Valium. Sigh!
- Aisle Be Damned Alfred – ABDA loves aisle seats. He doesn’t seem to understand that the aisle is for public access as he spills over and out of his seat and stretches out his leg, tripping you up every time you walk down. He never apologises but instead glares at you for daring to invade what he considers his personal space. You pointedly ignore him, making sure to step over the offending appendage but you soon get your revenge when you push the trolley right into it. You put on an appropriate apologetic look while inquiring if he is alright, meanwhile you are tearing up with laughter on the inside. Serves him right!
- Whining Winifred – WW complains loudly about everything, the long check-in queues, the security checks, duty-free prices, her allocated seat, crying babies, the food and the list goes on. Nothing is good enough for her. She always has a notebook and pen handy to write down your name and spends hours everyday writing letters of complaint to airline management. Unfortunately for her, there’s been a change of policy in doling out free tickets as compensation. She is not a happy camper. Tough!
- Frequent Flyer Fredrick – You see FFF every few weeks. He’s pretty easy-going and you are on first-name basis with each other. When there’s a lull in your duties, he usually comes up to the galley and regales the crew with tales of his many travels. You make sure you upgrade him every chance you get. Nice guy!
- Show-off Susan – SoS usually flies Premium Economy but you would think it was First Class the way she carries on. She talks down to you as though you are subservient to her. She never says ‘please’ or ‘thank you’. She demands to be upgraded to Business or First Class every time as though it is her right, and insists on using their toilets as well. If she doesn’t get upgraded, then it has to be a bulkhead seat. You happily oblige as you know that all the other seats on that row will be occupied by families with babies and young children. You send up a prayer of thanksgiving when the babies cry throughout the 10-hour flight. There is a God after all!
I bet you’re wondering why this passenger felt the need to write you a letter so I won’t waste any more of your time, I know you’re busy dealing with all of the passengers I mentioned above.
Well, you see, I’ve been looking forward to this trip for a long time. In the run up to now, I’ve been busy doing stuff, the stuff working mums do and I’m exhausted. I really need to sleep. So I just wanted to ask that you please not wake me for any reason.
Don’t worry about my safety, I will have my seat belt firmly in place under my blanket. Don’t worry about my food, I will have breakfast when I arrive. Don’t worry about any emergencies, I will wake up and take necessary action including shouting ‘the blood of Jesus’ loudly.
I know this is a rather unusual request but please humour me. Think of the benefits of granting my request;
One less passenger to serve.
One less tray to clear.
One less obstacle to meander around in the narrow aisle.
In effect, less work for you. And that’s always a welcome relief for cabin crew on a transatlantic flight.
I look forward to seeing you on boarding and again, on landing. Here’s to a smooth flight and hoping you get the most compliant passengers you could ever have.
PS. I thought you should know that I wouldn’t, at all, be averse to the idea of being upgraded. Not that I would ask though, far be it from me to do so! You already have your hands full and I would be the last person to want to burden you further.