Flight attendants do have more face time with passengers than pilots do. However, when pilots come out of the flight deck it’s a whole new ball game than talking to air traffic controllers. Pilots have a lower tolerance for BS than flight attendants. On one of my flights, our captain was nice enough to help a mother travelling with her two small children. The captain makes his way down the aisle, and takes one of the car seats from her. By this time me and my co-worker were deep in cleaning mode, we built up a nice rhythm going from seat to seat so we could turn the plane around quickly for next set of passengers.
The mother picks up a child and a whole bunch of stuff her arms, we’re talking blankets, diaper bags and feeding bottles. She leaves the other sleeping child on the seat and says, “I guess I’ll come back for her.” It was then I noticed a man. “I’ll do it. I am the father!” he said loudly. Then snatches up the sleeping toddler and walks off in a huff. I was glad he declared that, because until he said that I didn’t know he was travelling with his family. They were in my section and he didn’t even look at them from his aisle seat. I was surprised he really was the father. By this time the whole crew had few more rows left, the captain and first officer were helping us clean. The mother returns to the plane because she left the baby wipes. Heaven forbid.
The captain says, “Just so you know once you leave the plane you cannot come back on. It’s a security issue.”
She suddenly looks worried, “Oh I’m sorry. What do I need to do? Who do I need to speak with to clear my name?”
Captain, “I’m it. I’m the captain. So just for future reference, contact a gate agent if you leave something on the aircraft and they’ll come and get it.”
“Captain I am so sorry. I teach my kids to do the right thing and I am prepared to be here 6 hours if I have to.” (That’s such a random number. Where did she get that from?)
Captain, “I’m sure you have better things to do than be here for six hours.”
“Oh I’ll do whatever it takes. I’m not a terrorist.” (WHATT???)
Captain chuckles, “Then you must have nothing to do at home.”
Then suddenly she morphs into the Grinch meets the Hulk; “I don’t appreciate you attacking my home life! I have a full life and you’re being demeaning to me and my family!!”
She looked like this, really.
Captain by now is dumbstruck. He looks at us with a furrowed brow with the “WTF” look.
“Ma’am that’s not what I meant. I’m sorry you’ve taken it that way.”
“You’re rude and demeaning. I need to talk to your supervisor.” (The penny section snickers.)
“I’m the CAPTAIN. I am the one in charge. As a matter of fact get off my plane before you have a real problem!!!”
Sigh…how did things go so wrong, so fast?