Emirates is quite possibly one of the best airlines I’ve had the pleasure of flying, but a large number of bad-mannered, impatient, illogical and uncultured people can make the whole experience less than perfect. As with anything, if you spend enough time doing it, irrespective how refined or dignified the experience, sooner or later unpleasantness will crop up.
I was in the midst of watching a film on an Emirates flight from Dubai to Johannesburg, when the volume of voices originating outside my headphones caught my attention. A few rows ahead of me the purser, with air hostess on either side, was giving stern directives to one of the passengers. There was plenty of body language and facial gestures to suggest that the passenger was in a lot of hot water, but I couldn’t quite make out his responses.
Sir, you’re disturbing other passengers, please keep your voice down.
Make sure you do not press the call button again, you will not be served any more alcohol!
Do not call my crew again!
You are not in charge of this flight! My crew is in charge of this flight and you will listen to them.
If you continue to act like this we will have you restrained by security.
*The passenger’s hand reaches up and grabs at the headrest*
I’m acting under strict orders from the captain!
I’m warning you, do not get up from this seat again.
*The purser moves leans over closer to the passenger*
Do you understand what I’m saying?
Please don’t make this situation any worse than it already is.
No, my crew has been instructed to stop serving you any more alcohol.
Do not press the call button again!
Sir, I will have you restrained by security if you continue to disobey my orders.
Do you understand!?
While I’m on the topic of troublesome passengers I might as well vent a few repressed thoughts. I’m sure there are others, too polite to say anything, who feel the same way.
All too often I find myself pushed and shoved by hordes of passengers who, like a chaotic scramble for the last remaining seat on a train bound for Bombay, shoulder their way past anyone in front.
Don’t worry, the plane won’t leave without you, you won’t have to stand for the whole 11 hours, and no, I won’t take your seat or your meal because, just like you, I have a whole one to myself. Nope, doesn’t matter how many times you turn that suitcase around — it’s simply too big to fit into the overhead compartment; and while you debate the laws of physics surrounding your baggage, perhaps you could step into your aisle so that the passengers you previously shoved out of the way can reach their own nirvanas.
Lastly, if you’re going to be in close proximity of other humans, please try to wash before the flight, or at the very least use deodorant to cover up the stench; there’s nothing worse than being stuck — on a flight filled to capacity — next to someone whose aroma causes convulsive gagging; and if you absolutely must squat on a sit-on toilet, at least tuck in your urinating appendage so that it points towards the bowl instead of surrounding walls.
Where’s my airsickness bag?