Thursday, 8 September 2011

Travelling with the flying kangaroo

A recent spate of work-related travel has thrust me back into the world of airports and planes and flight attendants.

Qantas took me to Perth in one of the new Airbuses.  Very nice way to fly.  Even in economy class on a flight of more than four hours.  The in-flight entertainment allowed me to select from a wide variety of luke warm, middle of the road movies and a great selection of television programs, music and games.  I decided I would take the opportunity to watch "Bridesmaids" for free as it had been one of the highest grossing films and was supposed to be a new landmark in comedy for chicks.  It really was chewing gum for the eyes.  I may have smirked twice during the whole thing which seemed to go for much longer than necessary.  My emotional state only changed when I was advised they were out of the stir-fried beef for dinner and I'd have to swallow the cheese ravioli instead.

Before I donned the headset, a calm announcement was made.

"If there is a medical practitioner on board, please make yourself known to cabin crew.  We require the assistance of a medical practitioner.  Please make yourself known if you are willing to assist."

A small ripple went through the cabin, but I didn't see anyone get up, or faint for that matter.  Several members of the cabin crew moved in the aisles in the same direction, but they gave nothing away.

The film finished and I decided to watch "30 Rock".  Episodes from the new season 5!  I was impressed.  And I was laughing in public.  Loudly apparently.  After we had landed, I was washing my hands in the restroom and a woman asked me what I had been watching.  I'd never seen her before in my life, but clearly, I was better than the inflight entertainment from her point of view.  I asked her why she wanted to know and she said she really wanted to know what I had made me laugh so much.

On the flight back home, I had an encounter with the particular breed of cabin crew - the Queen who decides he likes me on sight and decides to refer to me as his girlfriend for the duration of the flight.  It's a great strategy to have one of these looking after you.  Extra chocolate, extra wine, whatever you want, whenever you want it, all served with compliments about how fabulous you are.  When you're wrecked from a heavy few days of work, this is a nice way to fly.

As we deplaned back in Melbourne, I was impressed to see the Captain standing at the front door with the cabin crew to bid us farewell.  As we had started our descent, he had made an announcement about the current campaign Qantas pilots are running to secure fair conditions that ensure Qantas remains a quality Australian airline.  I wished him well with the campaign.

Then I thanked him for getting us home safely.  A great inflight entertainment system doesn't really matter if the cabin crew are surly and demoralised and the plane doesn't land safely.

Read about their campaign here:

No comments:

Post a Comment