Home > Uncategorized > Up, Up and Away

Up, Up and Away

If you check my blogroll, you’ll see quite a few aviation blogs that I follow ranging from flight dispatchers, pilots and flight attendants.

I was a very nervous passenger when we first started travelling back in 1990 and it was at that point that I took an interest in aviation primarily to learn how those tubes of metal could get into the air and what made them tick. 

It got me to the stage where I could sit in a clapped out Twin Otter (here and here) from Yeti Airlines in Nepal with this thing vibrating like mad at the end of a very short runway at Lukla preparing to takeoff and me shouting out, “Bring it on!”.  Incidentally, this aircraft we saw landing at the time crashed at the end of that runway last year killing 18 onboard.

I was reading The Flying Pinto’s latest post about unruly or difficult passengers when it got me thinking about some of the interesting times we’ve had in airports and on planes in the 18 years and some would make good blog posts. 

I was going to start with the air rage incident in the US in 2002 but that will be a lengthy post so I’ll do that one tomorrow.  To start, I’ll tell you about an incident with a flight attendant (FA) while in the US in 1995, but a slight prelude.

We had travelled over 30,000 k’s by car in the USA in 1994 but we’d missed the southern States because we’d run out of time.  When the 5 weeks of the 1995-96 summer school holidays approached, we decided on the spur of the moment to grab a couple of Round-the-World tickets and finish off what we had missed and also drop in on our friends in England and finish with a few days in Hong Kong.  When I got back to work, someone asked me where we’d been for the holidays, and no one believed me when I said, “Around the world”.

On that trip, we flew into LA and stopped overnight before catching a flight on Christmas Day to Orlando, Florida via Charlotte, North Carolina.  We expected things to be quiet but planes were full and the airports were buzzing.  The plane we caught from Charlotte to Orlando was a clapped out old US Air MD-80 with oil streaks down the fuselage and we got the last two seats in the plane up against the bulkhead.

The seats wouldn’t recline and the FA came along before take-off and said to me (think very Southern drawl here), “Yar have the most uncomfortable seats on the plane and the drinks are on us for the flight”.

“Oh”, I said. “I don’t drink”

She gave me a tap on the shoulder and a wicked smile and said, “Yar a born loser!”

I burst out laughing and gained great respect for flight attendants and what they had to do especially after what the one on the air rage flight had to endure.

That one next.

  1. Muppet's Mum
    June 28, 2009 at 10:46 am

    What are you? A camel? (Sorry, stole that joke from a friend) 🙂

    I went for period of a few years where every single flight I took ended up in disaster – I gave up travelling for a few years after that. Like the time I flew from Frankfurt to Tel Aviv and a guy on the plane had a heart attack so we had to make an emergency landing in Vienna (and because we were flying to Tel Aviv the heart attack was shrouded in suspicion and they wouldn’t actually let the plane anywhere near the terminals, we had to land and stay way out on the tarmac somewhere and then find the poor guy’s luggage before they would let him off the plane). And another time I was returning from London to Melbourne via Vienna and my flight from London to Vienna was cancelled. They couldn’t find me in the airport to tell me and of course I was taking no notice of any announcements. Even domestically, I flew from Qld to Melbourne once and I ended up in Launceston! I could go on but this is your blog, not mine!

    MM – Looks like I’ve started something here. Lot’s of been there, done that stuff! You gave a pretty good impersonation of it being your blog late last year! 😀

    We once saw an El Al plane parked on the tarmac at Frankfurt airport well away from the terminal surrounded by troops armed to the teeth. You must have been on that one too!

    PS Your joke went through to the keeper
    PPs Now I get it!

  2. June 28, 2009 at 11:04 am

    I was flying from Toronto (Ontario) to St Johns (Newfoundland) on Canjet. Had to land at Moncton(New Brunswick) to pick up more people. Then they couldnt take off cos there was a light on the dash “Check Engine Soon” . We all got off, sat and grumpled in the teeny tiny Moncton airport for 4 hours till the next plane came. Arrived safe but late. They gave me a $50 credit to use on my next flight. But the airline folded before I had a chance to use it. Damn!

    shammy – We’ve been to Moncton too. Could have picked you up and taken you home. That would have been my luck with the voucher too.

  3. june in florida
    June 28, 2009 at 11:52 am

    No problems but my favorite airline is Southwest.Best crews and they tell jokes and stories, they always get in early, although i have a suspicion the arrival time is posted for 15 minutes longer than it really takes.

    June – Haven’t flown with them. Flew with US Air in 1994 and the same flight 4 days before crashed in Pittsburgh.

  4. June 28, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    After having endured a hijacking and two emergency landings, it takes a lot to phase me as a flier at this point. I have the utmost respect for flight crews; passengers do the darndest things!

    Meloukhia – Hells, bells! I’ll have to give you a guest posting on my blog.

  5. june in florida
    June 28, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Btw southern drawl is yall not yar, i think yar is pirate lingo.

    June – MY phonetic southern interpretation of ‘Your’ is ‘Yar’ or ‘Yarrrr’ as in ‘You are a born loser’ while ‘You all’ is ‘Yall’ as in ‘Yall all have a good day’.

  6. June 28, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Hey! Thanks for the visit and mention to my blog: ) Wow! Around the world…how cool is that? The southern accent cracked me up…I’m so happy my airline parked our last MD-80 about 10 years ago!!

    It sounds like ‘Yall…lol…have a lot worse stories than I do!You’ve been too close for comfort to some accidents….and, Meloukhia: A hijacking?? Yikes!

    great post: )

    Sara – Hey, maybe you have one of those “yall” accents too! People from Yall States had particular trouble with our accent so we’d have to speak so S-L-O-W-L-Y to be understood 😀

    I’d say that last MD-80 you mentioned would have been the one we flew.

    Sounds like my readers have a few good airline stories so might milk this for all it’s worth. A guest post from Meloukhia would be a good one.

  7. June 28, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Oh, and looking forward to the “air rage” post!

    Sara – A hijacking would have trumped my air rage!

  8. june in florida
    June 29, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Yall wont believe this, customer on phone today asked if i was Tasmanian, says i have a Tasmanian accent.She has a friend from Tasmania. I guess if your born in England, move to New York, New Jersey,Cape Cod, Arkansas and Florida you get a Tasmanian accent,lol+

    June – There is no such thing as a Tasmanian accent! There is an Australian accent and one version does all. 😀 Sometimes you can pick up on local idioms and have a rough clue where someone is from but we basically all speak Strine.

  9. Muppet's Mum
    June 29, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Have to disagree with you DB. Qld’ers have a distinct drawl compared to Vic’s and the SA’s have an accent that’s a cross between a Pom and a Kiwi. Not sure about the Tassie, probably just r e a l l y s l o w. (Sorry to our Tassie friends!). 🙂 Most WA’ers have a Pommy accent because that’s where most of them are from (Perth, anyway!).

    Well stuff me! I must be getting deaf in my old age or I haven’t travelled enough because I can’t tell any difference. We have friends in WA, NSW and QLD and they all sound the same to me. I’d better go and get the wax cleaned out.

    • June 30, 2009 at 1:16 am

      When I was in Oz, I was in Perth, Melbourne. Canberra and Brisbane, and I definitely noticed different Aussie accents, but I couldn’t really distinguish what the differences were. But I know that most of my rellies, who have lived in Oz since the 1950s, all sounded distinctly British!

      Shammy – There is and has been too much migration into this country and between States for us to say there are distinct regional accents. Half of Queenslanders were Victorians once! A fair slab of our population is made up from Poms and European migration and a fair whack of New Zealanders come here too. There are local sayings and idioms which will give away a persons location but I’ll plead tone deafness if people tell me they can tell immediately which State a person is from.

      I’ll record the voices of my mates from the other States and you and Muppet’s Mum can tell me where they live. 😀

      • June 30, 2009 at 1:17 am

        And I’m often asked if I’m Australian. Weird!

        You probably have a rinsed out Pommy accent by now.

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