Talk about the flight of a lifetime. Some flights are incredible in a good way, some are incredible in a bad way, and some, well, I just don’t know what to think. I just got off an IAD-JFK Shuttle America flight on an Embraer 170 in first class, and this flight definitely fit in the third category. It’s worth noting that at least half of the people flying IAD-JFK don’t speak a word of English, which makes this all the more interesting.
We had one of the most obnoxious, bizarre, yet hilarious flight attendants I’ve had in my life. He was a loud-mouth older gentleman, maybe in his mid-60’s, and a retired NYPD police officer. Seriously, can you picture a flight attendant that worked for the NYPD for 30 years as a flight attendant? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Well, he was like no other flight attendant I’ve ever flown with.
The Embraer 170 has an automated voice doing the safety demo, so flight attendants just have to go through the motions (seatbelt, oxygen mask, safety card, etc.). Throughout the whole safety demo he was talking to the deadheading JetBlue captain seated about ten feet away from where he was standing, to the point that no one could understand what was being said on the PA. He was talking about how being a flight attendant is the easiest job in the world and that anyone with a third grade education could do it.
This flight attendant was also not a “flight safety expert.” Within a minute of taking off he was out of his jumpseat serving drinks. By the time we passed through 10,000 feet the whole first class cabin was served drinks. Oh, and of course everyone was either “man,” “buddy,” or “young lady.”
When I finished one bag of premium snack mix, he held up another one, and it seemed like he was asking whether I wanted another one. I nodded, and he throws it at me. When I say throw it at me, I mean he throws it from the galley to my seat in row two, which are at least ten feet apart.
What was most interesting was his pre-arrival announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, thanks so much for flying with us today. We are so happy to have you aboard and we hope you enjoyed the flight. We hope you have safe travels, and let’s not forget who makes that all possible for us and makes us the greatest country in the world, the men and women of the armed forces. If you see them in an airport or anywhere else, please thank them for their service to our country.” He goes on and on. Now, I think that announcement is bad enough flying between Kansas City and Wichita, but on a flight where more than half of the passengers aren’t American? I think not….
As we continued our descent he talked to the two Chinese ladies in row one, who were entertained by his announcements, probably because they liked his enthusiasm, but thank God they couldn’t understand what he was saying. He asked them whether they were flying first class on Air China, and they said yes. He said he liked how their flight attendants were hot, unlike his flight partners, although he admitted he was shallow. He said on a flight last week he flew with a flight attendant that was so fat that she beeped like a truck when she backed up. Yes, a flight attendant was saying all this!!!
As soon as we touched down he asked on the PA “What our pilots and the New York Giants have in common?” The answer, not surprisingly, was that they both made good touchdowns.
The two Chinese ladies sitting in front of me took a picture with the flight attendant upon landing, because they thought he was so funny. Again, they had no clue what he was saying, though.