The weirdest thing I've ever seen on a plane was in 1972 on a Pan Am flight from NY to Amsterdam. We were all boarded and the flight was delayed for a few hours. About an hour into the delay, I saw a flight attendant - they were called stewardesses back then - sitting in a passenger seat making out hot and heavy with a passenger. Wild. I don't know if they previously knew each other or if it was a random hookup Source
Many years ago I was evaluating the service on a flight between Bahrain and LHR. The flight was full and the crew included one junior whose first working flight had been the LHR-BAH sector. She had done a good job on the first sector and had been complimented by her fellow crew-members. But what was most noticeable was the fact she appeared to be rather shy. Boarding for the return flight went fine. There was a relatively small mix of male passengers who were wearing their national attire; a thobe, (an ankle-length robe-type garment, with long sleeves.), and ghutra, (a traditional headdress). It was a relatively easy flight. It wasn't full and it afforded me time to offer service tips and observe. But we weren't an hour into the flight that the young junior rushed into the back galley in tears. She was sobbing. After calming her she finally blurted out that the man in 36K (indicating a window seat in the back of the aircraft), had lifted his thobe, exposing himself to her. After years of flying your first thought is 'oh no, not another one of these pathetic fruitcakes,' but your professional side prevails, whilst you deal with calming the new crew member and then needing to address the offensive and illegal act committed by the passenger. I, along with two female crew members calmed the girl. I recall one of the more senior crew members 'welcomed' the junior into her initiation and assured her that she'd be seeing much worse in the years to come. And now I had the task of dealing with the passenger. There was no one sitting next to him, nor was there anyone in the last row of seats behind him. "Sir," I began, "I understand you have exposed yourself to one of our crew members." I paused a second, waiting for the inevitable denial to come from the passenger. But his response was a surprise. "She likes these things, doesn't she?" he asked, with an utterly creepy look on his face. I was now stern. My response was prompt and succinct. "No, she doesn't and neither would anyone else. And, Sir, if we have any reports of this happening again, we will have the legal authorities come on board to deal with your behavior." I felt I had said enough. He had his warning and I hoped that would be the end of it. I was consciously ready to now go back to the galley and tell the young crew member that she should work the other side of the aircraft and simply forget about the matter. But my stern admonishment prompted a response from the recalcitrant passenger I hadn't anticipated. He fixed his gaze on me and said "Maybe you want to see too?" And he then lifted his thobe to reveal the fact that he had nothing underneath. Strategy. I remember that I actually sighed as I walked away from the passenger. I said nothing. I knew I needed to form a prompt and effective strategy to deal with this. We had another six hours of flight ahead of us. Of course, I would be informing the Captain of what occurred. Ultimately, it would be his decision to have the passenger handed over to police upon our arrival. But I knew we needed a bit more for the moment. The BA flights have a good balance of male and female crew members. But it was clear this passenger's aberrant behavior could be perpetrated upon other passengers. And I took note there were some children on board. I asked one of the male crew members to move up the aisle, only on the starboard (right) side of the aircraft, from row 34, forward and inform the passengers that due to a technical issue we it had been necessary to lock the aft lavatories and would they be so kind as to use the lavatories in the centre of the aircraft. I then asked one of the CSM's (one of the team leaders), to assist me in my plan. I'd flown with her in the past and not only did she have a lovely sense of humour, she was excellent in diffusing awkward situations. I quickly filled her in on my strategy. We moved down the aisle to where the lone passenger was. I made certain he was looking at us when I gesticulated to the man by pointing to him and then holding up my hand and lifting my 'pinkie' finger, wiggling it to signify the diminutive and homuncular nature of ...er, um...something. My colleague then looked at the man, then looked back at me and giggled, also holding up her hand and wiggling her pinkie finger, so as to acknowledge that I was suggesting something involving the passenger was nanoscopic. Neither of us looked directly at the passenger again, we just sniggered to ourselves and moved on. I then brought another crew member up the aisle just as if I were heading towards the front of the aircraft. But the other crew member turned to look at the passenger and gave a little chuckle. I deliberately came back to the aft cabin by way of the port side aisle. But I could notice out of the corner of my eye that the passenger appeared to be 'stewing' (for lack of any other way to describe it). And I later learned that during the meal service, the male crew who covered the starboard side of the aircraft; one of the two men deliberately leaned over to the passenger and asked him if he'd like a 'tiny little breadstick?' It seems the point had been driven home. We had no more problems with the man during the flight. And true to our word, two police officers were at the gate on arrival. They came on board before we disembarked the passengers and went to the back of the aircraft to welcome him to the United Kingdom. The police disembarked this passenger via the galley door. Working across the world, we can come across a vast range of cultural differences. It doesn't mean one is better than another. However, a common thread of respect is paramount for all. In the absence of this we can only collapse into anarchy Source
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