As a flight attendant I get to see more than my fair share of rude people. I don’t know if it’s something about being on a plane that makes them rude, maybe they’re perfectly lovely in any other situation, but all I know is I get their rude side. It’s pretty amazing how poor some people’s manners are, either they snap orders at me like I’m a slave or it’s like they’ve never heard of using the words please or thank you. There are countless situations I could recount about bad passengers, but I have learned to just laugh at them (not to their faces of course) and just treat them nicely anyway. Maybe they’ve just had a horrible week or they’re nervous flyers and they take it out on me.
Anyway, that’s not what this post is about. It’s about the nice ones. Most passengers are at pretty passive, and then sometimes there are really lovely people on board.
Like the couple that made a point of coming up to me after the particularly rude lady next to them was, well, very rude, and they complimented me on the way I handled the situation, and said I was their favourite flight attendant they’d ever had. That felt good.
Then there was the girl who was really interested in becoming a flight attendant and would ask me questions whenever I passed by, but was so polite and (needlessly) apologetic for taking up my time.
But most recently there was a lovely couple with their son who were polite but nothing over the top, at first. If ever I see someone reading a book I’m interested in I’ll ask them how they’re enjoying it, or if it’s a book that I’ve read I ask what part they’re at and see what they think so far, just to make conversation. Well this man was reading The Martian by Andy Weir, and I had seen the movie but wanted to read the book because a friend of mine said the book was better. So I asked this passenger about it: Had he seen the movie? No. But I did, his wife pipes up, and loved it. Oh great, well I’ve seen the movie but haven’t read the book, I was told it was awesome and really want to read it, would you recommend it? Yeah, definitely, I really like it. We have this little exchange about half way into the flight and I go about my business as usual afterward. Just before the crew and I were going to secure the cabin for landing the man comes up to me, book in hand, and asks if I want it. He finished it on the flight and wasn’t going to do anything else with it, so it was mine if I wanted. I tried to say no, I couldn’t take a book away from him, but he said he would just be throwing it out if I didn’t take it. So it’s mine now.
A happy little gift that was above and beyond anything I would ever expect. Thanks 3D, you and your wife, 3E, and your son, 3F, were lovely.