Provided by James R. Martin, Ph.D., CMA
Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida
1. While cruising at thirty thousand feet, the airplane shuddered. A passenger looked out the window. "Good lord!" he screamed. "One of the engines just blew up!" Other passengers left their seats and came running over; suddenly the aircraft was rocked by a second blast as yet another engine exploded on the other side. The passengers were in a panic now, and even the flight attendants couldn't maintain order. Just then, standing tall and smiling confidently, the pilot strode from the cockpit and assured everyone that there was nothing to worry about. His words and his demeanor seemed to make most of the passengers feel better, and they sat down as the pilot calmly walked to the door of the aircraft. There, he grabbed several packages from under the seats and began handing them to the flight attendants. Each crew member attached the package to his or her back. "Say," spoke up an alert passenger, "aren't those parachutes?" The pilot said they were. The passenger went on, "But I thought you said there was nothing to worry about?" "There isn't," replied the pilot as the third engine exploded. "We're going to get help."
2. Airline Announcement: All too rarely, airline attendants make an effort to
make the in-flight safety lecture and their other announcements a bit more
entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:
On a Continental Flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."
3. Airline Announcement: On landing the flight attendant said, "Please be sure to take all your belongings. If you are going to leave anything please make sure it's something we'd like to have."
4. Airline Announcement: "There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane." "Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."
5. A flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced: "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted." From a Southwest Airlines employee, "Put the belt through the buckle and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt, and if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised." "In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face." "If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child... pick your favorite." "Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest Airlines."
6. Airline Announcement: "Your seat cushions can be used for flotation, and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."
7. Airline Announcement:"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."
8. Heard on Southwest Airlines just after
a very hard landing in Salt Lake City: The flight attendant came on the
intercom and said, "That was quite a bump and I know whaty'all are thinking.
I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's
fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's
fault... it was the asphalt!"
9. Airline Dictionary: Passenger - A herding creature of widely varying
intellect, usually found in pairs or small groups. Often will become vicious
and violent in simple and easily rectified situations. When frightened or
confused these creatures collect into a group called a "line." This "line"
has no set pattern and is usually formed in inconvenient places.
Position Closed - This is a sign posted at various counter locations, which when interpreted by the passenger says, "Form line here."
10. Airline Dictionary: Flight Schedule - An entertaining work of paperback
Air Traffic Control - A game played by airline pilots and air traffic controllers. The game has no rules, and neither side knows how it is played, but the goal is to prevent flights from arriving in time for passengers to make connecting flights.
11. Airline Dictionary: Baggage Claim - The most difficult area of the
airport to find. It is usually hidden by numerous signs saying, "Baggage
On Time - An obscure term, meaning unknown.
12. Airline Dictionary: Carry On Bag - An item, usually
of large dimensions, which somehow managed to fit under the passenger's seat
on the inbound flight. Regardless of what the passenger says the following
are not acceptable as carry-on items: bicycles, steamer trunks,
refrigerators, truck tires, or wide screen projection TVs.
13. From the Blonde joke section: A blonde was at an airport ticket counter and asked to buy a round-trip ticket. The ticket agent said, “Where to?” The blonde rolled her eyes and said, “Duuuh, back here.”
14. Pilot: “Pilot to tower...pilot to tower...we’re five hundred miles from land, five hundred feet high and running out of fuel...please instruct...over.” Tower: “Tower to pilot....tower to pilot...repeat after me...Our Father, who art in heaven...
15. From the Advertising joke section: American Airlines ad in the Mexican market, translated as "Fly Naked" (vuela en cuero).
16. Flying home from France on a recent trip I noticed a rather haggard looking mom walking into the customs area with eight children, all under age 10. Collecting their many suitcases, the nine of them entered the cramped customs area. A young customs official watched the large entourage in disbelief, ''Ma'am,'' he said, ''do all these children and this luggage belong to you?'' ''Yes, sir,'' the lady said with a sigh, ''they're all mine.'' The customs agent began his interrogation: ''Ma'am, do you have any weapons, contraband or drugs in your possession?'' ''Sir,'' she calmly answered, ''if I'd had any of those items, I would have used them by now.''