[R]aymond had finally settled in on his flight from Miami to Los Angeles. He was reflecting on his good fortune less than an hour ago.
The sky gods had smiled on him and changed his original seat assignment, a middle seat go far far away.
He couldn’t stomach the thought of being sandwiched in between two strangers on the flight from Miami to LA.
Thank God for small miracles, an aisle — 16C was available when he checked with the gate agent.
He was enjoying his coffee and flipping through his magazine on Kindle.
This is so cool, he thought to himself. This thing-a-ma-jig is such a space-saver. It’s great that I can carry an entire briefcase of business books, magazines, podcasts and music all in this tiny device.
The icing on the cake is keeping it on for the entire flight, no need to turn off cell phones and other personal electronic devices ‘once the boarding door is closed’.
He laughed to himself at the thought of how the flight attendants will have to invent something else to reclaim their power, now that phones and other devices can stay on the entire flight. High Five FAA!
Life Is Good
Plus, his coffee, seemed quite tasty this morning even for plane java. He was just finishing up his last sip and decided another cup of coffee would hit the spot.
Megan, one of the flight attendants who was working in the First class cabin was on her way to the back galley to chat with her co-workers. As she passed by his row he decided to ask for another cup of java.
He tapped her on her arm and requested another cup of coffee.
She asked him how he took his coffee, but he felt he got got an icy response from her.
Maybe it’s because I’m not in first class she’s giving me the cold shoulder, he thought to himself.
He simply brushed off the incident as moody women. After all, he had a wife and 3 daughters at home and knew from experience just how quickly things can go downhill.
Poor Thing, she’s probably having a bad day, he thought.
Megan delivered Raymond’s coffee and then continued to the back galley. Once out of air-shot of passengers, she vented to her co-worker Anthony about how she had just experienced one of her biggest (PPPs) passenger pet peeves.
The poke! And she wasn’t referring to any social media actions.
“Why do passengers always poke me to get my attention?” she wined to Anthony.
Just brush it off Sweetie, Anthony said in his southern drawl.
They’ve been poking me for over 10 years. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been poked (on the plane that is), I could buy an oceanfront condo in Florida.
Megan calmed herself down and found camaraderie in the fact that this too is a pet peeve of virtually all flight attendants world-wide.
Poking Does Exist
Well, I can confirm that I too have been inducted into the Sky Pokers Hall of Fame 14 years ago, just like thousands of other flight attendants past and present.
It doesn’t seem to matter what airline you work for, it appears that poking is alive and well in the sky.
Now at first glance, it seems harmless, but just think about it. Where else in the world do we poke people to get their attention?
Is this practice done in stores? Do customers go up to an employee stocking the shelves and poke them so they can turn around and help you.
What about poking your waiter while he walks by you on his way to another table?
I’ve come to the conclusion that this type of ‘poking’ only occurs in the sky.
Many people mean no harm by it, and most of us sincerely understand that. It’s simply a way for them to get our attention while they’re encapsulated in a steel capsule.
But don’t worry, I’ll share with you 3 Sky High Travelers tactics you can implement to get your flight attendant’s attention in a more civilized manner.
Ring The Call Button
1. You can ring the flight attendant call button with your request. Just don’t use because you have trash you want to get rid of, (one of my PPPs)
Use Their Names
2. You can use their name as they walk through the cabin. Most cabin crew members wear a name bar and some even introduce themselves at the start of the safety demo. OK I get it, you may have missed their names because you were playing a game or talking on the phone.
In a classic book, titled How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie stated the third of six tips in Six Ways to Make people Like you.
Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
However, we have a ‘spidy’ sense and can tell when people are just being inauthentic by using our name, so don’t overdo it or it could back-fire on you.
Take a Stroll
3. The final tactic is you have a coveted aisle seat, you can simply get up, provided the fasten seat belt sign is not on and go to the back or front galley where you can usually find at least one flight attendant.
This will provide a perfect opportunity to stretch your legs.
An Urban Sky Legend
Sometimes, humor is simply the best medicine. This is a story that was shared with me.
A senior mama (that what we call senior flight attendants) was walking through the aisle collecting trash. While doing so, a passenger poked her on her hip to get her attention.
She immediately made eye contact with him, and in a stern tone of voice said to him, “Sir if you’re going to touch me like that… (and then gave him a super big smile and finished with), then you’ve got to buy me dinner first.”
It brought a smile to those within earshot as well as a way to help other sky travelers see just how personally invasive and annoying poking on the arm, leg and yes, even the old gluteus maximus can be.
I feel this urban myth continues to circulate in the sky to help new and remind senior cabin crew members to not lose it. It can also suggest a humorous way to handle the whole poking issue.humor is an efficient delivery mechanism for the truth Click To Tweet
My guess is that it may be a while before that passenger ever pokes another flight attendant or anyone else for that matter to gain their attention.
Perhaps the poking issue won’t be resolved anytime soon. However, I trust this piece will help provide some tactics on how to make air travel more enjoyable – both for sky high travelers like you as well as the cabin crew there for your safety and comfort.
Now It’s Your Turn
Now here’s a question I’d like to ask you. Have you ever poked a flight attendant? And If so, how did they react.
Don’t forget to put into practice any one of the 3 tactics I shared with you above.
And remember to always do the fly thing.