Saturday, January 12, 2008

Passenger Stories II

Tomorrow is actually a day off. Hmm so maybe I'll just go to church tomorrow.

I've decided to use "Passenger Stories" as titles to post concerning weird requests or encounters with passengers. And yes, it's time for yet another.

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MNL-ICN flight, January 12.

Plane arrived at NAIA twenty minutes past scheduled departure FROM Manila (to Seoul). Flight time: 3h 4m. There's this what we call "airshow" on board that animatedly shows where the plane is already (during the flight) and which direction it's taking. This is not pre-programmed, rather, it's actual. 20 minutes before scheduled landing at Seoul, we begin to prepare everyone for landing. Even the entertainment has been switched off and only airshow is shown.

One Korean man undeniably shouts "excuse me!" to me while I was making my rounds. For one, I hate them when they shout. Second, I'm tired. Manila flight is always soo difficult. So I stop to attend to what he needs by raising my eyebrows. He points at something on his screen (which of course shows the airshow) and speaks in Korean. I give him a poker face. So he switches to his broken English.

"Incheon (Seoul's airport), here!" [motions towards the left] "Biheng-gi (plane), here!" [motions towards the right] His tone is irritating, it's not even a 'why' tone. I shrug and say, "I'm not the captain, but maybe we're circling." I hardly try speaking in Korean nor simple English words they could understand if I don't even want to explain in the first place.

"Right! Left!" He continues. By now several passengers are already looking at him (and at me). Still poker-faced I say, "Traffic might be heavy so we circle." The impatient passenger continues blabbing/shouting: "Call captain! Say, why this way?! Call!"

I have a lot more things to do than talk to this jerk so I say in all my poise and in a low but condescending tone (through his blabbing), "Sir? Sir. Are you listening to what I'm saying?" He continues to blab so I raise my volume a bit so that the other passengers would hear me as well. "Excuse me, sir. Listen to me. (Knowing other people hear me, he stops and looks up.) There might be heavy traffic at Incheon so we have to go around for quite a while. You understand?" Judging his expression, of course he didn't.

Anyhow, I added, "But if you want to get to Incheon now, I could interphone the captain to give me the permission to open a door and drop you off from here (at 15,000 feet)." With a sarcastic smile I leave him with a few people smirking at him.

And after a few minutes the captain announces we might be circling for about 40 minutes because the domino-effect on the delays (due to heavy snow) got us and 21 more planes before us stuck circling til we get to land one after the other.

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