This Just In: Being Nice To Airline Employees Won’t Delay Your Trip

Most “airplane stories” surround TSA, a batch of turbulence, or lost luggage. Unfortunately, my latest travel story doesn’t fit the bill. Buckle up.

While I was sitting at my gate, waiting for good ole boarding group D to get on a plane for Sacramento, I noticed something that I knew my dad would appreciate. I texted him, “hey, I’ve got a Melissa McCarthy look-a like on my flight. Wonder if she’s funny.”

Y’all, I’m talking spitting image—she was smaller, but they were doubles in almost every way. Melissa McCarthy lady, and her husband who looked like no one of great importance, boarded before me, so my focus shifted back to my Cheez-its.

Come to find out, my assigned (middle) seat was in between that same couple. It took me a little bit to notice, since my first real interaction with them resulted in both of their annoyance at my presence. They had to move all their junk off my seat, dusting away fresh crumbs. Clearly, they had hoped for an empty middle seat.

We were off to a great start.

I immediately hated being in between a couple. They invaded my personal space right off the bat, passing popcorn back and forth. I had crumbs on my lap.


When the flight attendants were making their usual “please do this if we’re about to crash to our death” speech, Mr. No-Look-Alike was flipping through those little menus kept at the back of the seats. All of a sudden, he starts reaching for the ones at the back of my seat, pulling them out and shoving them back into the seat back in front of mine until he found the one he wanted. He wrinkled my Cheez-it baggie (RUDE) in the process, disheveling my previously organized pouch.

Here’s the deal. They give everyone the same menus for this very reason: you use your own. If for some reason your seatback is missing one, lean over and ASK the person in front of you if you can read theirs. You don’t just start invading their personal space.

Right? I’m not crazy?

Meanwhile, Melissa had taken off her gigantic puffer coat, which was now flopped over the side of my seat without a care. She was also fanning herself, with great vigor.

Yes, the woman brought a fan that looked like it was crafted for Queen Elizabeth. Or, at the very least, the real Melissa McCarthy.

This fanning nonsense would continue throughout the duration of the flight. All 6 hours and 40 minutes.

Now, on JetBlue, there are three “rounds” that the flight attendants do—the “for purchase” food, the drinks, and the free snacks. They announce this at the beginning of the flight, and do not put on an invisibility shield when they come around with the first round. But they don’t stop and ask EVERY person if they’d like to purchase food—they were continue to scan the horizon for people who are doing the “I’m interested” motions. You know, slight hand motions, direct eye contact, that kind of thing.

Mr. No-Look-Alike apparently put on his blinders as this first round happened, and was very offended that the flight attendant did not personally talk to him during said round. I know this because he lectured the poor flight attendant all about it during the drink round.

What Mr. No-Look-Alike failed to comprehend is that there are ways to handle travel frustrations—or in this case, lack of turkey sandwiches—without being a jerk. You could just express an “oh I must’ve missed it” (which he did) to the flight attendant. You don’t have to further slow them down by loudly expressing how they are terrible at their job for the entire cabin to hear.

Our flight attendant handled it like a champ. Truly, JetBlue, job well done! He simply continued to tell Mr. Doesn’t-Know-Kindergarten-Kindness how he would go and check on food options that were left after the other rounds.

Melissa did not care in the slightest. Instead, she was comfortably using half of my seat as a stacking ground, despite my protests.

It gets worse. The flight attendants were under the impression that I was the daughter of these two unfortunate humans. So while they clearly pitied me, they made no effort to move me. Mom and Dad continued reaching over me. I’m filing for emancipation.

Each time the flight attendant came around, dear ole pops continued to be the flyer from hell. When the first “trash pickup” occurred, he places his Coke can into his plastic cup, reached across me (par the course, at this point) and handed it to Melissa, treating her like an idiot for not reaching for it from him first. She then held the trash, out in the air, waving frantically, waiting for the attendant to collect it.

We had a different attendant during trash pickup—she was the MVP of my entire JetBlue experience. She looked at Melissa, made snarky “calm down” motions and told her very clearly, “wait a minute, wait your turn.”

Melissa was not pleased. I was elated.

I feel the need to tell you that Mr. Still-No-Turkey-Sandwich smelled very bad by the end of our eternity flight. I know this because, as he fell asleep and drool began to fall, he continuously raised his arms to re-position his nap. Deodorant, dude. Seriously.

These are just a few examples of the chaos Melissa and Mr. Should-Eat-Dinner-Before brought to my life. Thankfully, JetBlue has those handy little TVs, so I blasted Mamma Mia! and Mary Poppins to ease my sorrows. I even danced in my seat to EVERY SINGLE SONG, just so my traveling buddies could have their seats wiggle a little.

All of this to say, here’s what I need you to know: Being nice to your airline employees will NOT slow your trip down. If anything, it’ll speed it up…or at the very least, it’ll keep your obnoxious character out of my next passive aggressive travel story.

Happy flying, friends.

StorytimeLily MoeComment