Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dog Looks Like A Lady

Many moons ago, when I was domestic, I flew with a woman named Shaney. She was black with a kicking fro and the thing I remembered most about her was this story that she shared while discussing reserve life. One morning she got called in for airport alert and wasn't feeling very well and said, "Lord, if I go anywhere, please let it be Honolulu." And it was. This story is every reserves dream; who doesn't want HNL? I always have such great hope and anticipation for airport alert, and more often than not end up back at home. An hour and a half away.
Last Wednesday, I got the scheduling wake up call at 7:28 am to be at the airport at 10:10 for the beloved airport appreciation. I had come in from Glasgow the day before and was already packed, but it still left me with a mere 30 minutes to shower, get dressed, grab food, and get out the door. Made it to the airport with time to stop at Starbucks for a soy latte (iced! yum!), and downstairs to have a lovely conversation with Candido the Scheduler. I told him he could send me anywhere - wave my legalities, roll my days, I didn't care as long as it got me out of EWR via airplane. Within the first hour my favorite fellow cheering flight attendant showed up; he helps make the time fly. Then things really started getting exciting in the crew room. First, the duty desk paged for any pursers in the room. Even though I am not one, I've done the job before and offered my services. To Beijing. Denied. Then, we were keeping an eye on open time and two Hong Kongs and a Honolulu popped in. Phone rings; its for me.

"Flight Attendant Alyssa?"

"Yes, Scheduler Candido?"
"I'm going to need you to head up to gate C-121. You're going to Honolulu."

"GET OFF THE PLANE!" (its my favorite expression, I find it far more humorous than the traditional shut the f up, shut the front door, stop it, etc... especially when actually on the plane)

That may have been a slight exaggeration, but I was a bit over excited. So of course I just go running up to the gate, without printing a pairing, checking in at the duty desk, nothing. I was so early at the gate I had time to digest, call the duty desk to clue them in, grab some food, mentally prepare. I ended up working first class aisle which is always a nice relaxing position after having been aft galley on my last trip. I also managed to score a lei from one of the other flight attendants, highly festive and very kind of her to share.

So we board, check equipment, brief, get ready for the passengers. They begin to board and I start running pre-departure beverages. And of course every time I have a second in the galley I'm jumping up and down chanting "HONOLULU HONOLULU HONOLULU!!!" (you can ask David and Ben, it was almost embarrassing). I get to row 4 and see what appears to be two tanned blond women and I say in my excited-we're-going-to-Honolulu voice, "Hello ladies, can I get you something to drink?" So the blond in the aisle says to her husband, DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER, "Did she just call us ladies?"

Mortified. I was absolutely mortified. As was the deadheading pilot behind her, for me.

I went with the sorry I saw hair excuse and asked again if they'd like a drink. They did not. And then 10 hours later when all the passengers deplaned, somebody left this behind:

(B.B. 2009)

As for my layover in HNL, I did everything I wanted to do: have beers and fish tacos at Dukes, learn how to surf and eat sushi. I did manage to catch some waves and I'm still sore. It was the most amazing experience of my life and I can't wait to go back! Just think, in 23 years that'll be my line!

1 comment:

Traytable said...


Isn't that the worst... I did it during boarding once, called a few ladies 'sir', just from exhaustion, and the fact that all the pax before them were men, so I was kind of in the habit already! oops...

HNL sounds like an awesome layover! Sadly I will never get there in my lifetime, currently they are at something crazy like 30 years seniority :(