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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Airplane Karma #2

Airplane Karma #2

Earl Hickey knows about Karma.
A few years back I posted about unpleasant and rude people getting what they deserved on an airplane. I’ve got another story to share, although this one’s from my husband.
Bob travels a lot for work, and yes, sometimes airplane travel is frustrating. But he has said, over and over, that he doesn’t understand why passengers yell and curse at – and pound their fists on the counter of – the only people who can get them where they’re going.
My husband and daughter recently flew to Burlington, Vermont for a college tour at UVM. Their flight back to Philly was on a very small plane that was almost fully booked. Short on seats, the airline bumped my husband up to first class because of his frequent flyer status, although my daughter remained in coach.
At the gate, several announcements were made regarding the tight overhead storage. Customers with roller board luggage that would not fit under the seats were encouraged to check them at the gate. They would be returned at the destination gate, without the need to go to baggage claim. Many people took advantage of this, although Bob noted several people stubbornly hanging on to their roller boards, thinking this somehow didn’t apply to them.
Predictably, as the plane filled up, the overhead storage filled up, too. When one woman discovered there was no room for her roller board, she flipped out. A calm and smiling flight attendant explained the situation (which had been explained about 10x before boarding). This did not satisfy the woman, who marched up and down the plane, opening bins and trying to shove other people’s luggage aside. “I have as much right as anyone else to have my bag on board!” she yelled.
Personnel from the gate boarded the plane to help deal with the woman, and finally the she turned and threwher roller board at the flight attendant, who jumped back. Then the woman took her husband’s bag (he’d been standing nearby looking down-trodden) and threw that at the attendant, too.
Bob said the flight attendant never lost her pleasant smile, although the gate personnel looked shocked and angry. They exchanged glances with one another as they took the roller boards off the plane.
Then the flight attendant went back to her job of caring for the first class passengers. When she got to Bob, he asked if she was hurt. She thanked him for his concern and said no.
“It’d serve them right if their luggage got lost,” Bob hinted.
“Oh, I don’t think it will be lost,” she said pleasantly. “It might end up under the plane instead of with the gate-checked bags. It mightend up in the very back. It might be last off the plane.” Then she asked Bob if he’d been to Burlington on business, and he explained that he’d been touring a college with his daughter. “Where is she?” she asked, looking at the empty first class seat beside him.
When he said they’d been separated, she replied, “Oh, that’s silly. What seat is she in? I’ll go get her and bring her up here.”
Karma, people. And if you’ve never seen the television show My Name is Earl, it is darn funny.

On a different topic, I want to thank Joanne Fritz who is posting the second half of my interview on her blog, My Brain on Books, today. She is also giving away her ARC, plus one signed, hardback copy of The Eighth Day after the April 22 release! Stop by her blog for a chance to win!

16 Responses to Airplane Karma #2

  1. Loved My Name Is Earl BTW. And yes, I don’t understand people yelling at the flight attendants or people at the gate. The weirdest experience I had with that was in China when our flight was delayed and it was just Anna Li and me and a bunch of Chinese people yelling at the attendant. Good thing I couldn’t understand what they were saying. It was late at night and stressful enough as it was.

  2. SA Larsenッ says:

    UVM – great school. Cold up there, but awesome!

    I’ve been on flights where the inevitable baggage issue was easy to spot. I just don’t understand why people feel the the world owes them. Wouldn’t it be easier to offer a small sacrifice? In the end, that lady would have gotten her luggage with the added smile from the poor attendant.

  3. So so so sad that some people think they have the right to treat someone like that. How can a person treat someone like that and just go on with their day? But like you said, karma 🙂

  4. That’s so sweet that your daughter got to move up. I used to believe in Karma. I don’t anymore. But I do believe that rudeness gets what rudeness deserves. I love how the flight attendant handled that.

  5. Linda G. says:

    It is beyond me how some people think being unpleasant will get them what they want. It’s the same in restaurants. I mean, would it be sensible to tick off the person who’s in a position to spit on your food? I don’t think so. 😉

  6. Tiana Smith says:

    I hate rude people. I’m glad she didn’t get any special treatment for acting so spoiled!

  7. Robin says:

    Wow. What a story. I always wonder the backstory of those people. Although, if her husband’s response was any indication, this woman is always a loose cannon. I LIKE to think that something truly horrible happened before this incident that a person was hovering *thisclose* to just losing it. Just waiting on a trigger. Sounds like this woman might always have her finger on the trigger. I can’t believe she threw her bag (and her husband’s bag) at the flight attendant. She needs counseling desperately.

    With regard to your husband, kindness and genuine concern always go a long way. Why don’t more people realize that?

    My Name Is Earl… my brother turned me on to this show after it was long over. I now own all of the seasons on DVD. Funny, funny show. Karma. Yep. It’s real. If you doubt it just watch a few episodes of My Name Is Earl.

  8. Angela Brown says:

    You can’t help shaking your head at situations like those. Even if I would have held on to my bag hoping it would fit, and it didn’t, I can not see how getting all ridiculous made the situation any better. It didn’t and that passenger will get what they put out in the universe, not just from that moment, but the ripples of the negativity. Geesh.

  9. Wow! The rudeness of some people knows no bounds. My husband and I were appalled on our recent vacation that a couple complained to the resort manager about one of the restaurants in the resort. They weren’t complaining about the food or the service, but the fact that when they went up to the buffet, someone took their silverware. The woman said angrily, “We’ll never eat here again.” That one made us shake our heads.

    How wonderful that your daughter got to sit in First Class with your husband after he talked to the flight attendant. She must have enjoyed that!

    Thanks for the shout-out. And I’m giving away the ARC too. So it’s a double giveaway. 🙂

  10. J E Oneil says:

    I never understood why people flip out and yell (and throw things!) when being nice gets you so much farther. And just because someone is an employee in the service industry doesn’t mean you get to treat them like crap.

  11. Steven says:

    Yes, some people don’t think about what they’re putting out there. I’ve had some people take advantage of me in business dealings, then suffer some huge business loss. It’s best to keep your cool and try to be understanding.

  12. Robin says:

    I FINALLY posted my review of The Eighth Day here on blogger…

  13. mshatch says:

    Wow. Way to impress, eh? What a dingbat.

  14. Hi Dianne .. crumbs – I do hope they get their come-uppance .. how lovely your daughter was able to travel with her father ..

    Great story! .. cheers Hilary

  15. Liza says:

    Kindness begets kindness. Hooray for your husband. I went to school three miles from Burlington. Lovely area! Good luck to your daughter, where ever she lands!

  16. Cynthia says:

    I’m just relieved for your husband he didn’t have to sit next to someone like that. Ugh. The woman might’ve thought she was being tough, but she was only embarrassing herself.