Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bulkhead Passengers

Now we've already covered this, but in case you've a) forgotten some crap I wrote four months ago, or b) were not in the Navy, 'bulkhead' is just a fancy word for wall. We use it on the plane to describe the first row of seats, where there is a wall instead of another row of seats in front of you, and also the passengers in those seats. Bulkhead passengers, see.
Now before I go off on these people, I should admit that I know they're already at a disadvantage. Nowhere to put luggage, really. No seats in front of you means no seats to put stuff under. And of the two overhead bins over the first row, one of them is stuffed with emergency equipment. So they're in a tight spot. But I am going to go off on them. See, there are two constants at work with bulkhead passengers: they always have the most luggage, and the lowest IQs.
They'll get on the plane, sweaty and red-faced from lugging their six fourteen-year-old-sized bags. I already know what seat they're in, because they're lugging six fourteen-year-old-sized bags. They sit in the front row, and I ask if I can help stow their bags in an overhead bin (because they have to go somewhere... it's a federal aviation regulation [or FAR {you didn't think you were getting out of that without an acronym, did you?}] that the area in front of you has to be clear, so that you don't trip and fall during an evacuation and make everyone else in plane trip and fall over you). And they always say it... "They're fine." I patiently explain to them that they're not fine, cite that bit about the FAR, and say that the bags can either go in a bin or under the seat they're in. Most of them just hand over the bags and we're all done. But some try to scrape their bags under their seat with their feet. I explain that there's a bar about two inches above the floor that they have get the bags up over and past, and they just keep staring at me, a compliant smile on their face, while they keep pawing their bags against this bar. They look like a cat in a litterbox. I again point out that there's a bar in the way, it's right there, just bend over and look at it and you'll see it, and they just keep mashing their bags against this bar. At that point I give up and stow the bag in a bin.
Sometimes you'll get a guy with a refrigerator-sized bag who shouts that this is important expensive medical equipment, it can't get broken, and you're not checking this bag. Sometimes the seat next to him is open and we can avoid confrontation by belting the bag into the seat. But if this is not the case, I explain that no matter what's in that bag, the 22 million dollar plane is more expensive, and we'll either have to check the bag or leave you in the terminal, sir. I'm a pretty non-confrontational kinda guy, but there is a tiny part of me that's come into being since I started this job that enjoys bringing down the hand of truth and light (or HOTAL) on people that exist just to make other people's lives hell. There is no hell-making on my plane. If there is any, I make it.
Again, pay no attention to the bitter flight attendant.


Blogger sandtalker said...

A little taste of the ole Fear UP from Phil!!!

7:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home