Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fun With Counting

You can't just take off with a boatload of passengers. If the captain, at any time, calls back and asks you how many people on board and you say, "Some," you get killed. Enter the PIN pad. PIN stands for Passenger Index Number, and it's where you write down how many passengers are in each zone on the aircraft. A zone is a certain number of rows; for example, zone one is rows one through three on most of the birds we fly. It only matters to the pilots how many are in each zone, because they plug that into their high-falutin' computer machine up front. All we in the back keep track of is how many skulls in the cabin.
The whole reason I'm telling you this is so you'll now know what FAs are doing when they walk through the cabin looking at you and then writing things down on a notepad (NO we're not taking drink orders, although there's always some wit who shouts, "I'll take a gin and tonic!" and ruins your count). And the whole reason I told you what I just told you is so that I can tell you this: today as I was moving through the cabin, counting and writing, I kept getting funny looks. And after the count was all done and I was putting the pad away, I noticed that some other FA had written SHUT UP I'M COUNTING on the back of it in big letters. Just goes to show you that sometimes you can be a juliet alpha and not even know it.


Blogger Aviatrix said...

When you're the pilot on a smaller airplane, you don't have an FA to do the counting and you have to do it yourself. And you have to keep track if who is a man, woman or child. (If you can't tell, you just put them down as a man). You're sitting in the airplane, engines not running, with your head turned around to see how many people are in each row. People always try to engage you in conversation when all you're trying to see is if that's a man or a woman sitting behind the guy in the baseball cap.

I got it wrong once, and the guy I didn't count was on the wrong flight. Oops.

10:47 PM  

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