We have all heard the stories of dumb questions airline passengers ask:
*"Can I get some fresh air? Why can't I open the window?"
*"Can you turn down the engine noise? I'm trying to read."
*"Why did the engine stop?" (when the pilot reduces power after take-off)
*"Can you make the baby stop crying?" (I really do get that crying babies set many travelers on edge but what is the flight attendant supposed to do?)
And the ever-popular "Do you know who I am?" to which I have heard a flight attendant reply, "No, but I hope you do."
I am certain these and many others provide fodder for water-cooler talk for airline employees.
Well, I am happy to report I am now one of the many statistics for dumb questions asked. And....I'm so happy, I'm going to share it with you.
After working in San Antonio the other day, I was scheduled to travel back to Tucson, AZ that evening via a connecting flight in Houston. My layover in Houston was only 50 minutes, and since I finished work in San Antonio earlier than expected, I hoped to hop on an earlier flight to Houston for added "cushion". The representative at the ticket counter said, "It looks like it's a full flight but head to the gate and see if you can fly stand-by at the last minute."
"Great. Thanks!" I said and I took off towards the gate.
As I approached the gate at which the earlier flight was about to board, I asked the gate agent, "Any chance I can get a seat on this flight? I am supposed to be on the later one but it would help a bunch if I could get there sooner to avoid a tight layover." The gate agent smiled and said, "I can put you on stand-by but the odds aren't great."
I asked, "The flight is full?"
She replied, "No, actually, there are 50 seats but it's weight-restricted to 35 folks."
I actually thought for a minute before I asked, but I had to do it. "I'm curious. How do they know they need to weight-restrict it? Do you already know there are going to be some heavy folks on board?"
Without missing a beat, she busted up laughing. (good grief!) She slapped her thigh, even, and said, "That is literally the funniest thing I've heard in months. That is so cute!" She paused to wipe a tear from her eye and then said, "I've got to tell Jenny" and turned around to the other gate agent to tell her how hilariously stupid I am.
Meanwhile, I still didn't know the answer to my question, although I had a sneaking suspicion my guess was incorrect.
The gal who had just provided Jenny with the best story of the month finally came back to me and said, "So, no, they don't know the weights of the passengers. They just have a lighter load of fuel this trip so they can't fill the flight."
Ah! Makes sense!
Suffice it to say, I got on that flight. I think they made sure they made room for the crazy lady who gave them the best laugh of the month.
For myself, I am grateful to provide that workday humor and hope we can all be as gracious! :)
Just for today, I am hopeful you can find humor in all that you do.