On a recent flight to India we had rather unpleasant man in his forties travelling as a passenger.
When boarding the flight he was rude to his fellow passengers and then hit a crew in the legs with his hugely oversized bag. My colleague politely informed him that the bag would have to be stowed in the cargo for safety reasons and asked him to remove and keep with him any medication, valuables and travel documentation.
He was not impressed and as my colleague and I looked at each other we both knew that this was going to be a passenger that would not be easily forgotten and the memories would remain longer than the now darkening bruise developing on her shin.
Unfortunately the flight was delayed which agitated the gentleman even more. As I walked past him he grabbed hold of my arm and demanded a set of eye shades. I calmly walked to the galley, took some eye shades from the container and returned to the gentleman’s seat to discover him asleep and lightly snoring.
“Fantastic” cried the little devil on my shoulder! I leant down quietly beside the sleeping moron, waited just a moment as me and my little devil snickered and then grabbed the gentleman’s wrist as quickly and with as much force as he had done with me only a few moments before. The gentleman woke with a start and glared at me. I put on my sweetest smile, leant in to the passenger and with a sickly sweet tone said to him “Sir, it is an offense to touch any member of cabin crew. Here are your eye shades, please enjoy your flight.”
Finally we were told that we would be taking off in a few minutes and were asked to make sure that the passengers were ready to take off. As I reached my jump seat and buckled myself in, the aircraft taxied towards the runway, this gentleman who was sitting only two foot away from my jump seat started shouting and punching the arm rest of his chair and swearing at the child in the seat behind him.
“SIR, WHAT IS WRONG!” I screamed at the flailing arms of the crazed passenger I was looking at. He then explained to me that the child behind him was kicking the back of his chair and that the baby in the seat beside him was crying so that he could not sleep. I told him to calm down and that when we had taken off I would arrange for a seat change.
After take off I told the family to swap their seats so that the mother was now sitting behind the problem passenger and moved the crying baby to the only other available seat on board the aircraft.
All remained civil for the next two hours and I made sure to check that the gentleman was asleep every time I was in the cabin. Whilst he was asleep, he could cause no more trouble. Shortly after the second hour into the flight the mother and son who were seated behind the gentleman got up and went to use the lavatory. However, when they returned they took their original seats so that the naughty little boy was once again seated behind the sleeping passenger.
“Madam, please swap seat with your son” I loudly whispered to the mother, who assured me that the son was tired, would fall asleep and would not cause this gentleman any more reason to become upset. Just as she finished explaining this to me, the boy looked at me and smiled a dangerous smile with his two front teeth missing and thrust both legs fully forward crashing into the back of the gentleman’s chair.
Before I could even react the gentleman awoke, pulled off his eyeshades, let out an almighty roar, spun around and raised his hand high above his head. With an alarming amount of forcep he brought his hand down and struck the young boy across his cheek.
Moral of the story: Please consider those seated around your children