Tag Archives: gate attendant

On the road to Louisville

Some slightly related and slightly random observations about today’s plane ride from New York to Louisville.

I arrived at LaGuardia’s Gate D6 to meet Joe, the enthusiastic … effervescent … maybe a bit manic gate attendant. He certainly was clear about who was in charge. Never once did he say, “Come to the desk about that.” Nor did he say, “Come see me with your question.” Always he said, “Come see Joe.” Moments of bonding.

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When the time came to board, Joe called for those with priority status first. No one moved. No one. I do not believe I have ever seen that. I wondered, “What do the frequent flyers know about this flight that I don’t?”

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On board the Delta flight, the flight attendant decided to imitate a Southwest airlines employee.

Flight attendant: Welcome aboard Delta flight 4065 to Hawai’i.Seatmate: Hawai’i?!? I packed wrong!
Me: No worries. They have stores in Hawai’i.

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Joe boarded the plane before we left. That I had seen – gate attendants walking down the jetway to speak to the passengers. But, remember, this was LaGuardia – a major airport in a world-class city. As a result, Joe had to go down 25 steps (he had told us how many), walk about fifty feet across the tarmac (he had told us how far), and climb six steps into the plane (you guessed it). A bit of a trek for us. A bit of a trek for Joe. But he made it. He took the microphone and thanked us and wished us well and told us he hoped to see us again soon. I felt like I was leaving my family’s house after Thanksgiving dinner.

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The flight attendant continued her efforts at humor. Whenever she asked someone to do something, she quickly pointed out, “I am not the flight attendant from Hell.” The first time she said it, I smiled weakly. Listening to the phrase again and again, I began to suspect that she might be the flight attendant from near Hell.

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An awkward moment came when the flight attendant asked the woman across the aisle if she modeled. The woman, and the man traveling with her, simply stared back. The flight attendant broke the silence. “I am serious.” I don’t know what effect she thought those words might have. The woman, and the man traveling with her, continued to stare back at her. Undaunted, the flight attendant proceeded to talk about all the famous people, models among them, she would meet in her work. The woman, and the man traveling with her, continued to stare in silence. I got off the plane before they did. They may stare still.

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I believe the experience put something of a restraint on the flight attendant. When she turned to serve me, she failed to ask about my modeling career. Her loss.

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See you along the Trail.

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