Occasionally, airline attendants make an effort to make the "in-flight safety lecture" and their other announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:
"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane..."
"We do feature a smoking section on this flight; if you must smoke, contact a member of the flight crew and we will escort you to the wing of the airplane."
"Smoking in the lavatories is prohibited. Any person caught smoking in the lavatories will be asked to leave the plane immediately."
Pilot - "Folks, we have reached our cruising altitude now, so I am going to switch the seat belt sign off. Feel free to move about as you wish, but please stay inside the plane till we land... it's a bit cold outside, and if you walk on the wings it affects the flight pattern."
And, after landing: "Thank you for flying ________ Airlines. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."
As we waited just off the runway for another airliner to cross in front of us, some of the passengers were beginning to retrieve luggage from the overhead bins. The head attendant announced on the intercom, "This aircraft is equipped with a video surveillance system that monitors the cabin during taxiing. Any passengers not remaining in their seats until the aircraft comes to a full and complete stop at the gate will be strip-searched as they leave the aircraft."
As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Washington National, a lone voice comes over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"
After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced: "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments, because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."
From a Southwest Airlines employee.... "Welcome aboard Southwest Flight XXX to YYY. To operate your seatbelt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seatbelt, and if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised. In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will descend from the ceiling. Immediately stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, or an adult acting like a small child, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with two small children, decide now which one you love more."
"Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest Airlines."
"Your seat cushions can be used for flotation, and in the event of an emergency water landing, please take them with our compliments."
Once on a Southwest flight, the pilot said, "We've reached our cruising altitude now, and I'm turning off the seat belt sign. I'm switching to autopilot, too, so I can come back there and visit with all of you for the rest of the flight."
"As you exit the plane, please make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."
"Last one off the plane must clean it."
And from the pilot during his welcome message: "We are pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight."
Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendants' fault.....it was the asphalt!"
Overheard on an American Airlines flight into Amarillo, Texas, on a particularly windy and bumpy day. During the final approach, the Captain was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant came on the PA and announced, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo. Please remain in your seats with your seatbelts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"
Another flight Attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."
An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying XYZ airline." He said that in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for this little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sonny, mind if I ask you a question?" "Why no Ma'am," said the pilot. The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"
This one actually happened to me on leaving Las Vegas on Southwest Airlines: During climbout, the steward came on the intercom, saying, "OK, everybody, look out the windows to your left..." "Look out at beautiful downtown Las Vegas..." "Now, everybody raise your right hand..." "Everyone move your right hand back and forth, back and forth..." "Wave goodbye to Las Vegas..." "Wave goodbye to all your money..."
And, staying on the Southwest bandwagon, here is part of an overly-enthusiastic steward's pre-flight comments: "Federal law prohibits damaging or destroying lavatory smoke detectors, and the fine is about $2,000 - so, if we catch you bein' naughty in the potty, it's gonna cost ya... And if you wanted to pay $2,000 to fly to Cleveland, you'd have flown on Delta!"
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© 1999 Dan McGlaun