* * * My Words, My World, My Way * * *

Please Write: ALewisPDX@gmail.com

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Flight Attendant Fantasies

My early morning banterings on Facebook have been a bit of a walk down memory lane for me and my buddy Johnny. He and I were flight attendants back at our very first airline in Boise in 1995 or so. We thought we were hot stuff, believe me. Making less than a thousand dollars a month and wearing polyester will make you feel that way.

Seattle was inundated with a particular snowstorm one winter -- between Christmas and New Year's. Nothing went anywhere for days. Finally, at the end of the third day, Johnny and I were the flight attendants on the very first flight to Seattle in three days. Yay! But you see the problem was this -- that we ended up in a million feet of snow in Seattle and couldn't get out of Seattle to come back to Boise. It was piled up to the nose of the Fokker F-28 (like the one in the picture above only with way more snow piled up to its wings and nose). We were flying with two extremely hot pilots (who Johnny and I both had the secret HOTS for....shh, don't tell anybody). Our captain called operations, dispatch, airport people, airline people, and the Pope himself in order to get us towed down to the Delta Airlines hanger at the south end of the SeaTac Airport. They towed us into this big, huge giant hanger all by ourselves......to thaw. To melt. The ice was so thick on the plane. But somewhere in the midst of this deal, we came up with the idea to use these big, giant squeegee sort of things with rubber on them to try and pull the snow and ice off of the aircraft to speed up the thaw process.

All I remember is Johnny and me....on the wings of the F-28 in our uniforms and (required) black penny loafers. Seriously, standing on the wings in the snow with these huge squeegee things.....pulling and pushing snow and ice onto the ground. It was so slick! We worked up a huge sweat along with the two (hot) pilots. We must have been at this for several hours. We would reach up from the wing up as far as we could on our tip-toes to drag the snow down from the fuselage of the airplane. At the end of this ordeal, our captain called and told operations that we were ready to be towed back for our flight back to Boise. "Oh no," they told us, "there are no flights operating tonight...you're stuck here for the night." But Young Handsome Captain Man would have nothing to do with it. He talked, he coerced, he chatted, he arranged -- for the four of us to actually work the very first flight out of Seattle back to Boise in three days. The airline had not been accepting any checked bags from passengers for days. Every passenger trudged out from the terminal in many feet of snow with their checked baggage. They stacked up a hundred or more bags by the front stairs in the snow. Somehow, we had rampers (the guys who do all of the millions of thankless chores on the ground) load those wet bags into the belly of our F-28.....and away we went. Hours and hours late and well after midnight.

Johnny and I both remarked this morning that we are pretty sure no flight attendants in history have participated in such a stunt before. Just us. In our penny loafers. With the hot pilots.


Matt said...

I remember that storm. I was in Chicago for Christmas, which was 60 degrees and sunny. I ended up stuck at O'Hare for seven hours because SeaTac was closed. We finally flew a packed flight (which had to stop in Boise to refuel) and got to Seattle at 11 p.m. It took almost two hours to get back to the city in a cab, which couldn't make it up the hill so I had to walk two blocks in three feet of snow. Fun!

Dave2 said...

It will come as no surprise to you that I too was caught in that storm. I was just returning from -errrr- somewhere, and was connecting in Seattle for my flight home to Wenatchee. Except no flights were going. After waiting for hours and spending the night at the last vacant room in the entire area, I finally gave up and spent the holidays with my sister (who was kind enough to come get me AND take me shopping for clothes!). It was a memorable Christmas, I'll say that much!

Anne said...

i had never heard that story before, brother. what a descriptive story you've told! seriously had me hanging on the edge of my bed!

so i don't really know anything about airplanes, but crawling out on the wings to shovel snow? that must have been dangerous. and woohoo!!!!! that your HAWT captain talked the talk to get you guys out of there.

wow. what a story. thanks, colonel.

Lemuel said...

I used to wear (and love) penny loafers, but I cannot imagine doing anything in the snow - let alone on the outside of a big sheet of metal - while wearing them.

CJ/Rick said...

I'm ashamed of myself for the thoughts I was thinking when you told of the plane being pulled in a hanger. I was thinking of a night of wild abandon inside the plane. See you are a hero Lewis.
YeeHaw I like that banner photo too.