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Pilots, Prank Wars and American Idol - My first, four-day trip as a flight attendant (Part 1)
Meline, you're going to Hollywood!
After the mildly embarrassing incident where the pilots took advantage of my "newbie" status and asked me to go find non-existent airplane keys, I decided that a little payback was in order. Luckily, my first trip was a long one so I had plenty of time to think about just how I would get them back. What I didn't realize, was that I'd be so preoccupied with making sure I did everything right, that I wouldn't have much time to think at all!
The unique thing about working on a regional jet, is that you are the only flight attendant. Eventually, I grew to love the solitude of running my own cabin but for my very first day on the job it was just scary! The good news? The trip I had been assigned to was a four-day trip with five flights each day. Plenty of time to practice, and that's just what I did.... I was so immersed in getting the beverage service right, making sure passengers were happy and conducting all of the safety requirements that I completely forgot about pranking the pilots, until it was too late.
We were making our final approach into our third destination of the day, Chicago's O'hare Airport, and the landing was smooth, we were actually ahead of schedule and it looked like the weather was going to hold up long enough for us to turn the plane around quickly. Everything was perfect. And then it happened....
"Ladies and gentlemen we'd like to thank you for flying our airline today and hope that you enjoyed Meline's excellent service in the cabin," said the familiar voice of the First Officer over the PA system. "What you may not know is that Meline recently tried out for American Idol and got her ticket to Hollywood!" he added, enthusiastically.
I could feel the red blush creeping up my neck until my face was completely crimson from embarrassment. There was no way to avoid eye contact with the passengers because my jumpseat was positioned in front of them, facing the cabin of fifty passengers. Crap.
"Please congratulate her on your way out! And though we expect an on-time arrival at the gate, I'm sure she would be more than happy to serenade you if we have a short wait on the runway," said First Officer Funny Man.
The passengers clapped and smiled as they had absolutely no idea that this was completely untrue. I smiled and hoped to the heavens that we would taxi to the gate and get these people off of the plane as quickly as possible. But, of course, this was not my lucky day.
As the plane crept towards the gate it abruptly came to a halt and the First Officer made the announcement I'd been dreading.
"Ladies and gentlemen, unfortuantely we're stopped just short of the gate as we're waiting for a gate agent. We apologize for the delay," he said. "The good news is now we have time for Meline to serenade us!"
This cound NOT be happening. Passengers started shouting out song ideas and laughing and clapping. They were urging me to get on the PA system and show them what Hollywood material sounded like. Though I was embarrassed and a little miffed at those michevious pilots, I was also quite the karaoke singer back in my home town. Challenge accepted.
I mustered up some courage, gave myself the, "I'll never see these people again," pep talk and picked up my "mic".
"Ladies and gentlemen, those pilots are just such great supporters! And since you've been such an outstanding group, the least I can do is provide some entertainment for you as we wait for the gate agent," I said to the cheering and clapping passengers. Then, I broke into my best rendition of one of my favorite Whitney Houston songs. The cabin fell silent. I finished that final note as the plane began to move forward and the entire cabin erupted in cheers. It. Was. Awesome. The best part was calling the boys up front and gloating about how their little plan backfired. It was starting to look like I had redeemed myself from that pesky key incident.
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