We recently discussed airline bloopers and invited readers to share their air travel stories with us. Here, reader Suresh Menon shares an experience. Illustration: Uttam Ghosh
I was travelling from Chennai to Cochin recently on a Kingfisher flight. It was one of those small airplanes that Kingfisher acquired from Deccan Airways post the merger.
In the aisle seat in front of me sat a boy of about 10 years and in the adjacent aisle seat (in the other line of seats) there was a man who, it seemed, was the boy's dad. The flight took off and sometime later the air hostesses started serving snacks. The air hostess was moving backwards pulling the food trolley along, serving passengers in each row of seats.
She reached the row where the dad and son were sitting on adjacent aisle seats. The boy was sleeping and the dad reached out his hand to wake him up. The air hostess who was serving the food, oblivious to the fact that the man had extended his hand behind her to reach the boy, moved backward one step, placing her back on his stretched out hand. She immediately retracted and said a polite 'sorry sir' to him.
I was left wondering why the man didn't withdraw his hand even after seeing that the air hostess was moving backwards. That would have been the natural reaction, unless he actually wanted her backside to hit his hand. He could have requested the air hostess to wake his son up. I am sure she would have done it, even if he didn't ask her to.
The flight landed at the destination airport, and the passengers started collecting their bags to disembark. This man was standing up to pull his bag out of the top cabin. One of the air hostesses wanted to walk past. As the passengers, including his son stepped aside to let her go, this man wouldn't move and the lady had to slightly push her way through. Again it looked like he had done it intentionally, for the pleasure of her touch.
It is downright irritating to watch how some people behave with the in-flight female staff. Their career is to take care of the passengers' comfort and safety and they need to be behaved with in a gentlemanly manner. Use of modern technology and conveniences (like the airlines) needs an adequate amount of etiquette, which most of us Indians are unaware of or don't care about.