Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On the Plane

2 August 2010 – Royal Jordanian flight: Bangkok, Thailand to Amman, Jordan.

I got on the plane and was settling into seat 25C for the low low price of six hundred dollars less than business class when a flight steward asked a woman in the middle row to my right to accompany him to the front of the plane. She was a large woman with long black hair and a long black coat too heavy for Thailand. [bxA]

“Why?” She was already hostile.

“Madam, come to the front of the plane with me, please. We’ll discuss it there.”

“I’m not going with you. I want to see the stewardess who said it to me! Tell her to come here!”

The steward threatened to call the manager. The manager appeared in a grey suit with an Air Jordanian nametag. He threatened to remove her luggage and have her taken from the plane. The woman continued to demand that the stewardess who “started it” be called to the scene. The manager threatened to call the police. She laughed dismissively, “I have done nothing. What will you tell the police? They will laugh at you.”

Just as the manager radioed for someone to get the police, the captain arrived, tall and official in his captain’s uniform. The captain assured her they could remove her from the plane for being disruptive, but the woman wouldn’t budge. Eventually the steward, the manager and the captain marched hastily to the front of the plane. Everyone in the surrounding rows was glued to the scene. The woman shook her head.

A nice looking Jordanian man sitting two seats to her right calmly leaned over and suggested she let him escort her to the front of the plane before things escalated further. The woman went on a tirade again about the stewardess who started it and should be held accountable.

The peacemaker gently said to her, “Let’s go forward. That’s going backward. Let’s move forward.”

After a little more respectful persuasion, she followed the nice man to the front of the plane. Many minutes later they returned, dispute resolved. Ready for the midnight flight to Jordan.

Within an hour nearly everyone was sound asleep and we all moved forward…together.