The flight over

July 6th, 2007 at 10:59 am by David Farrar

The last leg of the flight to Taiwan went very well. Only five hours from Singapore. The plane was only 20% full so the staff allowed people to move around and take up entire rows to lie down in.

I’d forgotten how friendly and helpful Singapore Air staff are – perfect English also. They just go out of the way to be pleasant.

Quite different to my Air NZ flight to Hawaii in May. I was one the flight with one of my best and oldest friends who now lives in London. The flight was pretty full and we were not seated together but wanted to chat so we decided to head to the back of the plane where there was more space.

Now the crew member on duty back there, called D, was great. He offered us a drink, and we happily had a glass of wine, and then over the next four hours we stayed at the back, drinking wine, chatting to each other, and also to the crew members. They enjoyed having us to talk to.

Then halfway through the flight they moved the crew around, and our lovely barman got replaced by Ms B. She promptly told us that we were not allowed to stay at the back of the plane as we may block others coming through. Silly, as we were off to one side and dozens had already got through.

So we then went to sit down in the seats at the back, and she informed us that they are reserved for the crew (even though they were not using them).

We then move to the space near the back where the rear toilets are. But no B then tells us that we can not stand up near the toilets. We ask why.

She tells us that under US Federal Law it is an offence to congregate within a few metres of the toilets, as a security measure. At this point my friend loses his patience and exclaims “Oh this is just ridiculous. We’re obviously not terrorists, we’re drinking red wine”.

At this point I am waiting for Federal Marshalls to jump out of their seats and start shooting us for uttering the “T” word on a flight. I am also having to stop myself cracking up at my friend’s wonderful argument that drinking alcohol means we can’t be terrorists. He would fail a political correctness course.

At this stage we stop arguing and just move our conversation to the midsection of the plane, with one of us going back to the rear every 30 minutes or so for refills. She scowls at us everytime and finally bans us from standing up in the midsection also as that is close to the midsection toilets. Finally defeated we retreat back to our own seats.

All rather silly as we were not disturbing anyone, and the other crew enjoyed having us back there to talk to.

A week later after the conference, I flew back with Air NZ and Murphy’s Law who should be on the crew that day, but Ms B again. Her welcoming smile fades away to be replaced with a “I hope you are not going to cause trouble again and where is your mate”.

Oh such wonderful customer service.

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