Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/4/2017 (1426 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Today is April Fool’s day and some of the pranks played on people can be very funny. But often things said in real life situations can be even more humorous.
Over the past few years a number of airlines have taken what has traditionally been serious safety instructions at the beginning of the flight and motivated passengers to listen to them through of the levity they build into their demonstrations or in-flight commentaries.
WestJet Airlines is likely best known for doing these types of announcements in Canada, but around the world other carriers have taken some of these and converted them into hilarious pitches, which suggest a background in stand-up comedy.
One of my favourites did come while getting ready for take-off on a WestJet flight during one of the coldest days in winter on a flight that was hardly more than half full.
The flight attendant, in a completely serious tone, asked that all passengers on the flight should find a window seat so that, as she said, "Our competitors will think we are taking off with a completely sold-out flight."
I have now heard this one on a couple of flights. "We are pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately none of them are on this flight."
Perhaps recognizing the ridiculous extent to which low-cost airlines have reduced seat space and pitch to add additional rows a captain of one airline commented, "This flight is completely full ladies and gentlemen. However an additional sixty passengers will be boarding shortly, so please scrunch in and make room as best you can."
Kulula Airlines is a South African carrier whose aircraft are painted with expressions that have to make you laugh the first time you see one. With large directional arrows, the words "This Way Up" are painted between the arrows. Another arrow points to the captains window let’s readers know that that is "The Big Cheese", and on the other side it points out co-captain, "the other pilot on the PA system.
As unusual as it may be, apparently the airline does not offer pre-assigned seating of any kind. A flight attendant is reported to have said, "People, people, we’re not picking out furniture here. Find a seat and get in it."
A line occasionally used by more than one airline, "Your seat cushions can be used for flotation. In the event of an emergency water landing please take them with our compliments."
No one likes those bumpy landings that get the heart racing as the aircraft settles into a flat taxi mode to get you back to the terminal gate. When these hard landings do occur, sometimes passengers, as well as flight attendants and even pilots will get into the act.
After a particularly rough landing the first officer was at the deplaning door to thank people for flying with the airline. A little old lady with a cane reportedly stopped in front of him to ask, "Did we land, or were we shot down."
This one seemed to go a bit over the top. "Ladies and Gentlemen. Please remain in your seats until Captain Crush and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we’ll open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."
On a similar vein after a less-than perfect approach, the flight attendant entoned, "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal." And following on that note was this comment, "Ladies and Gentlemen. Please remain in your seats with your seatbelts fastened whilst the captain taxis what’s left of the plane to the gate"
Another was "Ladies and gentlemen, we have on our flight today someone who is taking his first flight on his 80th birthday. Please give a round of applause for your captain."
After a particularly crushing landing one pilot came on the intercom to say, "As you may already know, we have hit our destination."
On the more positive side, after an exceptionally good landing the comment was, "How about that landing? Not bad for his first day."
And about frustrations flight attendants often have to put up with the following comments have been uttered on various flights on different airlines.
"I’d like to remind you that it is not against federal law to smile at a flight attendant."
"Above your head are the control buttons for your reading light and the flight attendant call button. The reading light button will switch your light on and off. Yet no matter how many times you push the other one, it will not turn on your flight attendants."
"If there is anything we can do to make your flight more enjoyable then please tell us, as soon as we land in Pittsburgh. If there is anything you can do to make our flight more enjoyable we’ll tell you immediately."
And one more, "The yellow button is your reading light. Please don’t press the orange button unless you absolutely have to. The orange button is your ejector seat button."
Read Ron’s blog at.thattravelguy.ca. Listen to Ron’s latest podcasts via his website, or on demand on iTunes. firstname.lastname@example.org
A writer and a podcaster, Ron's travel column appears in the Winnipeg Free Press every Saturday in the Destinations and Diversions section.