One nice thing about trans-pacific flights is that you get fly Asian airlines. In this case Singapore Air to Seoul then Thai Air to Bangkok There is an old school elegance on international carriers, particularly the Asian ones. The flight attendants are generally young, beautifully-attired and coiffed with body styles that … let’s say and risk political incorrectness … don’t knock the coffee out of your hand as the they pass down the aisle. Which brings me … I can’t help it … to United Airlines, whose motto could be: ‘We are the not the World’s Most Exasperating Airline because we don’t try’. On our UAL connector flight from Reno to SF we settle in, the doors close and then (shockingly) nothing happens until a flight attendant hurries down the aisle opening every overhead luggage hatch … the things you are supposed close before take-off, right ? Notwithstanding the troubling impression this created in the absence of any explanation, here is the eventual announcement from the United Airlines flight attendant. This is word-for-word because I wrote it down in my Fun Facts for a United Airlines Class Action Lawsuit notebook … Vol. 3
“We have too much weight in the cargo hold and if we can’t move luggage into the overheads we will have to de-plane passengers”
Since the overheads are barely big enough to hold a box of girl scout cookies, there came this follow-up announcement: “Passenger Ivan Kofsalotsky (?) please report to the flight attendant” … which was easy since she was standing over him like Broomhilda. Mr Kofsalotsky, a befuddled old foreign national whom I am guessing had a stand-by ticket and a language problem, was hustled down the aisle clutching his carry-on to his chest. It looked like that movie scene where the Nazis find the Jew on on the train. Anyway as we sit some time longer on the tarmac, we flash back to our last United connector flight to SF which cost us our overseas flight connection to Paris – and our luggage, when an even more confused Mr Kofalotsky is shuffled back onto the plane with no explanation. I figured they probably just tossed a couple of bags out on the tarmac and off we went with Mr Kofalotsky back in his seat still clutching his carry-on.