DTW-MSP Seat# 18E
A/C : Boeing 757-251
When you're a junior Flight Attendant(8 years) for the airlines, you're forced to sit at your base as a reserve FA. I commute to Detroit from Seattle becuase I refuse to live at base, so my life consists spending more time at my base than I do at home. My stretch of reserve days were over and I decided to catch the 311pm flight through MSP rather than wait for the 7:30pm nonstop to Seattle. This is a recap of my commuter flight home to SEA from DTW. The flight was departing out of gate A28, scheduled at 3:11pm. I arrived at the airport around 2:20pm. I had some things I needed to drop off at the in-flight office before I headed up to the gate. I dropped of some the paperwork, and the rest I threw in my tote. I would have a few hours to fill out on the flight to MSP, and then to SEA, or so I thought. It was about 2:40pm when I arrived at the gate. They had already started boarding at that time. I hadn't checked at the E-ticket machines in for the flight, and probably wouldn't have had time to due to the closeness to the end of boarding. I wasn't sure if they started calling for standbys. After I checked in at the podium, I sat in the gate area for what seem like eternity, (I decided to travel in uniform so I could use the secure entrance to get into the terminal, and bypass security). until about 5 minutes before they were supposed to close the door, they called my name for a seat. 18E(commonly known as the "E"mployee seat) was my seat assignment. Great, a middle seat, strike one. I go down the jet-way headed for the aircraft. When I get down there, a line had backed up about a quarter of the way up. They were gate-checking bags due the overheads being full, strike two. Usually, the flight attendants try and find space for your bag when you're a fellow crewmember, but no this crew, they were MSP-based, and they despise DTW crew, because we commute (don't ask me why, but there is this ongoing animosity between MSP crews and all other bases. They know they're stereotyped, and in most cases, try and live up to the stereotypes). So I check my roller-bag to connect to NW161 to SEA. I part with my bag and make my way to my seat. I'm stuck between 2 men, one big, the other average build. I throw my coat into the overhead bin and slide into my seat. I get situated, and try to text off a quick message to a friend, no time to complete it before they close the door. It doesn't take me long to realize that the guy seated in 18D is complete space-hog. He thinks nothing of pushing himself into my space and hogging the armrest. I try and gain a little space, but he's not budging. Ok so, a stalemate. Well, we push back from the gate, and taxi out to runway 22R at DTW. We hold short while a SAAB, 340 goes ahead of us. We turn on to the runway, and start the take-off roll. We lift off about halfway down the runway headed east for a bit until we make a right turn towards MSP.
We climb up to cruise altitude, and the LFA makes her announcement. I take out my laptop computer to start type the rough draft of this TR. Anyway, so I rest my arm and shoulder over his arm, to try and stifle his space. After a bit, it starts to make him uncomfortable, he starts his shuffle to try and push me off, but i'm not going to let this jerk beat me at this game. I decide that i'm going to make this an uncomfortable flight for him. I'm not going to let him beat at this game. I decide to make advance toward the frontline in this battle. I get served a Pepsi, and after about 10 minutes of trying to type on the computer, he starts to press my buttons. He's trying tto further push me into the other guy's space in 18F, and he's making a charge with his knee now. So casually move the glass of Pepsi closer to the edge of the tray-table, I pull my leg closer, wait a few seconds, and then I accidentally spilled my melting ice all over his leg. At this point he's in a state of shock, the armrest is mine for a short time. I apologise to him, I helped him clean himself up after the one of the crew brings a galley wipe, which gets him cleaned up in no time. About this time we begin our descent for MSP, the captain gives the latest weather report for the area, and then tells the cabin crew to prepare for arrival. The cabin crew begins to collect the service items the handed out during the course of the flight, trash is handed back to the crew as preparations and announcements are made. I turn off my computer stow it in my bag, I put my ipod away, but keep my camera out to take a few quick snaps while we're landing.
We touch down on 30R, the runway closest to the Air Guard side of MSP, and exit off about halfway down the runway. We then taxi towards the other side of the Lindbergh Terminal at MSP.
Our gate of arrival is G-16 on the G Concourse. We pull into the gate on time, in fact a little bit ahead of schedule. Then the deplaning process starts. Me being seated at the fwd section of the main cabin leaves me very little time before i'm able to jet of the aircraft. I grap my over coat, my bag, and thing, make my way off the aircraft and into the terminal.
I walk to the main walk-way to get a picture of the aircraft, and the head towards the monitors to check to see where NW161 is leaving out of. Gate: F-14
A/C: Boeing 757-351
I head down to to the F Concourse, to Gate F-14 my connection to SEA. I walk into the Gate area, and head towards the podium. There's no line so I just walk up, then asks if she can help me. I just wanted to ask her if I was verified for the this leg of the trip since I was unsure if I was indeed checked in straight through. She says I was, and that they already printed up a ticket for me. They originally gave me 26B, another middle seat. I asked if I could have a window, or aisle, if any were still available, she looks at the seating diagram on the computer, and she gives me 48A. A seat in the steerage section, but good enough.
I decide to walk over to CPK ASAP for some food to take on the aircraft with me. I give my girlfriend a quick call just to coordinate my pick-up from the airport when I get there. I walk back over to the boarding area, and just as I sit down, the agent announces the boarding of the flight. They do the pre-boarding thing first. The SkyTeam Elite members and all the rest. They call the first group, from the rear forward, rows 48 thru 40. I jump in line, walk up to the podium, and the CSA scans my boarding pass. I walk down the jet-way, get on board, and head to the back. At this point, I have to use the lavatory, so I through my bag on the floor in front of my seat, and make my way up the aisle towads the lavs at doors 3L/R. I then head back to my seat to get settled in.
The SFO flight pushing back next to us.
I push my bag under the seat in front and try and squeeze into the row to get seated. Then an elderly couple sits down next to me, and we chat for awhile. I learn that the gentleman is a retired pilot for AS, who flew C-130s, 727s and 737s. We begin chatting about things, exchange pleasantries for a bit. The captain comes over the PA to ets us know about our flight-time, weather in Seattle(rain). The last of the bags are loaded aboard, and the all the doors are closed in preparation for departure. I'm sending off a quick text message at this point, and then shut off my phone. We push back from the gate, and head out towards the runway. We hold for a second before the flight says, "flight attendants, prepare for departure". We turn on to runway 30L the drop-lights extend from the canards on the underside of the wing, the power levers are advanced and we're rolling. We lift off about 5:40pm headed west for SEA. The announcements are read and I turn on my laptop and ipod again. The beverages are served shortly, along with the snack box which I don't buy, I just settle for a glass of Cran-Apple. She just poured, didn't offer me a can. I was ok with it at first, because I assumed they were conserving drinks to do a 2nd beverage service(I realised later that they weren't, which really irks me. It just shows laziness, and a lack of consistancy. On flights where the flight time is 3hrs or greater, the crew is supposed to do a 2nd beverage service. Crews rarely do this because they're lazy, and don't want to do it). I settle in and put my stuff down to try and get some sleep for the rest o the trip. About an hour before landing, the crew comes through with water, I don't take any, I just went back to sleep. Then we begin our descent towards Seattle. Still the same, rain and clouds. We turn on to final shortly before 7pm PST. We touch down at 7:04pm, and exit the runway, and pull into the gate at on-time at 7:10pm, gate S-7 on the south satellite. Not much in the way of service, but that my company. Bare bones service.