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Insomnia To Air Rage:Emirates LHR-DXB-CGK Mid 90s.

Thu Jan 02, 2003 8:08 pm

Hello again all...

I can’t exactly remember the dates as it happened a long time ago. However, as more and more bizarre cases of air rage are beginning to appear in the last 2 – 3 years. I thought I’d share my experience with you ! After the other trip report (Heaven to Hell, I thought I’d put this one in. I’ve had my share of weird things in airplanes… this is one of them…

The trip happened one northern winter... I think it was 1996. I flew Emirates LHR-DXB and DXB-CMB-SIN-CGK.

Part 1. Pure Insomnia...
LHR-DXB, Emirates Airlines, A300-600R. Boring flight…

Arriving in LHR check in, the check in attendants was quite chatty and while processing my check-in, we talked about Bali and how he wanted to go there. Being a happy chap, he said… “ooh, there are about 12 people on this flight going on to Jakarta… most of you are sitting near each other…”
“Oh OK,” I thought…

Proceeded to run around the terminal and onto the plane. Boarded the plane… nothing unusual… Enjoyed the usual Emirates service… nice food, friendly crew, PTVs !

I couldn’t sleep during the flight… Anyway, we landed in DXB, and proceeded to the transfer desk…

By then there were about 20 people traveling to Jakarta, arriving from London and various other European cities. Apparently the other 12 from London were backpackers traveling in a group. One by one we checked in, chatted while waiting for our plane. Few of us had slept on that flight. Some said it was because of the food, while others went up with other theories.

Part 2. Insomnia, Frustration... Air Rage ???
DXB-CMB-SIN-CGK, Emirates Airlines, A310-300

This group sat near each other again, rear economy, all centered on the right hand side aisle. Again, the cabin crew was excellent… and yet again, I noticed that it wasn’t me who was having difficulties sleeping. After meals, a couple of us hang around the galley and toilet areas for more chats. The crew brought us drinks and one or two crew joined in the chat from time to time. The crew came from various European airlines, some from Virgin, some BA, and one from KLM.

By the time we reached Colombo, we were tired, frustrated at being unable to sleep. This Colombo stop is a real killer. When EK flew SIN-DXB direct for the CGK flight, it was very good… nice 4hr sleep, then transfer in DXB, before sleeping again for the Europe flight. Transit in Colombo was not a nice one. We were confined to the airplane. 1hr later, we took off for Singapore.

Lunch was served… and I couldn’t sleep yet again. Bay of Bengal isn’t exactly a comfortable airspace for sleeping. We overflew Medan and I was beginning to fall asleep before descending into Singapore.

I thought this is great, as soon as I was sleepy, we’re landing again. I slept anyway… not long after that, a stewardess put my seat upright, it woke me up and she said… “don’t worry sir, just sleep… I’ll put it upwards. The other guys are also sleeping finally…”

The next thing I know we touched down in Singapore… As the passengers disembarked, the crew came over to the insomnia club… and told us we can still sleep and they’ll tell the cleaners to be quiet… then they left and another crew came. The cleaners didn’t vacuum our cabin section, but they were still noisy.

Passengers boarded again… and luckily, the pax sitting on the 3 seats left to me (I was on center section right aisle seat) were a family and they boarded from the left aisle… lucky for me…

I’d been sleeping slumped forward on my meal tray during the transit… I was woken up while we were taxying, and the f/a (an English guy) put my tray up… So we took off… me, still struggling to sleep.

As soon as we climbed, and the seat belt signs were switched off, I reclined my seat… Sleep at last…… I was wrong…

Someone patted my head… “Heelloooooo, can you put your seat forward pleaseee”
“Bugger!” I thought…
I placed my seat upright, and soon drinks and snacks were served…
Then the pax behind me received a complaint from the pax behind him to put his seat upright during the drinks and snacks…
“Hypocrite!” I mumbled… and tried to sleep again…

I finished my snacks, the f/a took my tray, and the pax behind me asked for beer… I checked that his snack tray was already taken to the galley… I put my seat back again…

Another pat on my head… “Heeellooooo, can you put your seat forward pleaseeeee”
I did, and decided to do the “frustrated sleep” style… pillow on the meal tray and sink my head into the pillow.

“Heelooooo, stewaaaardddd, can I have more beer please!” he shouted…
It woke me up… we were just half way through the flight… Another 45 mins with this idiot sitting behind me. He had obviously woken the other insomniacs up, as I saw some of them going to the toilet one by one…

In less than 5 minutes, he finished his beer and “Heeeloooooo, Steward, Excusee meeeee, can I have another beer please!”

I decided that dunking my head into the pillow on my meal tray was not only uncomfortable, but it didn’t stop me from hearing this guy screaming ! I sat back… and put my seat on recline again…

“Heeeloooo, can you put your seat forward please….” The pat was a bit harder this time…

That’s it… I have to make a scene out of this !
I waited until an f/a was walking through the aisle… then put my seat back….
This time, it wasn’t a pat… it was hard….
I had enough… I stood up turned around and lunged at him, grabbed his collar…

“What the hell is wrong with you ? Do you have to scream for beer ? Why do I have to put my seat upright when you’re reclining yours ! DURING MEAL SERVICE ? Why do you have to be so selfish” I yelled at him and trying to strangle him… (of course being a wimp that I am, I came nowhere near strangling him)…

At that time, the f/a jumped and pulled me back and put me down to my seat… “I’ll deal with this sir…” he said.

By then the other insomniacs were standing up, some were on the aisle ready to pick up a fight…

The F/A grabbed the annoying passenger… “Look SIR… Some people have had a long flight and you’re only here for 1 hour and a half… Be considerate please! Let this guy recline his seat… he needs to sleep ! He’s been up all night, and so are about a dozen passengers here. Now sit down, and shut up! One more noise out of you and I’ll get the captain to arrange for you to be picked up by security in Jakarta! No more beer… water only for the rest of the flight!”

He pushed the pax back to his seat… and the other insomniacs cheered… the other attendants rushed to the scene… he told them he had it under control… he apologized to me… “I’m sorry sir, sometimes, we do get these kinds of passengers… Now is there anything I can get you or do ?”

“No thanks, that’s enough, thank you”

So I had my few minute sleep… I did notice the captain went out of the flight deck to inspect what was going on. The purser and the captain were conversing about the problem and the purser was pointing at me and the annoying pax behind me…

“oh Boy, I’m in trouble now”

Anyway, I managed to get about a 10 minute sleep… precious 10 minutes.

We landed in Jakarta, and I did the usual ritual of getting my bag and putting it on my seat as we waited to disembark… Death stares were exchanged with my new enemy. I just grinned and smirked… He was obviously fuming. The F/A came to get me and asked if I can move forward to the front. Amidst the rush to the exit, the purser and the captain asked me if I was OK, and apologized for the experience. The purser gave me her name and told me to quote her name if I would write to Emirates about it… (I didn’t, I was happy they didn’t dunk me to security)… Apparently, the previous crew had told them that they had insomniacs on board and told this crew that we needed sleep.

I left the airplane before my “enemy”… I did notice, there were 4 security guards waiting at the air bridge, and 2 police officers (normally only 2 security guards), plus a police van below. “Phew, I got away this time… and it’s serious”…

Passed through immigration and I was waiting for my suitcase to come up. I noticed the enemy got his bags the same time as I got mine. I walked through customs and met my dad who picked me up. Just as I was walking to the pick up curbside, the enemy met those who were picking him up… Muslim clerics… I laughed…

“Oi” I shouted at him… He saw me, and I gestured to him asking whether the beer was good or not and whether he was drunk or not… I don’t know if the clerics understood my “sign language” but he certainly did…

At least I ended the whole experience with a laugh.

Thanks to the EK crew for not dunking me to the security…

I hope you enjoyed this strange experience of mine...

When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
Posts: 1703
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2001 5:19 pm

RE: Insomnia To Air Rage:Emirates LHR-DXB-CGK Mid 90s.

Thu Jan 02, 2003 9:08 pm

Great report Gerry .

Wow , I didnt know they had PTVs on their A300-600Rs .

Airliners is the wings of my life.
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2001 3:45 am

RE: Insomnia To Air Rage:Emirates LHR-DXB-CGK Mid 90s.

Thu Jan 02, 2003 9:09 pm

Great Trip Report!!! Best one i have seen in a while, great job at "schemeing" when the f/a come down the isle and you putting the seat back and the drunk getting mad. Keep up the good work and talk to you in the chat room.


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