Diary of a pissed-off flight attendant

Fatal Friday 13th

My first bad experience as a flight attendant



This post may help you understand how important your role is as a flight attendant. If you wish to become a member of a cabin crew you need to remember one thing – you are responsible for 100 or even more human lives.

Every summer our airline used to send us to the seaside for the charter season. It was 3 years ago when I was sent to Burgas (beautiful city and seaside resort in Bulgaria) to perform only charter flights for about month and a half.  Charter flights are specific trips not part of the airline’s regular schedule. Each summer our biggest aircrafts perform flights from the seaside only to bring tourists to our beautiful country.

I remember the day was 13.09.2013 – Friday. I’ve never been superstitious before, but after that day I’m not  sure what to think and what to believe in. My crew and I were performing a charter flight from Bourgas to Moscow and back. From Moscow to Bourgas the flight was absolutely full with 180 Russian passengers on board. This means one thing – party on the aisle! Most Jewish and Russian passengers can’t stay seated for a long time (nothing personal), so all of them are always on the aisle overexcited talking and gesticulating about something and it’s very hard to go through them with the beverage service. Anyway everything was normal until some passengers started pressing the calling button very nervously. After that I saw the purser at the front part of the cabin waving hands to me and my collegue and many other  passengers fussing around the front rows. It was hard to get through utill we reached to the front rows and saw a man who was motionless and stiffed. His wife was crying all the time and din’t know what to do. The face of the man changed a few times it’s colour from white to red, from red to blue. He was panting heavily and couldn’t move or say anything. I rushed into the back galley to make announcement in Russian to all passengers to ask if there was a doctor on board. In that case that was a compulsory procedure. Each year we have first aid training but we don’t have official documents that authorize us to give special medicines to passengers. That is why we do’t have any. In other airlines flight attendants are usually authorized and well trained to use even defribilators and render first aid properly, meanwhile we can only give some simple medicines and provide some oxygen by portable oxygen bottles. After my announcement a woman came to me and said she was a nurse and she could help. It was obvious she didn’t understand anything, first she said the guy was ok, then he was not. It was obvious that he was having a heart attack – his blue lips, the vomiting, his stiffed body. We couldn’t do anything, so the purser said to the Captain we should undertake an emergency descent immediately. We landed at Odessa Airport and the ambulance took away the sick passenger and his wife. But that is not the most interesting part. While waiting for take off to Burgas again, I spoke with the first officer who told me that the emergency decent started at the 13th minute, the aircraft was parked at airport apron number 13 , the day was actually Friday 13 and the year was 2013! Amazing, isn’t it?!
Sadly nobody still knows what has happened with that poor old guy…did he survived, if he did  – how is he today and so many other questions… I had never seen somebody having a heart attack, fainting or dying in front of me and this situation was very stressful for me. The worst thing is that when somebody is having a stroke or a heart attack you want to help, but you can’t do anything, because you don’t have any equipment on the aircraft!

I will share more stories like this one, but you must know that being a flight attendant is not an easy job. Your psychics has to be very tough, so you can deal with such situations. And I must say that having problems with a passenger is the smallest problem you may have in 30, 000 feet! Even more dangerous problems may occur like fire on board, decompression, terrorist act, emergency evacuation and in such shocking moments passengers are those who will wait for you to react adequately and tell them what to do! Good customer service is just a compliment from the airline for short flights, so you must remember – safety is first! Flight attendants are on the airplanes not to serve food, but to take care for safety of all passengers!

For more crazy stories you can check out here: Unscheduled landing after our plane experienced an apparent hydraulic leak ; Is there a doctor on board? ; Aggressive deportee on board