i know you're cheap, but does that give you the right to be rude?

>> Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Okay, I know AirTran is famous for their low fares, high bag fees, and nonexistent service standards (without even the humor that SouthWest offers to balance out the cheap). But just because I'm willing to fly cheap doesn't mean I want to be treated like an idiot.

So we were flying home from a weekend in Chicago, and we'd already had a full day of travel. (Think: 1 hour by car, 1.5 hours by train, board the plane, deboard the plane, board again...)

You might guess correctly that my 30-week-preggo-hormonal patience level was wearing thin by this point.

We reach "cruising altitude" (whatever that is), and the second the little orange seatbelt light dings off, I'm popping up for a potty stop. We're in row 20, and there's only 30 rows in the plane. So obviously I start for the rear restroom. Except I'm waved off by a grim stewardess mouthing "You'll have to go to the front!"

Gotta pee. Gotta pee.

FINE. I'll hike 20 rows to the front. No problem. It's vacant... Until I'm 5 rows back and someone else scoots in front of me.

The pilot makes an intercom announcement that the FAA does not allow any congregating or forming lines for the lavatories. I ignore him. There's no way I'm going TWENTY rows back to my seat. Especially now that a line is actually forming behind me of other people who want to potty too!

Gotta pee. Gotta pee.

Five minutes pass. I hear a flush from inside the little room. Good, any moment now...

Nope. Not yet. Another five minutes squeaks by. Another flush. More silence and nobody comes out. I debate knocking politely on the door to let them know that people are waiting out here. I mean, there wasn't anybody in line when they went in - so maybe they're just staring in the mirror popping their pimples or something. Maybe they don't know people are waiting...

I'll wait a little longer.
Gotta pee. Gotta pee.

Five more minutes. A third flush. No one comes out. You've got to be kidding me! Okay, this pregnant chick has really REALLY gottta pee!!!

I'm mentally debating the potentially adverse effects of just going right here in the front row of business class. Hmmm, but that might get me banned from flying these friendly skies. Rather skip that possible repercussion. What's a girl to do?

I finally reach over and knock.

Tap. Tap. Tap. (Okay, maybe it was a little harder than tapping... but honestly, if it were me, and I were in there giving myself a facial while some hapless passenger did the potty dance outside, I'd want to know that I was holding up the line.)

Like magic, a flight attendant pops his head from around the kitchen area with a big scowl.

"Lady, you can't do that!!!" he snaps. Like I'd just tampered with a smoke detector or something truly horrendous.

"Excuse me?" I asked, turning sideways in case he'd missed my belly.

"It doesn't matter if you're pregnant, you can't rush the person in there," he bellowed. "I wouldn't let someone knock on the door if YOU were in there!!!!"

"If I were thoughtlessly holding up a bathroom line for 15 minutes, I certainly HOPE you'd knock on the door and let me know people were waiting!" I replied.

Remind me, since when did knocking on a bathroom door become a federal offense? Of course, there are so many new offenses these days, I may have missed one or two.

"You still can't do that, lady!!" he snipped back.

Dude calm down. I'm not a terrorist. I'm just a pregnant chick who really needs to pee. Take a Valium and sign up for a customer service refresher course. There is no bomb.
This is not an emergency. Although if you keep preventing me from getting to the toilet, the mess on the floor might reach disastrous proportions!

The lady inside finally exited, meandering out without any apology or air of concern.

I rushed inside. Navigating a belly belt, maternity jeans AND my belly, I was still out in under a minute and a half.

Back at my seat, the rude attendant strolled by and paused, with the repeated comment that "you really can't do that to people". Right. But apparently it's perfectly acceptable for you to beleaguer me about it?

Then he offered me a beverage. I could hardly keep a straight face.

"No, thank you, sir. I believe that if I accept a beverage, I might actually need to use your restroom again. And we obviously wouldn't want THAT!"


© Sarah K. Asaftei, 2009 unless otherwise sourced. Use allowed by express written permission only.


SKA August 18, 2009 at 6:57 PM  

Nope. Just asked if I'd like the pretzels instead. Which I also politely declined.

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