35. An Entitled Customer
I’m a flight attendant for a major airline, and the entitlement I encounter is wild. This week, passengers were boarding the flight as usual: large roll-on bags on top, personal items underneath their seat. Then this lady comes on and half-asses her roll-on into the overhead bin.
I mean, this bag is halfway sticking out from the bin. So we make an announcement: ‘L & G, please make sure your bag is properly placed in the overhead bin, this flight will be full, and if the bag does not fit as we are closing bins, it will have to be checked.’
I can see the lady, and she looks at her bag and stares out the window again. Second and third announcements are made just for her. I can’t stop the boarding process to talk to her directly, so whatever. I would have to deal with her bag at the end of boarding.
True to our word, the flight is completely full, and so are the bins. I approach her luggage, and of course, the bin does not close. I ask the general area whose bag I was holding as it does not fit as it’s placed.
‘That’s my bag, but there are people’s backpacks up there, ask them to put them under their seat so you can make it fit. Also, there’s a jacket behind my bag, my bag always fits up there,’ she says.
There’s nothing behind her bag. It’s too long and won’t fit perpendicular to the aisle, and the bin is full, so I can’t place it in sideways. So I tell her this and ask what her final destination was so I could check it there.
She refuses to tell me, again repeating to ‘make it work, do your job.’ We are approaching our departure time, so I’m already flustered with this lady. I said: ‘I’m sorry, I can’t make it work. This bag needs to be checked.
We made several announcements over the last 15 minutes, and you had plenty of time to get your bag stowed properly. People have as much right to access these bins as you do, so I can’t force passengers to bring down their items to accommodate yours.’ So I asked her again what her final destination was.
She ignored me and stared out the window. ‘Ma’am?’ No answer. ‘Ma’am?’ Nothing. Fine. I take the bag down and hand it to the agent. What’s the final destination he asks. Our flight was headed to Chicago. I paused. ‘Lubbock.’