Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Fright Safety Briefings

It was the entrance of half a dozen very elegant Air Hostesses that triggered my memories. I had to put my towel down and straighten my helmet: they have that effect sometimes. You will see them sashaying through the airport lounge, often accompanied by a few effeminate stewards, and perhaps have an urge to chat them up. (The ladies, not the prancing boys). I poured them their drinks of choice and engaged them, of course. And I recalled chatting another one up quite a while ago.
The old days !

It was on a 'red-eye' from Perth to Melbourne. That is going back a bit. I used to fly all over this huge continent back then. On this particular flight was The Most Beautiful air hostess I had ever seen. Even in pictures. If I said she was gorgeous it would still not do her justice.

She had held everyone's attention speaking out and demonstrating the safety drills.

As she passed by my seat a little later I asked her to remember that in the event of us having to ditch in the Bight, could she make sure I was in her dingy , as if we had to be cast away for a while, she would be the lovliest companion a chap could ask for.  I was rewarded with a giggle and a wide smile.

It was not at all like my experience years before flying with Turk Hava Yollari.  If you have to remember anything when taking a trip it should be... 
Never fly THY.
I shall tell why later. First though, the safety drills. People barely pay attention, especially back then, unless the air hostess is particularly spectacular, so today's airlines grab your attention and try to hold it for a vital few minutes. They have become 'entertainment'. 

That New Zealand one set off a 'genre' of attention capturing.

Some airlines though, as above, leave it to the cabin crew to do their own thing, with mixed results. Mixing an old biddy with a camp fellow does not inspire confidence in some people.

Americans possibly travel more than most and competition is fierce. The pamphlets all give the same info but in markedly different forms. Even in furrin' places. But the voice dominates the procedure.

Ad-libbing ladies and gents can be quite funny if they have a practiced routine, but by the Lord Harry don't they talk fast !! I can barely understand them when they gabble and it cannot help safety, shirley?

Newer, more 'hip' or 'edgy' airlines go the whole hog. 

(Does anyone know what 'edgy' means, by the way?)

But let me get to THY. It might be that they have improved a bit since I flew with them a long time ago.

I flew from Nicosia, in Cyprus, to Adana in Turkey and back, with a few weeks between journeys. The flight is not far - some 120 miles max. The trip there was uneventful although.....  No, it was the trip back that saw the sheer abandonment of even a skerrick of a nod toward passenger safety.

In the airport lounge I got to chatting with a couple of lads. Americans. They were no older than 14 and 12 and they were travelling 'unaccompanied' by any adult. Apparantly they had made their way across Europe and were heading for Israel. They intended to hitch-hike across small Cyprus to Limmasol and find a cargo boat to take them across to Haifa. Work their way. I was astonished. Brave lads in that day.

They had already flown to Cyprus a few days before and had been sent back to Adana by the 'authorities' as they had no money. They has 'acquired' some money, somehow ( I did not enquire) and were giving the flight another go. 

The flight was called and they went off, as I did too.

I boarded a very packed plane. The Fokker's seats were all taken and the frazzled hostess moved someone out of a seat so I could sit. That person sat on someone else's lap, as did many others. Everywhere there were smaller people sitting on larger laps. There was no sign of the two boys.

The overbooked little Fokker - in which the 'Friendship' was taken to extremes - 
got airborne somehow, and I heard the wheels come up. After a few minutes as we climbed away, a hatch opened in the aisle just a few feet away from me, and out climbed the two boys !!! They had been put in with the baggage and told to climb into the cabin when airborne. 

There was nothing in the safety pamphlet about that.

I needed a stiff drink after that experience. Let's see if it has improved.

Have one too.



  1. Love the first picture! Ladies! You don't see those much anymore!
    The Southern Girl:)

    1. Yes, fashions change but elegance got lost somewhere along the way.

  2. It was the entrance of half a dozen very elegant Air Hostesses that triggered my memories.

    Not just memories I should say.


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