As I stood there welcoming passengers on board, I had a first glimpse of many glimpses of human behaviors.
It is compulsory for any cabin crew to welcome passengers with an appropriate greeting when they boarded the aircraft. With years of experience, I can almost tell which amongst them will return the smile and to response to your greeting. Even though your intuition tells you, the one that walking towards you will unlikely to smile at you in return of your generous smile, yet you smiled from ear to ear. Then, he would walked pass you with no indication of slightest respect and you were embarrassed but ever so gracious, you “dragged” that your lingering smile to the passenger behind him. Hoping this new passenger would compensate your first lost. Sometimes it did the trick and most of it all, always a double jeopardy.
The Japanese passengers are my favorite. They may not very conversant in English but they would usually responded to your greeting with a generous nodding if not head bowing. Even their small kids are behaving very well at the door during boarding. The Europeans, Western people do not fair that bad either. They would certainly responded to your gesture by asking your well-being and very talkative. The Asian people are slightly reserve and to some extent they seemed very unappreciative of your greetings.
My fellow Malaysians are the most disappointing. They would answer your “Good morning sir, welcome aboard” with this infamous question ” No more newspaper aar?”. Those young Malaysians are very shy. When we greeted them, they would usually pretending to look at the ceiling as if there was a nude image painted on it. The most comforting are those elderly. They would extend their hands and salam(handshakes) with you. It is very heart warming when being treated that way by passengers. We are professionals but some of these negative responses from passengers do sometimes get into your nerve and change your mood.
We had them displayed and those early birds would have taken them all and now came the late comers who insisted that we get him(them) a newspaper of his choice. The manner of asking for it was usually very demanding and rude. It is quite norm for them to say ” No more newspaper hah..how come?” or ” Get me Star!”.
No magic words I tell you and if the kid who behaved like that, simply I would ask….where is your magic word of PLEASE kiddie but these were grown educated adults! And from the broken English and very Manglish you could certainly sure of which group are these passengers belong to. Our fellow Malaysians.
If the flight was very early in morning, we would have abundant of fresh and crispy newspapers. All of them were nicely stalked on the trolley according to their respective languages. The early passengers were usually very greedy. They would take two or three types of newspaper for each person even though the flight time was less than 50 minutes. As if they could finish reading them all during flight.
The nicely stacked newspapers are there for them to choose their desired ones. The most annoying behavior of them was to take the ones between the top and bottom by messing up the whole arrangement. No one seemed interested to take the first ones on top as if the exposed newspapers are infected with terminal diseases. How selfish!
As the day progresses from one flying sector to the second and the third, the total number of newspapers are decreasing because most were taken down by passengers, torn and missing pages. The passengers on the last leg or final sector that usually making big huha because low number of newspapers made available on board and worn out condition.
I’d like to remind passengers to be more understanding as the airline provides newspaper as an extra token of service. If you do not get your meal, then you are welcomed to make noise. No newspaper, you will survive the flight. We would lend ears if you are still insist to make a big bugaboo for not having your favorite newspaper on board.
Remember, when one makes noise on board of the aircraft, the rest of your fellow passengers are listening attentively and they are making judgment on your character. You may either won yourself an admiration or self humiliation. Yours to choose.
Damage control: Rest assured that most Malaysian passengers are nice just a handful are visibly negative sticking out like a sore thumb.
Thank you for flying the friendly sky.