Short Stories – Good Friday

It was a sunny Friday, a great day to start Melanie’s day as her first shift to be the First Class cabin head of her airline.

She had her breakfast at home, reached the airport with smooth traffic on the road and greeted by the security officer at the entrance to her airline office. Today will be a good day, she thought.

After all the preparations and setup done in the cabin, Melanie went to the First Class boarding gateway and waited for the guests. Although there would only be three passengers boarding First Class today for the flight from London to Kuala Lumpur, she had to make sure each of the passengers enjoyed the time on board throughout the flight.

20 minutes to the scheduled departure time at 10:10 AM, all the First Class passengers had boarded the plane and Melanie was busy coordinating her crew members in serving the guests. Suddenly, she heard some loud arguments at the boarding gate so she went out to have a look.

From the first sight, she saw an Asian guy who was sweating and panting heavily, face reddened with heated arguments with the crew member, Tim. He was holding a business handbag in one hand and his over-sized coat in another.

“I told you I was checked-in! I just don’t know where my boarding pass is! Please let me in!” said the Asian guy with his face full of despair. Melanie approached them and asked Tim on the situation.

Tim moved a bit further from the Asian guy and told Melanie, “this guy lost his boarding pass, we couldn’t let him in, could we?”

“Get his name and passport number so we can verify his status in the passenger list,” instructed Melanie. Then she walked closer to the guy, who identified himself as Mr. Tang and tried to calm him down.

“Mr. Tang, I’m sorry for the inconvenience. My colleague, Tim is performing some checking on your status and will come back to us very soon. Thank you for your patience,” said Melanie professionally.

“Thank you for your help as I really need to board the plane,” said Mr. Tang while taking out a handkerchief from the pocket of his coat to wipe his sweat. His 300-pound body made him looked clumsy and seemed like he never stopped sweating.

As he turned around, Melanie spotted something in the back pocket of his pants. “Mr. Tang, could that be your boarding pass in the back pocket of your pants?” asked Melanie, pointing to his pants.

Mr. Tang struggled to reach into his back pocket and took out a piece of paper which apparently was the boarding pass that he thought was missing. “Oh yes! Here it is! I told you I was checked-in!” said Mr. Tang when handling the boarding pass which was wet and soaked in sweat to Tim.

Tim reluctantly stretched out his hand to take the boarding pass like it was contagious. After the verification has been done, Melanie offered to show Mr. Tang to his seat on the plane in Economy Class.

On his way to his seat, which was in the middle row, the passengers sitting at the aisle seats were annoyed by him as he almost accidentally hit each of them with either his handbag or his bum. He apologized along the way but still received harsh responses. Some passengers growled and some even cursed.

Melanie felt sorry for Mr. Tang and also the passengers. She wanted to make everyone happy but sometimes it’s hard to fulfill everyone’s demand. She wished today would remain a good day.

Once Mr. Tang tried very hard to fit into the two consecutive seats he purchased, the passenger sitting beside Mr. Tang at the window seat started to complain. “It’s becoming too narrow now! I don’t even have space for my arm!”

By looking at the legroom which barely available in front of Mr. Tang and the upset expression on the face of the passenger beside him, Melanie felt miserable. Oh no…not today. Not on this very special day, please.

The other passengers nearby started to make unpleasant comments on Mr. Tang. “They shouldn’t accept his booking request in the first place! This plane is too small for him!” said one passenger. A380 is the largest commercial plane on earth, Melanie thought.

Looking at the embarrassed Mr. Tang, Melanie was accessing the available options available to keep everyone happy. Transferring Mr. Tang to another Economy Class seat could be near to impossible as there was no more seat left. Business Class could be an option but escorting Mr. Tang to Business Class at the upper deck could be a tough task too. Since she was the cabin head of First Class and there were plenty of available seats, she had decided to upgrade Mr. Tang’s ticket to First Class.

Despite more complaints from the passengers, Melanie showed Mr. Tang to his seat in First Class. She purposely arranged him to be seated at the corner of the cabin and near to the exit so it would be more convenient for him to move around without disturbing other guests.

Once Mr. Tang was seated, Melanie asked if he was okay with the seat. Mr. Tang thanked her continuously and shook her hand with his sweaty palm.

Everything else went through smoothly without any more issues. No more complaints, food and drinks were served, weather forecast showed that there would be no turbulence or bad weather along the route from London to KLIA. Today WILL be a good day, thought Melanie again.

Throughout the whole journey, Mr. Tang didn’t make many requests except seeking Melanie’s help to locate a power point for his laptop. He was busy preparing a business proposal on the laptop which looked like a mini toy with his big fat fingers and enormous body size. He barely rested as well, all he did was staring at his laptop screen thinking and typing furiously after that.

After flying for 13 hours and 45 minutes, the plane was landed safely at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Mr. Tang was the last one to disembark the plane, perhaps he didn’t want to cause anymore trouble to the passengers and the crew members.

On his way out, he held Melanie’s hand again and said, “Thank you very much for your help. I’m sorry if I caused so much trouble to you and your crew members. I’m hoping to be able to see you again. Have a nice day.”

Even though Melanie had a small thought that she wouldn’t want to see him again, she felt rewarding with his gratitude. He did bring her troubles and nearly brought her a disastrous day which would definitely ruin her good mood but she was happy that she had successfully minimized the conflicts.

The returning flight to London was scheduled to depart at around 9:45 PM on the same day. Melanie enjoyed the few hours of rest by reading a novel and taking a short nap at the hotel near the airport which was specially arranged for airline staffs that needed a place to rest for short period of time.

Once she returned to her airline office at KLIA, she received a news from her manager that Mr. Tang called their office to purposely thank Melanie for her great hospitality. His business was failing so he urgently needed to board the plane to KL to meet his customer. In the end, he had successfully rescued his business by securing a multi-million contract with his customer.

Mr. Tang’s call didn’t just made to thank Melanie, he even made an offer to pay the fee to compensate the upgrading of his seat from Economy Class to First Class. On top of that, Mr. Tang told the manager that he would surely board their airlines again and this time, he would make sure that his secretary made the reservation for First Class ticket. Melanie’s manager praised her for her professionalism as well as her competence in executing her task as the cabin head. Melanie walked towards the largest plane in the world smiling confidently. Today is definitely a good day.

This story was originally published on Wattpad on 18th March 2016.

Photo by Ankush Minda on Unsplash

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