Flying is not what it used to be. I know it, you know it, we all know it. That’s just a fact. But you really know things are bad when the passenger seated in 6E, a first class seat, actually hands you his tray table during the elaborate dinner service. I’m not talking about the meal tray. I’m talking about the actual TRAY TABLE. To say I was a little embarrassed is putting it lightly. What made it even worse was the ripped blue and white INOPERATIVE sticker taped across the arm rest. Of course this reminded me of my days at Sunjet International Airlines, a no frills airline that’s no longer in business. The closest that airline came to flying international was Fort Lauderdale. And because I quit Sunjet three months after signing on, in order to work for a major, there’s no way, no way in hell, I’m about to regress back to that, so I placed the broken tray table under my arm and marched up to the first class galley where I rang the cockpit.
“Pilot lounge,” chuckled Richard, the Dick in the cockpit.
“Captain, I’ve got a little gift for you,” I said into the phone.
“Well come on up,” he sang, sounding a little too cheery, especially for a pilot. The peanut butter cookies were baking in the oven, so I imagine he thought I was going to hand him one, or two, along with a glass of skim milk.
When the cockpit door cracked open I handed him the table. “6E,” I said, and that’s all I said, before shutting the door behind me.