It was dark in the cabin, the seat belt sign was on, passengers were watching the in-flight movie, and we, the crew, stood in the coach galley talking about…oh I don’t remember, but I do remember we were flying from Los Angeles to New York and it had been an uneventful flight. Which was nice for a change. I had been just about to remark on the nice flight when the flight attendant working in the first class galley called us in the back.
I answered the phone, “This is Heather.”
An exasperated voice asked, “Is he back there?”
“Yeah, he’s here, hold on.” I shrugged my shoulders and handed the phone to the one in charge, a tall, tough-looking guy with a goatee. Don’t let the looks fool you. He’s really sweet and mushy inside.
“What!” he exclaimed, holding the phone to his ear. He rolled his eyes. “There’s a child lost in first class,” he said, and that’s all he said, hanging up the phone and making his way up the aisle to sort the matter out.
Of course the first thing that went through my mind was a visual of a very young child running through the first class cabin causing a ruckus. I figured the parents were asleep in coach and totally oblivious to the child’s whereabouts. I mean what else could it be?
Once while deadheading on a flight years ago, I felt something strange moving between my ankles. When I looked down, I gasped. Oh my. There on the floor crawled an infant – right out from underneath my seat! I picked up the baby, cradled her in my arms, and turned around. Behind me slept a young lady. I spotted what looked like a diaper bag lying on the seat beside her.
“Excuse me,” I said, tapping her on the bony shoulder. I held out the infant. “Is this yours?”She nodded, took the baby into her own arms, leaned her head against the side wall, and closed her eyes.
Leesa, a Gadling reader (and soon to be flight attendant), wrote and told me about her experience with not just a lost child, but a child traveling with a parent who might as well have been lost, considering he knew no boundaries, another common occurrence on flights these days…
Yeah, that's me, the one standing in the aisle wearing flammable polyester...