C’est le ton

Posted by at 10:08

Working on an aircraft at over 30,000 feet above sea level has its limitations. For instance, there is no hospital or police station nearby. No bakery, butcher or grocery store either. So when we need something that’s not on board, we have to improvise. We don’t have a magic wand to make it happen.

I’ve been lucky as there has always been a doctor on board when a medical incident occurred. And the few times that I have witnessed aggression during a flight – most of the time caused by too much alcohol – the situation never escalated. Some of my colleagues have been less lucky.

No system is infallible and, apparently, neither is KLM’s catering. So once in a while, when we are high in the sky, we discover that something is missing. Luckily, cabin crew is rather inventive.

I remember one flight to Cape Town where only half the required bread rolls had been delivered. We decided to cut them all in half.

After we explained the situation to the passengers, no one complained. And on my last flight something went wrong with the order of a gluten-free meal. It’s not easy to determine whether foods are gluten free or not, and the lady in question was highly allergic to gluten. After rummaging around the whole plane, we managed to serve her some suitable food. Even though the error was on our side, she was so grateful!

I recall numerous occasions that flight attendants solved problems by being inventive. And most of those times passengers were very understanding too.

They saw that we did our utmost to find alternatives. And I guess in the end it’s all about that famous saying: C’est le ton qui fait la musique.

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11 Responses to C’est le ton

  1. Sandor Soetevent

    Precisely herefor, I always make myself known as a first-aider when boarding an aircraft.

    Cabin-crew should know such things, is my humble opinion.

    And for the reason why (most) people are understanding? I guess they can tell it’s not your fault, and you’re doing your best to at least partially solve their problem.

  2. Sandor Soetevent

    Precisely herefor, I always make myself known as a first-aider when boarding an aircraft.

    Cabin-crew should know such things, is my humble opinion.

    And for the reason why (most) people are understanding? I guess they can tell it’s not your fault, and you’re doing your best to at least partially solve their problem.

  3. just a passenger! :)

    We (passengers) do appreciate the KLM attitude and are grateful for it! It’s not just a well organised company but it’s the KLM people that make the difference! 

  4. just a passenger! :)

    We (passengers) do appreciate the KLM attitude and are grateful for it! It’s not just a well organised company but it’s the KLM people that make the difference! 

  5. Rick9478

    Hello Caroline,

    will there be a new blog any time soon?

  6. Rick9478

    Hello Caroline,

    will there be a new blog any time soon?

  7. tasnia

    it’s been months since you haven’t write anything. your write-ups and the way of your presentations are remarkable to me… honestly i found myself sticking around it everything time i open this KLM blog. i am worried not to see you for weeks. wishing to seeing your “on board” tails very soon. :)

  8. tasnia

    it’s been months since you haven’t write anything. your write-ups and the way of your presentations are remarkable to me… honestly i found myself sticking around it everything time i open this KLM blog. i am worried not to see you for weeks. wishing to seeing your “on board” tails very soon. :)

  9. tasnia

    caroline, It’s been over an year since you last wrote…i donno whether you will come back anymore sooner..But i wish i you come back soon with your wonderful on board snippets…i read each of ur word, then re-read it and then again started all of them from the beginning…when ever i get spare times in hand,i pop up to this page just to indulge in some specific stories yet i already read them countless times.
    in short, now i miss your writtings a lot…..
    good luck where ever you are…………. & comeback soon……

  10. tasnia

    caroline, It’s been over an year since you last wrote…i donno whether you will come back anymore sooner..But i wish i you come back soon with your wonderful on board snippets…i read each of ur word, then re-read it and then again started all of them from the beginning…when ever i get spare times in hand,i pop up to this page just to indulge in some specific stories yet i already read them countless times.
    in short, now i miss your writtings a lot…..
    good luck where ever you are…………. & comeback soon……

  11. Josh

    Hoping you’d post again soon. Your blog is amazing!

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