Flirty UA

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Feb 3, 2018 02:18
United Airlines has a bad reputation in China. They say that UA once refused to cooporate with the Chinese government to hand over an corrupt Chinese official who had absconded by boarding its US bound flight. Months ago, the news that an Asian-American doctor was dragged off the plane also went viral in China. Many people say that they are now afraid of choosing UA because they might be mistreated.

I know UA has also gotten a bad name in the US because of some cases of abusing their passengers. I’ve flown with UA a few times. However, so far I’ve enjoyed all of these experiences, because the staff were considerate to me. The agents at the counters were friendly and usually asked me whether I needed a window seat or an aisle seat.

The most interesting experience was when I took UA for the first time. The first flight was from Lincoln, Nebraska, to Denver, and I made a connection at the Denver airport to LA. Lincoln is a small city, so the plane for the first flight was small, and I checked my baggage because I’d already known that the overhead bin wouldn't have enough room. The Denver-LA plane was much bigger so I didn’t check my baggage, becaus the suitcase I'd bought in China was a standard-sized one that could be easily stowed into the overhead bins of any regular-sized (or bigger) aircraft in China, so I thought this was also the case in the US.

I was a new UA customer so I was assigned to group four, which was the last to board. When I got on, the plane was already packed. As I was putting my suitcase into the compartment, I found that however hard I tried, I just couldn’t wedge it in. It turned out the capacity was much smaller than I’d thought! I got so embarrassed because many already-seated passengers started looking at me. The plane was preparing for take-off, and I didn’t have a clue what to do. I couldn’t just leave it in the aisle, which would violate the flight rules.

Just then, a lady, probably a pilot (judging from her uniform) walked over to me, and said with a big sweet smile, “Honey, let me handle it.”

“Honey?” I repeated it in my mind with huge surprise. In Chinese culture, that would sound very flirty! But since I’d watched some American movies, I knew that Americans address each other less formally. I got used to it instantly and smiled back, and said, “Thank you so much.” Then, the lady walked back to the front of the plane with my suitcase. I didn’t know where she would put my baggage because I couldn’t see her as she’d stepped behind a curtain.

That lady warmed my heart because she helped me out in a foreign culture. What also made this flight experience so amazing was that I sat at a window, allowing me to have a bird’s eye view of the Grand Canyon and the historic California Trail!

[Revised]
美联航在中国的名声很差。据说,美联航曾拒绝将一个已登机的中国潜逃贪官移交给ZGZF。几个月前,一则美国亚裔医生被拖下飞机的新闻也在中国网络上疯传。很多中国人说他们不敢再坐美联航的航班,怕被区别对待。

我知道美联航因一些虐待乘客的事件在美国的名声也不好。我坐过美联航的航班,但目前为止都是愉快的经历。美联航的员工对我很体贴,值机员工很友好,还经常问我要坐窗户旁边还是坐过道位置。

最美好的一次的经历是我第一次坐美联航的那次。那是一个联程航班,第一个航段是从内布拉斯加的林肯飞往丹佛,第二段是从丹佛飞往洛杉矶。林肯是个小城市,所以第一段航班的飞机很小,因为我早就知道飞机上的行李架太小,所以我托运了行李。第二段的飞机要大很多,我也就没托运了,因为我在中国买的箱子是标准尺寸,可以很容易地放入任何国内航班的行李架上,所以我以为美国也是一样。

因为我是美联航的新顾客,所以我被安排在第4组登机,也就是最后登机的那一组。当我上飞机后,飞机上已经坐满了乘客。当我放行李的时候,发现我无论怎么试,都不能把箱子塞进行李架,原来美国航班上的行李架要比中国的小很多!很多乘客已经就坐,全部看着我,弄得我非常尴尬。飞机也准备要起飞了,我完全不知道该怎么办,我总不能把箱子随便扔到过道上吧,这样会违反飞行安全规定。

正在那时,一个美女,从制服上可以判断是飞行员,走到我跟前,笑容灿烂,说“Honey,让我来吧。”

“Honey?”我心里一惊。在中国文化里面,这是一个很调情的称呼。但因为我看过不少美国电影,知道美国人在这方面很夸张,所以很快淡定了下来,笑着回复道,“非常感谢!” 然后,那个美女拿着我的行李走到飞机前端去了,我不知道她把我的行李放在哪里,因为她走到一个帘子后,我也就看不到她了。

那位美女让人暖心,在异国他乡帮助我解决了困难。这趟旅行还有一点令人难忘,我坐在窗户旁边,从高空中看到了科罗拉多大峡谷,还看到了历史上著名的California Trail。