Shut the window! There's a draft!


I didn’t realized yesterday while posting that I would have a part 2 to the Lufthansa story. But after a lovely Skype session with the hubby, I realized that this story had to be shared.

So, I’ve shared before on this blog the obsession Germans have with the state of the air in an enclosed space. If you are completely clueless as to what I am referring, please read here. The rest of this blog will really only make sense if you do.

I boarded the flight near the end of the cattle call. Look, I’m about to be on a plane for 8 hours. I’m delaying the inevitable for as long as a can. Plus, there was football on at the gate! Hello!? Who wants to leave that? Anyway, so I got on the flight, got my stuff all situated, settled in for my cozy flight, when to my right I hear those words. The famous words heard ’round Germany. The words that will forever bring laughter to my countenance.

“Es zieht”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the 2 Germans sitting across the aisle from me were looking around with perplexed looks on their faces complaining about the fact that “es zieht.” It was all I could do to keep from dying laughter. Here I was, not even 2 minutes into my German experience, and already I was hearing, “Es zieht.” After the laughing fit passed, my next thought was, “Um, yeah, es zieht. We’re in an air tight tube. Something has to shoot air around in here or we’re all gonna suffocate.”

So, of course, the flight attendant was called. Before I go on, though, I must give this couple credit. They were never rude. They were just concerned. I mean. Very concerned. Like the headless horseman was on his right then!!! (Again, if you haven’t read my other post about “es zieht” this is lost on you.) They relayed the message that “es zieht”, and it was cold and asked if the crew could turn the temperature up. Um. No. There are 300 people on this plane, half of them European…DO NOT TURN THE TEMPERATURE UP!!!! It will get hot and you know what happens to Europeans when they get hot? Yeah. Body stench. I’ll freeze, thank you very much.

The flight attendant said she could bring more blankets, but that was all that could be done. Well, over the course of the next HOUR AND A HALF, multiple flight attendants came by to address the concerns of the couple (who at this point had 8 blankets between them I might add. I’m not joking. I counted. Yes, I’m that retarded). And to Lufthansa’s credit, none of the crew ever got rude or short with the couple. I was floored. If it’d been US Airways or United, the first complaint would’ve gotten an ugly look and then the couple would’ve been asked to cough up $20 for an extra blanket. But not Lufthansa. They were extremely courteous. Finally, the head flight attendant, Alexander Stein (really, can you get much more German than that?) came over to assist them. He worked out some seat arrangement where the man could sit in another seat and also gave them a complaint form to fill out. All the while, speaking as though he’d been an NPR reporter his whole life.

Well, the man ended up getting up. He disappeared for a few hours, but after one my short cat naps and my routine stretching, I looked over to find him mysteriously returned and not only returned, but returned with a blanket wrapped around his head!!!! Again, this is not a joke. I’m telling it like it happened. Because, you see, folks, if he had sat on that entire flight with air blowing on him, he would’ve died. Really. In Germany if you have air moving across your face for too much time, you will get sick. Just like in Azerbaijan, where if you sit on cold metal, you will get sick (OK. So that came out of left field, but I’m making the point about old wives tales etc…go with me on this).

As we de-planed, I followed the couple out. As they passed Alexander Stein, he stopped them and, no joke, said to them “Thank you so much for bringing the situation in your seat to the attention of Lufthansa. You see, where you were sitting happens to be a spot on the plane where two units meet and so the airflow is a bit stronger. I’ll make sure this gets in the right hands.”

Now, I don’t know if Alexander Stein really will get that complaint into the right hands, but Alexander Stein treated them with immense respect, and gained mine.

Way to go, Alexander Stein! And odd couple, I hope you don’t have the sniffles today…but I’m sure you do because your psyche told you you would. Oh well…