Flight Attendant Stories: The Knee Surgery Passenger

When I arrived at the gate to work the Dominican Republic flight, I saw a note on the manifest stating a passenger was requesting an entire row because he recently had knee surgery. It was a full flight. I brought this up to the gate agent and he said, “Yeah, like that’s gonna happen.”

I dropped the subject. I walked down the jet bridge and got busy doing my security checks on the airplane. I pretty much forgot about it until we started boarding and the guy was wheeled down the jet bridge. I think they used the word recently incorrectly — it looked more like… THIS MORNING.

Or better yet, JUST NOW! 

 
There was no way this passenger could bend his knee. I said to the person behind the wheelchair, “This is not going to work. Go get the gate agent so we can fix this. There’s no way he can bend his knee for 3 1/2 hours.”
 
Which is true, because it was sticking straight out in front of him in a cast… and also because I spent 15 years of my life working as a nurse. But you didn’t have to be a nurse to figure that out, a set of blurry eyes could tell that right away.
 
Long story short, when the gate agent came down to the airplane, he offered up nothing but additional frustrations.
 
I decided to take over; I do that often.
 
I quickly moved two passenger in his row to other seats so the post op surgery guy could have an entire row and stretch out his leg.
Let me state, this is not something you should expect. You really can’t walk up to the gate and expect to have an entire row to yourself because you had surgery. That’s ridiculous. It’s NOT the airlines job to care for you after you’ve had surgery. If you need a full fucking row, then you should purchase it. Take responsibility for your life.
 
I went above & beyond for this guy.
 
I also made sure he understood that we did something nice for him, something that we were not required to do. He spoke 0% English, so it was translated for him that this was not the normal procedure and the only reason he was given a full row was because it was possible… and because Flight Attendant Joe was a caring individual.
 
Let’s just say he got me on a good day. Which is interesting because I had only slept 4 hours the night before and had no coffee during this entire event.
 
Epilogue: The sad part was, even after he was told what we did for him, he didn’t appreciate it. Instead, he yelled at me in Spanish when we landed because he had to wait for a wheelchair. I don’t regret my kindness though, I am responsible for my own actions. We are all responsible for the way we treat other people.  
Karma will come back around on him for being such a dick.

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