View Full Version : Do Not Disturb!

07-18-2015, 12:10 PM
I was dog tired one day, on a trip. I flew out of Denver at 8:00 a.m. to make a connection in JFK for an early-evening flight to KBP (Kyiv-Boryspil, Ukraine). So, I spent most of the day just sitting around JFK. Now, I was really dog-tired. I was flying on Aerosvit for the first time, and it turned out to be a great experience, other than the fact that their business/first class seats were little better than domestic first class in the USA. I rushed the gate as soon as the gate agent announced boarding, shoved my carry-on in the overhead bin, and had completely passed out before there were 20 people on the airplane.

About 30 minutes later, someone nudged me three or four times on the shoulder. When I opened my eyes, there was this little 23-year-old Ukrainian goddess (Flight Attendant [FA]) staring me right in the eyes. She said, "I'm sorry to wake you sir, but you must be awake for the safety briefing." I answered, "For you, sweetheart, ANYTHING." She giggled and walked up to the front of the cabin for the safety presentation. As she left, she deposited a little "amenities" kit on my seat's armrest. Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, hand sanitizer, sleeping mask, earplugs, cabin socks, and a little packet of those Russian butter-cookies. There was also a little sheet of stickers in the kit. After the safety briefing, I motioned her over...

Me: What are these stickers for?

FA: If you fall asleep, we won't wake you up, unless you put the appropriate sticker on the top of your headrest.

1) there was a sticker with a simple image of eggs, bacon, and a sunrise -- for breakfast

2) there was a sticker with the moon in a night sky, with an image of a guy eating a meal -- for dinner

3) there was a sticker with an image of a vodka bottle -- for drink service

4) there was a sticker with a dollar sign and a bottle of perfume -- for duty-free service

This was quite a few years ago, and I had never seen this concept before. I told the FA and the guy sitting next to me, "This is the most brilliant, and yet, the simplest idea that I have seen aboard an airliner in Years!"

I turned my attention to the FA and asked, "So, you will ONLY wake me up if the current situation matches the situation depicted on a sticker on the top of my headrest?"

The FA said, "Yes, Sir! Exactly!"

I answered, "This is a GREAT idea!"

[ all the way up to the present day, I've never seen a USA carrier use this very simple and efficient method ]


But... back to the original story... I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. I didn't want any meals, drinks, or duty-free. I thought, "They ONLY wake you up for the situation on the sticker." I got out my pen and some tape, and modified one of the stickers. That was the ONLY sticker that I put on my headrest. It was hand-drawn, but it looked something like this...


In retrospect, my light-heartedness could have really scared someone, but I didn't think about it at the time. Fortunately, the FA took the joke the way that it was intended... "Don't wake me up unless a Nuclear War has begun."