Apr 17, 2001
The guy lying face to face with me said, "I've been on over 100 of these flights and this one's the worst uh huh".
I'll bet he'd never done it staring down an old Canadian boy. But calm, wow. Maybe they'd all done this before, on parachuting missions over in Nam during the 70's, saving us from the Red Tide. Or perhaps these were the guys that saved Private's Ryan or Lynch from other, different bad guys. All these questions and more, I asked myself. About 5 minutes later the Captain announced that everyone could go back to their seats, or maybe it was leave there seats to go to the washroom. He probably didn't even know about us lying on the floor in the back of his cavernous flying tube.
We were cruising over the Bering Sea, just off the tip of Alaska when I heard the Captain of our B777 announce that the flight attendants should return to their seats. I bounced a couple of times like a football against the walls of my tiny toilet cubicle before I was able to open the door. A flight attendant who was lying in front of me shouted "on floor please". I immediately went to the floor and grabbed the last row's seat leg with my left hand. My right hand slid helplessly on the outer door of the rounded washroom corner. The flight attendants who weren't able to make it back to their jump-seats for safety reasons were issuing orders, seemingly unable to communicate with the cockpit. There were two attendants, three passengers and myself. I could tell by the looks on the attendants faces that they were scared. One moment I'd feel almost weightless, the next far too heavy - a sign that we were going up to fast then down to fast. Level her out please, or get the hell out of this storm Captain, I said to myself. There was however a strange calm amongst my fellow floor mates throughout.