Butter and a Maxi Pad: Flight Attendants Turned MacGyver at 35,000 Feet
(Illustration: Ryan McCullah)
Last week we taught you some airline slang and industry lingo and the week before gave you 15 tips to keep sane while flying — attention, passengers, this is Confessions of a Fed-Up Flight Attendant, a Yahoo Travel series where “Betty” describes the harrowing, real-life situations she and her comrades in the sky face every day, 35,000 feet away from a foot massage and premium whiskey. You think you’ve got it bad when your in-flight entertainment conks out, the Pixie-Stix-addicted kid behind you mistakes the back of your chair for a vertical trampoline, and the plane runs out of “Good Morning Sunshine” cheese boxes? That’s child’s play.
Sometimes on a plane we have to use our wits to find solutions to problems that arise with limited resources just like MacGyver used to on the TV show. Ever jerry-rigged a stuck door with butter? Become a fashion stylist — for babies — at 35,000 feet? Read on!
If these doors could talk… (Photo: Getty Images)
Problem: Stuck Door
Solution: Butter and a Maxi Pad
One day the bottom of the first class lavatory door was sticking, and it was sticking really badly, so that one person on the inside had to coordinate with another person on the outside — one pushing, one pulling — in order to get the door open. Needless to say, it was really inconvenient.
What we really needed was some lubricant, but we don’t carry any WD-40 on board. So I started thinking of what he had available that would act as a lubricant in a pinch. It was a morning flight, and we breakfasts to serve…. Butter! I didn’t want to just spread it on the floor of the bathroom for fear someone would slip, and then we’d have a whole new problem.
So I got a maxi pad out of the lav. I spread the butter all over the maxi pad, peeled off the adhesive strip, stuck it to the bottom of my shoe, and then used my foot to rub the door jamb back and forth. I kept on rubbing in order to blot up most of the butter. And, sure enough, it did the trick! When we de-planed and a new crew came on board, I told an incoming flight attendant, “If the door sticks, just put butter on a maxi pad!” Yes, they looked at me like I was nuts.
WATCH: We Really Move Our Tail For You! (A Continental Slogan from the 70’s)
Problem: Dripping Air-Conditioner
Solution: Maxi Pads