A Lady In Zurich

Remember that time when my entire crew including the pilots of an international flight pulled the worlds largest prank on me mid-flight? When I embarrassed myself in front of 300 passengers? I haven’t told y’all?

I just got back from yet another wonderful trip to Switzerland and couldn’t help remembering how one year ago I was completely and totally hoodwinked and felt led to share it with y’all so that I’m not the only one laughing at myself.

It all began when the German Speaker for the flight, Dilek, pulled me aside with a very serious look on her face and said, “Christena, we have a very important task we need you to complete for the Swiss Government”

I nodded and being a new Flight Attendant was eager to help out.

She explained that the Swiss government was very strict about the cleanliness of their air… which I mean, kind of makes sense because it IS Switzerland.

What I needed to do was collect an “air sample” which I would then give to the Captain who would then give it to “government officials”.


So, being the dutiful Flight Attendant not wanting to anger the Swiss, I took the clear plastic recycle bag that was handed me and set out.

When I say I collected air… I mean I. COLLECTED. AIR. I went through the ENTIRE 757 plane with a giant plastic bag waving it furiously trying to collect as much air as possible.

I went into first class and waved my little bag as high as I could to collect “ceiling air”.

I went into each lavatory and got on my knees to collect “lavatory floor air” and finished my tour by racing through the coach section with the bag high over my head to collect as much “Coach air” as possible.

Arriving in the back of the plane I tied it up really quickly to make sure all of my hard collected air was safe and proudly handed it to Dilek.

She instructed me to sign my name on the bag and put my employee number on it so that if the “Swiss Government” had any questions, they could ask me. The final step was to hold my bag of air and get my picture taken with it for “security purposes” (I’m crying laughing just remembering all of this)

There I was having my picture taken with an empty recycle bag and it NEVER dawned on me what was going on. So I proudly marched up to the Purser of the flight and explained that I needed to give the Captain something.

So I called the Captain and asked him to come out!

He walked out of the flight deck to a redhead in a red dress holding an empty plastic bag with a giant black signature on it and I said, “Hi Captain, I have the bag of air you requested and don’t worry, I got a very good sample of the lavatory air, the First Class air AND the coach air”

To which the entire crew including the Captain burst out laughing. They were laughing so hard there were tears coming out of the Purser’s eyes while I just stood there with my bag of air really really confused.

They explained that there was no “Swiss Government Air Sample” and that the entire crew had coordinated to play this prank on me and by this point I was practically rolling on the floor dying laughing remembering how I told ALL of the passengers that I had raced by waving my plastic bag, that I was doing “Official Swiss Government Stuff”.

When I say my job is fun, I really mean my job is fun. Well except for the part when I had to explain to the passengers on landing that the whole “running around with a giant plastic bag” wasn’t really government stuff… just “gullible redhead Flight Attendant” stuff.

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Now I need to go eat a bar of Swiss Chocolate and contemplate my gullible-ness.



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