What is it about travel that makes people so grumpy?
Everybody is angry and resentful: the passengers, the crews, the airport staff. We’re rushed. We’re crowded. The airline industry has created 90 percent of its own headache.
Are passengers that much ruder?
Absolutely. On that day, that passenger was struggling with her luggage and she ended up clocking me in the head. We got to New York. Miss Prissy Pants came stomping up to the front of the airplane and said, “Where’s my f--king bag?” I said you can collect that at carousel three.
Then what happened?
I had the PA microphone in my hand. I turned my back so that I was facing the cockpit to take a deep breath and compose myself. The professionalism wasn’t to be found. I was in pain. I was bleeding. Without much thought I made an announcement. It was the hissy fit heard around the world. I activated the emergency slide, took my libation for the road, and I jumped.
Who should play you in the movie?
I want my younger years to be played by Susan Anton and my later years to be played by Catherine Deneuve.