From Samosa’s to ABP…..(Raipur to Delhi)

At Raipur, the air felt cleaner than Delhi. It was 11:30 AM, as it was already a delayed flight, the ground staff were buzzing in and around the plane. On the right side of the plane, the ramp team has swung into action. After opening the doors to the baggage and cargo holds, a belt-loader or a pod-loader was positioned, depending on the aircraft. “Rampie” is the industry term for airline employees who load and unload plane. The rampie inside the belly of a single-aisle plane places each piece of luggage onto the belt, and their partner takes it off the belt and puts it into a baggage cart. The carts head to the baggage room, and the luggage is dropped onto a conveyor, hopefully showing up on a carousel soon after you’ve arrived. Passengers collects the respective bags from there.


Stocking up with food 

Soon  the “Taj Catering trucks”  joined  the crowd  outside  the  plane’s  fuselage. Rising on a scissors lift, truck’s-box was matched  the height of the plane’s galley doors. I was excitedl seeing and was eagerly awaiting to get back home and narrate the preparations which goes on while we wait for the boarding announcements at the gate of the airport. The catering crew replaced used galley carts with newly stocked ones, and each cart had a code for the next location pasted on  them.It was all so well organized.There were few special meal request from passengers as Jain meal, baby meal, fresh fruits etc., the bun and butter kept on the left hand side of the tray looked so fresh and soft.It was packed separately and the passenger manifest had the seat numbers of passengers requested those meals which will be taken care by us during meal service.

After touching up my makeup and a quick walk from the forward till the aft cabin supervising the cleaning staff, I was back to the  forward galley area as the tempting smell of Samosas ( popular indian savory) was all over.Though, the after effect of this tempting smell was not seen on anyone else than me, may be its my first day  or Am I hungry again?

I shied upon my thoughts. The other crew were discussing something while checking themselves in the mirror and flight deck crew was not around. In the galley, the young crew loading the food trays was continually being instructed by a senior catering personnel who was standing right behind him carrying catering sheets and an annoyed look. I didnt liked him being bossy, and before I could express my feelings, my eyes 👀 fell on his shiny  batch on which  “Catering In-Charge Taj sats”…was printed. The effect of which was  hot and bright and was so visible on the hanging trainee batch of the poor young guy. Understanding the situation, I wisely moved and decided to be around my senior. Thankfully me and my trainee batch was comfortable enough with my co-workers.


Cleaning the toilets

Perhaps it’s not the most desirable ramp job, but  somebody’s got to empty the plane’s lavatory holding tanks, and refill the fresh water system. Rampies position a truck- or cart-mounted tank and pump unit, and connect hoses to do the work. Soon the aircaft, lavratories, galley, cabin and us were shining bright and fresh for our final destination Delhi.


I had to do all the jobs of No.3 crew in this sector and she was suppose to crosscheck me.After giving the cabin clearence  to the commercial inchrage (by  showing my thumbs), quickly whispered the name of all the gods and godesses, whom I could recall in hurry, and later realised that i missed my most favorite God.
As we saw the ramp bus we all quickly took our positions. This time No1 was welcoming from the front door and no 2 from the aft door and three of us were in the cabin to help avoiding any chaos with the seat nos and stuck passengers, recalling what happened in the last sector

The passengers looked more at ease then the first sector. The complimentary snacks due to flight delay was served at the airport. Other than a couple of confusions due to pax seating on wrong seats, or few seats exchange all was good, and soon we were closing the overhead lockers.

Will you make a good ABP?

ABP means an Able bodied passenger.
It’s airline lingo for passengers who are selected to assist an airline crew during an emergency, per the DGCA . But what makes a good ABP, and above all, what does an ABP do?
The selection of ABPs is based on their ability to understand instructions, the physical ability, and the ability to stay calm. Naturally, priority is given to off-duty airline crew members, and police/fire/military personnel. It makes sense as they are already trained for.
So the extra leg room which comes with the seat near the wings has the responsbility of helping the crew during emergency evacuation process. I took my  own good time scanning the person sitting there as ABP, and so looked at him a little longer than required and the result was all over his face while I briefed  him about the exit
He said : “I am glad that I got this seat”..
Looking at him I felt he is all set to open the exit right now and make a  titanic pose  on the wings, so decided to keep an eye on him.
I was really annoyed by myself.
Anyways, I went ahead and reported “Overwing Briefed” to the senior.
Meanwhile the paperwork was done passenger manifest was handed over and ground staff deplaned. The  airplane door was heavier than i thought, and I couldn’t close it alone . Finally with the help of the other crew and by almost hanging on the liver finally pulled it down. The flight deck was briefed “Door Closed”.
The PUSHBACK and welcome announcement started together, meanwhile in cabin  a newly appointed husband was still struggling to guess which scarf 🧣 does his wife wants  from her bag in the overhead lockers. He settled down after five wrong picks and  two looks from his wife.😀!!
The cabin was ready and the demonstration was about to begin!!
I took  the demo kit from the locker above the crew seat.Its a set of seatbelt, an oxygen mask and a  saftey card (life jacket demo is for the sectors which has its take off and landing path above the sea).
I arranged myself and stood infront of 119 pax , and all the eyes was at me..I was confident enough…just than  i saw Mr. Thappar !!!
OHH!!MY GOD! What is he doing here? Is he really Mr.Thappar !!!
All were requested to kindly draw attention to the front of the cabin for the flight
safety demonstration, and I was still looking at him!!
You all are also kindly requested to keep looking forward to my next post to read….
*Who is he?
*What happened while I was arranging waters ?
*Does the ABP ever stopped smiling ?
 Till then keep reading,keep sharing  your experiences….

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