What’s worse than having a drunk, a smelly football team, or a flu-ridden passenger next to you on a flight? … A hen’s party!
Yes, it happened to me on my recent flight from Dubai to Istanbul.
Now I have to say … I didn’t mind them so much because it was actually like watching the cast of Footballers’ Wives act out an episode.
The entire hen’s party were from Manchester in England and they were heading to Istanbul to party hard with the bride-to-be before her big day.
If you’re not familiar with the masterpiece that is Footballers’ Wives, it was an over-the-top
dramatisation soap opera about an English soccer team and their WAGs. It was so popular it even spun off the television series Footballers’ Wives: Extra Time, and featured bogan characters like Chardonnay, Mel, Tanya, Lucy and Bruno.
After boarding the plane, the hen and her party then tried to rearrange everyone in the cabin so they could all sit together. I prayed to the Upgrade Gods that the flight attendants would take pity on me, and offer me a seat in first class so that the hen and her hennettes could party on in Rows 9 to 11. (They had two overhead lockers stuffed with booze.)
Alas, the Upgrade Gods were clearly on vacation because guess who got stuck with 8 hens in a block of 9 seats. That’s right. Lucky old me.
Okay, I could deal with this, I thought. After all, I already had my sights set on immersing myself in the selection of movies. First up, A Good Day to Die Hard (Die Hard 5 for the uninitiated). I put on my headphones, turned up the volume and suspended belief with Bruce Willis.
But then … they started singing. Clearly, a few of them thought they were 2013’s answer to Sugababes or Destiny’s Child because they were harmonising and weren’t shy about belting out a chorus here and a verse there. All before the plane left the tarmac.
By the time we got in the air, they announced that they were going to get rowdy (by saying: “We’re going to get rowdy everyone!”), ordered up big when the drinks trolley came around and were asked no less than 7 times by the cabin crew to keep their voices down.
While Bruce Willis was doing a pretty fine job of keeping me entertained, clearly other passengers had not yet discovered the meditative affect of a Die Hard movie. I could feel various passengers getting antsy. There were dirty looks, not so subtle messages and a far bit of eye-rolling among passengers while the hen’s party remained standing in their seats and poured drinks into their own coloured plastic champagne flutes.
They were out of control and various members of the cabin crew tried to reason with them. To no avail.
Until something happened to change everything. One of the hennettes waved her hand in a flourish and knocked her green plastic champagne flute all over … you guessed it … yours truly.
While I do like bubbles, I typically enjoy them more when I drink them, not when my clothes are soaked in them. What didn’t land on my clothes landed in my dinner.
The hennettes were suitable mortified. Because apparently annoying an entire plane with your drunken discussions is ok. But spilling a drink over a passenger is not.
I realised that I had unwittingly become the sacrificial lamb on this trip. But it was worth it. Because the girls then actually sat in their seats and behaved for the rest of the trip. Well, until they decided that the descent and landing had to be accompanied with “Wonderwall” by Oasis (yes, they really did.)
Ultimately, I actually don’t begrudge them at all. They’re on a hen’s party. They’re meant to be having fun. And I certainly couldn’t help but burst out laughing when I discovered the name of the bride to be. Yes … you guessed it … and I’m not joking: Chardonnay.