Because of my position with Wien, I was often authorized to fly in any available and empty cockpit and cabin crew seats. This was before I went through training and became certified as a flight attendant on our 737-210 (back in the good old days). I almost always set up front when flying into my airports to keep current with the areas and to talk to the flight crews about what information they looked for from me (they didn't always trust the FSS) so the cockpit seat was always fun of course but the most interesting is sitting in the front flight attendant seat on a 737 in full passenger configuration. This puts you in a position to look back just after lift off. Now sitting in a regular seat facing forward, you don't really notice that 15 to 20 degree (or more) climb but when you are looking back, it seems like it is 45 degrees or more down and quite scary and if it were not for the shoulder harness, you would fall forward toward the rear of the aircraft. When facing back, a person tends to concentrate on the ceiling but does see the floor way down below which makes the angle more steep but while looking forward, the person tends to concentrate on the floor and doesn't notice the ceiling.
I was traveling on another airline (my competitor) from Anchorage to Seattle on a 727 one time. I had flown that airline enough that the cabin crews recognized me just as Western Airlines crews did on my trips to Hawai'i out of Anchorage.
On this one flight while riding in first class, I noticed the crew having a hard time opening bottles of red wine to serve with their steak meal. Dry corks for some reason and it was taking too much time away from meal service. Good old Ern goes up front behind the screen and offers to help if they wanted me to. Have at it guy.... Think I might have even got a kiss on the cheek from the senior flight attendant. Hmmm but I will never tell.
So I set down on the front flight attendant seat (and fastened my seat belt as all good passengers should do at all times) where the passengers couldn't see me and started opening the bottles and poured as the ladies needed them. Kind of used good old bush ingenuity you might say to get past the dry corks. As I recall, I ended up with several bottles of very, very good wine (with dry corks) and another bag full of miniatures. But, no date, darn it...story of my life.
I may have mentioned this before but I used to have a lot of fun with the great cabin crews on the Western Airlines flights from Anchorage to Honolulu and if any of those gals/guys are reading this, PM me and swap stories. Often the girls would ask me to change seats and sit next to an over wing emergency exit just in case. At times, they would ask me to change seats and sit next to some guy that was starting to cause trouble. In cases like that, I would tell the girls how to mix a special drink so the passenger would not know there was no alcohol in it but still taste like it did. I have seen some ladies actually believe they were drunk and had been drinking nothing but straight orange juice plus my special mix. This gave the girls more time for the rest of the passengers that deserved their attention. If I happened to be sitting in coach, one of the girls up front would usually bring back a first class meal to me. That was really great because their inflight meal service in first class was outstanding, especially the steaks. Kind of hid a bottle of wine and crystal wine glass along with the dinner too. All of these things really made my airline work out of this world, or, at last 33,000 foot out anyway. At times with a light load, the girls would sit down with me about 3 am and we would tell airline stories. That ususlly ended up with so much laughter that we woke up the sleeping passengers around us and than they would join in our conversations. Many of those passengers took home stories that their friends probably could not believe. That was when flying was really fun. That was when the ladies could actually pull out a nail file and do their nails in flight.
On the Anchorage to Honolulu flights, Western always had a contest to determine the half way point. A passenger wrote down what the hours, minutes and seconds would be to the point of no return and it worked both ways on that route. The flight deck would give all the good information such as temps, altitude, winds, etc. I always used the same times and as I recall, 3 hours, 23 minutes and 32 seconds. Guess what, I actually, according to the flight deck, won several times. Other times, I won just because the flight attendants were having such a hard time with the passenger that did guess the correct time so they gave the award of a bottle of Western Champagne to me instead just because. I remember a few times I turned it down and asked that it be given to another passenger traveling alone that seemed to be feeling very sad for some unkown reason. All of a sudden, the rest of the flight for that lady became a happy trip. The ladies would never know I had anything to do with it but it sure made Western look like the greatest airline flying at the time to her.
Western had the same contest on the flights between the west coast to Honolulu and on all of those trips, I never won anything.
One of the jokes (joke hell, it is true) that I always like to tell: I used to date a beautiful ex Playboy Bunny in Anchorage but never a flight attendant. Crazy airline life, huh?
And people say working for an airline was hard work. I had to go back to work to rest up enough to play more on my bi-weekly flights out of Prudhoe Bay to Maui for 5 years.