Physical strength will not always win out in a contest between a man and a woman. Sometimes, as in the way this stand off between a BA air stewardess and a male passenger she caught stealing drinks from the galley ultimately ended up, female authority, emotional intelligence and simple determination, will be enough to beat male physical strength and over confidence.
“Smile!” Ahmina laughed as she snapped the young man who she had found going through her underwear drawer when she returned unexpectedly to her hotel room. John had been so embarrassed at being caught, he agreed to give in to Ahmina and was then securely tied and gagged by the stewardess while they waited for reception to call the police.
“I’ll be posting these pics on Instagram.” the victorious young woman giggled. “I hope you don’t object, my friend!”
John found he wasn’t able to, even if he wanted to!
Jimmy and I ran for freedom, launching ourself towards the narrow departure gate door that was slowly closing, our escape and victory tantalisingly close. But at that final moment, two familiar uniformed female figures appeared from nowhere in front of us. They smiled infuriatingly, rolling our own cases ahead of them, crammed with the incriminating evidence.
“Too late, gentlemen!” grinned the stewardess on the left. I almost sobbed as we found ourselves delayed by the women and the gate slid closed with a definitive, locking thud.
I couldn’t even bear to look at Jimmy. My eyes were misting with frustrated tears as the two stewardesses tied our defeated and demoralised hands behind our backs. Once bound, the stewardesses turned us round to face them, smug smiles on their faces. “I believe these cases are yours, sirs?” the girl on the left smirked.
That was enough. I couldn’t help myself, bursting into frustrated and bitter tears.
This eagle eyed female BA ground crew had spotted this man sneaking around parked Airbuses in a restricted area. Her name is Liz Mayweather and she after challenging the man, she took him prisoner and made him lie on the tarmac with his hands behind his back while they waited for police and she seated herself precariously in the engine of a nearby 747.
I came across the pair of them and took some pics of the interesting scene. Liz told me she would have handcuffed the guy if she had been issued with cuffs and expressed nervousness he may still get away before the cops got here. “Why not use your scarf to tie him up, Liz?” I suggested.
“Good idea!” the young woman responded and as I ambled off to take more publicity shots, I looked back to see the determined ground stewardess crouching next to her prisoner, tying his wrists!
It took three female Eva Air flight attendants to subdue an unruly passenger when he tried to break into the cockpit of a flight from Taipei to Beijing. The man, understood to be a Russian national, apparently believed the plane was about to crash.
He kept shouting “Stop this plane!” while we were restraining him.” revealed crew manager, Hayami Tsai (pictured between her relieved colleagues above) after the shocking incident.
Eventually the stewardesses were able to tie the man’s hands behind his back with yellow cord and then half guided, half carried him, shouting all the time, to a crew seat at the rear of the plane where he was securely strapped in (see picture on right above).
Taiwan Airport police later detained the bound man who underwent psychological assessments.
“It was very frightening,” Hayami smiled, “but my crew were not fazed by the size or aggression of the male passenger and responded admirably!”
“The drugs were hidden in these cans of children’s fizzy drinks,” Japan Airlines (JAL) crew manager, Ikumi Okada (pictured centre above) explained.
Having been alerted of the possible presence of smugglers on her flight, Ikumi and her two colleagues, stewardess Kazue Hara (pictured on the left above) and stewardess Hasumi Kaneko (pictured on the right above) approached three Australian men who matched the description of the smugglers given to the crew. “They claimed they were drinks salesmen, pitching a new product to Japanese distributors,” Ikumi smiled. “When we opened a couple of the cans we discovered high grade cocaine in there, not pop!” Unable to deny the discovery the three bogus salesmen soon surrendered.
The crew confiscated the men’s stash and while Ikumi notified both the captain and Tokyo Airport police of the smugglers’ capture, Kazue and Hasumi took the Australians to the rear of the plane to tie them up for the rest of the flight.
Displaying the hidden drugs after the women had handed their bound and disgraced captives over to police, Ikumi commented: “Suffice it to say, these cans will not be in a supermarket near you anytime soon… at least not in Japan!”
The three witches sat us down in a passenger lounge to wait to be collected and then they sat opposite us in all their short skirted, nyloned legged glory, and proceeded to mock us.
“Do you think they thought they could make thousands on the black market, Rokiah?” the girl on the far left asked her friend sitting next to her, smiling smugly.
“I’m not sure, Tanusha,” Rokiah replied, taking a slurp from her ice cream. “Perhaps we have caught two criminals wanted by Interpol! What do you think?”
“If they are international criminals,” remarked the girl on the far right, “they didn’t try very hard to get away with it. It was easy capturing them.”
“Perhaps they are just the worst thieves in the world, Yih-wen,” speculated Rokiah. “Is that so, gentlemen?” she added, turning her mocking words to us. “Are you the worst thieves in the world?”
I just stared at her bitterly, furious that our scam had come to naught. Jimmy looked ashamed and stared at the floor. Of course neither of us could reply to the woman even if we wanted to: our hands were tied behind our backs and we were both gagged with Air Asia issue uniform scarves. I had been tied up by Tanusha and Jimmy by Yih-wen, when the stewardesses caught us, while Rokiah bossily supervised our capture.
“Nothing to say for yourselves, then?” she asked sarcastically, then all three vixens fell to chattering to each other in Malay and Chinese, and Jimmy and I were left to our bound misery.
“What did he do, Maryam?” I asked when I arrived to collect what I had been told was an unruly passenger on Air Asia senior stewardess Maryam Yusof’s flight from Jakarta.
“Sexual assault.” replied the woman promptly. “And refusing to follow the instructions of a flight attendant!”
“This true, fella?” I asked Maryam’s prisoner.
The handcuffed Australian looked at me glumly. “I guess so.” he admitted. “I was pinching her bottom during the flight and she told me to stop….”
“But he didn’t, so I took measures!” finished Maryam.
“So I see,” I smiled as the stewardess, now also smiling, took the young man by the arm and directed him towards me. “And I want my handcuffs back later, Adrian,” she warned, “they are Air Asia issue and I know what you Aussie cops are like!”
I laughed at that. “You have a long memory, Mrs Yusof!” I replied.
“Yes, honey, I’m afraid it was. Did you really think someone like me would be interested in a fat old bad breathed slob like you?” Jemima (if that was her real name) giggled as she snapped pictures of the furious but helpless Cesar, as he rolled around helplessly on the hotel room floor, bound and gagged.
“Thanks ever so much for your watch, laptop, credit cards and dollars. I’ll be sure to spend wisely!” the bogus air stewardess laughed. “And just one more for my gallery of fat rich sexist idiots I regularly rip off!” the woman added and clicked Cesar’s ignominy once again.
With that, the “stewardess” rolled her case full of the man’s valuables out of the door. “I’m sure the chambermaids will free you in the morning!” she taunted, giggling again.
The hogtied Cesar was left alone and wondering how he could have been so stupid, to fall for the oldest trick in the book, and asking himself how he was going to explain to his wife the loss of all their joint credit cards!
“You’re making exactly the right decision,” Sofie, the KLM senior stewardess, told Andreas, the confused young man who had pulled a self assembled illegal gun from his coat pocket and begun threatening passengers and crew.
It had taken the experienced crew manager one hour, all her conflict resolution training, and just enough female logic and reason to finally persuade Andreas to surrender to her. The young man was actually smiling slightly as he made his weapon safe and placed it on the floor of the aisle of the plane and at the feet of the woman who had remained steadfastly seated throughout the drama.
“I think we are both relieved, aren’t we, Andreas?” Sofie remarked, moving the gun surreptitiously under her seat with the back of her heel.
The man dropped his arms to his side, even as Sofie stood up. “What happens now?” he asked ruefully.
Still speaking gently, the stewardess moved to search the young man, who allowed her to do so with a semi amused expression on his face. “Well after I have checked you have no more lethal surprises on you, I will take you into custody until we land.” she told him.
Andreas sighed. “Does that mean you put me in handcuffs as well, ma’am?”
“It does.” replied Sofie and gently inclined her head to one of the other stewardesses to fetch the restraint equipment while continuing to look Andreas in the eye. The man nodded and placed his hands behind his back. “I would prefer it if you were to cuff me, ma’am.” the young man said with dignity. “It would seem… fitting.”
“Of course, Andreas.” the woman replied with a smile.
“I’ve had enough, ma’am. I’ve trapped myself! Prison is the only place I want to go now - please take me in!” I said.
Thankfully the stewardess took pity on me. She tied my hands behind my back with her scarf and took me to the nearest Airport policeman so I could carry on and complete my confession to the proper authorities.
It had been a madcap chase, and I think Billy, Jimmy and I had actually enjoyed it in a funny way. Chased by three attractive Air Asia stewardesses who seemed determined to capture us, our surreal adventure ended in a deserted Airport warehouse. It was like a rather more serious game of hide and seek as we out of condition old men tried to escape the clutches of these athletic young women by trying to find ever more interesting refuges before one of the girls would discover us and the chase would be on again!
Eventually, exhausted, we were rounded up, one by one, and frogmarched to a clear space in front of rows of wooden storage pallets and made to kneel down. I noticed with some pleasure that our young female captors were quite breathless too. The senior one on the right took charge. “We know you are the thieves, so we are taking you in to face justice.” she told us grandly. “Stay on your knees and prepare yourselves to be tied!” I shrugged and glanced at my friends. Billy looked like he wanted to cry and had bowed his head,instinctively already placing his hands behind his back as the other two girls brought up several coils of rope they had found in the warehouse lying around. Jimmy was smiling like he was positively looking forward to being tied up by uniformed air stewardesses. I was philosophical as I felt the girl on the left approach me, walk behind me and bend to pull my arms behind me and loop rope around my wrists while my friends were similarly bound. We had had a good run for our money, I thought, literally in the last twenty minutes!
The only thing that irritated me about the ignominious end to our careers was the self satisfied and smug smiles on the faces of the women as they surveyed their handiwork after they had finished tying us up. It was infuriating (for the superior looks we had to endure, kneeling and bound, just see the pic!)!
“I’m sorry, sir,” Sunita said to the agitated man in a baseball cap as he approached the cockpit, “I’m afraid I can’t let you go any further. You are causing a security breach. I must ask you to return to your seat.”
The resourceful crew manager continued to smile at the man throughout, in line with her conflict resolution training. “But we must turn around!” the passenger persisted. “God is telling me we will crash unless we head back to Delhi!”
Sunita, still smiling and looking the distressed passenger in the eye, gripped the man by the arms of his fleece and said: “I’m sorry, sir, but unless you follow my instructions immediately, I will be forced to restrain you!”
The passenger continued to mumble alarmingly about conflagration and hellfire, but he ceased trying to push by the stewardess to the cockpit door. Keeping a firm grasp on him with one hand, Sunita gratefully received a pair of airline issue handcuffs passed to her by one of her crew with the other.
“Now, sir,” said the woman gently, “would you like to turn around for me there? That’s right, you’re doing really well. Now if you could just work with me so we can pull your arms behind you…? Well done!” Pulling the bemused man’s wrists together, Sunita expertly clicked the handcuffs into place, with the familiar double crrrk sound, securing the passenger’s hands together behind his back. “Oh dear,” the man said rather unexpectedly, seemingly realising he was now bound, “am I in trouble, ma’am?”
Sunita patted him reassuringly on the shoulder and guided him towards another stewardess. “This lady will look after you now, sir,” she told him. “Take him to the back of the plane, Binita,” the crew manager said quietly to the other woman, “sit him in a crew seat, strap him in and tie his legs. Do not take his cuffs off unless I say so!” Binita nodded silently, and took the subdued passenger by the elbow and walked him down the aisle, away from the cockpit, talking to the captive soothingly as she did so.
Sighing with relief, with passengers staring at her wide eyed with mixed expressions of anxiety, gratitude and respect, Sunita got onto her Dect phone and contacted the captain.
“Everything’s under control, Tony,” she said into the phone, smiling broadly when the pilot answered, “but you owe me a drink in the bar after we land!”
“Not only was the gentleman displaying signs of intoxication,” crew manager Andrea Dixon explained to me when I asked what was going on (she was incongruously sporting a New Year hairband decoration I noticed), “but he had helped himself to two bottles of champagne from the galley. This is what we found in his hand luggage when we searched it. He had drunk the other one! I’m afraid our season of goodwill doesn’t extend to thieves!”
I nodded my understanding and approached the restrained thief.
“Bitches!” the drunk traveller slurred at me from his seat to which the stewardesses had bound him with a mix of tape and cords. “They’ve tied my hands! Especially that vixen in charge! What sort of start is this to my New Year?”
I sympathised but, given the girls intend to hand him over to the police at Heathrow, he is certainly unlikely to be a free man again until after the Holiday!
I watched, anguished, as Eva Air stewardess Dao-ten Wu, rolled my case behind her with a delighted smile on her face. She indicated with a wordless inclination of her head that I was to follow her. I got into step alongside the young woman. We might have been mistaken for friends or colleagues initially, except that whereas Dao-ten’s hands freely gripped my case, mine were handcuffed tightly behind my back, signifying my status as her prisoner.
The stewardess had first exposed me and then apprehended me, on the flight from Beijing to Taipei, ignominiously handcuffing me as we stood in the aisle, in front of all the other passengers. I gazed longingly at my seized case, filled with the hidden jewellery I had planned to make a fortune out of on the Taiwanese black market. Instead I now faced a shameful walk across the foyer of Taoyuan Airport as a disgraced and bound captive of Eva Airlines, to the police office where Dao-ten would happily hand me over for arrest.
As I contemplated my night in the cells, I wondered if my pretty young captor would be in the newspapers tomorrow morning, hailed a heroine, at my expense.
Although they knew it was on the cards, the girls still couldn’t believe it when the three smugglers they had cornered finally gave up. Holed up in a room of the old abandoned Eva Air Social Club, just outside Taoyuan Airport, with the pursuing women having locked or barricaded the exits, the Australian fugitives really had nowhere to go. They had been subject to regular calls from the stewardesses to end their crooked scheme along with promises of a good word put in with the police if they surrendered. Eventually the smugglers recognised the futility of their situation. The inevitable end began with three bags being flung out from the gang’s shadowy hiding place towards the besieging cabin crew.
“They must contain the drugs,” said Chia-ling,(second from right above), wide eyed and fascinated, to her colleagues. Then the girls heard Mitchell’s familiar nasal voice, but no longer supercilious and arrogant, but tired and beaten : “OK, ladies, you win.” he called out slowly and wearily. “We give up. We’re coming out.”
The Australian men emerged one by one, their hands raised in surrender and stood in front of the determined stewardesses facing them. Brown and Lewis stood with bowed heads, their despair and shame at the situation obvious, but the older Mitchell stared fixedly at the wall behind the young Taiwanese women, deliberately refusing to look them in the eye, his expression resentful and bitter.
The girls’ own faces ran a gamut of rather different emotions at this turn of events: Shu-ching (farleft above) laughed with delight at the spectacle; Aaliyah (second from left above); actually looked and felt embarrassed for the surrendering men at this ignominious end to their adventure, and Elmira (far right above) simply smiled with relief at their victory.
Elmira was the crew manager and it was she who broke the silence, producing three sets of zipties from her uniform jacket pocket. “Come on, ladies, let’s put these sets of cuffs to the use we brought them here for, and tie these crooks up!” she proclaimed. “And we do them hands behind their backs, no matter how much they beg us not to!” she added with a laugh.
The crew collected the ties and, chattering delightedly, Chia-ling, Shu-ching and Aaliyah ran to the defeated men, motioning and ordering them to turn round and place their hands behind them so they could be bound. Despite dwarfing the young female Taiwanese, there was no fight left in these exhausted middle aged men, and the women tied them up with ease. Meanwhile Elmira inspected the bags. Thousands and thousands of New Taiwan Dollars’ worth of drugs met her astounded gaze as she ripped open each of the small soft cases. It was even more cash than the resourceful young woman had anticipated when she and her crew began this brave pursuit of the bad guys they had unmasked on board the flight from Melbourne, all those hours ago.
“Where are the police?” demanded Mitchell, as Aaliyah finished tying his wrists behind him. “You said they were on their way!” His expression burned with fury as he realised he had been duped. “I lied.” replied Elmira with a sweet smile. “Shall we go and find them now?” Aaliyah could not help but laugh at her boss’ words as she propelled Mitchell forward and Elmira collected up the men’s incriminating bags. Shu-ching unlocked the doors to the club and the girls and their prisoners stepped out into the light of day.
Stewardess: Hey, you! I know you! You’re the guy we spotted stealing alcohol from the galley on our flight today. Don’t you move!”
Guilty Passenger: “Ok, ok, you got me, ma’am! I surrender!”
Stewardess: “Hand over everything you’ve stolen, then turn around and put your hands behind your back.”
Guilty Passenger: “Yes’m!”
Later, waiting for the Airport Police to arrive….
Stewardess: “Thankfully, I got all the missing bottles back off this creep. Luckily, I also had some airline issue handcuffs on me so I was able restrain him. Sure, you can take a picture - he’s in no position to refuse permission, are you, sir?”
Guilty Passenger [thinks] ‘God, this is humiliating!’ “No, ma’am.”
“You can refuse to speak to me all you like, sir. I will be going home to my husband and children tonight, but you will be locked up in one of my cells. You will tell me what those drugs were doing in your bag and who it was who supplied you eventually. It’s just a matter of time, that’s all.”
Still Sergei said nothing but stared straight ahead at the wall, ignoring the security officer who had arrested him.
“I think I will make your handcuffs a little tighter, sir.” said Ito. “Perhaps that will focus your mind.”
The girls were in understandably celebratory mood when Jimmy and I confessed to being the as yet unmasked galley thieves. With a feeling of wary pride, we opened our bags to reveal to Mary and Kate the extent of our stash.
“Mystery solved and thieves caught!” exclaimed Kate (on the right above) in triumph and punched the air.
“Yes indeed,” agreed Mary with a smile, “I’d almost given up hope. Who’d have thought it would be these two respectable looking gents and just one question would unlock them?”
I wanted to explain in a superior way how Jimmy and I had got away with it for so long, but found the two women were not really listening. “Come on, Kate, let’s tie these two up,and leave them for them for the police to find. I want to get to the hotel.”
“Great idea,” her friend replied, putting Jimmy into a double armlock and propelling him back inside the plane, “I’m keen to get out of this uniform, shower and hit a bar too. Come on, you!”
Mary took me more gently by the arm and followed Kate and the captive Jimmy who was complaining she was hurting him. “I’ll find the restraint rope,” she said to Kate, “and we can discuss what to wear while we get these two idiots bound and gagged.”
“But, don’t you….?” I began but then gave up. The girls in their minds were already sipping sangria on a Spanish terrace somewhere..