The captain announced the approach over the Mediterranean into Tel Aviv and there was an air of expectation in the cabin. The two sonorous “pings” announcing the beginning of the plane’s descent had not yet gone off and the crew had disappeared since serving the duty free assortment. The different passengers had dozed, read, prayed or chatted. The plane, unusually for that route, was half empty, probably because the missiles had scared off idle tourists. The plane was sandwiched between a light blue sky and sea; the white shoreline snaked beneath.
At the front of the plane, the curtain was drawn across the galley as the crew chatted comfortably in the small space. Or so the passengers thought. In fact, flight attendants Carl and Andrea were having quick, quiet and furious sex in the corner, oblivious of the other attendants at the back of the plane. Occasionally Andrea reached up to turn a lock, and open a microwave door, slamming it shut, so that passengers thought the flight attendants were busy working.
It had begun as a bet. They had been flying the Stansted route and had noticed a couple of young passengers fondling each other in the back row. She had her head down on him and he was trying to hold a newspaper strategically over her so no one in front or on the side would notice. Carl and Andrea had been amazed at the daring. They had joked about it.
“I bet we could do it in the galley. Some of the newer planes have curtains that close round the galley. On a slow flight, no one would notice…” Carl had launched the challenge.
“Are you kidding? The other flight attendants would notice.” Andrea had tossed her long blond ponytail and smiled at the thought. “Anyway, it would have to be a real quickie…”
“Not if it were planned right. It depends who the crew is. If the others get along well, they’ll chat at the back and we could be free to have a fling.”
“Come off it.” Andrea had giggled, flicking him on the chest.
But the idea had worked on both of them. The chemistry was there, the opportunity too. They tested the timing on a trial run. After the service, the other flight attendants strolled to the back and took their seats to chat. Andrea and Carl had about ten minutes of absolute calm, assuming that no passengers got up to ask for water or information. It was a chance, and they were both willing to take it. On the Tel Aviv run it was possible because the flight left early and a lot of people slept, dark cloth eye patches over their eyes, while others fingered their prayer books and shawls and stood swaying in the aisle, praying.
Andrea had worn a skirt and instead of panty hose, garters and stockings, with no underwear. She had worn flat shoes, no heels. She had meticulously planned the Kleenexes in her bag, the condom in her waistcoat pocket and a push-up bra to show inches of flesh. She had to make Carl respond as quickly as possible, although they had both reached such a high pitch of sexual tension that it was an almost unnecessary precaution. At the same time, she should not show any sex appeal to passengers, to avoid the groping hands. The only advantage of the Tel Aviv run was that the religious Jews kept their paws to themselves and spent more time praying than looking or touching.
Carl was speaking to a middle-aged woman in the front row who was in a chatty mood. She had asked him what some of his funniest memories were of flying. Most of the plane was still asleep.
“We once had a passenger who did not understand any of the languages on board. We asked her several times to store her baggage under the seat, but she still didn’t understand. So I mimed it. The woman slid off her seat and crouched on the floor, looking for confirmation that this was indeed what we wanted.” Carl smiled. Andrea came up the aisle and flashed her eyes at him. “But excuse me, I must go and help my colleague clean up the galley.“ Carl broke off the conversation. Andrea stepped into the galley, pulling the curtain closed behind her. She started to rustle the bin bags as if she were getting ready to lock them away. Carl stepped to the curtain and inside the galley. The curtain stayed closed behind him. They had ten minutes.
She stood facing the containers. He reached up under her skirt, and gasped to find flesh where he had been expecting panties. His desire was immediate. He stroked Andrea’s blond hair. She stood with her legs slightly apart. He lifted her skirt and unzipped his trousers, thanking Easyjet for having designed stewardesses’ skirts with a double fold at the back. Holding onto the door of the microwave, she passed him a condom, which he rolled on quickly, sliding into her from behind. He fitted in as snugly as a flea in a whorehouse. She was warm and damp and the proximity of the passengers turned them both on.
They had agreed beforehand on no kissing. They had figured out that if anyone opened the curtain they should just look as if he were standing behind her reaching for something. He had to take her from behind. For a first encounter it was not ideal, but if it worked they could then explore further.
They both climaxed quickly. Just in time, as he was pulling up his zipper when the curtain was pulled back and one of their colleagues enquired why they were taking so long and hadn’t they heard the captain’s announcement. Andrea turned around and said “We were just checking the muffin count. Let’s go.” She thought how lucky they had been. While the sex had been quick and they had both come, it was not a satisfying encounter. They would have to try it again.
The next time they were distributed their flight routes, Andrea and Carl checked quickly to see if they had a common run on the Tel Aviv line. Although it was considered the worst run, and the route planners tried to rotate the crews to even out the favourites and the less so, neither had complained after the run so they were given a joint run a few weeks later. Midsummer, hot weather and sticky, fussy passengers would make it even more exciting.
For a few months they enjoyed the airplane sex. Then Carl realized that he was fantasizing about taking Andrea in lifts, in car parks, on the train – wherever there was proximity with other people and imminent possible discovery. So they got more adventurous. As Easyjet flew them round the world, they tested out other venues. The back of the Sagrada Familia, leaning against each other while other tourists sauntered past, trying to maintain a straight face and calm countenances. Lying under the shady trees that lined the stone steps of Knossos, large tent skirt spread over Carl’s knees to hide the commerce happening underneath. In the lift on the way up the Eiffel Tower. The tension made them on edge and each gesture was a turn on. Somehow, they didn’t get caught and they didn’t see each other outside of flying time.
The sex was exciting, but it remained just sex. There was little conversation other than the usual cabin chitchat about routes, flights and timetables. And of course the time and place of the next adventure. Until Carl began to dream about Andrea at night. He thought about her when he was with her and when he was not. He began to want to develop the relationship beyond sex. He told her so. She agreed to go out one evening in town, without any sex. Just a nice meal and a drink. They met at a small informal bar in town. They had the whole evening ahead of them with no pressure, no deadlines, no boarding times and no passengers to herd through the plane. As they sat down, Carl’s heart fluttered and he thought how desirable Andrea looked. In a slinky blue dress, she was slim and elegant and he suddenly understood that he had fallen in love.
As Andrea sat opposite Carl, she suddenly realized she had made a mistake. It was the danger that had attracted her, the mirage of a hunky man who could perform. She had not really seen the person behind the sex. It would be a long meal, trying to make conversation and anything serious. Being a high flyer was one thing, carrying on a regular relationship was quite another. It was, she decided, not one that she wanted. She got up, patted Carl on the shoulder, and said “Thanks, but no thanks” and walked out of the café.