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There are two categories of film celebrities. The heavyweights- who always get mobbed no matter how hard they try to disguise themselves, and the lightweights– who wear obvious disguises (read sunglasses) so that they do get mobbed.
On board our flights, the heavy-weight category receive the lion's share of adulation from all and sundry, starting with the 'special- handling' ground staff (who come to see them off) to the fellow passengers (pax) who literally thank their 'stars' that they are sharing space with a celebrity in a sealed flying capsule. The lightweights keep their sunglasses on, throw some attitude around, and if they still fail to receive attention, they are prone to make a scene in order to get it.
Salman Khan-Sleeper Hit!
A few years ago, actors Salman Khan, Pooja Bhatt and Dia Mirza were traveling in the Executive Class to attend one of those infamous star studded shows in Dubai. Bhatt was seated right next to Salman and the two were in a jovial mood. They were both laughing most of the time, presumably at each other's jokes.
Some Privacy Please: Salman Khan
Many of the economy pax were aware of the presence of Salman Khan on the aircraft, courtesy the 'sighting' at the airport-waiting lounge. Some were trying their best to approach the thick curtain separating both classes, however as it was time for the flight to take-off, the ever- efficient crew made sure that those passengers were firmly belted into their seats.
One plump, child-like Gujju pax in his early 40's pleaded that he be allowed to see Salman before take-off. He refused to sit and added with stubbornness 'I will tie my belt only after you let me have look at my Salmanbhai's face. He is my favorite!'
The distraught airhostess walked hurriedly to Salman's seat, not knowing that the gujju pax had followed her like a child who was about to get his 'favorite' candy. While she apprised Salman of her predicament, the child-man stood inside the exec.class, just in front of the dividing curtain and within earshot. Salman grinned at Pooja and told the hostess "Just tell him that I am asleep!" Hearing this Pooja Bhatt burst out laughing loudly. When the hostess turned back, the crestfallen pax had returned to his seat and appeared quite disappointed by his 'favorite' hero!
Cabin Crew Security: Hrithik & Suzanne Roshan
Hrithik Roshan-'Thumbs' Down to Gas!
Hrithik Roshan was flying abroad along with his pretty wife Suzzane. They sat in 1A & 1B in the first row of the First Class. Their first and most explicit instruction to the crew was that they would not like to be disturbed by any fan whatsoever at any time during the flight. We duly respected their need for privacy and took all necessary steps to keep other pax from coming anywhere close to the First class cabin.
I may add here that the crew has various other duties to perform, besides the apparent ones like serving food and drink. These include matters relating to the health and the well -being of our pax, especially somebody needing first aid or medical assistance. Now, one lady in the club class suddenly complained of pain in the chest. Not wanting to take any chances, we ran helter– skelter, some paged for a doctor, others rushed to gather oxygen bottles and a few cleared away other pax around the sick lady so that she could breath freely. In the process, one star struck fan managed to sneak up to seats 1A &B, hoping to chat with the Roshans. 'Can I see your lucky thumb?' the man asked in excitement.
This infuriated Mrs. Roshan so much that she not only told the pax to 'Go away!' but also fired us crewmembers for allowing the incident to occur. No amount of explaining about the unwell pax could calm Suzzane down, who even threatened to report the crew to the authorities.
Of course it was discovered that the ailing lady's chest pain was just a case of gas, but the Roshan's received a 'thumbs' down from the crew for their attitude!
A Gentleman--Anil Kapoor
Anil Kapoor-Last Star Standing
The older stars though, deal with the adulation differently. Anil Kapoor, who was a big star at the time, was flying London-Bombay in the first class. One lady pax from club class was literally pleading with us to let her go and meet him. We passed on this lady's request to Anil Kapoor, who was engrossed in the in flight movie. Kapoor took his head set off, buttoned his shirt and asked us to send her in. We led her up front towards his seat. No sooner had she approached him, Kapoor, a thorough gentleman, got up from his seat, and paying due respect to the lady, he folded his hands in a cheerful Namaste.
They exchanged a few pleasantries and chatted a while about which movies of Anil Kapoor she liked best. But as long as the lady stood there, Anil Kapoor did not sit down in his seat!
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