“Human Bone Marrow — Do Not X-Ray”

On my Ted flight from Washington to Tampa on Tuesday night I was standing on the red carpet waiting to board (yes, for the first time ever I actually stood near the red carpet waiting), when I noticed the lady in front of me had a big red cooler. I figured it was just a really hungry passenger. 😉 Nope, the cooler had a piece of paper on the side which read “Human Bone Marrow — Do Not X-Ray.”

Sounds great, but I’m queasy as hell. The thought of a paper cut is enough to make me crawl up in a corner and close my eyes (sorry Gray, I guess I won’t be pursuing your career path), let alone bone barrow. 😉 Anyway, given that she was a 1K and transporting that stuff in a cooler, I got to thinking that maybe she transports stuff around the country/world for a living. If so, neato!

On a different note, this flight was staffed by Seattle based flight attendants, and I’d say the four of them had about 250 years experience combined. Yes, all flight attendant jokes at United revolve around Seattle based flight attendants because they’re outrageously senior, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. These four were fantastic though, and I got to talking to them. You wanna know what’s sad? In Seattle you’re on reserve if you were hired in 1980 or later. Yes, that means someone that has been with the company for 29 years is still on reserve! Similarly, as they told me, in order to even stand a chance at working the Seattle to Narita flight in the most junior position you need to have been hired in 1960. Yes, that’s nearly 50 years with United just to stand a chance!!!!

Filed Under: Travel, United
  1. I get to go to the operating room as part of my research fellowship tomorrow to shadow a surgeon while he performs an open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair . I’ll let you know how it goes.

  2. If you’ve been a FA with Untied for 50 years, shouldn’t you be retired by now? Or have employee benefits been cut so far that FA’s don’t retire anymore?

  3. I actually had a friend who did bone marrow transport. He would often be called within 5 hours of the flight. ALways in full Y (or F) and always on the most direct routing. Unfortunately he was OKC based at that point so he didn’t always get to credit to one alliance. Told him that he always should have.

  4. @ Ken — LMAO, good question. I have to wonder how the TSA is trained to “inspect” bone marrow coolers, and what kind of documentation they need. I’m sure it’s more than just a sign on the side of the cooler. I was also wondering whether this was urgent enough to have as classified as a “lifeguard” flight, but there was no such tag for our callsign on Channel 9.

    @ Gray — *Faints*

    @ HunterSFO — Nah, why should management let flight attendants retire? It’s so much easier to just take away their pensions, but their pay, and let them work an extra 30 years for the same moeny. 😉

    @ Chris — Wow, neato!

  5. I’ll second the high quality Seattle crews, whatever their age. I’ve had some of my best domestic flights in and out of there.

  6. I just saw this on a flight from Munich-Phila and mid flight the man transporting the supposed “Bone Marrow” with the paper on the outside saying so and DO NOT xray openned the cooler and took out a full glass bottle of beer and his own bottle openner and poured it into a glass to drink. QUITE concerning and makes me wonder what other illegal/phohibited items are smuggled onto planes in this manner. I contacted TSA to report what I saw.

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