For the benefit of those who don’t subscribe to my Twitter feed, or don’t know what Twitter is (almost everyone), I heard a funny and mysterious message while on the plane from Toronto to London. We’d landed only minutes earlier and were taxiing to the terminal when a flight attendant said:
We have a message for Mr. Otis and Mr. Schindler – your lifts are waiting at the gate.
A couple of people chuckled, because it’s quite funny – Otis and Schindler are the two largest lift manufacturers in the world, founded by Elisha Otis and Robert Schindler over a century ago. I find it hard to believe, however, that their descendants, or even representatives, were actually on the plane – certainly no-one actually called Mr. Otis or Mr.
Perhaps the message was just a joke, but I doubt it. Most people have no idea what Otis and Schindler mean, and even if they did, I find that flight attendants aren’t usually given to making jokes over the PA. It’s not as if this message was appended to another announcement, either.
So, what was it all about? I suppose it was for the benefit of some passenger on the plane who didn’t want to be named. Or maybe it’s a codeword for an emergency, like the ‘Mr. Sands’ message on the London Underground that’s actually a fire alert.
If you have any ideas on what this message might mean, or if you’ve heard it elsewhere, please let me know in the comments. And no, this is not an ARG or anything like that, I really did hear it on the plane.