Waiter, There’s a Screw in My Fruit

FA: “Here’s your fruit plate sir.”

sinanju: “Ah, thank you. Let’s see. Cantaloupe – check. Honeydew – check. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries – check, check, check. Screw – che … hey, wait a minute.”

Upon discovering his ripe cantaloupe paired with an unripened screw, sinanju did what any slightly troubled passenger might do and pushed the FA call button. When the call was ignored, it became clear that this screw up would soon lead to the reveal of the true crime.

Found my FA chatting in the galley. “Sorry, this part of the plane is loud, so we can’t hear the chime.” Ah… So a perfect place for your conversation, then. … even after complaining to the FA and pointing out another ignored call light in the cabin, that other light continued to be ignored by that and other FAs. I saw one notice it and actively ignore it. It was on when we landed. ~sinanju

FAs: “Our plan to claim we had inadvertently positioned ourselves in the only spot on the airplane where we could not hear the FA call chimes would have worked too if it hadn’t been for that meddling sinanju.”

As the thread progresses past the obligatory puns (iron, bolt, nutty, and yes, thread), we come to find out that this is not a one-off occurrence.

A friend of mine found a screw head in his meal on UA last year ~CMK10

I saw the exact same thing three weeks ago. In F, heard a “clank” across the aisle and saw the pax picking a bolt out of the salad plate. … If this keeps up, eventually AA will be missing an aircraft. ~Danwriter

How much might someone be compensated when served a big, fat screw you? In this case, sinanju was offered 4,000 AA miles – though as mvoight points out, it isn’t entirely clear if the offer was in compensation for the screw or the failure to respond to the call button. CMK10’s friend, however, was offered a $400 voucher and $150 e-cert by UA.

The moral of the story: If you are going to get screwed anyway, it might be better to get screwed by United.

Image by Esther Dyson. CC BY-NC 2.0.


  1. At least you weren’t on Spirit – they would charge an addition fee if you carry on about the screw.

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