The controller who was working a busy pattern told the 727 on downwind to make a three-sixty (do a complete circle, usually to provide spacing between aircraft).
The pilot of the 727 complained: "Do you know it costs us two thousand dollars to make a three-sixty in this airplane?”
Without missing a beat the controller replied: "Roger, give me four thousand dollars worth!"
I've heard a corporate driver make this same complaint once and to be honest with you, it really annoyed me. ATC doesn't give turns like that for their enjoyment, they do so to keep us safe and to maintain their separation requirements. I think pilots are acting highly selfish if they complain when given off course vectors. I have found that the more you are willing to work with ATC, they more they will feel like reciprocating.
Matthew Stibbe says
In my experience too, ATC are very helpful if you work with them. I've had many examples of busy controllers going out of their way to get me a direct routing or a shortcut on a complex airways plan. But never let the truth get in the way of a good joke! 🙂
I know it's in French, but this one is becoming famous in France: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWAyR7bzRuU
It's a recording of a controller in Paris asking a pilot to slow down. The pilots asks why he's penalized this way. The controller answer "there are only two runways", to what the pilot reacts with something like "There are two runways, and two controllers. You do nothing. We had compensated for our delay, this my last flight and I'll go into retirement in a very bad mood". The controller then says "I don't care", and the final pilot answer is really, really not polite.