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Old 06-14-2009, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
6,157 posts, read 6,326,574 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
You have to understand, people just "get stupid" when they step on a plane.
Most peoples IQ is cut in half as soon as they arrive at the airport.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
2,177 posts, read 2,916,925 times
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As an active FA, I must say that this thread is fascinating. First of all, let me say that I, too, am annoyed with surly, angry FAs. BUT those are the minority. I know that when I go to work, I leave my personal issues at home. I am there not only to do the safety part of the job..the most important in my opinion, but to try to make the flying experience as nice as it can be for my passengers. I smile, I accommodate, I truly CARE if the passengers enjoy their flight!

People..please realize this. We have taken H U G E pay, benefit and work condition cuts..and I do mean HUGE. Additionally, they work us at least 12-15 hours a day most days but only pay us for maybe 6 (don't ask..its a contract thing). Sometimes the overnights are less than 10 hours from landing to take off..with another 12 hour day ahead of us. Please cut us a little slack..we are working for very little and we often are very tired. Also, we do have to serve idiots right along with the good passengers(most passengers are great).

Drunks, hostile people, fear-of-flying people, terrified young kids who are ripped from one parent to go see the divorced other parent in another part of the country, demanding people, people who think its just fine to come on board and want us to relocate 5 other people so they can sit together, etc etc..I could go on and on. If sometimes we seem surly, maybe its because we are tired, hungry (some days we don't get off to eat), abused by some rude passenger, etc.

You have a right to expect professional service when you fly. Honestly. But please, realize that there are some days when our job is very difficult. Personally, I love my job and I hope it shows.

Happy flying!!
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 12,311,734 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlightAttendant View Post
You have a right to expect professional service when you fly. Honestly. But please, realize that there are some days when our job is very difficult. Personally, I love my job and I hope it shows.

Happy flying!!
If you can maintain this attitude and perspective despite the way the airlines have hosed your profession, then my hat's certainly off to you.

But it does inspire a question. Trying your best to avoid reflecting your own positive attitude farther than it realistically goes (a human tendency with both good and bad attitudes), please tell me this. What percentage of your fellow FAs have standards equal to yours? Your best guess. A quarter? Half? Most? You hear what they say when no passengers are around, so you can provide info that few others can.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:10 AM
 
24,027 posts, read 11,941,601 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamWeavin View Post
there is one nearby me..........could ya stop in and give me a lift to Manhattan??
Manhattan, KS? Sure. Its on my way to St. Cloud, FL when we go to visit the in-laws from MT. Hope you don't mind wearing an O2 mask. I climb up into the high teens.

The other Manhattan, well, thats a wee bit out of my way.............
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:12 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
4,085 posts, read 7,671,900 times
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I do feel for flight attendants. They do deal with a ton of jerks and ridiculous behavior.

On the other hand - that is their job. Their attitude is horrible from a customer service perspective, in most cases. The article linked to in the OP is a good example. I agree with the writer that she and other FA's shouldn't have to deal with certain things that passengers, out of courtesy, can avoid. On the other hand - that is their job. If passengers did everything they were supposed to do, perfectly, all the time, then we wouldn't need flight attendants, or at least not as many of them. They have a job that is customer-facing, and they therefore have to expect to provide a certain level of customer service. A huge part of customer service is that you deal with all sorts of people and many are rude, ignonrant, inconsiderate, obnoxious, etc. Providing good customer service means dealing with all of that courteously.

So when she says something like "It's not our job to provide playing cards, etc." - well, yes and no. It's not their job to provide every little thing that everyone asks for, but they are to provide whatever they can, like a deck of cards, or magazine, or aspirin (all planes should stock a cheap bottle of aspirin in their first aid kits). Yes, some people will be jerks and take advantage; but that's part of dealing with customers.

I'll never forget the attitude I got from a flight attendant one time that really set me off. I was Platinum Elite on Continental at the time, traveling very heavily for work. I was in Dallas, had to work 1/2 a day on Friday, so I was flying home Friday evening. I left work more than 4 hours before my flight (I worked about 30 minutes away from the airport). Unfortunately, I sat in over an hour's worth of traffic due to construction in Grapevine (just outside the airporrt), and of course, from there, things don't get better... Avis took forever to check in my rental car, then the Rental Car shuttle bus broke down on our way to the terminal. It would be almost an hour before another shuttle bus got there and we switched buses. Mind you, it was in the 90's and humid - not pleasant.

By the time I checked my bag I had to rush to my gate. I got there, just made my flight. I got to rest up a bit as we took off, but then realized I was dying of thirst after such a harrowing experience. (Again, I have flown a lot, and this didn't happen to me often.) When they finally came around with drinks, I was so thirsty, I asked for 2 cups of water. The stewardess gave them to me, and I downed them right away, while she was serving the others in my row. Before she left my row, I quickly asked her for another two refills. This woman then gave me a lecture on how she will do it THIS time, but it's not their job to provide that much water and I should have bought a bottle of water in the terminal if I'm going to drink so much of it, and that I'm taking advantage. All this over water. I could understand her point to a degree - people shouldn't take advantage and abuse the beverage service on the planes; but the problem is, how does she know I'm abusing it, rather than someone who had a genuine need for the water (which I did)??? She has no way of knowing for sure, so part of good customer service is to give people the benefit of the doubt so that you're not rude to the wrong person.

Needless to say, I wrote a complaint e-mail when I got home and Continental rewarded me with some miles. It's just ridiculous that these Flight Attendants too often think they are exempt from customer service despite being in a customer-facing, front-line position.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 12,311,734 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan Mutt View Post
Most peoples IQ is cut in half as soon as they arrive at the airport.
I know mine is, by at least half. I hate every second of the process from parking to paying for parking, and every bit in between. Which is why the only way I'm able to fly is with iron control, remaining as completely neutral as possible. I just treat it like I'm in jail for a few hours and if I'm inconspicuous, neither the huge biker gang nor the hacks will even notice that I exist, and I'll get out without something really unpleasant happening to me.

Maybe that's stupid of me, but it's a situation where one is more or less temporarily surrendering all sorts of basic rights (like the right to walk away, not really feasible at 30K feet) and yielding to overwhelming power, where others have all the power and you have zero. Where an angry whim from a baggage check counter clerk could ruin your vacation by sending your suitcase to Peru. Where everyone you're dealing with is being paid insulting wages to take vast heaps of abuse, and if you give them a good reason to vent their frustration on you, some are quite capable of doing so. In such a situation, only a genuine idiot would attract attention or give someone a reason to resent them. Even with my IQ halved, I'm not quite that great an idiot.

A real idiot is someone who resents being checked for anti-tank HEAT rockets and machetes, then abuses the ticket counter because he didn't get a seat where he can listen to the toilets' soothing blast, then goes and has just enough beers to be brave but not enough to be bearably harmless, then hits on the terminal desk clerk, then gets told he cannot board the plane because he's sloppy tipsy, then gets outraged and blames the world for his misfortunes. And of course, threatens never to fly that airline again. Which is kind of like threatening never to take a particular interstate highway again.

I agree with previous posters that it was brought on by cheap tickets that enable every Jethro and Elly Mae to jet back to Bugtussle for the weekend. I would gladly pay 25% more to feel like someone gave a rip, but I guess not enough other people would. I can easily afford it for one simple reason: I have declined to take a number of trips in the past ten years, mainly because flying is so horrible. I saved a pile of money doing that, so if it weren't so horrible, I could easily have afforded more expensive tickets. However, I'm not at all sure that all the scumbag passengers are in coach. I've read some pretty amazing "Do you know who I am? Now change my diaper or I'll have your job, b*tch!" stories out of the fancy seats in first class. Life has taught me that wealth doesn't improve manners; it just makes it easier to afford hiring people to tolerate one's bad manners.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:42 AM
 
24,027 posts, read 11,941,601 times
Reputation: 10212
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_k_k View Post
I know mine is, by at least half. I hate every second of the process from parking to paying for parking, and every bit in between. Which is why the only way I'm able to fly is with iron control, remaining as completely neutral as possible. I just treat it like I'm in jail for a few hours and if I'm inconspicuous, neither the huge biker gang nor the hacks will even notice that I exist, and I'll get out without something really unpleasant happening to me.

Maybe that's stupid of me, but it's a situation where one is more or less temporarily surrendering all sorts of basic rights (like the right to walk away, not really feasible at 30K feet) and yielding to overwhelming power, where others have all the power and you have zero. Where an angry whim from a baggage check counter clerk could ruin your vacation by sending your suitcase to Peru. Where everyone you're dealing with is being paid insulting wages to take vast heaps of abuse, and if you give them a good reason to vent their frustration on you, some are quite capable of doing so. In such a situation, only a genuine idiot would attract attention or give someone a reason to resent them. Even with my IQ halved, I'm not quite that great an idiot.

A real idiot is someone who resents being checked for anti-tank HEAT rockets and machetes, then abuses the ticket counter because he didn't get a seat where he can listen to the toilets' soothing blast, then goes and has just enough beers to be brave but not enough to be bearably harmless, then hits on the terminal desk clerk, then gets told he cannot board the plane because he's sloppy tipsy, then gets outraged and blames the world for his misfortunes. And of course, threatens never to fly that airline again. Which is kind of like threatening never to take a particular interstate highway again.

I agree with previous posters that it was brought on by cheap tickets that enable every Jethro and Elly Mae to jet back to Bugtussle for the weekend. I would gladly pay 25% more to feel like someone gave a rip, but I guess not enough other people would. I can easily afford it for one simple reason: I have declined to take a number of trips in the past ten years, mainly because flying is so horrible. I saved a pile of money doing that, so if it weren't so horrible, I could easily have afforded more expensive tickets. However, I'm not at all sure that all the scumbag passengers are in coach. I've read some pretty amazing "Do you know who I am? Now change my diaper or I'll have your job, b*tch!" stories out of the fancy seats in first class. Life has taught me that wealth doesn't improve manners; it just makes it easier to afford hiring people to tolerate one's bad manners.
And that in a nutshell describes why I haven't flown on the airlines since 03. Why I put up with the hideous expense of maintaining and operating my own twin engine airplane.
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:08 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,607,588 times
Reputation: 13019
It's NOT the FA's responsibility to provide playing cards, magazines, and aspirin. They aren't bathroom attendents workign for tips. If their EMPLOYER chooses to provide this stuff, that's fine, but to expect the FA to provide something not stocked on the plane by the carrier is absurd.
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
2,177 posts, read 2,916,925 times
Reputation: 5851
Thanks to those who sent kind words.

As to the question of percentage of good-attitude FAs..dunno, hard to say. I will say that many I fly with are great, some are mediocre and some are downright terrible. When I have to work with one..or worse, TWO,with bad attitudes, the trip seems endless. I find that those of us who have less seniority than the very very senior mamas seem to be more able to cope with less than great passengers. Maybe we are less burned out? Again, dunno. My observation is that if I do my job in an exemplary style, often the others step up and do the same. Not patting myself on the back, but I think that a positive attitude is contagious, not unlike negative attitudes are also contagious.

Thanks to annerk...no, we do not provide playing cards, magazines (other than our own company's magazine) or aspirin. My company does not provide them to US to give to YOU. Trust me, I am not going to buy them out of my own pocket to provide them..not on my wages! Please, bring your own. Also, we are STRICTLY PROHIBITED from giving out aspirin or ANY meds to passengers...it is FORBIDDEN!! Reason? evidently somewhere, somebody had an allergic reaction after being given one and the passenger sued the pants off us. Again, please bring your own.

I am sorry to those folks who have experienced less than friendly or professional FAs....again tho, I think many of us try our hardest for the traveling public.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:53 AM
 
24,027 posts, read 11,941,601 times
Reputation: 10212
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
It's NOT the FA's responsibility to provide playing cards, magazines, and aspirin. They aren't bathroom attendents workign for tips. If their EMPLOYER chooses to provide this stuff, that's fine, but to expect the FA to provide something not stocked on the plane by the carrier is absurd.
Agreed. Some people think because they plunked down some money, they deserve the world.

The airlines are in business to get you from point A to point B in a safe manner. Thats all.

If you want to be pampered, charter your own jet.
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