Wednesday, May 17, 2006

View from the 23rd Row

Flight Attendants.

I'll be upfront, I'm not a fan of most flight attendants. My experiences with most flight attendants has been poor.

These people are put on the plane for the safety of the passenger, supposedly. But I'll be dead honest, I think if push comes to shove, it would come as no large surprise to me, if the first person jumping out of the plane is the flight attendant, "see ya suckers." They are also suppose to assist the customer. This means different things in different arenas. I shall break it down for you.

Domestic (United States) airlines - almost all of the flight attendants I have meet while using my flight benefits, be it on my carrier or someone elses, are rude and unhelpful. They absolutely won't help you one iota with your bag. If your lucky they might look in the overhead bins to see if there is space there for you (ps, tip - just cause the overhead bin is shut doesn't mean that there is no space in there.I've seen people shut bins hoping to have it all to their own, bin hogs! In a bind, open up as many bins as you need to, till you find or make room). Most of the time they can't help with connections or moving your seat. I figure you are on your own when flying in the US (with the notable exception of Southwest, which has a brillant in-flight crew, applause). oh, domestic flight attendants who are on an internationally flight (ie New York to London) are fine, pleasant and good, but that is probably because they are very senior and like what they do.

International - Most international carrier flight attendants are ok - they will help you a bit more than your domestic carrier, but don't expect a lot. It depends on the carrier and culture of the carrier's country. Virgin's flight attendants suck. That's it, they are pretentious uppity girls who think they are da bomb when they are not. They suck. SAS has the sweetest flight attendants, who are always willing to give you a smile. I liked SAA's flight attendants as well, very helpful!

I grant you being a flight attendant is not always a fun job, the poor redheaded flight attendant on my trip back from Delhi was beyond patient despite getting the stupidest questions. But to my way of thinking, if you don't like your job, hell if you don't like people, this is not the career for you.


Blogger maggie said...

Hey Virginia Gal,
Love the site, and as a Southwest flight attendant, I just want to say thanks. You made my day. I really enjoyed reading your post on carry-on luggage. Cracked me up. I wish I could have you on every flight to say what I am thinking. Have a great night.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Maggie - Welcome! I had no idea I was being read by fellow airline employees - wow! I'm glad you liked my post, I was afraid I'd get a note from the AFA or something, but each is entitled to their opinion, no? You're sweet, I'd love to be a Southwest flight attendant, you guys look like you have the most fun, if my mom wasn't deadly afraid of me doing that job. Instead I work an office job. Also I'm glad you laughed at my carry-on luggage tip, you know its true, right? Man I hate those bin-hogs, honestly you bought a seat, it didn't guarantee you your own personal bin, is what I feel like telling them. Learn to sheare, sheesh. Cleary that is one thing they failed in kindergarten.
Have a great day as well!

9:10 AM  
Blogger RPM said...

Hi, came here from Chick Pea's blog ...

I travel on Southwest every week and I must say, the flight attendants there are usually good. The Friday night flights are usually the toughest, but they are still bubbly (or so they make it seem) and keep it interesting with their humor on the initial instructions.

I have not had much luck though, with international flight attendants. Not terribly bad, but not too pleasant either... and this is on Delta Airlines primarily.

11:47 AM  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Some comments are applicable to any position - if you don't like your job and what it entails go find some other line of work.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

rpm - welcome! wow, weekly flying on Southwest, your so lucky. I love to fly, I use any excuse to get on a plane, sad I know.
I have found that flight attendants for legacy carriers, i.e. Delta, United, are not as pleasant because there is a sense of entitlement with these work groups, protected by a Union as well (and I'm pro-union).

Joe - you are very correct, this adage works for any and all jobs in America, because you can always find something else, so if you don't like it - go somewhere else!

10:56 AM  
Blogger Merci said...

I love to fly, too. We liked the flight attendants on British Air.

We'll be flying across the country on US Air later this year. The choices are limited for a direct flight. I'm seriously thinking about vacationing with just a carry on. It would be a challenge, but it would make the air travel a lot easier. Besides, they sell just about everything I could possibly need on the West Coast, so I could alway pick up a top or a dress there, if need be, then mail it to myself afterward...

I've mentioned before that on one flight (United, I believe) the flight crew took up many of the overhead bins with their luggage. We had to sit in the last row with our bags under our feet, since the space in that row stunk...

6:15 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Merci - US Airways....oh my goodness, let's just say this particular airline is very special to Virginia Gal, one might even say she works for them (wink, smile).

I do hope everything goes well (don't write me if it doesn't, I'm not in Consumer Affairs, hee hee).

Good for you to consider flying with carry-on only! How long are you going for - a week? You can totally do it! I'll write about it for this week's View from the 23rd Row.

Rest assured I've never seen US Airways flight attendants take up so many bins that passengers had to check in bags.

10:01 AM  
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