Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why I Fly International

This is stolen from Peach; she's a domestic flight attendant. These truly are the people they deal with on a daily basis. You Americans are the worst!

I must say the economy has sent people overboard. Working in the airline industry is a very different lifestyle all together. We meet tons of people daily, traveling all over the world, and hear tons of crazy stories. However yesterday drove me to the brink... I was working a flight from Chicago to Newark. We had pulled away from the gate and got word from Air Traffic that we were still delayed for 1hr 15mins on the runway. Of course the passengers were driving us nuts asking for a movie, water, refunds etc. After the 1hr 5min delay, we took off. Luckily, it wasn't a longer delay due to the fact that Chicago O'Hare and Newark are known for AT LEAST a few hours delay. Soon we were airborne. While getting the beverage cart ready, someone rang their flight attendant call button. I said "Okay lets get that bell when we move to the top of the aisle." A few seconds later we began our service. As Terence (the other guy working with me, he is new..it was his 3rd week working for us) was pulling the cart forward a man approached him yelling, "It is sooo hot, I need food, are you going to do something about it? this is pathetic." Terence, being new shook his head and said "Okay sir, have a seat, be with you shortly." Then I stepped in saying "Sir, do you have a problem?" Well..that sent things over the edge. "Yes, I do. I have a problem with you all not taking care of the situation." He then stood and began screaming at me. Well, I screamed back. "SIT DOWN. SIT IN YOUR CHAIR RIGHT NOW. NO ONE EVER RECEIVED ANYTHING BY BEING RUDE." He says "I will show you rude, your rude. This is pathetic. How many more minutes do I have to spend on this airplane?" so I keep yelling, "Sir, minutes are irrelevant compared to your behavior at this time, sit down. I have had it with you. You are acting like a child." So he didn't give up. He got in my face pointing at me screaming while his wife yelled "Shut up and sit down Tom!" Well I didn't give up either. I am sick of people thinking they can run over us. Needless to say, TOM (a 62 year old man that needed to be put in his place) wanted to keep standing his ground. I served him a sandwich as nicely as possible, thinking he would not say a word. Then he yells again "I need all your employee information. You are pathetic." My reply "Oh okay, so now your being mature and calling me names. Trust me honey, you will have all my information by the time we land and the NJ police* meet this flight." He kept yelling... and called me a few names from his seat. When we landed, cops met the plane. TOM began yelling at them as well. I then stepped into the jetway with Tom, the police, the captain and the rest of the crew. Tom then yells "I should hit you, you are pathetic" directed towards me. So, here I go again "I wish you would...I could take you old man...I would have a knee to your spine in a second and you would be biting the curb." Then the Captain said "Hit her..I WISH YOU WOULD." The NJ police let me say whatever I wanted. SO I told him how he is a ridiculous grown man that has no respect for women. Needless to say, he got so irate that they threw him face down and handcuffed him. Then TOM was on his merry way.

I can't believe this..I really can't. I am still in shock. The economy had completely driven people to this point, and I am not dealing with it on a metal tube at 35,000ft. I am really burnt out at this point. I need a vacation. Everyone thinks my job is just "peachy". However, times have changed. People are hateful towards others... such a sad, sad situation. Not sure how much longer I can take this job... just needed to vent. Then to top it all off... our turbulence was severe enough to almost bring me to tears. I landed in ATL this morning in 200+ mph winds and we nearly "bit the bullet" is what the captain said. I have never been so scared during a landing...I cannot believe we keep landing in these conditions...

*NY/NJ Port Authority Police handle any sort of aircraft situation at EWR, LGA, and JFK as well as the bridges, tunnels, rails, and ferries in NYC and Northern Jersey. Rent a cop they are not!

Domestic flying was burning me out because of how poorly scheduling treated me, multiple legs a day with minimum rest in between, and horrid horrid passengers that made me want to move to the prairie land and live in isolation. International passengers know the drill, know how to behave (and if they don't, they're American), and are followers of the golden rule. European nations have this societal believe of taking care of one another; not us and it shows.

1 comment:

John in MRY said...

Heya! Love your blog

As a former F/A (both Dom. and Intl.) I see what you're getting at...but why is it just on the pax? Do you really think a European F/A would have egg'ed Tom on that way? That the Captain of a European carrier would have said "I wish you would hit her"? That the police would have just stood there?

I'm not, in any way, excusing Tom's behavior...but in this case it looks like the finger is pointing at two people.