The Garrulous Flight Attendant

August 5, 2008

in Attendant & Pilot Stories

Seeing some of these stories on here made me laugh out loud, and reminded me of just about every time I fly!!! My wife and I just got back from a short vacation and the return flight was absolutely crappy. So here we are crammed into the MD 88 and I am excited b/c we finally got the 2 seats and it would be just me and my wife. So we are seated in the second to last row where you can only see the engine cover out the tiny window. No big deal I’m just going to read anyway.

Well in the back in an open seat a flight attendant (that term makes me laugh anyway) from another airline is flying standby and gets on. She is young and thinks that her job, by all accounts from her repeated loud conversation with the other flight attendant on my flight, is the most important job in the entire world. Honestly, you would think she would have been describing brain surgery or something. Well then some weather moves in, nothing big but it delays our trip an hour and a half and we are sitting on the taxiway with the engines off (not a good sign).

So here I am, stuck not moving for 1.5 hours for a 50 minute flight. So this extra flight attendant and the FA from my plane talk loudly the whole time about training, not enough pay, their airline sucks, being told to work when they don’t want to, and on, and on, and on, and on to the point I wanted to rupture my own eardrums, which incidentally she talked about also happening to her and the whole disgusting story of her infections and how her airline doesn’t support her and on, and on, and on, you get the idea. Now I can understand this little blonde FA thinking she has the most important job in the world, and her thinking she isn’t treated well enough for what she does. This is b/c she is young, pretty, and ignorant (which I’m trying to be nice and not call her a moron). But shame on my FA on my Delta flight, I mean do your damn job and check on people, and stop bothering people around you, I mean you are at work here so act like it.

Honestly, this girl was the most annoying person I’ve come across in a long time, and she wasn’t pretty enough to overlook it either. I mean just turn your conversation down 30 decibels, oh that’s right, you are trying to talk loud so everyone will look and say, “Wow, I hope I’m just like her one day, she is sooooo amazing,” get a life, you are not the most important person in the world, nor is your *ahem* job.

Add to all this the 15 year old single mom next to me whose kid screamed nonstop and continued to throw her pacifier at me over 10 times to which the mom would slap her hand and say, “Don’t do that again,” yeah that will teach them, wow that is scary, no wonder kids today grow up the way they do.

Anyway I just had to share this, b/c years ago I actually worked as a pilot, and the industry has just gone down the crapper. Instead of flying being something respected and elite it is just a “cram your big asses and screaming kids in our seats, deal with all the crap you have to b/c we are giving you decent fares” kinda world and if I didn’t have to fly to get places I wouldn’t.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous October 9, 2008 at 12:25 pm

wow,well,its not just passengers who can see the unprofessional behavior of cabin crews but pilots as well!im amazed every time i fly,unfriendly ,not even attractive,to bad the airlines dont do a better job selecting the ones who really want it ,who have the nicer personalities,instead of the ones who stand there with attitude thinking they are so great.


Anonymous October 9, 2008 at 1:06 pm

bravo!pilots as well as passengers are seeing the unprofessional ,unfriendly behavior of cabin crews!to bad the airlines dont do a better job screening the ones who are genuine in their personanlities rather than these phonies who stand there with their arms crossed in the back of the plane doing nothing!


Flies-A-Lot October 10, 2008 at 7:59 am

You know, it occurs to me that it's not too hard to figure out why U.S. airlines are all in the dumps! I mean, look at these flight attendants! I don't know what group of brain dead broomhildas do the hiring and training?! You've got to work to have an attitude that bad. Now imagine that same gal 30+ years from now which is what you'll see flying internationally with the highest paying customers…Imagine what other bad decisions and ideas are being green lighted in airline boardrooms if they can't even hire decent people that have a good attitude!


barbi October 14, 2008 at 5:49 am

I think everybody should be a flight atttendant for 1 month and then they would get it. The only part of the job the passengers see is the beverage service (easy-anyone can do it). What people don't see are the 8:20 layovers, calls from scheduling at 3am to report at airport at 5am, being thrown up on (really!!!). So please, unless you have been a flight attendant, stop writing about bad attitudes. It isn't the flight attendants fault that the plane is late and the gate has changed.


Anette November 18, 2008 at 8:25 am

Wow. I am amazed.

(Been reading a lot of these stories now, so this comment is not for this story specifically.)

Both my parents are ground crew for a norwegian airline, and I've been flying at least fifteen flights a year my whole life. I've never had a single bad experience with flight attendants, and passengers (whiny kids and all those weirdos who crowd the baggage carousels after the flight – the ones who need to have their entire family standing a tenth of an inch away from the carousel) are usually possible to ignore if you are polite yourself and don't calculate having to run from flight to flight.

Do you people have insane expectations, or are norwegian/european airliners just extremely good?

Please remember, everyone, nowadays you pay NOTHING for a plane ticket (compared to what it costs the airline) so how can you expect everything?


Sheila November 21, 2008 at 10:48 am

She wasn't pretty enough to overlook it? Are you serious? What does attractiveness have to do with this? And a moron, too. Wow. And as far as complaining about their jobs, well, walk a mile in our shoes. As the above person stated, layovers are shorter, hours are longer, passengers are ruder (yes, I am a flight attendant – I once had a passenger sneeringly tell me my job was to just serve drinks – I wonder just who he would have gone to if his child had started choking or his wife became ill?), pay is less – we are working more for less pay – flights are fuller and we don't enjoy that any more than you do. Now, I might add that most flight attendants are hardly morons. About half the flight attendants I know have degrees, for many (including myself) this is a second career. Lest you people think I was a waitress, I have a four year college degree and was a paralegal for 10 years. So I really resent the moron comment.

Anyway, a little politeness (which is an increasingly rare commodity) can go a long way toward good humor from your flight crew. And keep in mind, we are really there for your safetey, NOT just to serve drinks. We don't discuss service for one minute at our annual training. We discuss how to save YOUR LIFE.


Anonymous December 25, 2008 at 3:12 am

sheila,who are you kidding?what are you going to do besides open the doors and activate the slides,oh yes ,and shout?i fly often ,they are rude unfriendly and some are down right nasty looking,if safety was the only reason for the airlines to haul you around then anyone should be able to do it!


Ryan February 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Excuse me, Barbi, but you (I assume you're a flight attendant) chose this job. With that comes all that the job entails and yes, I mean, being thrown up on. If you don't like it, get out, but don't take it out on the rest of us. Enough with the excuses! Everyone has aspects of their job they hate, why should yours give you the right to mistreat people because you're unhappy with it?!!! That goes for all flight attendants and other service related jobs.


MT April 2, 2009 at 9:45 am

What exacty do you suggest the mom do to keep her child from throwing her pacifier on a plane, sitting on a runway, where she has no other means of discipline at her disposal?


Katherine April 2, 2009 at 9:51 am

Dear Flight Attendants. Quit acting like you are doctors. If someone on the plane started choking, I could help them, if someone got sick, I know how to give an epi shot, if the plane was crashing I bet I could figure out how to open the door and let the slides out and then direct people down them. I am 22 and have zero "in flight training." So if I could do all that then basically your job is completely moot. Except to serve drinks. So quit whining and start serving with a smile. You are basically doing the same thing as a waitress for a much higher pay check.


jaymoney April 2, 2009 at 10:31 am

Hint: buy some head phones/Ipod, whatever


Military Man April 2, 2009 at 11:47 am


I don't mean to belittle you, nor am I seeking sympathy but I have little compasion for you. Many people have said it alreay if you don't like it, QUIT! I've been in the military for 12 years now and when I get called at 3 AM it's not to go on a 5 hour flight, it's to say goodbye to your family for 6 to 12 months at a time, getting shot at and seeing your friends blown up in front of you. I don't complain about my job because this is the career I chose for myself. FAs (and everyone else for that matter) need to quit making excuses for being rude to people…


FromTheHeartland April 2, 2009 at 12:15 pm

wow…the indifference of people. Amazing. I wonder if this is an American thing, or has the whole world gone nuts. Listen up; you're ALL wrong. Passengers, you need to remember that you've solicited a particular type of service that requires you to be confined in a limited space in a not-necessarily-so limited timeframe with strangers of all sorts, leading to the possibility of heaven only knows what types of situations, and the only thing you can really count on is that things are going to happen; things are likely to get to some level of discomfort. So, given that you have freely made the choice to be in this type of situation, it is YOUR duty to ensure that whatever YOU do does not cause , or at least minimizes, discomfort for others (and that includes for FAs). And it wouldn't hurt any discomforting situation that might arise if you offered assistance vs. indifference or complaint. FA: it's your job to provide good service to the passengers on your plane. Your passengers have a right to expect that the company they've paid for the service, gives them good service. And that's not just getting them from point A to point B. You do not have the right to decide to be nice or not, helpful or not. It is your job, and everyone would be better off if you did it with a smile. But in the absence of one, at least do it politely without indifference or spite. People….it is EVERYONE's job to ensure that ALL persons on board a plane are treated kindly, fairly, respectfully and with compassion – should a situation call for some. Remember yourself…remember who you really are, and don't check that at the counter. Carry it with you onto the plane.


fuzzbeans April 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm

MT: slapping a child's hand is NEVER appropriate discipline. Putting the pacifier away is what you do when your child continues to throw it. This is very basic discipline and every parent should be aware of it.


Anonymous April 2, 2009 at 2:29 pm

I love it! A bitter pilot. Must have been dumped by a pretty flight attendant once.


Jeff April 2, 2009 at 9:56 pm

+1 On the military comment, 48 out of your last 52 hours spent on a plane..yet somehow we dont have all the bitching and complaining…suck it up maybe?


Jenn April 3, 2009 at 12:24 am

Reading a lot of these comments and stories, I have to wonder how much you people think flight attendants actually get paid?

It's only a bit above minimum wage, if that, for most airlines. I applied at several airlines a couple of years ago and upon going to orientation at every single carrier, I left as soon it was over and did not bother coming back for my scheduled interview times. Why? The pay sucked, the hours were ridiculous (even if they'd been offering twice the pay), the benefits were a joke, the schedule stability (relying on a certain number of hours per week) was non-existent, and above all: we'd have to deal with people like you assuming it was only about being an in-air waitress (with no tipping involved).

Fuck that.

Flight attendants who read this: you have my absolute admiration, even when you do cop a massive attitude with me over petty bullshit.


last boyscout April 3, 2009 at 12:21 pm

jenn, your last sentence was ridiculous. They, like you,had the option of refusing a job if it had shit pay and hours.Your condoning bad behavior because their life is miserable and they can take it out on others?

CORRECTION: FA's who read this:Do your fucking job with a smile and if you cop an attitude over petty bullshit-go fuck yoursef


AL April 3, 2009 at 5:54 pm

"What people don't see are the 8:20 layovers, calls from scheduling at 3am to report at airport at 5am, being thrown up on (really!!!)"

I was going to say the exact same thing but Military Man beat me to it – sounds like the army except way easier!


Jean H Ely April 3, 2009 at 8:30 pm

I've been in public service for almost 30 years, and generally succeed in being friendly and helpful.

Once in awhile a customer arrives who treats me as the absolute lowlife he/she thinks I am– I must be, otherwise why would I be in such a lowlife position as to serve him/her?

I also know fellow workers who think each customer is a dumb, whining problem just waiting to happen. I've known customers who have been mistreated by this kind of bitterness.

Now, let's wrap this up and put it in a gigantic flying sausage. Let's make the aisles too narrow, let's make the seats really small, so that anybody with a girth over 44 has to buy an extra seat. Let's sail the sausage above the earth for one hour, two hours, eight hours. What's going to happen in this scenario? Any guesses as to how this would work out?

Oh, and we need to cut the benefits of the flight attendents. Oh, and we are busy imposing fees on the customers. "That's two bucks for a blanket." Sheesh, why don't we just set up a boxing ring? FA's vs Passengers– but the winners are always the airlines.


Anonymous April 4, 2009 at 12:46 pm

the whole point is that the airlines have all these qualifications to be a flight attendant,but yet you dont see them on board?they werent nasty at the interview or they wouldnt have been hired,i know several people who would make great attendants and were turned down.the airlines know what they are looking for,and its not the sharpest tool in the shed.


Courtney April 5, 2009 at 3:57 am

Geez, I think I understand why flight attendants can sometimes be in a not so great mood. They have to put up with you people all day every day.


Jason April 5, 2009 at 4:04 am

I am a flight attendant. I have been one for 10 years. I really don't understand the other flight attendants who think this is the most important job in the world.

I love my job. Yes we are there for safety, but we are also there for the comfort of the passengers. We are there to serve food and drinks. Part of the job description is to be kind to the passengers. People forget that part I guess. I understand why passengers get upset when fa's are nasty. They are uncomfortable, cramped, next to someone that smells bad. I get it. They don't need nasty fa's on top of it.

Maybe it is just my personality, but I treat the customers well and cringe when someone I am working with feels like the passengers are garbage and treats them that way. I mean there are some really nasty passengers but you deal with it in a professional way.

To the fa's that are complaining about the job.. GET OUT. We don't want to work with you either and am tired of the complaining.

We have a job that let's us see the world. We get paid well after a few years.. (well at least at my airline. I know some major US airlines are treating employees wrong. Mine is not.)

The fact is that most of us can not ever go back to a "real" job because the flexibility, amount of time off, and travel benefits cannot be matched.

If you have short layovers pick up different trips. If you are whining about the pay, work more hours.

I don't get it. Stop complaining about a job that really is awesome. You would realize if you had to get a real job that you had it pretty damn good.


last boyscout April 5, 2009 at 9:30 am

i want to be on Jason's flight


JC April 6, 2009 at 6:00 am

I keep hearing about the wonderful service of years past. IF all of you want that, pay for it. First class airlines fail. We all have a greyhound price model then people get on and expect the world for 88 bucks coast to coast. So either get an account at Net Jets or, pull out a coloring book, a box of crayons then shut up and color.


Anonymous April 6, 2009 at 1:48 pm

we need more jasons!you are so correct,finaly a flight attendant who agrees withthe rest of us.they hire the wrong people!


Anonymous April 9, 2009 at 4:21 am

Is Jason real? Something about the way its written makes me think Jason is a passenger using a creative method to try to convince FAs to look at the good things they have and be nicer. If that's the case or not, its a good lesson.


Jason April 10, 2009 at 7:34 am

I am really a flight attendant. I am on a trip right now actually. I don't know how to prove it.

I was just trying to say we are not all bad. There are a lot of good flight attendants, but there are also a lot that should be doing something else.


S April 15, 2009 at 7:27 pm

I'm a flight attendant for an international airline. (non US, European carrier)

Yes the pay sucks and no we don't have the perks we once had. But… no one is holding a gun to my head and forcing me to do it.

You would never ever heard me say "I'm here for your safety as well as your service"! Who on earth thought up that line. Yes I've done extensive training but that's a given. I also underwent two weeks of service training and take great pride in my work. If my customers (not passengers) are happy it makes my day oh so much easier.

If I'm tired or crabby when I'm getting to work I always remind myself that it's not my customers fault so I'm not going to take it out on them.

I think one of the reasons that flight attendants who are past their prime carry on working (I call them sky hags) is the seniority system in the US and the strangehold unions have over most airlines.


voni April 19, 2009 at 4:32 am

um… i'm sori bt 2 me ths al snds a bit lyk wingy bullshit. i sympathise with thhe FA's becaus they hav 2 deal with bitchy moody pepl and i sympathis with the ppl who hav to deal with the moody FA's really i do bt SUCK IT UP!!! ther r peopl with way bigger problems than having to deal with rude inconsiderate people but i no it can be hard. the only thing to do really is try and be nice to people and hope that they'll return the favour. if they don't they're arseholes, but you can't help that. but who ever wrote this, you just came over as very whiney to me. sorry but it's true. i'm ffrom newzealand and i have only experienced british and ameriican flights twice, but it didn't seem so bad to me and here in nz the FA's in general are pretty nice. this coment is all over the place isnt it… oh well 😀


Anonymous April 20, 2009 at 7:49 am

lol definatley a bitter pilot! get over yourself sir. there are plenty of good flight attendants out in this business. you try dealing with rude/clueless people all day. yes i chose my job. but what i cant choose are my passengers. most of them are awesome too. its people like you sir, (and i say sir because im assuming your over the age of 60 due to your miserableness)that make flight attendants miserable. and if you feel that the service is so awful…DRIVE next time.


rolf April 22, 2009 at 2:37 pm

I know some FAs are just horrible.

Depending on the airlines, then can be a minority, or not.

You sound like you had a previous bad experience with one… anyway, IMO your behavior is not flawless. you could have called another FA and politely asked her if she could ask the annoying FA to lower her voice or move somewhere else.


Anonymous April 25, 2009 at 5:38 am

just do your job the best you can or get out.its about the fare paying passenger,not your ego!


Anonymous May 3, 2009 at 3:20 am

this pilot is very correct,she is an idiot.there are lots of them.flying is nothing like it used to be,its gotten really bad,i dont see hardly any problems on flights ,i fly quite often,what i do see is rude ,unhelpful,cabin crew who have no interest in their passengers or in the company that employs them.


MW July 14, 2009 at 9:28 pm

ugh where i live there are a lot of teen moms that don't take care of their kids. discipline the motherfuckers, or i swear to God i will.


AH November 9, 2009 at 5:36 pm

The whole problem with this that some people were never told "nobody cares" when they were young. No one cares about how many times your doctor got paged last night, that your nurse has to work mandatory overtime, that your hairdresser's ankles hurt and, therefore, no one cares about what sucks about being a flight attendant.

Save it for online or your friends. They have to care. Otherwise, be professional and suck it up like the rest of us. Especially if you're in uniform and representing your airline.


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