FA Fails To Communicate

January 7, 2010

in Attendant & Pilot Stories

There is a certain nationally known advocate for the deaf who frequently travels the country giving lectures on behalf of deaf awareness and bridging the gap between hearing people and the deaf community. On a recent trip she was sitting in her seat writing emails on her Blackberry waiting for departure. The flight attendants gave the order to put away all electronic devices. Naturally the deaf woman didn’t hear her.

Angered with her non compliance, the flight attendant came over to the deaf woman and literally started yelling at the deaf woman to put away her Blackberry. The deaf woman was not looking and therefore was unaware a flight attendant was standing next to her. After a few seconds, the attendant literally started screaming, ordering the deaf woman to put her electronic device away. This went on for 5 minutes. Finally the deaf woman looked up and said, I AM DEAF. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND YOU!

So the flight attendant stormed off, and came back with written instructions, a flier that tells people to turn off their electronic devices. The only problem? The flier was in BRAILLE.

After the flight the flight attendant was talking to her coworkers and was saying how she couldn’t understand why a deaf woman was so upset that she was given information meant for the blind.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Andy January 8, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Why couldn't the person sitting next to the deaf lady communicate to her that she needed to put her laptop away?


KR January 8, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Because there wasn't anyone sitting next to her. And oh yeah, your right, it's the deaf person's fault. For not being able to hear.


david January 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm

the deaf person should have been able to tell that it was time to put things away when the FA was stood over, when you loose one sense then the others go up, so she/he woulda been able to see using periferal vision/corner of the eye that someone was standing there….even people who can hear dont need to listen when sum1 is standing next to them…….many times deaf people still can hear if only slightly n not coherently so they could have known someone was there

and if he/she travels around the country and gives lectures than they should just be able to look at the person and read their lips as many deaf/hard of hearing do and it is common in those circumstances, espeically when you give lectures its pretty important to be able to do both……..when i went to a deaf/hard of hearing event at NJ expo center every1 was lip reading…….a college professor who is deaf lip reads

am i saying its the deaf persons fault? no, i am saying that they should have been able to notice someone there and understood that it had to be turned off


Marta January 9, 2010 at 4:50 am

David, It is a generalization that when you lose one sense you automatically have an increase in your other senses.

I lost my hearing a few years ago and my vision has not improved as a result. I really wish it did as I keep having to get thicker glasses every year.


guest April 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Also, if the deaf person was engrossed in what they were doing on their blackberry, they might not have noticed the FA standing there or maybe she realized someone was standing there but didn't pay attention to whether it was an FA or another passenger getting something out of the overhead.


Jodie January 9, 2010 at 5:07 am

The flight attendant was acting like an ass but I would think that the person who travels all over for conferences has been on a plane before and should know that people are supposed to put away electronic devices before take off.


Demotage January 9, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Agree. The FA was an ass, although five minutes seems an exageration. But given that this person travels around giving lectures, you'd think shed be more cognizant of what was going on around her. If shed flown before, shed know the procedures. Deaf people are neither stupid nor generally unaware of their surroundings.


Dani313 May 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Lip reading is very had and many Deaf people dont lip read. They use sign language. The FA should have tapped her the first time she realized she did not hear her. And further more losing one sense does not mean the others improve and also does not mean the FA was standing in her field of vision. Yes frequent fliers know when to put away their electronics because there is an audio announcement.


Can You Hear Me Now? June 8, 2011 at 1:41 am

Yep, if that person travels that much, she'd know the drill. And by the way, I've felt the cabin floor move when a FA walks past (and I can hear, but boy do I feel that floor give) so, upon getting ready for take off, our non-hearing passenger should have also. I'm siding with the FA on this one. And if I was an FA on this flight, I'd have her sorry azz thrown off the plane for non-compliance. Just sayin'!


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