Traveler Steamed over Slow Service

March 12, 2013

in Attendant & Pilot Stories

I fly about 7 times a year for business and pleasure, and never gave much thought to my flight attendant. Some are better or more personable than others, but I’ve never experienced a flat-out “bad” one – until my most recent flight. Returning home from Tampa to Raleigh-Durham, I said “Hello” to the one lone flight attendant. She got a very confused look in her eyes and replied, “Yes, the sun is warm.” I thought it a bit odd, but figured she misheard me.

When doing the standard safety announcements before takeoff, she was exceedingly slow and seemed very dazed. She’d break off mid-sentence and each word was spoken excruciatingly slow. I thought perhaps she was brand new, although she looked to be in her 40’s. When we finally took off, she took forever to get drinks started. At this point things went downhill fast and I got irked more than I have on any other flight that I’ve ever taken.

Being in the 3rd row of an approximately 15-row plane (4 seats in each row), I received my drink relatively soon. However, she did not use the drink cart. She would walk down and ask one person at a time for their drink preference, walk up to the front of the plane and get their drink, and then walk back to deliver it. ONE DRINK AT A TIME. I’ve been on the same size plane a myriad of times before, so I know drink carts exist on them. I even saw the drink cart at the front, but figured maybe it was broken. This method of serving wouldn’t have been so horrible, except this flight attendant was most definitely in the “obese” category and could not walk down the aisle without brushing and bumping every single person in an aisle seat. Being in an aisle seat, I stopped counting after the 35th time she brushed past my arm. I even started getting a rash on my upper arm from the burn of her fabric. I was seated next to a large man, and what little I could do to squirm my way nearer to him was of no help.

I ended up sitting with my trash until the last 5 minutes of the flight. Delivering one drink at a time took up 90 minutes of the 120 minute flight. When she had finished, she sat down in her jumper seat and did Sudoku. When the pilot announced we were halfway into our descent, she didn’t get up. She waited until the very last possible minute to collect trash. By then the plane was wavering and rocky (and nearly had touched down) and she stumbled into nearly every aisle seat. She sat down moments before we hit the ground, after reminding us to “Make sure your seat-backs are securely fastened.”

Horrible, horrible attendant. I wish I had gotten her name because after the flight I’m not convinced she wasn’t completely doped up on painkillers. Even if she wasn’t, she was NOT capable of securing passenger safety in the event of an emergency.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

xxrjxx March 13, 2013 at 10:49 am

Her response and reaction actually make me wonder whether she was having a medical 'event' of some sort…from your description, her behavior is certainly unusual if not in some respects bizarre. These are indications that she had something wrong–you didn't indicate whether she smelled like she was drinking, so can't be sure whether to attribute the issues to drugs or alcohol, but that's also a possibility.


mrsjamiecbaker March 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm

She sounds like she was in no condition to work, but at least she was trying. Better to have slow service than no service at all.


Jocunddus March 25, 2013 at 10:50 am

What some fail to realize is that the FA is not only supposed to help with drinks, etc., they are also supposed to help with emergencies and emergency evactuations. It sounds like this person was incapable of that.


Lucy May 27, 2013 at 8:27 pm



someone March 25, 2013 at 11:52 am

As a flight attendant for one of the "majors" I can tell you….you don't need her name. Simply write your flight number, date of travel, and your "to and from" destinations and they can see who was working your flight, especially if she was the sole flight attendant. Her behavior is NOT normal and would cause concern for me as well.

To me it sounds, and or makes me wonder, if she had some sort of medical condition or extreme exhaustion was at play (we work 12+hr days with minimal rest between our days) so it's possible that she was exhausted as well. Her method of service is asinine and just makes HER job more difficult. Something definitely should be said and I hope you take the extra minute to ensure that future passengers are spared the same experience.


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