Nasty Flight Attendant

Here in New York, arriving Monday after a annoyingly long delay at Chicago O’Hare, explained by the ill-defined reason, “air traffic control.”  There were rain showers in New York and JFK Airport’s longest runway is closed for a four-month reconstruction, so this may have caused the delay – even though we were flying into LaGuardia.

The worst of it, though, was the terrible attitude of our United flight attendants.  This was their final flight to their home base so I imagine they were as eager as the rest of us to get on the flight and depart, but never have I been talked to in so martial a tone as on this flight.  They were barking at passengers about bag storage, boarding procedures, etc. 

Tawn put his larger bag in the overhead bin and folded his trench coat to place it next to the bag.  “On top of the bag, sir!  Put your coat on top of your bag!” shouted a flight attendant from several rows away, ignoring the fact that Tawn’s bag filled the bin to its ceiling.  Finally, he just put the coat in his lap rather than receive any more verbal abuse.

Eventually the overhead bins filled and bags needed to be gate checked.  Nothing unusual about this and, I would imagine, an unsurprising consequence of the airline’s policy to charge for checked baggage.  But what shocked me was the announcement another flight attendant made:

Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for the need to gate check bags.  Despite out repeated announcements, other passengers did not store their bags in the overhead bins properly so there was not room to accommodate your bags…

I cannot believe he said that.  Is there any question as to why United no longer gets my paying business?  In all my years of flying I have never heard a flight attendant use an announcement to blame passengers.

Anyhow, we’re in New York.  It was rainy last night but we had a tasty dinner at Mama’s Food Shop.  I have some pictures of this place in the East Village but they are still on the camera.  You’ll have to wait for ’em.


0 thoughts on “Nasty Flight Attendant

  1. Anyways, you guys can look forward to a fun trip in the Big Apple! I flew UA to HK last X’mas, and our flight attendants were in their 50’s, with a similar attitude as the ones in your flight. And they have a “bossy” attitude too! I guess the staff was stretched thin on the flight, hence the “bitchy” attitude?

  2. Flying most U.S. airlines for domestic flights is unpleasant at best. I wish I could say, “American is so much better than United” but it’s just as bad. Continental attendants have a better attitude and its newer planes have more carry-on space, so I tend to prefer them when I fly a major carrier (although they are cutting back on meals and such now).I have to admit that the only U.S. airline that has pleasantly surprised me has been Jet Blue. The security lines at JFK move fast (even if I had no elite status of any kind), the food court is right after the security check point so it’s convenient, the DirecTV on the seats keeps kids entertained and their personnel has a decent attitude. That said, every time I’ve flown out of Fort Lauderdale with them my plane has been delayed!Perhaps your time in Asia has exposed you too much to far better service from Asian airlines and it’s tougher to readjust to our crummy standards in the U.S.

  3. I was a Unted 100K member last year.  That is, I flew over 100,000 miles with them in 2008.  You thought I would get better treatment?  Well, well, their attitude was pretty bad even in Business Class.  I am now switching to another airline.  Some how many international airlines seems to have better services. 

  4. United is one of the larger Airlines out there, and they have some of the oldest (and most bitter) staff. Having said that, I’ve known a few nice ones out there, it’s just unfortunate that we tend to remember the buttheads.

  5. My UA flight was horrible too- we finally got to O’Hare from Phoenix but it cost us big bucks (I was so sick I didn’t care and my husband said not to think about it). The attendants were not rude just unattentive (we flew 1st class). If you weren’t waving a credit card and asking for booze you were invisible. heh. It was enough to make me turn to drink except it was too expensive! Sorry you a bad experience too.

  6. It’s so annoying when a flight is staffed by angry/rude flight attendants. I know their job isn’t easy, but it’s part of the job to be polite! America’s entire service industry could seriously benefit from some training >.<

  7. At times like this, I always think back to the days when I took my primate anthropology. The class was about resource constraints and fights within a community of chimpanzees in comparison to bonobos. It seems that bonobos are peace loving great ape because it had plenty of natural food resources, while there may be killing within the chimpanzee community because of the lack of food and resources.

  8. That was just about the time there was an announcement that the airlines would be enforcing carryon bag rules more stringently.  Maybe they just hadn’t been trained as to how to do that?  So frustrating, too, when the flight attendants aren’t nice!

  9. @TheLatinObserver – I am about to fly jet blue for the first time next month down to LA I am excited.I wish there were an international airline services with good attitude though…Oh wait, most of the Asian airlines excluding China ones do have that!Still…Jet Blue and Virgin America only covers so many airports in US…

  10. A frustrating start to your stay in New York. It must be disappointing to experience such attitude from UA. Either way, have a wonderful time and I look forward to seeing you later this week!

  11. That is so rude.  That is no way to treat customers.  The best customer service I have ever received for air travel is from Cathay Pacific and for hotel/taxi service it would be Atlantis in Paradise Islands in the Bahamas.  Even the garbage-men were happy and you could tell they loved their life.  Hope you get an apology soon.

  12. @Wangium –  yeah … JetBlue should be better than United or AA. I don’t think JetBlue would rank high up with Singapore or Thai in terms of comfort or service though! Let’s face it, given their competition they only need to provide a decent experience to stand out vs. the majors!

  13. @stevew918 – Yes, I had those “bossy” flight attendants in UA business class. One of the elderly attendants likes to treat passengers in a “commandative” tone of voice. Goodness sake! I thought we are all dairy cows waiting to be milked!

  14. Ugh, I hate united. Haven’t had great experiences with US Airways in the past either. I try to fly Southwest whenever I can unless it is absolutely impossible- free checked baggage and I have never had a bad flight crew. In fact, many of them have been downright entertaining.

  15. oh…sorry to know that you have had such an experience….even though the majority of the airlines from the North America are well known for that….

  16. What an aggravation!! I don’t think I have flown United in about twenty or more years. I am sorry poor Tawn had to hear some snooty person ‘s rude dictation. Pffffttt!

  17. never flight with a US Airline so far, but from my Expierence the Airline People are mostly friendly. Hope thats just a small bad luck. We all have a dark day from time to time πŸ™‚

  18. I have hated flying for years. It used to be a wonderful experience. Not anymore. If my destination is within 1,000 miles, I’ll drive.

  19. Gosh, North American airlines are just soooo crappy! I wonder how they even have 1 customer? Glad you made it to your destination safe despite the rude staff. 😦

  20. Chris, do you remember the old days of being a Flight Attendant?What it’s become these days is a mockery of the old days. Do you remember when being a Flight Attendant was about being a airborne concierge? When you took pride in your job, and took pride in providing the best experience for your passengers?

  21. @arenadi – I do.  There are a few people who still have that bearing about them but their numbers are in rapid decline.@stepaside_loser – When your options are crap A, crap B, and crap C, you don’t have much choice.  The airlines stay in business because there aren’t too many other ways to get about.@MateBeijing – Asian carriers offer far beter service than their American competitors.  When traveling across the Pacific, I won’t fly a US-based carrier.  Not worth the money.@agmhkg – Which is why you work for CX, right?  =D@ElusiveWords – Exactly; I have reasonable expectations when traveling economy, but courtesey is a basic expectation.

  22. @TheLatinObserver – For economy, B6 (jetBlue) is actually very good.  34″ in standard economy, 38″ in their “Even More Legroom” section.  Service is generally friendly and selection of snacks is broad.  For what it is, it is pretty good.@lcfu – @Roadlesstaken – @rhapsodymuse – Feedback has been provided to United.  What they do with it is anyone’s guess.@Wangium – I’d add Southwest to the mix; their service is still pretty good and they have legroom that is just slightly better than most of the big airlines.

  23. @christao408 – well I try my best to maintain that reputation however……I did have my worst flying experience from my dear co-workers who’re from the place I was born and grown up….what a shame, and I was not flying on an ID ticket…

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