Thursday, June 11, 2009

I've Worked In The...

...hospitality industry for 10 years now and I have put up with my fair share of rude, inconsiderate, and non-thinking people. And I think that you find some of the worst people in hotels. But the one industry that beats the dummies in hospitality is the airline industry. I just don't know how they do it.

Here is an article that I found on Yahoo that list some pet peeves of flight attendents.

1. Bring your pet on the plane and then act like an animal.
Over the years, I've seen a pet on a passenger's lap, a pet tucked into a seatback pocket, and a pet loose in the aisle (I nearly hit one with my beverage cart). All of this is against federal regulations. People tell me how well-behaved their pet is, but they can't follow the rules themselves! Your pet must stay in its carrier while you're on the plane. Yes, even if you've paid a "pet-in-cabin" fee.

2. Shove your bag into the first bin you see and then walk to your seat in the back of the plane.

You think you're clever, I know. You expect to grab your bag on your way out of the plane, but you're selfishly inconveniencing others. I can't lie and say we flight attendants don't take some small satisfaction when we tell you, "We couldn't identify the bag's owner, so we sent it to cargo." It's a security issue, for real. Carry-ons need to stay near their owners! So don't look so shocked when we say, "The signs will direct you to baggage claim. You can pick up your bag there."

3. Think that because you're on an airplane you're off-duty as a parent.

Stop expecting us to have spare diapers, formula, medicine, toys, playing cards, or batteries for DVD players or Game Boys. It's an airplane, not a 7-11. Take your kid to the restroom before you board. Leave the dry cereal and Legos at home and bring snacks and toys for your kids that won't make a horrible mess.

4. Drag on an oversize bag that's too heavy for you to lift by yourself.

I won't be compensated for any injuries I might sustain if I heft your bag into the overhead compartment for you. (And other passengers shouldn't have to step up and take the risk either.) The guideline is simple: You pack it, you stack it. Try this at home as a test (and this is to you ladies, especially): After you've packed your bag, put on the shoes you plan to wear on the plane and see if you can lift your bag and place it on top of your refrigerator. You can't? Pay the fee and check the bag.

5. Gripe that you haven't been seated in a roomy exit-row seat.

The exit rows weren't created as a reward for people who are tall, overweight, or just plain nice. They were designed to help passengers get out of the plane in an emergency. The people seated in an exit row must be able to see and speak clearly, open the emergency door, and help others. I prefer to see uniformed military, firefighters, law-enforcement officers, or off-duty pilots and flight attendants sitting in those seats. While the gate agent may assign exit-row seats first, the flight attendant makes the final determination about who gets to sit in them. And the quality of our choices is one of the frequent concerns of Federal Aviation Administration officials when they audit airlines for safety practices. So please don't complain. I'm just doing my job.

6. Act like you don't know the meaning of the words "under the seat in front of you."

Someday I will be muttering "under the seat in front of you" in the old-age home for flight attendants. What is it that you don't understand? To be clear, items should not be stowed behind your calves, under your feet like a footstool, in the open seat next to you, or in your lap. It's under the seat in front of you. And it applies to everything you carry on board. Items stored carelessly can trip others, or dislodge during takeoff and get lost, or inconvenience others. And while I'm on the topic: Please don't wrap your purse (or umbrella strap) around your ankle to keep from forgetting it. What will happen in an emergency, when every second counts and there's no time to disentangle yourself from your precious bag? Will you drag it ball-and-chain-style down the aisle of a burning plane?

7. Whine about the high price of flying.

When I hear people complain about coach airfares, I know they're not keeping up with the news. Fares have rarely been cheaper. In recent years, it's not uncommon for you to be able to cross the continent for under $130 each way, with a maximum of one layover. It's a bargain! At that price, you're barely paying for the fuel to get your body thereā€”never mind the cost of shipping your 50 pounds of gear. You're already on the gravy plane. People point to first class ticket holders and want to know why they don't get the same treatment. Wake up folks: You're getting a great deal. If you want even more, pay more!

People, please be considerate when staying in hotels and when flying! I beg of you!!!

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Blogger JACK said...

Funny - I read this earlier today. I've been on planes and seen most everything. I fly quite a bit ... but that one White girl who brought her wedding dress onboard in a zip-up garmet bag and didn't want to move it out of the overhead bin to accommodate someone's rolling bag? She took the cake.

11:12 PM, June 11, 2009  
Blogger Ty said...

Some people have such nerve. People will try to get away with anything these days.

8:15 AM, June 12, 2009  
Blogger Chet said...

I can relate to what you are saying, I have been on both sides of the this fence.

Some years ago I worked in Travel/Hospitality and man, I am here to tell you that it was a hoot, during my years as a flight attendant with People Express Airlines I witnessed all kinds of things and what shocked me is that most of the time it was acts performed by customers that had no apparent reason to commit a theft of services, but they continued to try and get away with all sorts of stuff. The airline later went under as a result of low fares and greedy customers.

During the years as a Guest Service Rep (Front Desk Manager) with a major hotel chain I nearly lost my mind dealing with guest and their antics, I can not count the times I had to rectify problems and complaints and you can't imagine how many peole travel with their own bugs just to skip out on paying for meals and hotel rooms.

Good thing you only have to deal with the general managers and IT staff be it Micros or other, good luck! I was a much younger man then and by no means could I do it in these times, people are to rude and much to violent.

9:35 PM, June 14, 2009  
Blogger fuzzy said...

any field in customer service is a killer. have you ever seen someone buy something so big and try to fit it into a civic coupe? the old school ones? Just because you can fit 3 generations into your honda doesnt mean you can fit a fridge!

7:47 AM, June 15, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally read this same article and was dumbfounded... partly because the flight attendant was calling America out, but also because the flight attendant had the RIGHT to do so! People... always funny!

11:43 AM, June 16, 2009  

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