On the one hand, I do appreciate much of the sentiment expressed by the American Airlines captain who “laid down the law” concerning onboard ettiequte ahead of a flight. On the other hand, his patronizing tone and one specific phrase rubbed me the wrong way.
American Airlines Captain Was Patronizing, But He Was Also Right
The pre-flight announcement from an American Airlines 737 captain was recorded and posted on Instagram. Here it is:
Remember, the flight attendants are here for your safety. After that they’re here to make your flight more enjoyable. They’re going to take care of you guys but you will listen to what they have to say because they represent my will in the cabin, and my will is what matters.
Be nice to each other. Be respectful to each other. I shouldn’t have to say that. You people should treat people the way you want to be treated. But I have to say it every single flight because people don’t. And they’re selfish and rude and we won’t have it.
Do your stuff. Get it out of everybody else’s way. Put your junk where it belongs. Everybody paid for a space. Don’t lean on other people. Don’t fall asleep on other people. Don’t drool on them, unless you’ve talked about it and they have a weather-resistant jacket.
Alright, a little bit of fatherhood here the other thing. The social experiment of listening to videos on speaker mode and talking on a cell phone in speaker mode, that is over. Over and done in this country. Nobody wants to hear your video. I know you think it’s super sweet. It probably is, but it’s your business right? So keep it to yourself. Use your airpods, use your headphones, whatever it is. That’s your business, okay? It’s just part of being in a respectful society.
Middle seaters, I know it stinks to be in the middle. Raise your hands. Raise them up. Anybody in the middle? Like five people. Yeah right that’s full. Alright nobody’s listening. Fine. You own both armrests. That is my gift to you. Welcome on board our flight.
And the recording:
A few thoughts on this:
- I greatly appreciate his admonition not to disturb others with loud electronic devices – this sadly needs to be said and I am amazed at how many people seem oblivious to those around them or worse yet, selfishly choose to disturb others anyway
- Yes, those passengers in middle seats should be given priority to use both armrests. It is the one upside to being wedged between two passengers
- Generally reminding everyone to be nice and respectful is helpful (as we will see in my next story today…)
- I found his tone quite patronizing, though I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt
- While true that the captain is god onboard the airplane, the whole “my will is what matters” line seems rather egotistical and I’m not sure that flight attendants represent the will of the captain (instead, I think they carry out the will of American Airlines per the terms of their collective bargaining contract)
View From The Wing says, “I appreciate it, mostly because I think it’s great when pilots are engaged with passengers in the cabin and communicate.” However, I’m curious what you think about his opening spiel. Was it helpful or not? I mostly agree, but I certainly do find it patronizing.
An American Airlines captain laid down the law prior to a flight. Though he came off in a patronizing way, he expressed several important points, most notably that it is unacceptable for electronic devices to emit noise. While I would have said it differently, I do appreciate that the captain appeared in the cabin and engaged with passengers.
image: American Airlines (I added the fourth stripe…)