Big title, but it gets to the heart of an issue that has been sidetracked in a way that is unfair to the customer. A United Airlines flight attendant was viewed sitting on the galley floor, eating a leftover first class or crew meal, watching her mobile phone without headphones, and rudely refusing service to other passengers. Yes, the other flight attendants were lovely (and mollified and apologetic). But does that matter? Was the action of this flight attendant reasonable? If not, why are other flight attendants defending her?
Claim: United Airlines Flight Attendant Sets Up Camp On Floor In Lavatory, Barks At Passengers Who Disturb Her
The Bulkhead Seat shares of a United flight he took on Friday. He was seated in first class and encountered one flight attendant who was lovely and one who was just the opposite. I will quote directly below:
- She was gruff with passengers, doing as little work as possible, and even gave the other flight attendant a hard time when she was trying to do her job.
- After all of the passengers had eaten lunch and the trays were cleared, she began to pull the metal boxes off of the wall in the galley and set one up with her lunch and another as a seat.
- She sat there for over 30 minutes and admonished the other flight attendant when she came into the galley to get passengers beverages.
- While she ate her pasta and drank her Diet Coke, she watched videos on her iPad without headphones.
- Nice flight attendant: “Excuse me, I need to grab something out of this cart.”
- Grumpy flight attendant: “They’ll wait until I’m done.”
- She then proceeded not to move and the nice flight attendant walked all the way to the back galley to get a soda.
- After her 30-minute meal break, she closed a curtain around the galley and stayed in there until the end.
That’s quite the damning indictment against the flight attendant.
But what surprised me was not so much the incident (though it is egregious, particularly failing to use headphones), but the reaction from many flight attendants who have now weighed in on the issue.
Instead of making clear that the flight attendant did not act according to protocol, the author of the story has been attacked. I’m not going to quote them, but in short the author is attacked for many things, including not minding his own business, not giving more attention in his story to the other flight attendant who provided good service, acting entitled, failing to acknowledge how hard flight attendants work, and other barbs.
I am sorry, but that is ridiculous.
Yes, most flight attendant are great at their jobs and many are amazing. I have flown close to two millions miles on United Airlines and I keep going back in part because there are so many caring, lovely, wonderful flight attendants who work hard and take pride in their work.
Furthermore, everyone is entitled to a break and a crew meal or leftover first class meal.
But a flight attendant is not entitled to be rude. Nor is a flight attendant entitled to play something on her phone without the use of headphones.
If the flight attendant did do what is alleged, anyone defending the conduct of this flight attendant is just as deplorable as the flight attendant herself.
We all have bad days. But being rude to guests onboard or treating the galley like your own living room is not acceptable. United is aware of this incident and I sincerely hope that it looks into it and will respond in a constructive way that ensures this particularly flight attendant will not ever give us a repeat performance. That is the main issue here, not the great service that was (expectantly) provided by the other flight attendants.