After my recent bout of flying, I watched the behavior of my fellow passengers and was appalled. When did common courtesy and simple politeness get tossed out the window? Between seeing multiple sets of bare feet rubbed all over armrests, to irate passengers that couldn’t get the chicken curry, I was honestly amazed that the flight attendants didn’t lose their shit. Because dude. I was ready to rumble with the lady sitting across the aisle from me on behalf of the flight crew. Since I’m not one to get dragged or kicked off of a plane, I chose to write a letter to the aforementioned chick across from me …while still on the plane. Husband made me stop though. I think he was afraid that I’d get beat up. Pshaw.
To my flight attendant friends and my peeps that work in the airline industry, thank you for your selflessness and for having to swallow your pride in dealing with these “customers.” I don’t think I have the capacity for that amount of patience, so my hat is off to you. Cheers!
Dear Disgruntled Plane Passenger:
Hi. We haven’t officially met, but I’m the one that’s typing on my laptop across the aisle from you. Can I just say … I totally get it. You didn’t get the service that you paid for. Guess what? Neither did I. Does it suck? Totally. But here’s the difference between you and I — I know better than to take it out on the flight attendant.
Imagine yourself in his shoes. He got up this morning and probably had to prep himself for this flight. You see, this particular airline doesn’t have the best rap these days. They’ve had a lot of bad press, which means that a lot of passengers are going to start feeling entitled. So, he got up and got ready for his day. Yes, he chose this profession. But some people are lucky enough to love what they do. I happen to be one of them. I’m guessing he is too. Especially since he serves passengers almost every day, and odds are quite a few of them aren’t very nice.
So, when he boarded the flight to go to work today, he knew that he would be in close confinement with the same couple of hundred people for about 11 hours straight. He probably hasn’t met any of them before, so it’s going to be a crapshoot whether or not it’s going to be a good day. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Let’s just say that he decided to go the route of the optimist. Unfortunately, it’s about to get derailed.
First, the plane was delayed. Issues with other passengers, weather and a whole host of other problems meant that we would be stuck together a little longer. Then, he had to repeat crew instructions to many other folks, because they thought that the seatbelt sign didn’t quite apply to them. Even when the pilot got on the intercom and barked the order to for EVERYONE on the plane to sit down, there were still a few rogue holdouts that needed a slight tongue lashing.
So when you decided that the best time to complain about the entertainment app was right when everyone was going to sleep, that really kind of sucked. Not just for him, but for everyone around you. I had the volume turned up to the max on my computer and I could still here your entire conversation. I know that you take this route every six weeks or so. I know that you’ve flown other carriers and their entertainment offerings and systems are much, MUCH better. I agree. But seriously. Not cool.
Now that the flight is coming to its end, this flight attendant is probably at his wit’s end. He’s had to deal with wandering passengers going between the different classes, drunk dudes hitting the call button for no reason, people rubbing their dirty feet all over the armrests and a whole host of other things. Can you imagine 11 hours of dealing with this? I would probably need a stiff drink and a weekend of nothingness just after this flight. The cherry on top is when your tweenage daughter rudely informed his colleague that the customs forms she was handing out was completely obsolete and a waste of time. Sweetie, she has to hand them out regardless. But your 12-year old knows everything, so no reprimand from you there.
I’ve done a lot of international flights — both trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic. I know that I feel like ass after these flights. I can only imagine how much worse the flight attendants have it. Maybe, just maybe on your next flight, you’ll remember this. After all, they’re humans with feelings and deserve just as much respect as you’re capable to giving (which honestly, probably isn’t much considering you repeatedly hit me with your backpack and almost clocked me with your oversized carry-on).