Stewardess, flight attendant, cabin crew. They exist to ensure the safety and comfort of the passengers on a plane. Ever since airlines starting having flight attendants, they used them to their advantage. They had to be beautiful, unmarried women of a certain height and weight. In fact, in the 1960’s airlines really started to use their flight attendants to advertise and to attract customers. Ever watch the show Pan Am?
However, lately, I think flight attendants exist to be grouchy. They exist to yell at passengers and hate their job. Has anyone else noticed this? The last couple of flights I have been on, the flight attendants have literally yelled at people. That is definitely not “ensuring my comfort”! I hate to say it, but I think they are just old and tired of their job. Almost all flight attendants in the US are in their 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s. They probably began this job when they were 20 and it was the trendy and exciting thing to do and have been doing it for the past 30 years.
When I flew to China in March, we had a fleet of grouchy 50 year olds. The flight was mostly Chinese people, and Chinese people travel quite differently than Americans. There was one particular flight attendant who made it her personal mission to yell at as many Chinese people as possible. I got so tired of hearing her say, “You can’t do that!”
I just flew from Little Rock, Arkansas back home, and we had a male flight attendant who was in his 40’s. You know how they don’t even bother to actually tell you the safety information themselves anymore but just play a recording? Well, during the recording, he stopped it and said, “Wow. Can you even pretend to be considerate for just a few minutes?” I didn’t think anyone was being particularly loud or rude. And really, who actually listens to that recording?
Flight attendants outside of the US are a different story. I actually love them! They are always sweet, helpful, and instill confidence. I have yet to see one of them yell at someone, and they have the “the customer is always right” attitude. It is still a sought-after job overseas. They still have the 60’s vibe-they are dressed to the nines (where did that phrase come from anyway?!) with perfect hair and makeup and are usually young and beautiful. But, most importantly, they seem to enjoy their job, and that makes a huge difference.
So, I don’t know what to do about this problem, but I will continue to be as sweet as pie to these grumpy flight attendants and hope they’ll start do the same!
Have you had an encounter with a grumpy (or sweet) flight attendant?