Summer travel frenzy is upon us; flight attendants will be super busy. Did you know that until last month, Delta flight attendants were not paid until the airplane door closed? Boarding is fraught with anxiety, selfishness and impatience.  Flight attendants deserve twice their pay for this part of the journey. Disgraceful for an industry we bailed out with $billions.

The Women's Travel Group in Georgia, the country, after wonderful flights and flight attendants en route.
Our group in Georgia at an artists atelier

50+ flying years and most with The Women’s Travel Group gives me great respect for flight staff. They helped my husband with a broken leg. They stayed calm and comforting during a flight emergency. They demanded obedience from a disruptive passenger nearby. Overall grade A+.

In all these years, I have only had 3 poor experiences. None were during Summer Frenzy. And handled them all wrong. 

First: a male attendant used a threatening voice when I reported a pre take off dirty lavatory.  The second was a downgraded seat with an aircraft change. The purser insisted aggressively we sit inbasic economy, despite paid upgrades. (Mid Atlantic she found the upgrades; but no apology). The third is still a mystery. In a first class seat to Mexico City, an attendant asked  Did you pay for this seat or was it an upgrade?  The answer was My employer paid for the seat. A seat mate overheard and suggested an apology was in order.  I asked for one, did not get it.

So what is the point? Flight staff is on alert for safety, difficult people and unexpected issues, and crises. These are the people who will get you to safety in an emergency.  There was a talk from a former flight attendant last night at the National Arts Club. During training, she had to listen to Black Box recordings from emergencies  to emphasize the critical part of the job -our safety.

But they should be polite to you. If you ask for a name, you can start a ‘ruckus’; they can label you disruptive. Get the names off name tags and announcements. If unable, get the other names and submit them as not the complaint person. There does not appear to be a regulation they must share names. Therefore a description of the person: hair color, gender, duties on the flight, etc. can help. Don’t get nervous, collect proof.

Never let your initial boarding pass out of your hands. In the bumped seat situation, the downgrade problem, should have been handled by check in staff.  But they handed out paper boarding passes with poor seats, saying “clear this up at the gate”. Don’t wait deal with it at check in.

Summer Travel Frenzy and the FAA

FYI you can easily find direct emails of executives on line-Christopher Elliott’s newsletter is excellent. Sending a detailed professional email to a high level person is the written way to go. You can contact the FAA (1-866-835-5322).  You can file a formal complaint online.  Call the Aviation Consumer Protection Division at 202-366-0511 to record a complaint. Whatever you do, do it without anger or vengeance. Flight attendants deal with situationsway above their pay grade. 99.9999% of the time, they do their jobs excellently.

To reach us: for Summer Trips still available. Or Call us 646 309 5607