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NYT Reporter Goes Undercover As Flight Attendant  
User currently offlineBWI757 From Israel, joined Dec 2004, 429 posts, RR: 2
Posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 13669 times:

Fair use excerpt:

Over the next 11 hours, they will fly from Dallas to New York and back again, a routine that is clearly second nature to them. In all, the three represent nearly 70 years of flight attendant experience.

And today I am one of them.

In a behind-the-scenes look at the other side of air travel, I donned a navy suit and starched white shirt earlier this summer and became a flight attendant for two days. With the cooperation of American Airlines, I first went to flight attendant training school at the company’s Flagship University in Fort Worth, Tex., where I learned what to do in an onboard emergency, from how to open an emergency exit window on a 777 aircraft (it’s heavier than you may think) to operating a defibrillator (there are pictures to help you get the pads in the right place). I then flew three legs in two days: a round-trip journey between Dallas and New York, and then back to New York the next day.



Flying the Unfriendly Skies

Very well written, and accurately reflects many of the FA postings on this board. EWRCrew and all the rest, thanks for your hard work.

And aside - the reporter was flying with AA but used a derivative of UAL's old slogan  Smile

BWI757


I live in the US but my heart is in Jerusalem!
48 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7635 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 13567 times:



Quoting BWI757 (Thread starter):
Very well written, and accurately reflects many of the FA postings on this board. EWRCrew and all the rest, thanks for your hard work.

Very well written ideed! I have many friends who are FA's and they express the same sentiments. FA's deserve nothing but full respect from passengers and I for one try and give that to them on my frequent plane trips.



Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
User currently offlineNetJetAndy From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 52 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 13516 times:

So Im confused she did FA traing on 777 equipment but then flew from Dallas to New York?

AA uses a 777 ship to fly DFW-JFK???

**Edit Nevermind I seee in the article she flew a 737-800 which makes a lot more sense

[Edited 2008-09-14 12:03:35]

[Edited 2008-09-14 12:07:53]

User currently offlineDutchflyboi From Netherlands, joined Apr 2008, 333 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 13420 times:



Quoting NetJetAndy (Reply 2):
So Im confused she did FA traing on 777 equipment but then flew from Dallas to New York?

AA uses a 777 ship to fly DFW-JFK???

Assuming that she went through 'normal' flight attendant training, she was trained on all aircraft that AA operates.

Besides that, this was a well written article. It describes the life of a domestic US F/A very well.


User currently offlineTUNisia From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1844 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 13350 times:

Very well written!

Here's the best part of the whole article.. .

"Who would have thought, after 30 years, that we'd be a flying 7-Eleven," said Becky Gilbert, a three-decade veteran of the industry. "You know, I mean we used to serve omelets and crepes for breakfast, and now it's 'Would you like to buy stackable chips or a big chocolate chip cookie for $3?'"



Someday the sun will shine down on me in some faraway place - Mahalia Jackson
User currently offlineFlyMD From United States of America, joined exactly 8 years ago today! , 278 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 13211 times:

Quite an interesting article. Does put the job of FAs in something of a different light.

Working with the public day in and day out, I know that people can be really entitled a**holes!.

I think that everybody is getting a really raw deal these days when flying (passengers and FAs). The only people making out pretty well are the airline brass.

I remember the glory days of flying when it was really a treat and hope that I live to see those again.



Fly the friendly skies of life!. Enjoy every minute.
User currently offlineDitzyboy From Australia, joined Feb 2008, 721 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 12874 times:



Quoting BWI757 (Thread starter):
from how to open an emergency exit window on a 777 aircraft (it’s heavier than you may think)

Oh, REALLY?  confused 


User currently offlineGlbltrvlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 738 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 12764 times:



Quote:
In between shifts, Jennifer shares a four-bedroom crash pad in Queens with other flight attendants. She sleeps in a so-called hot bed, bringing her own sheets and grabbing whichever of the 26 bunks is available when she arrives.

I'm trying to figure out how you fit 26 bunks in a 4 br apartment.


User currently offlineVIflyer From US Virgin Islands, joined May 1999, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 12700 times:

Very well written and very bang on about the lifestyle (and yes it's more a lifestyle than a job). Sounds allot like my average 4 day trip just add about 2 to 3 more legs a day and the constant need of about 90% of the passenger telling me how small the plane is (even when there is only 20 on a 50 seat jet). I know the size of the plane, I've been working on it for the last 8 years and i'm pretty sure if you could get another 110 more people to travel this leg everyday, 365 days out of the year that it would be a S80 and we wouldn't be having this pointless conversation (thought, not actually said to the passengers).

Very nice article sorry about the little rant at the end.

Vi



I reject your reality and subsitute my own
User currently offlineJetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2800 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 12558 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Very interesting article. You never realize how hard the job is until you read articles like this. People think its easy but you figure you could deal with over 150 people times the the amount of legs of a journey times days and you have a big number. That means you deal with tons of people.
Blue



You push down on that yoke, the houses get bigger, you pull back on the yoke, the houses get bigger- Ken Foltz
User currently offlineExFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 12385 times:



Quoting Glbltrvlr (Reply 7):
I'm trying to figure out how you fit 26 bunks in a 4 br apartment.

4 bunks per bedroom, and 10 in the living room. Tight, but if it's literally a "crash pad" there won't be a TV, couch, etc.

I do wonder how many bathrooms the place has, though!

Interesting article, good perspective on the job and how it's changed over the years.

Of course, the author didn't have the heart to tell the 20+ year veteran that the reason you don't get looked at in the airport like you did is...well, because back then you were 20+ years younger, and probably pretty hot.  Smile The average age of a FA is much higher now than it was then, and FAs aren't hired for their looks any more. This isn't a bad thing, though!


User currently offlineApodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4280 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 12261 times:

Given what this job pays, and dealing with everything they have too, I am amazed that people still find this job glamorous and they seem to get way more applications than they have spots for. Doesn't make much sense to me.

User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 12143 times:



Quoting Apodino (Reply 11):
Given what this job pays, and dealing with everything they have too, I am amazed that people still find this job glamorous and they seem to get way more applications than they have spots for. Doesn't make much sense to me.

The turnover is rediculous. Understanably so.



DMI
User currently offlineRobsawatsky From Canada, joined Dec 2003, 597 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 11326 times:



Quoting FlyMD (Reply 5):
I remember the glory days of flying when it was really a treat and hope that I live to see those again.

They will return when the inflation-adjusted relative price of airlines fares is comparable to the "glory days". Which means, perhaps you will live to its return but not experience it unless your are also equally as relatively wealthy as the average passenger in the "glory days".


User currently offlineStratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1653 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 11039 times:



Quoting NetJetAndy (Reply 2):
AA uses a 777 ship to fly DFW-JFK???

She trained on a 777 but the route she flew from DFW-LGA was a 737.



NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 15, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 10697 times:



Quoting Robsawatsky (Reply 13):
They will return when the inflation-adjusted relative price of airlines fares is comparable to the "glory days". Which means, perhaps you will live to its return but not experience it unless your are also equally as relatively wealthy as the average passenger in the "glory days".

 checkmark 

For better or for worse, that's true. Over and over again, the US airline passenger has told the market that it cares for about one thing and one thing only when selecting an airline: price. The only way that will change is if there is a tremendous reduction in capacity, in which case the airlines will be competing for a smaller number of travelers who are willing to pay a higher fare.



"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offlineNucsh From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 238 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 10097 times:



Quoting Glbltrvlr (Reply 7):

I'm trying to figure out how you fit 26 bunks in a 4 br apartment.

Ever play Tetris?  Smile



If landing is about "kissing" the ground, you just about raped it.
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21654 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (6 years 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 9677 times:



Quoting Glbltrvlr (Reply 7):
I'm trying to figure out how you fit 26 bunks in a 4 br apartment.

Three double bunks per bedroom and one elsewhere, or two per bedroom and five elsewhere. It's certainly doable. Crash pads aren't exactly known for their abundance of space.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineEWRCabincrew From United States of America, joined May 2006, 5525 posts, RR: 56
Reply 18, posted (6 years 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 9178 times:

Hardly undercover. It was a planned trip.

We read it as we went to TLV last night. We got a few good laughs out of it. Other than the 777 window exit error, it was well written.

As we are doing our fourth trip of four piggy-backed (get into EWR at 0444 and then leave that same night at 2135) TLV trips, we got the biggest laugh when she that one flight attendant was working his fourth day in a row. Four whole days. In a row. We have been working for 14 days in a row. We howled.

Wasn't so keen on the title of the article, kind of made it sound worse than it is, but the story was good.



You can't cure stupid
User currently offlineLuv2cattlecall From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1650 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (6 years 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 8805 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Nucsh (Reply 16):
Ever play Tetris? Smile

So..why two FA's interlock, one bed is eliminated?



When you have to breaststroke to your connecting flight...it's a crash!
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21534 posts, RR: 59
Reply 20, posted (6 years 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8191 times:



Quoting Ditzyboy (Reply 6):
Oh, REALLY?

Yeah, if she's ripping exit doors off a 777 and throwing them out a window, damn straight that's heavy. Is she SheHulk or something?

Or maybe, like every other journalist, she doesn't know her 777 from a 737 or her ass, because 777s don't have window exits...  Wink



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineEnilria From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 7201 posts, RR: 13
Reply 21, posted (6 years 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8092 times:



Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 19):

So..why two FA's interlock, one bed is eliminated?

The article said no s#x on the airplane and the crash pad is even more crowded, but if you are already interlocked I guess...


User currently offlineLuv2cattlecall From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1650 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (6 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6815 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Enilria (Reply 21):

The article said no s#x on the airplane and the crash pad is even more crowded, but if you are already interlocked I guess...

Lol I think you're allowed to say sex on a.net! I was making a reference to the poster who said getting all those beds in is like Tetris, since an interlocking row in tetris results in more space being created!



When you have to breaststroke to your connecting flight...it's a crash!
User currently offlinePeh From Australia, joined Nov 2006, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6586 times:

A thoroughly enjoying read. I especially like the point about people losing touch with humanity when they board a plane.

I'm sure that some people believe that boarding a plane makes them special, a VIP. I feel like pulling them aside and saying "mate, this is a big bus. It's going to get you from A to B and millions of other people will be doing the same thing today. Sit down and shut-up".



Flown: ATR72, DASH 8, 737, 747, 767, 777, A300, A320, A321, A330, A340, MD80
User currently offlineAA777223 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1246 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (6 years 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6424 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 20):
Yeah, if she's ripping exit doors off a 777 and throwing them out a window, damn straight that's heavy. Is she SheHulk or something?

Or maybe, like every other journalist, she doesn't know her 777 from a 737 or her ass, because 777s don't have window exits... Wink

I caught that too! I was thinking, "Where are the window exits on a 777?"



Sic 'em bears
25 LONGisland89 : Is that what you Canadians do?
26 MaverickM11 : But how many days off a month do you think those 30 year veterans at AA, or any legacy carrier, have?
27 Woody71 : This article actually made me sad. Gone are the days when flight attendants were seen as celebrities and not "waiters/waitresses" in the sky. It's a c
28 RussianJet : 'Undercover' yet '....with the cooperation of American Airlines'? Don't quite understand that. Still, good article.
29 PRAirbus : Not all FAs live in crash pads or at airport lounges. The ones that choose to commute, it is their option. Many FAs live in the same city they are bas
30 Dc863 : The glory days are over and will never ever return unfortunately.
31 MaverickM11 : That's probably because it cost twice as much in real terms
32 Imapilotaz : Im sorry, but besides being in a "store" that moves at 400 knots, how is a Flight Attendant different than a waitress/waiter or a bartender. They will
33 Richierich : I am aware that crash pads are a fact of life for most FAs - all but the most senior I suppose. Do the "owners" of these pads usually tell the landlo
34 FrmrCAPCADET : I don't think this has been tested in any significant way. One airline did briefly offer better pitch in Y, but posters have generally agreed that th
35 Fetheroleather : Hardly undercover. It was a planned trip. We read it as we went to TLV last night. We got a few good laughs out of it. Other than the 777 window exit
36 Fetheroleather : Im sorry, but besides being in a "store" that moves at 400 knots, how is a Flight Attendant different than a waitress/waiter or a bartender. They wil
37 Spirtofalaska : I must say, this offended me, as I am sure it has offended anyone else who is a flight attendant. I've been a waiter in a restaurant, and this is NOT
38 MaverickM11 : How long was inflight training?
39 Soxfan : I think there are two big difference between flight attendants and waiters/waittresses. First, the waiter/wattress has their own bed/home to look forw
40 Zkpilot : Good article... people most definantly check their brains with their bags!
41 Ikramerica : Everyone knows MBAs are worthless, so it's not saying much. Try studying engineering or architecture, physics, medicine, etc. Anyway, inflight traini
42 WNCrew : ALL FA's have been pax, but not all pax have been FA's. Please don't act as if you know what it's like because you travel "a lot"... if you've not don
43 JOEYCAPPS : This is my first post on Airliners.net, so don't flame me tooo badly on this one. The article, and its contents, are very wisely worded, and a very go
44 EWRCabincrew : She sure did experience it. As a f/a here, she did a decent job of reporting what it is like. Lifestyle and all (crashpads, jumpseating, the trips, e
45 MaverickM11 : Exactly
46 Woody71 : Sorry, but this statement makes it sound like F/As are lifeguards in the sky only there in case of emergency. You are in a service industry period. T
47 JOEYCAPPS : I've been reading the airliners.net forums for a while now, and I always found you (ERWCabincrew) to be one of my favorite posters. I have to say tho
48 JOEYCAPPS : I have to say, with all due respect, your comments are not only ignorant, but make you look REALLY bad. Only difference is, in a restaurant if there'
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