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New Flight Attendant Gaffes  
User currently offlineDTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1729 posts, RR: 7
Posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 18111 times:

We were all new once. We all had to make that "first flight" which was not a training flight. On training flights new candidates either sit and observe or they get up in civilian clothes wearing their "trainee" badges and work under the direction of the assigned crew. At then end of a training flight the purser or flight leader ( if it is a domestic flight) fills out a report on how well the new person did. Did they follow established company standards. Were they properly groomed. Did they smile and interact with the guests and, most importantly, how did they work with the actual crew.

Once all that training stuff is over they get their wings and that first phone call comes from that marvelous group of people known as crew scheduling. I have always made it a point NOT to get on their bad side because they can make your life truly miserable. Smart mouth or whine and that nice three day trip to Tokyo magically becomes a five day domestic trip with about 5 bangs a day, every morning a 0400 wake up for a 0500 hotel pick up and layovers in such highly sought places (not they are bad cities) like FAR in February, DSM, BHM, OMA--well, you get the idea. Never, ever annoy these people that control your life.

Then comes the day of their first real trip. They show up, perfectly groomed, a little quiet usually, hopelessly over packed, but at the pre-flight briefing we make it appoint to enthusiastically "welcome them to the club" and help them relax. As a 747 purser, I would try to see to it that they did not get a really demanding position (like BC galley or MC galley) but rather a kinder, gentler place like a meal cart in main cabin. One day I had a tall, attractive woman, previously a manager for the US Postal Service making her first flight. On the way from DTW to NRT she wore her 4" heels throughout the flight. She never unbuttoned, much less took off her uniform jacket despite my suggestions that she do so for comfort and her legs were going to be killing her after 14 hours. Didn't do it. Of course, she was a lot slower than the rest of us but that was no big deal. As soon as we noticed that she was lagging behind a little one of us would open the other end of her meal cart and hand out a few rows of trays to help her catch up. In return for their assistance they got a hateful stare. In theory, the carts should not be more than three rows apart on either aisle--hard to do sometimes when you have to run back to the galley for a special request or a replenishment of one entrée that was more popular. In NRT that night we invited her to join us in the hotel bar for a celebratory beer and a unique NRT invention--fresh popcorn covered in Texas Pete Hot Sauce. She never showed up but that is ok--sometime you are just too beat and a hot shower and a warm bed are more important. The real fun started the next day as we were heading back to DTW. We were briefing in the front business class cabin of the 744 and, as always, I asked if anyone had any questions or concerns that needed to be addressed. "Miss Postal" as she will be called was sitting in the back of the cabin. She stands up and in a loud and VERY aggressive tone says "In training we were taught that the meal carts have to stay side by I expect it to be done today!" Every head of the other 15 f/a's swiveled around with jaws dropping to see who would address a senior purser in that tone. I tried to make light of it and said you are new, of course you are not as fast as we are and it is not problem--we always say the job is not done until we are all done. We pitch in--hand out trays, pour coffee or tea, pick up dirty trays. We are a well-oiled team. All the way home all she did was snarl at her coworkers, refuse our help and towards the end of the day she announced that she was writing us all up. "Miss Postal" on Trip #1 writing up a crew with a combined seniority of nearly 500 YEARS? I don't think so. I pulled her aside and told her bluntly that she was pi**ing everyone off and she needed to tone it down and that she was not writing up anyone. She kept arguing with me, telling me I was incompetent and finally I had just had it. I told her that if she was like other US Postal Service employees and was so inflexible I could understand why people "went postal." Later I saw her scribbling madly on some paper so I prepared a preemptive strike. I wrote an email to the Inflight Service Director on my laptop about the incident and hit "enter" as soon as I walked into the terminal with wifi available. Of course she tried to rat us all out but our managers knew all of us to be good, reliable and responsible employees--guess who never flew another flight again. Buh-bye "Miss Postal."

[Edited 2014-03-23 07:49:59]


Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinevlad1971 From Netherlands, joined Jul 2005, 105 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 18050 times:

This is a very SAD story !!!! 

User currently offlineItalianFlyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 1099 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 18021 times:

My first NRT trip I got UD galley and worked with a complete lunatic (which is why I got UD galley) lol  Wow!

User currently offlineTomFoolery From Austria, joined Jan 2004, 529 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 17998 times:

Not a good way to start off a career! Even as a passenger, it is not good form to tick off your crew.

Airline (flight and ground staff) folks tend to have some of the best war stories...



Paper makes an airplane fly
User currently offlinecompliancecheck From United States of America, joined Nov 2013, 120 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 17955 times:

My first day on reserve I got called for a flight to Europe. I had to work the first class galley (it usually goes junior at my airline) and I was a fish out of water. I had all my training materials in front of me on the counter. The Purser took one look at them, told me in no uncertain terms was I to rely on those, and threw them away. LOL! The look on my face must have been priceless. He looked at me and said "All you have to do is do on your side of the galley what I am doing on mine. Follow me." I ended up learning a lot just by watching him and repeating his actions.

Later, when he went on break, the rest of the crew told me that I got that position because he had a reputation for being lazy and they were so excited to have me up front because they hadn't seen him work that hard in years!


User currently offlineOOer From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1488 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 17668 times:

It sounds like she was a real treat!

For anyone out there reading this and considering working in in-flight the lesson you should learn from this thread is:

Training is one thing, the real world is another. Do as the rest of the crew is doing, and don't question or mouth off to someone who's been doing that job since you were getting your diapers changed. Period, end of story.


User currently offlineNBGSkyGod From United States of America, joined May 2004, 833 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 17365 times:

Quoting OOer (Reply 5):
Training is one thing, the real world is another. Do as the rest of the crew is doing, and don't question or mouth off to someone who's been doing that job since you were getting your diapers changed. Period, end of story.

I think that is true for most fields. "Take everything you learned in school and throw it out, this is the real world."



"I use multi-billion dollar military satellite systems to find tupperware in the woods."
User currently offlinecopter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1123 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 17125 times:

This has the makings of a really good thread!! Keep up with the stories!

User currently offlinetravaz From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 309 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 17059 times:

I think I was on that flight!
Joking but it is sad that people can't work together. It's so much easier and pleasant.


User currently offlineDTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1729 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 16771 times:

It is really funny. You would think that when you lock 22,000 "Type A" personalities in an aluminum tube we would be at each other's throats. We get along extremely well, cover each other's back and when you find you that you don't care for someone it turns out that no one else likes this person either.

At my company our Number One f/a is 90 years old. In his younger days he had a reputation as kind of a curmudgeon--very difficult to work with, slower than a DC-3 and very demanding. But now he has mellowed (or so I have been told) and has made his way into the Guinness Book of Records. I have flown with people that I was absolutely convinced were totally psychotic (I got stuck with one of those on a MNL layover when the hotel was attacked by armed government insurgents). I have to admit that I did not try terribly hard to make sure that she was OK (turns out she was out shopping and got locked out of the hotel by the police) but after having put up with her for the whole trip I was convinced it was Karma getting back at her.

Sometimes I am my own greatest form of entertainment.

I remember back in the mid 70's working a 727 trip and doing the oxygen demo with my fly wide open. At least I wasn't going "commando" that day and a kind gentleman whispered to me to check my zipper. It's a guy thing--we do that for each other. Forever more as I stood there preparing for the demo I would take a quick glance down to be sure that everything was as it should be.

The day Braniff switched to the new Halston uniforms I had a MEX layover and as I was walking through the terminal with its gorgeous marble floors I stepped right into a pool of air sickness, landed right on my well dressed a**, much to the hysteria of my crew. I got on the hotel van stinking to high heavens and they would NOT stop laughing. At the hotel I am trying to signal to the desk clerk that I needed large quantities of club soda to clean the pants off--my antics in trying to explain what club soda was set them all off again. Our uniform shoes were Bass Weejuns with the leather soles that were slicker than goose poop. Took care of that by super gluing a few strips of rubber to the shoes. No more slipping and sliding.

[Edited 2014-03-23 11:06:12]


Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
User currently offlinecompliancecheck From United States of America, joined Nov 2013, 120 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 16571 times:

@dtwpurserboy I love hearing these stories and wish I had been flying during these times! I started my flying career nine years ago and always tell people I became a flight attendant for what it used to be when I was a little boy non-rev'ing around and not so much for what it is today. It still is a great job, though!

User currently offlineUSAirALB From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 3147 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 16231 times:

DTWPurserBoy,

You are seriously an a.net legend. Truly love your stories-especially the one about the Aeroflot crews in SNN. Please write a book or something!



E135/E140/E145/E70/E75/E90/CR2/CR7/CR9/717/732/733/734/735/73G/738/739/752/753/762/772/319/320/321/333
User currently offlineAWACSooner From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1950 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 15513 times:

Quoting NBGSkyGod (Reply 6):

NOT the military, though.


User currently offlinenewhaven From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 14486 times:

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 11):
Truly love your stories-especially the one about the Aeroflot crews in SNN.

Did I miss that one ? Wld love to read about it !


User currently offlineDTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1729 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 14422 times:

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 12):
NOT the military, though.

Hmmmmm....I don't know about that. I was trained as an "Airborne Mandarin Chinese Linguist" (you do the math) while n the USAF and when I first got on the RC-135 my boss told me "Forget about half of what you learned in Tech School. This is the real world Air Force." And he was right. The basics were there but over time experience had fine tuned them to reality.

[Edited 2014-03-23 13:39:22]


Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
User currently offlinedadoftyler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 14261 times:

Please, please tell us you are writing a memoir or (better yet) a screen play Your stories are priceless and most of us in the industry have met/seen/worked with people just like this. Thanks for the laugh today!!!!!!

User currently offlineAWACSooner From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1950 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 14186 times:

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 14):
Hmmmmm....I don't know about that. I was trained as an "Airborne Mandarin Chinese Linguist" (you do the math) while n the USAF and when I first got on the RC-135 my boss told me "Forget about half of what you learned in Tech School. This is the real world Air Force." And he was right. The basics were there but over time experience had fined tuned them to reality.

Not when it comes to checklist procedures and flight discipline...


User currently offlineairportugal310 From Tokelau, joined Apr 2004, 3685 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 14016 times:

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 16):

Ok obviously no one here is talking about flying planes, and you know it



I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
User currently offlineDTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1729 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 14022 times:

Here is another goodie from the past.

On a trip to NRT crew scheduling had accidentally scheduled too many of us to work. The standing rule was, based on past practice, that the assigned purser MUST work but then the opportunity to deadhead would be offered in seniority order to the other flight attendants. We had a young guy who had only been flying a couple of months and was still on probation sneak out of the briefing room, call scheduling, and get himself assigned a deadhead position. This did NOT go over well with the troops. We went to management about this young pup pulling an end run around the senior f/a's. Manager calls scheduling and they refused to change their decision. Young pup gets to deadhead--in business class, no less. He did not have proper attire with him to deadhead so he had to "disguise" his uniform by removing the jacket, insignia, ID card and tie--basically down to a pair of navy blue trousers and a white shirt. He was sitting in the rear BC cabin and I was working in "A" zone when the flight attendant in charge of that cabin comes up to me in the middle of the service just frosted. She says "You have to come back here to see this for yourself." So I walk back there and there is "Young Pup", sitting there in his shirt and underwear with no pants on and a blanket wrapped around his waist. I basically asked him just what the f**k he though he was doing since I was still HIGHLY annoyed at the scam he had pulled. He tells me it is just too uncomfortable to sit there wearing trousers. I gave him a direct order to put his pants back on. He says no. **MAJOR TACTICAL ERROR HERE** Refusing an order from your superior is insubordination and will get the longest working flight attendant terminated in a heartbeat. It is basically execution time for a probationary. I gave the order a second time--no answer. So I pulled the ultimate weapon--I went to the captain and explained to him what was going on downstairs. I will never forget the look on both pilots faces as they turned around to stare at me to see if I was kidding. So the captain sends an ACARS message to crew scheduling explaining the issue--we get an immediate response back that he is "removed from service effective immediately. He is not to layover in NRT but is to return on the first available flight to DTW. Now I knew and the rest of crew knew exactly what this meant. "Young Pup" apparently did not. He did, however, put his pants back on and a manager met the flight with his authorization for the immediate return. What a dumb way to get yourself fired but I have to admit there was a lot of giggling going on that night in the bar as we lifted a few glasses of wine in his memory.

[Edited 2014-03-23 13:30:25]


Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
User currently offlineDTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1729 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 13973 times:

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 16):
Not when it comes to checklist procedures and flight discipline...

Absolutely true and my first lesson in "The Chain of Command." Checklists were always followed, major procedures followed--it sometimes got a little fuzzy around the edges.



Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
User currently offlinePhilBy From France, joined Aug 2013, 669 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 13751 times:

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 9):
slicker than goose poop.

Great story but goose poop is a sticky as epoxy.


User currently offline737tdi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 923 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 13356 times:
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@DTWPurserBoy: Great stuff, I have been in this industry as a mech. for a few decades and I can just never understand one thing! How are you folks not in jail? I would have committed multiple homicides doing y'alls job. The crap that the cabin crew has to put up with is crazy. I am serious, people would be dead, well maybe not but I would be fired for choking an idiot near death. Ooorahh for all of Y'all including our gals and guys at WN. I just don't see how you do it????

I fly a lot because of my bid location, out of town to fix broken aircraft, the crew treats us (as mechs.) a little special, but I see what y'all put up with. Thanks, from a fellow aviator.


User currently offlineBraybuddy From India, joined Aug 2004, 5794 posts, RR: 32
Reply 22, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 13227 times:

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 18):
What a dumb way to get yourself fired but I have to admit there was a lot of giggling going on that night in the bar as we lifted a few glasses of wine in his memory.

Between the Young Pup and Postal Girl, you'd really wonder what goes on in people's heads. Starting a new job you really have to keep your head down until you settle in, and you certainly don't do yourself any favours by acting the primadonna.


User currently offlinePanAmPaul From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 13227 times:

@DTWPurserBoy, I just wanted to give you a sincere thank you for sharing these stories.

When I got to the underwear-less newbie, I was almost on the floor. What a great use for ACARS.

I would imagine he probably didn't even know what hit him.

Please share more in the future!


User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4690 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (8 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 12827 times:

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 11):
DTWPurserBoy,

You are seriously an a.net legend. Truly love your stories-especially the one about the Aeroflot crews in SNN. Please write a book or something!
Quoting newhaven (Reply 13):
Did I miss that one ? Wld love to read about it !

I second that, please share!



Exceptions confirm the rule.
25 Prost : I was on probation in December 1989, my trip was DTW-NRT-HNL-NRT-DTW. When we got to HNL, three of us reserves got an ACARS message to contact crew sc
26 Post contains images airportugal310 : That's pretty interesting...so they told you to wait and then forgot about you? I guess this interests me because its expensive for me TODAY living i
27 infinit : Thanks for Sharing, that's quite a read. My sister used to be a Singapore Airlines stewardess and she shared with me her experiences.. pretty interest
28 Prost : It was a hotel very near the Ala Moana Mall.
29 tonystan : I was on a bus recently to work, sat down minding my own business with my earphones in and suddenly in front a full public bus some newbie who could o
30 DTWPurserBoy : The Hawaii story made me laugh--I had exactly the same thing happen back in the early 80's. We deadheaded to HNL, were told to wait for crew orders an
31 DTWPurserBoy : This one is really not a new f/a gaffe but what the heck--it's funny anyway... One day while on a 747 in main cabin a call bell went off in one of the
32 Prost : Approximately 3-5 years ago I was flying lead/flight leader. We hadn't hired new FAs in quite some time, so it took a while to get used to breaking in
33 N776AU : How the heck do these new flight attendants end up places like NRT and HNL?
34 Post contains images aerdingus : Ha! Great stories here. I've done stupid stuff but the one that sticks out was on my training flight. I did the rubbish with the trolley for the first
35 AR385 : One joke I´ve heard is played often on the newbie FAs, is asking them to get a sample of air of the entire passnger cabin and bring it to the the coc
36 Post contains images WesternDC6B : Airplanes? This is more about passengers than new flight attendants, but a flight attendant got involved in a little joke. When I headed up an engine
37 Post contains images skywaymanaz : I'm going to be laughing the whole rest of the day and into tomorrow now like Mr. Burns on that one . . . What was I laughing at again? Oh right
38 JAGflyer : I am a regular listener to a podcast called "Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase". Betty is a flight attendant for a major American airline (pretty easy
39 Post contains images JetBuddy : Lots of funny stories.. Keep them coming.. please!
40 Post contains images txlbased : some years ago, we had a newbie that had to jump right at the overwing exits up and down and up and down prior to landing because she was told by our
41 DTWPurserBoy : In a word? Reserve.
42 DTWPurserBoy : At Braniff International we had an elaborate 6 cart china service domestically on flights from DFW-NYC, DFW-WAS. We were on a 727-100 that back then w
43 Post contains images aerdingus : Ha another classic! At my airline we have Heinz soups that you squeeze from a tube, mix it with hot water and serve to the pax in a cup. On one very
44 Post contains images carnivalair : Awesome stories! They really mande me laugh!
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