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zvezda
Posts: 8886
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:03 am

Quoting Welsh987 (Reply 48):
Does it matter if an FA is overweight and 'dumpy'? No. And in this vein, I must say that trashing flight attendants about their weight is not only a trivial act, but outright unethical. We don't care if our lawyers, doctors, professors, and the other slew of professionals are overweight. To focus so much on the weight of FAs seems like a horribly demeaning throwback to the sexist era.

I don't believe passengers should have to worry how to evacuate the FAs in the event of an emergency.

Quoting DCrawley (Reply 50):

Interesting idea. Although, I would like to know why you would want to sign someone on for 5 years at a time. I think there would be too many clauses in the contract dealing with the "in case of.." issues (like health, policy) for it to be somewhat attractive to an employee as well.. and how would this go over with the unions? The only contracts of similar nature in this industry that I can think of are when an airline hires a pilot and he must sign a contract (for 2 years) saying he will not leave the airline because they paid for his training and if he does, he owes them something to the effect of $10,000. I'd be interested to your thoughts on what this contract would include.

One could start by taking a look at the FA contracts that many Asian carriers use.
 
PRAirbus
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RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:59 am

Many foreign carriers have better safety records than some US majors and yet their FAs do look like models and have style...being competent doesn't mean you have to look like a slob. One thing has nothing to do w/the other. You can have it both ways.
 
HarvardMan99
Posts: 16
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RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 8:14 am

It's a about self-respect. I'm an ex-Pan Am steward & currently an international purser with American. With the original Pan Am, I was in the very last class that flew the entire globe. My first trip was to Saudi Arabia with a five day layover....what a thrill for a guy from small town Alaska. Pan Am was the best job I'll ever have as you gained the experiences of working at a living legend. American is more 9-to-5 but it allowed me the stability to return to college and it truly strives to maintain great service. Overall, I'd say that the 'perception and expectations' of service have changed in the USA in peticular. I've flown the entire globe for 22 years & one thing is for sure...great service exists everywhere and at every type of major airline. It does come down to self-respect. The EXACT complaints you mentioned about cabin crew...I've had at a doctors office, the vet, my car dealership, going out to dinner, people on television, etc. It's up to the individual person to groom themselves, decide to be happy, enjoy their career choice, etc. No union, company, supervisor or whomever can do that for you. I remember at Pan Am a very large size purser from Chicago. In and out of her Adolfo uniform, she was the most elegant, polite and classy woman that I've ever met (along with Elizabeth Taylor). When I saw her a few years later in her Delta uniform she was the same and not a hair out of place and a smile that could light up a town. American has people just like her both senior and junior. But senior crews come from another era when giving service to another person was considered a privilege and it has to be taught or passed down to the next generation. In our country that no longer happens in society as a whole. It's now the "WalMart" generation pure and simple. The job requirements are no longer what they used to be. But I've seen cabin crews on AAL, United and Continental that could, and do, run circles around some of the Asia crews. They simply work harder! Next time you're on a flight, why not start a chat with someone on the crew? In my humble opinion, airline cabin crews are some of the most socially functional & interesting people on the planet. You'll be pleasantly surprised. Happy Holidays.
 
saigonhouston
Posts: 373
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RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:02 am

Quoting Welsh987 (Reply 48):
1) Trusting that the flight crew will perform all operations safely so that we can get from point A to B in a secure manner



Quoting Welsh987 (Reply 48):
Does the fact that an FA's roots are showing inhibit his/her ability to work safely?

Just look at AIR FRANCE recent incident in Toronto. AF uniforms/hair are impeccable and flawless. BUT they also operate in secure manner and able to evacuate everyone safely from A340 within few minutes.

saigonhouston
 
DCrawley
Posts: 328
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RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:03 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 51):
One could start by taking a look at the FA contracts that many Asian carriers use.

Alright, do you have one I could use for reference to try and understand your point better? Or do you know what they include? I do not know where I could get my hands on one.

..and just out of curiosity, again:

Quoting DCrawley (Reply 50):
I would like to know why you would want to sign someone on for 5 years at a time.
"Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive."
 
semsem
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RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:39 am

Saigon Houston: what was so great about the AF crash in Toronto? It was caused by pilot error. I prefer a good trained pilot over a crew with nice hair.
 
zvezda
Posts: 8886
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:46 am

Quoting DCrawley (Reply 55):

Alright, do you have one I could use for reference to try and understand your point better? Or do you know what they include? I do not know where I could get my hands on one.

I don't have a copy. I've had a couple of SingaporeGirls explain it to me at ChinaJump.  Wink

Quoting DCrawley (Reply 50):
I would like to know why you would want to sign someone on for 5 years at a time.

I don't have any particular problem with at-will employment, but SQ use 6 year contracts and I recall hearing that another Asian carrier uses 5 year contracts. I'm a believer in "If it's not broken, don't fix it." In other words, I would start with something that is known to work.
 
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yowza
Posts: 4513
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RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:50 am

Quoting DCrawley (Reply 50):
Couldn't you have just said "I agree" instead of name calling?

I could have but I decided not to. Freedom of speech and all that. I didn't say all Americans were bitter, relax sweetheart.

YOWza
 
highguy76
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2003 10:38 pm

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:12 am

Quoting HarvardMan99 (Reply 53):
It's up to the individual person to groom themselves, decide to be happy, enjoy their career choice, etc. No union, company, supervisor or whomever can do that for you.

HarvardMan99 I like your attitude. I'm an ISM (purser) with CO, and you took the words right out of my mouth. Welcome to my Respected Users list.
I try to share similar sentiments with my crew during my briefing, and if I get the message across correctly, it is infectious.
Happy Holidays
Highguy76
 
AA767400
Posts: 1897
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2001 2:04 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:14 am

Quoting Gilligan (Reply 17):
but it beats the living daylights out of selling fruit from a cart on some dusty or chilly corner.

Great comparison! Pretty much sums up how Americans view Flight Attendants.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 41):
Quoting Jafa (Reply 32):
Generally its a lack of respect from passengers that eventually wears down people. New flight attendants never start off with a bad attitude. It doesn't take long dealing with the American general public to "break" a new flight attendant.

Amen! This is why service is horrid in the United States. 20yrs of the American pounding, and you would be rude too! LOL.  silly 
"The low fares airline."
 
TNboy
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RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:26 pm

An American friend is a new-ish FA with a large feeder carrier to a major legacy carrier. He has been flying for a few months, and I asked him what the uniform was like.

Uniform? He doesn't have one yet. Has to wear (his own) shirt, tie and slacks.

They can't be serious!

Cheers
Bill
"...every aircraft is subtly different.."
 
cvg2lga
Posts: 447
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 11:48 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:34 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 8):
No!!! Xmas is offensive to many non-Christians. Prosletizing on the job (or at any time while in uniform is unacceptable).

How is that proselytizing? According to Merriam-Websters the definition as is follows:
Main Entry: pros·e·ly·tize
Pronunciation: 'prä-s(&-)l&-"tIz
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): -tized; -tiz·ing
intransitive senses
1 : to induce someone to convert to one's faith
2 : to recruit someone to join one's party, institution, or cause
transitive senses : to recruit or convert especially to a new faith, institution, or cause
- pros·e·ly·ti·za·tion /"prä-s(&-)l&-t&-'zA-sh&n, "prä-s&-"lI-t&-/ noun
- pros·e·ly·tiz·er

You are way off on this one guy. Christmas is offensive to many people? Yea SO what! Many things people do or say around me I think is offensive, but it happens and that's called life, its not always fair or happily ever after.

Quoting LPLAspotter (Reply 10):
I'll agree that it's hard to have a good attitude when you never know if you will have a job the next day.

Imagine if we all sat down for a moment and realized that we never know if we are even going to wake up the next day. I've had jobs end and I've been laid off from jobs it sucks but just like any other major event in life, you go on, one day at a time.

Quoting YOWza (Reply 18):
The fact is an FA should not be wearing anything on his/her uniform that is not issued by the airline they fly for period. Christian symbol or not. It's an issue of decorum, something a lot of US carriers need to learn.

I used to see a lot of F/A's wearing ribbons for different reasons on their lapels, what is wrong with this? They are supporting a cause and showing the support they bring to it. Hell if I was an F/A..I'd surely like to wear a certain button that was given to me by a pilot in 1999, it had a white background and in black letters across it was the name "Lorenzo" and in red was a circle with a slash across it! A wreath pin- so what? Its meant to remind people of good times coming up and reasons to be upbeat while dealing with the ups and downs of air travel which I think we can all agree equally that is demanding at times.

Quoting Xkorpyoh (Reply 20):
About the uniforms, makes me think of the "Southwest effect", in this case, in appareance. I was in shock the first time i flew WN and saw the shorts and t-shirts as uniform. IF other airlines are using WN as benchmark to lower costs and standarize a "low cost" service, then we get an idea where the standards of appearence are going.

I work on a loading dock of a catering company, I am not a caterer but a security "coordinator" (yea yea yea its dumb lol) who checks out all the equipment boarded onto aircraft, in the summer it can be pretty hot and steamy here in CVG. The caterers are allowed to wear shorts, however since we the security people are to look "professional" we are required to wear stifling pants all summer long, that can be a bitch in mid July and late august and surely affect your work performance! Hell even postmen are allowed to wear shorts, and we are mostly on the dock sometimes on the field breaking the seals on the catering trucks so we are mostly out the publics view anyway and when they do see us I'm sure they have no idea what we are doing, I'm not sure even the DL rampers know what we are doing out there exactly. Dress for the occasion and dress comfortably is what I say. Praise workplaces that make this possible.

Quoting FL1TPA (Reply 27):
Oh, and I don't buy the argument that F/As and Pilots only have one skill set and that's all they know how to do; that's crap in a hat.

I like that!

Quoting PRAirbus (Reply 43):
It's about perception.

Your perception or mine maybe our reality but rarely is it "the" reality.
a quote-Perception is reality
no it is nothing untill you know the whole story.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 51):
I don't believe passengers should have to worry how to evacuate the FAs in the event of an emergency.

Most pax I see when I fly don't even pay attention and when it came to crunch time I bet you they would be more likely to have trouble getting out of the aircraft than any F/A.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 56):
It was caused by pilot error. I prefer a good trained pilot over a crew with nice hair.

Just because it was ruled pilot error, and the pilot did commit an error doesn't mean him or the entire crew was not properly trained. Not sure if that was what you were getting at but that's how I took it.

There has been alot of talk about how F/A's are better if they are younger and more attractive and slender, what ever else you may throw in. But let me tell you something I'm 24 and I'll tell you straight out, alot of young people just suck! Attitudes, work ethics if they have them, and the reason for this is because they see what they do and no one calls them out on it. I've met some very nice looking girls in clubs and through work and around the airport but once you get past the nice face, they are usually self-centered and uncaring about anyone but themselves. It makes me sick to see girls (especially little ones) wearing rediculous t-shirts saying things like "princess". I would much rather deal with older people in almost any situation especially a business setting, than a young person as the older folks are from a generation when manners were taught and used and expected. Where you were to respect someone just for being a stranger, before you even spoke a word to them. I think most of the young kids today have lost that and it will only get worse as they have children and do not teach thier children these important manners. Sry bout the rant.
Tchau
DA-
They don't call em' emergencies anymore. They call em' Patronies.
 
ETStar
Posts: 1850
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 6:25 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:04 pm

Quoting FlyGuyClt (Reply 6):
We still greet each passenger with a "hello and welcome" or other good first impression and we continue it until the last, thank you for flying with us. Anytime we take an empty cup, "would you like a refill or anything else" so there are still some out there who are "flight attendants" true safety professionals who give great customer service.

FlyGuyClt, while you do mention these points, these are the bare minimum that are performed by all airlines around the world, and should not even be posted as an argument or justification.

Quoting PacCoaster (Reply 11):

The simple fact is the average American is no longer content with their job/career largely due to many of the aforementioned conditions whilst many more are faced with the grim reality of redundancy as companies fight for emergence/re-emergence from bankruptcy protection much smaller with a far lesser number of employees. All the difficulties highlighted here have caused many of your peers to become dispassionate about their jobs giving rise to the behaviour you and most of the frequent travelers in the US have been observing.

I can't believe you brought up Sep 11 and the economic downturn as an excuse for the decrease in level of service at US based airlines. Firstly, the economic downturn started to occur before that day. Second, natural events, economic events, wars, terrorist actions, everything name it has happened to countries all around the world yet there are airlines around the world who have their staff take so much pride in all they do. One airline I know of personally is Ethiopian Airlines, and knowing what it and the country has gone through since its inception - famines, wars, hijackings, multiple evacuations of its entire base to Nairobi, coup d'etats etc - you would be surprised how high its standards for staff are and their commitment to upkeep the standards is. Unkempt hair, improper attire etc mean fix up or you're off the flight and appropriately dealt with.

Quoting Xkorpyoh (Reply 20):
When i read about the impression of seeing flight crew at the airports or hotels, i agree that it is still impressive to see those neat foregin crews go about. The one that came to mind was the Kenya Airways crew I saw in Bombay once. Their presence and professionalism shined when they walked by. It inmediatly made me compare it to the US crews and realized that i was comparing a small african airline with the biggest airline in the world...and what a difference it was.

Ditto.

Quoting Panamair (Reply 24):
Yes, many people have criticized DL for spending money on new designer uniforms from Richard Tyler but it truly has a tremendous impact on morale...on virtually all of my recent DL flights, the FAs are incredibly excited and enthusiastic about their new uniforms (officially set to debut in March 2006 but will start being worn in January on Winter Olympics charters to Italy). I think that with the new uniforms, the FAs also will feel more of a need for better grooming, making sure they look their best in their new duds (especially the red dress - hopefully no one is going to

I have to say however, that DL FAs still have me turning my head whenever they pass by (even in the current uniform). Anything different at DL?

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 25):
The other point to remember is that the U.S. is much less class conscious than other countries. Someone once pointed out that F/As at many carriers come from society classes in which serving people is quite common.

This is not a statement that can be made for the majority of carriers. Going back up to ET, it gets staff from various levels of the social classes. I personally know of FAs who have never made their beds and work for the airline, pushing carts up and down the aisle serving passengers. There are also FAs going from half way around the world to work for Emirates and the likes. It's not about coming from a service background, but I believe working as an FA is taking part and accepting the whole lifestyle.

Quoting Jafa (Reply 32):
Generally its a lack of respect from passengers that eventually wears down people. New flight attendants never start off with a bad attitude. It doesn't take long dealing with the American general public to "break" a new flight attendant.

This lack of respect is not limited to airlines in North America and exists all around the world. All FAs do unfortunately serve the rude, the obnoxious, the paranoid, and it is not limited to North America. Oh, and mix in language barriers in there and you have something that foreign airlines do much more than North American carriers.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 34):
So true. Flight attendants get treated like crap by passengers. Someone missed their meeting, someone has a bad marriage, whatever, and flight attendants have to be treated miserably because of it. It's pathetic, but not a complete excuse for the way some flight attendants act, either.

I thought FAs were trained to deal with a multitude of situations, including the 'crap'? Are they not trained to deal with these situations in professional manners, by not mixing personal emotions with work? I have worked in the service industry quite a few times and have gotten my share of the rude and crappy ones. Yet I have not let down, nor lowered my standards.

Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 36):

I think every stereotype has some truth to it, so I won't say you guys are completely off-base. But you all are much more critical than normal passengers. We always have happy people disembarking who thank us for a great flight. It's a normal occurance.

It personally saddens me that it has come down to a point where saying "hello" and "goodbye" is being seen as a big thing, while it should be the norm.

Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 39):
I've noticed on American domestic flights, and I realize this sounds sexist, but men are way better flight attendants as a whole than women. I've found that the men usually have bigger smiles, hide their baggage (issues, troubles, i'm referring to) well, and really do focus better on making the customer experience the best it can be.

I also do not recall any unpleasant flights that involved male FA issues.

Quoting Welsh987 (Reply 48):
Whether or not the lack of pride is a factor, all I have to say is this: Why do we care how FAs in the United States appear? I fly very frequently as both a pilot and passenger and these are the things I pay attention to and take stock in when traveling: 1) Trusting that the flight crew will perform all operations safely so that we can get from point A to B in a secure manner; 2) and that I am treated by the FAs in a manner that reflects that I have paid hundreds of dollars for a seat on their airline. That is ALL.

We care about how they appear because many appear much inferior to what other airlines they directly compete with on many levels do and there does not seem to be an end to it. They appear worn out and disshelved,



I have written quite a bit, but would like to drop the following point:
With Virgin America coming into the scene today, and promising a new kind of airline, what can we expect? Assuming that the airline would transfer the high level of service and standards that it currently has at Virgin Atlantic, would it get the existing airlines making a run for their money?
 
VHXLR8
Posts: 487
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 6:58 pm

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:26 pm

When flying on AA one time, I was chatting away with the crew in the galley and sharing stories about our respective airlines.
When asked about uniform and grooming standards, the AA crew were gobsmacked at the supposed 'rigidity' and 'discriminatory policies' of aussie airlines.
And this was just over things like no facial hair for men (or women I guess), skirts/dresses below the knee, no obvious hair colouring, simple jewelry etc. Things that aussies take for granted as being part of the job, yet to our American counterparts, they're suddenly offensive and harassing.

Whilst I had great service, and a lot of fun chatting with crew, on a few us carriers, I was quite proud to get back to QF and see how nice everyone looked at work.
 
arffguy
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:03 pm

Quoting CVG2LGA (Reply 62):
It makes me sick to see girls (especially little ones) wearing ridiculous t-shirts saying things like "princess". I would much rather deal with older people in almost any situation especially a business setting, than a young person as the older folks are from a generation when manners were taught and used and expected. Where you were to respect someone just for being a stranger, before you even spoke a word to them. I think most of the young kids today have lost that and it will only get worse as they have children and do not teach their children these important manners.

Thank You. I have thought this for a long time. Well put.
Time to spare, go by air.
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:47 pm

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:12 pm

A lot has been discussed about AA crews here. I happen to be one. I am US based. I feel there is a mix of FA's. In general, I believe FA's are a reflection of society, standards have lowered with the quality of passenger. Some are good...some are not. When a US based FA is good, NO ONE out there can be as friendly. They are just not subservient. On the other hand, I am afraid I have noticed that Foreign born AA crew members, language speakers tend to be better. I will have to disagree with my co-worker who thinks the Lima "putas" are rude...they are not, they are actually classier and more educated than many of our US based FA's....same goes for Buenos Aires, Bogota and Santiago crews.
 
LAXDESI
Posts: 2775
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 8:13 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:39 pm

Quoting 777Purser (Reply 66):
They are just not subservient

I do not believe there is an expectation that they be subservient. Fliers want them to friendly. Personally, I care more about a good connection, low fares, and on time arrival.
 
Jumpseat70
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 12:52 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:22 pm

Okay my two cents....
Back in MY DAY, as my mother would have started this, the job of a "stewardess, hostess" was THE JOB to have.

I made $250 a month base pay and sat by the phone with my 5 other roommates in a studio apartment in NYC and prayed for the pay phone on the wall to ring so I could fly and eat.

I was the envy of all my friends at home. I held my head high when I trudged through the snow to the bus stop, stood with my feet just so when I waited on the curb.

BUT, I knew someday, I'd make more money, fly better routes and meet a nice boy to marry.

The passengers wore suits and fine dresses in F/C and most often in coach also. Their attitudes were world's apart from today.

I was a union employee, but I had to maintain a clean file in order to keep my job. The union worked with the company. I participated in 3 strikes. The first two were punctuated with coffee and donut runs by management, in case we were hungry or cold. The last was during Carl Ichan's reign. It was mean!

I say all this to remind us that things have changed for everyone. I wish we could be like we were so many times each day as I endure tirades from the civilized public.

All we can do as employees is be civil and kind. I am a gate agent now for an airline in BK. I read everyday about how my airline will not succeed. I believe it will. I do my part and I know my co workers do also, all 60,000 of them.

I had a man yell at me yesterday because I took his guitar away to be checked at the boarding podium. It was way too large to fit on the plane.

He said, "This is why your airline is BK."

I found myself saying, "Don't flatter yourself sir. You have nothing to do with our BK?"

So you see, I've changed too.
"Up, Up and away with TWA"
 
kiwiandrew

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:27 pm

Quoting Jumpseat70 (Reply 67):
I found myself saying, "Don't flatter yourself sir. You have nothing to do with our BK?"

Personally , I think that was a very restrained and polite response - well done on how you handled it . and good luck for your job .

When I was (a lot) younger , I wanted to be an FA , but I am so glad that I didn't go ahead with it - I have seen some really unpleasant people treating FAs ( and check-in staff / gate agents etc) appalling rudely over the years and I am pretty sure that I would have been fired by now ( if not actually jailed ) for delivering a well-deserved but thoroughly unprofessional response to someone .
 
zvezda
Posts: 8886
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:57 pm

Quoting Jumpseat70 (Reply 67):
I had a man yell at me yesterday because I took his guitar away to be checked at the boarding podium. It was way too large to fit on the plane.

Yelling is never acceptable (well, unless the aircraft is on fire or similar). If the passenger had paid for First or Business, then I would have asked the purser if the guitar could be accommodated in a closet. If paid Economy, then I would have politely told him that he was welcome to buy a seat for his guitar.
 
Speedbird2155
Posts: 694
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:44 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:20 pm

Quoting NYCAAer (Reply 21):
And now that it's winter, they'll all be wearing their own coats, instead of the the navy blue coat that we're issued. My co-workers wear black leather bomber jackets, or coats that are green or red, or ski parkas. If you ask them why they're not wearing the uniform coat, they tell you it's "too much to carry." Ten years ago at Heathrow, a British Airways stewardess saw my crew in coats of all different colors and she said to her co-worker, "Those poor American crew. They don't even get a uniform coat!"



Quoting Kevi747 (Reply 35):
Those coats they give us SUCK!!! They are eyesores, and the wind blows right through them and into your bones. They're terrible!! I wear a cashmere overcoat that my dad gave me 2 years ago, and it looks TIGHT with the uniform! I

Kevi747, the point is that the coat is part of the uniform and is there for a reason. I'm shocked that you openly admit and appear to be proud about not wearing your uniform in the correct manner. If you can't be asked to wear the uniform correctly, then I suggest you find another job where you can wear whatever you please. How you treat your uniform says a lot about you and the pride you place in the job. Like you, I could say that various items of the BA uniform could be better, but it is our uniform and as long as I work for BA, I will wear it and do so with pride as I believe it's a reflection not only on the airline, but on me personally.

Quoting VHXLR8 (Reply 63):
When asked about uniform and grooming standards, the AA crew were gobsmacked at the supposed 'rigidity' and 'discriminatory policies' of aussie airlines.
And this was just over things like no facial hair for men (or women I guess), skirts/dresses below the knee, no obvious hair colouring, simple jewelry etc. Things that aussies take for granted as being part of the job, yet to our American counterparts, they're suddenly offensive and harassing.

I would agree that we do take these things for granted as it is automatically seen as part of the job requirements. In November 2004 I was returning to LHR from MIA and opted to overnight in DC. The attire and manner of the crew left me in complete shock on the flight from MIA up to DCA which unfortunately was with AA. The female crew has very short and tight uniforms, with one of them chewing gum and the male purser just didn't seem to have been bothered to shave or welcome the passengers. It was such a pleasure the next day to see the BA crew all well-dressed walking through the terminal and then greeting all passengers with a smile. That was something I never paid attention to until after the AA flight.
 
zvezda
Posts: 8886
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To U

Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:31 pm

Quoting Speedbird2155 (Reply 70):
In November 2004 I was returning to LHR from MIA and opted to overnight in DC. The attire and manner of the crew left me in complete shock on the flight from MIA up to DCA which unfortunately was with AA. The female crew has very short and tight uniforms, with one of them chewing gum and the male purser just didn't seem to have been bothered to shave or welcome the passengers. It was such a pleasure the next day to see the BA crew all well-dressed walking through the terminal and then greeting all passengers with a smile.

Some American crews wonder why the passengers don't respect them anymore. Respect has to be earned. It's been said that 99% of lawyers give a bad name to the other 1%. With American FAs, I think 90% screw it up for the 10% who do a great job.
 
tothestars
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 11:52 pm

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:53 am

Quoting Jumpseat70 (Reply 68):
Back in MY DAY, as my mother would have started this, the job of a "stewardess, hostess" was THE JOB to have.

I just loved your post Jumpseat70...I knew you had to be TWA!
TWA-Airline To the Stars
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sat Dec 10, 2005 1:14 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 50):
I don't believe passengers should have to worry how to evacuate the FAs in the event of an emergency.

Please size has nothing to do with ability, and also if that is the case then start thinking about some of the pilots up front as years of sitting on there behind has affected them as well.

Quoting PRAirbus (Reply 51):
Many foreign carriers have better safety records than some US majors and yet their FAs do look like models and have style...being competent doesn't mean you have to look like a slob. One thing has nothing to do w/the other. You can have it both ways.

Really then why did the SQ FA's freeze up after the accident that happened during the typhon and taking off from the wrong runway accident. Sure they looked good sitting there wondering WTF!

Quoting Semsem (Reply 55):
Saigon Houston: what was so great about the AF crash in Toronto? It was caused by pilot error. I prefer a good trained pilot over a crew with nice hair.

110% agree here.

Quoting ETStar (Reply 62):
I have written quite a bit, but would like to drop the following point:
With Virgin America coming into the scene today, and promising a new kind of airline, what can we expect? Assuming that the airline would transfer the high level of service and standards that it currently has at Virgin Atlantic, would it get the existing airlines making a run for their money?

Low fares are all they are going to bring to the market and that is only to attrat passengers, and that is if they ever actually fly. I'll believe it when I see it.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 69):
Yelling is never acceptable (well, unless the aircraft is on fire or similar). If the passenger had paid for First or Business, then I would have asked the purser if the guitar could be accommodated in a closet. If paid Economy, then I would have politely told him that he was welcome to buy a seat for his guitar.

If it does not fit it does not fit. Does not matter where on the plane you are seated or what you paid. There is a fine line between service and servitude.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
PRAirbus
Posts: 741
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:59 pm

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sat Dec 10, 2005 1:20 am

AA management is very relaxed about employees' appearance. The pride from the 90's is gone. After many years of paying attention and caring about their employees' appearance, now is a "free for all"! The famous "clogs", mostly preferred by the Domestic FAs were approved by upper management! When would you see a European or Asian airline crew wearing those stupid shoes? Not only they look bad, they look dirty too. The current state of most US airliners is a reflection on its employees. Appearance is another side of the coin.  Sad
 
Junction
Posts: 559
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:50 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sat Dec 10, 2005 2:12 am

Quoting PacCoaster (Reply 11):
the circumstances affecting, and directly reflecting, upon the attitudes and demeanour of current US flight attendants, are the same as (or very similar to) those influencing the mind-set of many other working Americans.

Bingo! Sadly, the days of customer service in the U.S. are pretty much over. We're all way too selfish for it to survive.
I'm sure if an airline could figure out how to legally have passengers protect themselves in an emergency there would be no more F/As at all. Give someone access to their cell phone, some food & liquor (to buy) and a toilet, and you're all set  Smile I’m only half joking about this. I truly believe this is the ultimate goal.
 
AA767400
Posts: 1897
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2001 2:04 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sat Dec 10, 2005 2:25 am

Quoting Speedbird2155 (Reply 70):
Kevi747, the point is that the coat is part of the uniform and is there for a reason. I'm shocked that you openly admit and appear to be proud about not wearing your uniform in the correct manner. If you can't be asked to wear the uniform correctly, then I suggest you find another job where you can wear whatever you please. How you treat your uniform says a lot about you and the pride you place in the job. Like you, I could say that various items of the BA uniform could be better, but it is our uniform and as long as I work for BA, I will wear it and do so with pride as I believe it's a reflection not only on the airline, but on me personally.

Problem is Speedbird, is that that coat is VERY THIN! So when you do get sick because you don't have enough on during the winter, you get the third degree from the airline. And then they wonder why we are sick?

This is not BA,VS,SQ, or any other airline of the likes! You people need to stop comparing! BA, Does not have a 8 hour layover after doing 5 legs. BA's Crew members retire at about 60-65, keeping the old,tired, and bitter, out of the game. SQ you can't even compare, I mean over there it is a career, and people respect the job!

Do you think Americans respect each other? They will slander any job! It is all going down hill from here. It is something that was bound to happen. And not one thing can be done about it. One by one each airline will start to either shrink to die, or just get merged up by another. Only the strong new concept will stay. Blame who? Blame the unions, and blame American laws. You can't fire a black person because they will cry racist. You can't tell Susie stewardess to put her hair up, because she will cry harassment.

In closing, and in general, Don't try to compare, because nowhere in this world is as jagged in the aviation sector as the United States.
"The low fares airline."
 
bravo45
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Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2001 5:34 pm

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sat Dec 10, 2005 3:04 am

I agree with Jumpseat70 and HarvardMan99.
Times have changed and sadly for the worse. Some say because expectations have changed, certainly there is a different class of majority traveling public that accepts this change which I might add is only a response to the conditions. That's one of the reasons why Concorde was no longer feasible. Though that can be justified only to a certain extent, things have gone way beyond what is necessary. Its now at a point where we are now hearing things like "Weight is not a problem". Certainly not to walk between the aisles collecting and distributing meals, but for other operational purposes like safety and evacuation. Just because we don't see as many emergencies as back in the day, doesn't mean relaxing those standards and start taking limited chances to save $$. Besides to those who know how it was like 'back in the day' this is called professionalism and its wasn't common ONLY because it was enforced but because it was simply EXPECTED of you (not true today) and that's why is the same old class of FA that we see keeping the old traditions alive in a (sadly) loosing battle for now (at least in the US).

I say this from my experience that I recall when I was very young only validated by my father a Purser with PIA who has been through it all, remembers the standards that were common in airlines like PanAm etc. He wasn't impressed when we flew around locally in the US comparing it with present PIA standards. He never whined about the tough times in flights and let it effect his work, even when he refused to play with dirty politics when(what he calls the toughest time) certain unions in hopes of keeping their roots firm when once got control recruited 'their own people' who reached a point in 4-5 yrs that people with 20 yr careers were not able to reach, only to see them all 'shed off' as management caught on. Or the recent financial crisis that affected almost all airlines of the world which took a heavy physical toll and equally reduced the salaries. When the strain got too much (My elder brother was already in college and I was about to clear high school), he called it quits took an early retirement and we came to the US. However I NEVER once saw him taking any less care about the way he looked, always impeccable, something he never took for granted. It meant a lot to him and made sense to his peers and colleagues, but something many here would not understand.
As I get ready and look ahead to join the flight decks of one of the airlines I always dreamed of being with, for reasons other than financial I wish I could go back to 'those good old days' or hope that time will change things again this time for the good.
 
ETStar
Posts: 1850
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 6:25 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:14 am

Quoting AA767400 (Reply 76):
This is not BA,VS,SQ, or any other airline of the likes! You people need to stop comparing! BA, Does not have a 8 hour layover after doing 5 legs. BA's Crew members retire at about 60-65, keeping the old,tired, and bitter, out of the game. SQ you can't even compare, I mean over there it is a career, and people respect the job!

But 767400, we have to compare because these same airlines are the ones that are competing against other airlines. And when we are getting more pleasant rides on certain airlines and not others, it is just too obvious not to compare, and it is also a service to those that are lagging behind as they get to hear what people think about their delinquencies. I tell you something, if *I* were to pull a flight attendant aside on the airplane and tell her that she really gives the airline and her co-workers a bad name, believe me, the chances of being kicked off the plane or being met by some sort of gendarmerie on arrival will be quite high.

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 73):
Quoting ETStar (Reply 62):
I have written quite a bit, but would like to drop the following point:
With Virgin America coming into the scene today, and promising a new kind of airline, what can we expect? Assuming that the airline would transfer the high level of service and standards that it currently has at Virgin Atlantic, would it get the existing airlines making a run for their money?

Low fares are all they are going to bring to the market and that is only to attrat passengers, and that is if they ever actually fly. I'll believe it when I see it.

Low fares are good. But imagine if they do maintain a high standard in terms of appearance and service, it would definitely make the dinosaur airlines squirm and possibly change things around. A few comparisons have been made with the big airlines letting their standards loose following the Southwest effect, going all casual etc. Virgin America _could_ change this by offering the same low fares with respectable appearance and services. I also see this in jetBlue, where quite a lot has been done towards upkeeping its image and look.
 
AA767400
Posts: 1897
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2001 2:04 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:27 am

Quoting ETStar (Reply 78):
I tell you something, if *I* were to pull a flight attendant aside on the airplane and tell her that she really gives the airline and her co-workers a bad name, believe me, the chances of being kicked off the plane or being met by some sort of gendarmerie on arrival will be quite high.

But we blame the Flight Attendants, When the blame goes to the airline. The airlines let it go on, and don't know who to educate their employees.

Plus if you do that now, you might get shot by an Air Marshall. Welcome to America the land of the free.
"The low fares airline."
 
zvezda
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RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:30 am

Quoting AA767400 (Reply 79):
Plus if you do that now, you might get shot by an Air Marshall.

And then after the fact they would allege that you said you had a bomb, and everyone would believe them.  Yeah sure
 
Gilligan
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 12:15 pm

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:56 am

Quoting CO767FA (Reply 25):
That's great....what career are u pursuing?

If all goes well, in a week and a half I'll have my dispatch ticket.

Quoting CO767FA (Reply 25):
What exactly are you saying here...that f/a's would be "selling fruit" if they weren't flying?

In some parts of the world maybe yes.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
User avatar
ual747den
Posts: 1604
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RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:16 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 8):
No!!! Xmas is offensive to many non-Christians. Prosletizing on the job (or at any time while in uniform is unacceptable).

BS BS BS BS BS This is America my friend and we were founded around the Christian beliefs. It is fine if that is not what you believe in but you will not take our holiday and beliefs away from us.
Frontier Airlines - Low Fares Done Right
 
omoo
Posts: 650
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RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sat Dec 10, 2005 1:59 pm

What happened to the old days of TWA and Pan Am ? being a flight attendant is a calling. I really believe a lot of people get into the job for the wrong reasons. If you look at middle-aged flight attendants (40-58yrs old), you will notice their behaviour and demeanor is different fromt hese recent hires. These people have a true love for what they are doing.
Fly Air Popobawa
 
iairallie
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RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sat Dec 10, 2005 8:32 pm

Quoting VHXLR8 (Reply 63):
When asked about uniform and grooming standards, the AA crew were gobsmacked at the supposed 'rigidity' and 'discriminatory policies' of aussie airlines.
And this was just over things like no facial hair for men (or women I guess), skirts/dresses below the knee, no obvious hair colouring, simple jewelry etc.

Not sure why the AA FA's were "Gobsmacked" by the things you just mentioned considering they are items regulated by AA. The facial hair rule has been relaxed the other things you mentioned are all regulated. You should have told them to pull out their uniform standards booklet.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
 
Jumpseat70
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 12:52 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sat Dec 10, 2005 9:46 pm

Again, I recall having to check in with a "Grooming Supervisor" before leaving the hangar at JFK. If your blush didn't match your lipstick and your fingernail polish, which had to be regulation...Lancome' shades. God Forbid, you wore anything else not approved.

A funny story....it was a minus degrees day at JFK and we all we sitting in a briefing room in the terminal, all 14 of us for a 747 to Rome. In walks a "hostess' by the name of "Punky".

She was famous for breaking the rules, creating havoc, when truely she was a good soul, just from a different cut of cloth.

There she is in her TWA gold uniform, wearing blue tights and a blue motorcycle helmet. The DCS, Director of Customer Service, says "Punky, what are you doing with those blue tights on?"

She says, "Hell, it's freezing out there and I needed to cover my [email protected]# up on that motorcycle."

"Okay, I understand that, but why are you wearing the helmet?"

"My boyfriend is picking it up here later, after we leave."

"Okay but why are you wearing it now? He reinterates

She said, "Oh, my mother always said, never carry anything you can wear?"

This girl was hilarious. Always in the office, but a warrior for free thought.
"Up, Up and away with TWA"
 
navega
Posts: 467
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 10:58 pm

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sun Dec 11, 2005 1:50 am

Very interesting thread, probably one of the best this year....

You hit on something that I have noticed for years. I travel quite extensively and do notice the bad service the US carriers give but there are exceptions.

United Airlines is probably on very good example of very friendly and pround
flight attendants. They are well groomed and make you feel welcomed on their airline.

I believe that the service standards are just a reflection on our own culture.

As Americans, we have become fat, angry and not very friendly. We do not place importance on looking good and wear sneakers and dirty cloths everywhere.

These are the kinds of people that were hired by American and other carriers during recent bad times in the industry.

There are definate visual differences with US flights attendands and pilots compared to foreign carriers.

I was recently in Los Angeles and could not believe how bad Delta and American flight attendants looked compared to TACA, Mexicana and Air France flight attendants.

I blame it on the airline too. They do not have standards for grooming and
that is why we have a reputation for the worse flight attendants. Maybe they do not give bad service but the image makes people believe so.
 
ozglobal
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RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:05 am

- I have flown many long haul flights on QF for work, in both J and sometimes been upgraded to F. Some years ago QF changed from a seniority system to a merit based system. They still have to respect the 'seniority' of those who where there before the change, however. I can ususally spot for you who are the F/A's serving in premium cabins based on merit and which are there because of 'seniority' (not to exclude some having both). The merit-based F/A's are young, dynamic and anticipate passengers needs in a very proactive manner. The 'senior' ones (and yes I chat to them and they have often told me they chose the route based on their seniority) are detached, fairly functional in their attitude and give me the feeling that they feel 'senior' also to the passengers, who better not interfere with their well-deserved 'route of choice' trip, but should just gratefully accept what their given by someone of such stature with the airline.
- Twice, on being upgraded to F on QF, I have had the best ever service from a cabin full of young 20-somethings who seem to feel there is nothing they would rather be doing than attending to our needs and ensuring everyone has a memorable flight (pride in their work).

- Then I upgraded to F on QF and had a near empty cabin and two 'senior' F/A's on Oz Europe route. They were chatty enough and it came out that they had chosen the route based on their priority seniority. I can assure you the unfavorable contrast of service level and attitude with the previous F/A's was close to breath-taking.

- AF is another airline I have experinece with and the flights CAN be great, however this airline's customer service seems to be undermined by the attitudes I outline above, i.e. passengers better understand and take note of just how 'senior' some of them are. Think of what pains some high 'status' frequent flyer members can be and you see the analogy.

I will continue to choose carriers where most F/A's are placed on merit, not seniority, because they have a consistently better product and that is what airlines are for.

Cheers,

Ozglobal
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
BA747400
Posts: 381
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 6:29 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:49 am

Quoting ETStar (Reply 2):
It takes a great deal of observation overseas travel experience to see the differences that exist between North America-based flight attendants and those in other countries. Being a flight attendant in North America has really lost its flair, and it appears that either the loyalty or the association of the FA to the company (and vice versa) is so low, that the employee no longer feels that he/she is representing the company when off the airplane but still in uniform. The same could also be said about the airline not doing enough to maintain the pride of representing it.

Fantastic post. I am almost disgusted FOR the FA when I fly on carriers like American because their attitude is (GENERALLY....NOT ALL) absolutely atrocious. Being a FA used to be "The premiere job to have" and with it came respect and dignity. Now-a-days, I think that MOST FA just simply don't care...its just another job. However, if this is so, why do the rest of the world hold FA with such grace and standards????

Quoting TG992 (Reply 3):
But I feel we should be judged on our service standards, not how we look.

couldn't agree more...but in today's US airlines, I don't think you want to be judged upon that. Perhaps airlines should dress nice...at least they would have one out of the two.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 71):
Some American crews wonder why the passengers don't respect them anymore. Respect has to be earned. It's been said that 99% of lawyers give a bad name to the other 1%. With American FAs, I think 90% screw it up for the 10% who do a great job.

Oh man, you hit the nail on the head. That's all I can say about that. Brilliantly put.

Quoting UAL747DEN (Reply 82):
This is America my friend and we were founded around the Christian beliefs. It is fine if that is not what you believe in but you will not take our holiday and beliefs away from us.

Again, I couldn't agree more. Imagine me going to India and screaming hysterically because I don't like the banner that says "happy Ramadan". HA! I'd be deported. And you know what, right-fully so. Yes, this IS America...home of the free and land of the diverse. However, as you said, this country was founded upon Christianity...no matter how many different cultures are here. When people came to this country, they knew that it was Christian, so why try and change that? If I cant put up a sign saying 'merry Christmas' in a CHRISTIAN country, who's right are being infringed????

**For the record, before the "your a horrible person" posts start, i'm not racist....i'm realistic. The best part of this country is that its a cultural melting-pot...but when the country has to change OUR lives to adapt to guests....and yest they ARE guests in this country...our "political correctness" has just gone too far.**
 
tu154
Topic Author
Posts: 361
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:37 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sun Dec 11, 2005 6:02 am

I think alot of it has to do with the Airlines themselves. I have seen blatent non-reg f/a's passing supervisors without even a second glance. They have, however, been cracking down hard on the clogs , which I think are the most hiddeously ugly shoes a person can wear. Christmas is an interesting time of year when some flight attendants feel the need to come to work looking like a christmas tree! It is just a product of our society in the US. We're taught to be as individual as possible, be your own person, you are unique. We are so caught up in this way of thinking that we have forgotten how to be "uniform."
A Canadian friend of mine summed it up by saying Americans always look like they are going to wash the car! Yes US flight attendants have seen alot of changes in the last few years, many not good. This is not an excuse for bad service or poor image.
I trained with Pan Am years in the mid 1980's. Even then we were intilled a sense of pride in our uniform. We were taught how to walk, eat, sit, and even smoke in uniform. Demonstrations were given on how to carry your jacket on your arm in warm weather, or how ladies should carry their purse. We had such an incredable sense of dignity at Pan Am....the world saw it and we were famous for it. At the airline I'm currently flying with, former Pan Am flight attendants are reffered to "glam-girls" or "glam-guys." And you can always tell a former PAA f/a by her pearls! (Very true, ask any older flight attendant wearing pearls if she is Pan Am and 90% or the time she is!)
Unfortunatly some flight attendants use security as an excuse for poor service. They demand respect for passangers but don't give it. They use the excuse of paycuts for not doing things we have always done....newspapers in coach, second services, etc. They refuse to help in the aisle during boarding......."oh I don't touch bags!" These flight attendants that are nasty to passangers are most often nasty to other crews. I find myself saying "If you are so miserable, why don't you quit?" That really seems to anger them because they know it's true. They don't want to be or feel subservient, but we are in the service industry. Those are the people that refere to themselves as "safety proffesionals." I'm here for your safety. While very true, and very important, we are there to provide friendly, efficient service and to make our passangers time with us a pleasant as possible.
FIRST ON THE ATLANTIC.....FIRST ON THE PACIFIC.....FIRST IN LATIN AMERICA...FIRST 'ROUND THE WORLD.....PAN AM!!
 
xpat
Posts: 595
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 4:34 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sun Dec 11, 2005 6:21 am

Quoting BA747400 (Reply 88):
Again, I couldn't agree more. Imagine me going to India and screaming hysterically because I don't like the banner that says "happy Ramadan".

Well, then all you'd have to do is wait until they put up a banner saying "Happy Diwali" or even "Merry Christmas" (not "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings" mind you). You see, India seems to accommodate the diverse religious multitudes in equal ways.  

[Edited 2005-12-10 22:28:54]

[Edited 2005-12-10 22:30:12]
The only thing we have to fear is the sky falling on our heads. -Asterix
 
N276AASTT
Posts: 592
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 6:19 pm

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sun Dec 11, 2005 9:34 am

There is a big difference between a "JOB and a "CAREER." Most Flight attendants consider their work "JOBS." I think the difference between the US vs the foreign FA's is that a lot of them fly for the national carrier of their countries and take an enormous amount of pride in their work. They keep in mind that the ENTIRE time they are on duty, they are being looked at and judged, as evidenced in the original posters' remarks. A lot of FA's here in the States believe that their job ends as soon as the door opens and the last pax has deplaned. They tend to forget that people around them are looking at them in the airports and at the hotels. Whenever they are wearing the uniform, they are Ambassadors for their airline.
Dejale Caer tu el Peso! YOMO
 
TBCITDG
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 5:17 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Sun Dec 11, 2005 4:45 pm

Not only does it come down to ones perception of what is acceptable to wear but it also has to do with the on board managers responsibility to ensure that all dress codes are been met. What ever happened to the days when the manages would check that all standards where met prior to the flight?
But I also think that we are not all 2 year olds and should know how to dress our selves.
No one is asking you to ensure that your name badge is a straight as possible, or you hair looking like you just stepped out of the salon. It's not about that at all.
Clean shaven (for guys and gals jejejej), clean crisp hair styles that will last all sector (nothing fancy that is impossible to maintain on long routes) and a uniform that is worn according to company standards (not your own).

The issue is not about "senior crew". As I have experienced this with young crew based in other ports. The "who cares " attitude expressed by the way that they dress because of their working conditions.
Why should I make an effort when the airline only wants me around for a short period of time, under poor conditions, and working me to the bone?
A poor state of mind that needs to be weeded out!
 
LPLAspotter
Posts: 671
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 4:27 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:13 pm

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 73):
Really then why did the SQ FA's freeze up after the accident that happened during the typhon and taking off from the wrong runway accident. Sure they looked good sitting there wondering WTF!

I think your getting your accidents mixed up. When SQ crashed in TPE the cabin crew were praised for their professionalism. Actually, one died going back into the wreckage to help evacuate the injured. I have never ever heard any story of them "sitting around looking good".

Now, the GA DC-10 crash in Medan was a different story. The cabin crew didn't just sit around, they took off and didn't help anybody.

LPLAspotter
Nuke the Gay Wales for Christ
 
turnit56N
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:13 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Tue Dec 20, 2005 10:40 pm

If you have pride and respect in your job, you look and act the part. I do feel that most FAs I have worked with do have pride in the fact that they're FAs, but the job itself has lost a lot of respect in the eyes of the public. Just look at all of our experienced FAs here bemoaning the days when "being a FA was the THING to be, and you were proud to be one!" The fact that everyone saw being a FA as one of the most glamorous and dignified jobs would give you a lot of pride in what you did. These days, I've heard some very insulting things about FAs from the passengers. I would think the public's perception of the position going from so high to so low might have an impact on the attitude of the person. Flying has gone from being an event in the US to something to whine about. I think that the FAs in the US are overall very professional and do take pride in their jobs, but the culture and attitude of the US flying public has changed considerably. The FAs are part of the US culture, so they are going to change as well....just as just about every other job in the US has changed in attitude. Do office workers still dress and act the way they did 50 years ago? Do American business persons dress and act as polished and formal as Japanese businessmen? The culture of the US has changed and to lay the blame for the change solely at the feet of the FAs is a bit unfair. I have no complaint with 99% of the FAs I work with. They're professional and do their job well. I've also never heard a fellow pilot in the privacy of the cockpit say anything negative about the state of inflight today. The pilots that work with them every day respect them, so I always find it a bit rankling that the passengers who fly with them for a few short hours don't.

Quoting AA767400 (Reply 76):
Problem is, is that that coat is VERY THIN! So when you do get sick because you don't have enough on during the winter, you get the third degree from the airline. And then they wonder why we are sick?

The first year I was a regional pilot I couldn't afford the payroll deduct needed to purchase the uniform coat. For that first winter, most of which I spent flying around the northeast and CA, I only had my uniform blazer (with several undershirts) to block the chill. I did get the occasional funny look in January in Toronto when I was doing the walkaround without any coat other than my blazer.
Aviation is not so much a profession as it is a disease.
 
luvfa
Posts: 342
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 10:05 pm

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:11 pm

As far as the Union bashing goes let me present another side of the story.

At Southwest we are one of the most Unionized company out there. Roughly 85% of our work group is represented by a Union. We also have been profitable for 33 straight years, and always rank in the top 3, (most times #1) in customer service!
Our company has never had the labor unrest of the other carriers and there in lies the anti union sentiment on this board! We tend to blame unions only for the problems of aviation where I think management vs. union needs to be addressed. At United the rank and file have given up pay and benefits to save the carrier; yet the BK exit strategy rewards management, (who got them into BK) 15% stock equity. It is this distrust that has eroded the fabric of labor/management relations.
Unions gained popularity for FA's for one simple reason, work rules. Airline employees fall under the Railway Labor Act which is antiquated at best. There are no regulations for Duty day max hours and rest limitations that other (i.e. 40 hour work week ) that other industries enjoy! In 1996 the FAA did instute some rules like a maximum of 16 hours on duty however this is all waived for any irregular operations! FA's formed unions to negotiate with management fair work rules and quality of life issues. Even the non-union carriers i.e. DL, B6, F9 have benefitted from this as there carriers have written rules that mirror union carriers!
At Southwest our union will protect the worker only so far. If the employee is right it will protect them from unjust discipline. On the other hand, if the FA is wrong the union ensures due process but in the end appropriate action will be taken. Here at Southwest we have many rules that involve discipline!

As far as keeping ourselves presentable we have a motto her at Southwest: "Casual does not mean sloppy". We are still expected to keep our "comfortable clothes" neat and clean and keep up with our grooming. Most of us do it, however some do not! Its difficult to police this with 7200 FA's , 3,000 daily flights and only a handful of Supervisors performing check rides. In the end whether you love the job or hate it, personal pride has to kick in!
 
abrelosojos
Posts: 4323
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:18 pm

Quoting CO767FA (Reply 15):
Not to worry, most of us will be replaced in the "outsourcing" and then the service improvements, everyone appears to seek, will be met.

= Well, if they do a better job, then bring 'em on.

Anyways, I fly over 300,000 miles a year and this is MY opinion. There are many sour grapes who fly the American skies, but in general, I think that American flight attendants are putting up a brave face. For me, the Asian airlines are superior hands down. However, most issues I have had with FAs tend to be with European legacy carriers (mostly AF and then with IB, LH, OS). With LH and OS, service is cold and mechanical - however, I don't complain because I think its the nature of northern European countries. IB crew is usually a hit or miss. They feel entitled to their jobs. The worst is AF. Purely racist individuals (again, from MY experience) who not only feel entitled to their jobs but think they are superior to you. Interestingly, I have seen this behaviour mostly on AF's intercontinental flights - CDG to Asia, Latin America, and Europe. On flights within Europe and to Northern Africa, I have had a good experience. More than American FAs, I think particular European ones (AF, IB) are worse. I can understand cultural difference (LH, OS) ... just never can understand pure rudeness.
Live, and let live.
 
Kahala777
Posts: 1513
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 7:28 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:35 pm

Quoting Tu154 (Thread starter):
a JAL crew walked in and I was very impressed. Uniforms impeccable...hair impeccable...all looking like the next, young, slim , attractive.

Appearance is something that has not been adheared to to in the United State airline industry since at least the late 1990's.

Quoting Tu154 (Thread starter):
Moments later, an Air France crew checked in with the same grace and decorum. I was really quite impressed.

Grace and Decorum as it would seem has not been taught to new hire Flight Attendants in the United States airline industry since the 1980's.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 20):
1) Low fares

Low Fares have nothing to do with service, or appearance. There are plenty of Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants that look great, and offer excellent service.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 20):
2) Unions

Unions have nothing to do with appearance or service within the United States airline industry. The Unions are not the reason you havent had a Flight Attendant willing to assist you storing bags on a domestic flight. Airlines have de-valued the importance of employees and their service in the United States.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 48):
b) The low-fare culture prevelant in today's airline industry is partly responsible for different service standards
c) Therefore, Southwest is at least "something to do" with different service standards

Southwest Airlines and its effect has nothing to do with service on a 15 hour United Airlines flight from Chicago to Hong Kong.


KAHALA777
 
luvfa
Posts: 342
Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 10:05 pm

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:36 pm

Quoting Turnit56N (Reply 94):
Flying has gone from being an event in the US to something to whine about.


This will happen when the price of a ticket adjusted for inflation is 1/3 of what it was 25 years ago. Flying is not an event it is simply high speed mass-transit. Anyway Turnit56N welcome to my RU list!
 
Pope
Posts: 3995
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 5:57 am

RE: American Flight Attendants, What Happened To Us?

Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:44 pm

**** flamesuit on *****

What I simply don't understand is this - if most of you FA's hate everything about being a FA, why do it?

As for complaining about your passengers - too bad. At the end of the day they are your customers. A business without customers doesn't last very long. Whether you like it or not, they are the reason you are around, not vice versa.

I for one like looking at FA eye candy. After regularly taking DL over the pond, I decided to switch to Virgin. OMG what a difference, not just in the appearance of the FA's but in their service. I would guestimate that the average age of a DL BizE FA is in the 50's. The average age of a Virgin FA was 25 on my last flight (the ran a contest for passengers to guess the age on the flight from LGW to MCO). While the asthetically pleasing part was nice, the age also made a noticable difference in their energy level. You definitely got the impression that the Virgin FA's liked their job - as opposed to the old Delta hags who openly complain about it during the flight.

It seems like it's part of the SOP for the FA's to gather in the kitchen midflight and bitch about their situation while passengers are all around.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.

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