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iadguy73
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Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:27 am

Ok I've always beleived there are two sides to every story...Why do crew members, especially flight attendants, have nasty attitude sometimes to US Customs and Agriculture Officers if God forbid they are pulled aside for a few questions or have their bags x-rayed. I also noticed nasty attitudes at security checkpoints from flight crews. There have been numerous incidents I rememeber where flight attendants got really nasty because their food were taken from them, for example. As professionals in the airline industry shouldn't they be an example instead of thinking they are the untouchables? I know some people here will say...don't you have anything better to do than frisk down flight attendants for apples and carrots (ok i'm exagerating to make a point)? Exactly, it shouldn't come to that but for some reason there are always a few bad apples who just think they are too special to get jiggy with it. Crew members, please, share your stories/experiences.
 
bastew
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:35 am

Of course there are exceptions but I have to admit, several airports in the US have the most officious, rude, arrogant immigration/security/agricultural inspectors i have ever come across as aircrew. They never smile, bark orders at you, and the words 'please' and 'thankyou' seem totally absent from their vocabulary.

Of course as crew I support the highest levels of security possible. At the end of the day, it isn't only the passengers that benefit it is the crew also!

I fly to many destinations outside the US where security and immigration are even more strict than the US (Australia and Israel come to mind). Even though the immigration/security/agricultural processes in Australia and Israel are more tedious than they are in the US, the officers actually treat us like human beings and maintain a professionalism and politeness that is severly lacking with their counterparts in most US airports.....they even manage to give a smile and a 'hello' or 'how are you'.

I'm sure there are rude crew out there also. But I am only speaking from my own experience. Even after a long flight (or after quing for ages at a security checkpoint) i still make the effort to make eye contact, smile and say 'hello' to the security screener/immigration officer etc. Why I bother I don't know as it is ever so rarely reciprocated. I am usually barked an order in reply, or sometimes grunted at if i'm lucky. Maybe thats why aircrew do get 'attitude' with them. You know the old saying, treat people like animals and they will start behaving like one.

[Edited 2007-04-17 01:40:17]
 
KAUSpilot
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:07 am

All I have to say is that it's a two way street.

In my experience, customs agents are exceedingly rude to flight crew for some reason. I guess they reap what they sow. I think it's a power issue....customs agents probably get off on having that little bit of power over people, and when flight crew don't play along, they get all bent out of shape. Same with TSA.
 
bond007
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:14 am

Quoting IADguy73 (Thread starter):
Why do crew members, especially flight attendants, have nasty attitude sometimes to US Customs and Agriculture Officers if God forbid they are pulled aside for a few questions or have their bags x-rayed. I also noticed nasty attitudes at security checkpoints from flight crews

What exactly did you want to get out of this thread ???

What do you expect the answers to be ???

Just wondering! It's more of an observation, than anything else, and I assure you that very little productive will come of this discussion .... let's see  Smile ... I might be proved wrong!


Jimbo
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flflyguy
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:10 am

In Miami, particularly at "B" Customs, we can go for days where for some reason EVERY SINGLE CREW MEMBER gets inspected and has their bag searched. They take longer looking at our passports than they do at the passengers. Remember that many US crews go through customs several times a day, week in and week out. The Customs people have the ability to see that (I guess...because when they swipe our passports they sometimes say things like "How was Paris last week" or "You were here this morning, too".

The sad reality is that we get subjected to closer inspection and scrutiny in our own country than we do almost anywhere else in the world. I am not sure why flight crew has become on the "watchlist" of some Homeland Security officials.

Does that justify rudeness? Of course not.

Quoting IADguy73 (Thread starter):
I also noticed nasty attitudes at security checkpoints from flight crews. There have been numerous incidents I rememeber where flight attendants got really nasty because their food were taken from them, for example

Again, a nasty attitude is never called for. However, we DO have different rules than the passengers (in terms of what we can bring) and sometimes the TSA seems to forget that.

Of course, if we had our own line instead of being forced to cut in front of passengers in order to connect to our flight on time (and we REALLY HATE DOING THAT...but it's what they tell us to do), you would never see us being rude. Not necessarily because we wouldn't be rude, but because you wouldn't be in the line to see it!!!
The views expressed are my own, and not necessarily those of my employer.
 
iadguy73
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:18 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 3):
What exactly did you want to get out of this thread ???

What do you expect the answers to be ???

Just wondering! It's more of an observation, than anything else, and I assure you that very little productive will come of this discussion .... let's see ... I might be proved wrong!

I think you have missed my point here. Ok maybe this isn't as exciting of a tread as "What's the longest 738 route?" but this is an aviation forum and people are also parts of the aviation/arline industry. I think no matter what job you have whether a flight crew, ramp worker, or ticket agent, working at an airport you meet all sorts of people from all around the world with all kinds of different cultures and experiences. I think that is the reason why lot of us here work in this industry and are on this forum.While my question seems specific and it is about an observation, maybe we can learn from each other something that will make encounters at airport more civilized and pleasant. I think that would definitely be something productive. Don't you think?
 
iadguy73
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:31 am

Quoting BAStew (Reply 1):
Of course there are exceptions but I have to admit, several airports in the US have the most officious, rude, arrogant immigration/security/agricultural inspectors i have ever come across as aircrew. They never smile, bark orders at you, and the words 'please' and 'thankyou' seem totally absent from their vocabulary.

Unfortunately, no argument there. Eventhough CBP came out with a customer service policy a couple of years ago they still have a long way to go. Majority of Custom officers are former military and police officers or with some other law enforcement background. On the other hand...While they do have to provide customer service, just imagine the kinda pressure they have to deal with. I'm sure you wouldn't wanna be the next guy either who lets an "Osama" into the country and a terrorist attack ensues. Just like with police officers there is a fine line between customer service and being able to enforce the laws (which by the way they did not come up with).
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:06 am

Quoting IADguy73 (Thread starter):
have nasty attitude sometimes to US Customs and Agriculture Officers

Because they're customs officials! It's probably 99% expectation on the part of the crews...it's like going into the DMV and expecting a hassle free, customer friendly, amicable service.
I don't take responsibility at all
 
reality
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:18 am

It seems to me that customs officials in the US are equally rude to everyone. Maybe the crew just notice it more because they have to go thru customs so much more frequently than the rest of us.
 
VHXLR8
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:25 am

Quoting BAStew (Reply 1):
Even though the immigration/security/agricultural processes in Australia and Israel are more tedious than they are in the US, the officers actually treat us like human beings and maintain a professionalism and politeness that is severly lacking with their counterparts in most US airports.....they even manage to give a smile and a 'hello' or 'how are you'.

I agree totally with you there; although I have personally had bad experiences with Australian customs (as crew), namely in MEL. MEL is the only Australian airport (that I've been through as crew) where we have to line up with pax. Several times, the customs person has directed aircrew into the longer of the lines (with attitude to boot), whilst there are others that are much shorter. All I can think is maybe a crewmember was rude to them one day, and from then on, all crews get punished for it!
Immigration, however, is totally different; I've never come across an immigration officer who hasn't been pleasant, asking how the flight was etc.
 
AA717driver
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:32 am

I've found that if you're nice to them, they will be nice to you. There are exceptions but it's rare.

I think it's crazy that crew members have to go through security and rampers and mechanics don't. I think flight crew should have a FAA ID that works like the Clear line. If a crew member wants do do some harm to the aircraft, there's nothing stopping them. TC
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EWRCabincrew
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 4:52 pm

Funny thing is I go through mostly PHX and EWR TSA checkpoints and EWR Customs and Immigrations.

PHX is really nice (T2) and I see the same ones over and over again. EWR, the same thing. As for EWR customs and immigrations....drum roll....I like them. They have a tough job, too. I ask how their day is going, they always smile or have something to add and we can always agree that there are those within our own ranks that spoil it for the majority.

Maybe it's me. Maybe it's the way I carry myself, but I treat others the way I want to be treated. Works 100% of the time.
You can't cure stupid
 
BigJimFX
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:03 pm

Quoting IADguy73 (Reply 6):
Unfortunately, no argument there. Eventhough CBP came out with a customer service policy a couple of years ago they still have a long way to go. Majority of Custom officers are former military and police officers or with some other law enforcement background. On the other hand...While they do have to provide customer service, just imagine the kinda pressure they have to deal with. I'm sure you wouldn't wanna be the next guy either who lets an "Osama" into the country and a terrorist attack ensues. Just like with police officers there is a fine line between customer service and being able to enforce the laws (which by the way they did not come up with).

Yeah... When I cleared customs in the UK I actually got friendly information on the music I was there to study (British madrigals and motets) Then a smile an "Enjoy your stay." Upon arriving back in the US I got the third degree on EVERYTHING! How much money I spent, what I brought, my INTENTIONS??? Searched luggage and a full pat down. Never a "Welcome back/home/to the US. Maybe thats standard when coming back to your home country... I dunno.

Quoting AA717driver (Reply 10):
I think it's crazy that crew members have to go through security and rampers and mechanics don't.

Well that depends on the airport. Like we saw in Florida.
I'd like to thank me for flying Me Airways...
 
ADXMatt
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:10 pm

I've cleared customs numerous times here at IAH and have breezed right through immigration. They are very friendly and swipe my passport stamp my declaration and I am on my way. Customs just collects the cards as I'm leaving. Takes just a few minutes.

I've also cleared at JFK and EWR a couple of times since 9/11 also no problems.

The only place I was ever questioned was at BWI comming in on EI from SNN. The flight was late so maybe they were milking the OT. We precleared Immigration in SNN so it was just customs at BWI. This was pre 9/11 too.

Maybe it is how you carry yourself and the image or vibes you project.
 
Gofly
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:19 pm

Captain: why are you taking my tweezers?

Security: errrr, you might try to use them to take control of the aircraft...

[Edited 2007-04-17 12:27:13]
Living the high life on my ex-Airliners.net Moderator pension...
 
Bramble
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:46 pm

My answer unfirtunately to this question is to ask 'Why Do Security offcials give attitude to flight crews?' Crew have no problem with security seerches and check but needlessly targeting crew will cause personality clashes.

Recently at JFK while awaiting our bags an US CBP lady approeached our cabin crew and 'demanded' to search our bags. We were going to go through CBP after getting our bags but this lady decided to check 3 crew mwnbers for contraband as she saw one of tem disposing of some trash in a waste bin as we tidied our bags during thre 30 imnute wait.

last year at ORD I got screamed at to ' stop at the line sir' while being taken aside along with the captain for extra searches. I was at least 20 feet behind the captain and when I looked down there was no line on the floor. Please explain how screaming at me helps security.

However I do see crew getting irate at security and question how they cannot just grin and bear it as a good example to the pax and fellow security responsible personnel.
 
Lan1981
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:58 pm

I think many aspects have been covered here....another reason could be people unhappy in their jobs (both parties) versus people who like to be treated with a degree of dignity; inevitably, there will be a number of people (security personnel or crew) who seem to be on some kind of power trip, and behave like spoiled brats.
 
airevents
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:35 pm

I could write books about my experiences entering the US as part of a flight crew. Just yesterday, my very special friend was on duty once more at EWR immigration. The only five words I ever hear from him are: "left index, right index, camera". I try to show a positive attitude but without any result at all. At the same time, JFK two weeks ago was a breeze and we actually had a little conversation.

In my opinion it is a bit of giving a certain amount of power to people who otherwise are not very powerful, resulting in rude, behaviour towards "customers" or anybody who might show the slightest sign of resistance. Of the approximately 50 countries or so I have visited so far as a flight crew member, I have had my worst situations with US immigration. Most colleagues are not really happy when approaching the counters there, although there are very pleasant exceptions to this.

It is such a shame I think, because these people are the first ones that visitors get in touch with and it is not a very good first impression for anybody when visiting.
 
SwissA330
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:41 pm

Is this question serious?
have you ever tried immigration in other countries?

You might say: 'You're treated the way you treat other people'...
I am not surprised at all that you mention that crews have an attitude against US immigration.
I almost have an attitude against them when i just enter as a tourist... If I would have to talk to the same arrogant and almost aggressive people a couple of times per month i would for sure have an attitude against them...
swissair/+/ we care
 
BA777ER236
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:59 pm

Quoting BAStew (Reply 1):
Of course there are exceptions but I have to admit, several airports in the US have the most officious, rude, arrogant immigration/security/agricultural inspectors i have ever come across as aircrew.

I agree with you, but:

Quoting AA717driver (Reply 10):
I've found that if you're nice to them, they will be nice to you. There are exceptions but it's rare.

I also agree with this. The problem, by and large, is that most crew are tired of talking to passengers all day and often having to be very tolerant and polite with 'aggressive' passengers. The last thing that they want is to face an aggressive or officious immigration/security official. At the same time, immigration offiicals may have been on a long shift too, and feel very similarly. The nett result is bound to be volatile sometimes!

Quoting ADXMatt (Reply 13):
I've cleared customs numerous times here at IAH and have breezed right through immigration

Things improved markedly at IAH when they opened the new international arrivals hall a year or so ago, and I have to agree that it is a long time since I had a 'problem' with this at IAH. ATL is a different story though!

Cheers
 Smile
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antonovman
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:08 am

I hate going thru the USA for this very reason. The officials there are about the rudest I have met in the world. I have had many easier times going thru Russia, China , or anywhere else. Its easier than the USA
 
turnit56N
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:09 am

Hmm....if anything I would have said that security/customs officers are more friendly with crew. Virtually every time I go through customs in uniform I have a friendly two or three sentence small talk chat with the officer - same thing with TSA unless we're really in a hurry. Guess I'm just lucky.
Aviation is not so much a profession as it is a disease.
 
mtyfreak
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:23 am

Quoting IADguy73 (Thread starter):
Why do crew members, especially flight attendants, have nasty attitude sometimes to US Customs

It is the other way around mate, the question should be "Why do US customs have such a nasty attitude"

Thanx god this thread is not about immigration officers, Those are worse than customs and don't even get it right.
Only here for the beer...
 
UAL777UK
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:49 am

Sorry, is it me whose the only one here as a fare paying passenger who is not flight crew that finds a lot of these customs guys/ladies bloody rude?!..Dont get me wrong, its not all of them but Jesus, they wonder why we take offence to these people. If they had a little more humility instead of treating you like a criminal every time you set foot in the USA, perhaps they might win some friends!..Phew....rant over...i need to go and lie down!!
 
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fxramper
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:57 am

Good friend of my uncle, AA 757/767 International Captain, MIA based, Dale Hersh, saluting Brazilian customs.

 
B777LR
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:32 am

Well me being a flight attendant I go through TSA about four days a week. Usually they are pretty nice

Quoting IADguy73 (Thread starter):
I rememeber where flight attendants got really nasty because their food were taken from them, for example.

I would raise holy hell if this happend to me. We pack lunch for work everyday just like everyone else does. The only difference is we have to pack food for 3 or more days. So you are basiclly without food and have to buy breakfest lunch and dinner. Most of the time we don't have enough time to get off the airplane to get something.

The thing I cant stand is when I see captins and first officers getting searched. Now that is pointless.
 
SaturnVRocket
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:37 am

I work in the private charter industry and I am in contact with US Customs officials on almost a daily basis. I have to say that the majority of the ones I have dealt with are not nice people at all. I have found that the ONLY way to get anywhere with US Customs agents is to kill them with kindness. The funny thing about these guys is that being an a-hole will get you NOWHERE. you have to respect their authoritah.
 
smashme33
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:52 am

Quoting BAStew (Reply 1):
Of course there are exceptions but I have to admit, several airports in the US have the most officious, rude, arrogant immigration/security/agricultural inspectors i have ever come across as aircrew. They never smile, bark orders at you, and the words 'please' and 'thankyou' seem totally absent from their vocabulary.

That's been my experience. It looks like most agents have been programmed to be dehumanized at work, which is a shame. You can still be a human and do a tough job correctly. Also, there are plenty of people who get into a job with the authority to make or break someone's plans who often power-trip. They'll make your day a living hell if they feel like it. That being said, it gives no license for a crew member to initiate or continue snotty behavior. It's better to just bite your lip, because there is no fighting the well-protected system in the US.
 
LH417AF025
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:53 am

the US has some of the rudest immigration and customs officers that i have come across worldwide and this is coming from a US citizen. they are rude and on a disgusting power trip. i can understand crews being pissed off and annoyed with them completely. this is not only my opinion but this is something that has been widely spoken about from colleagues as well.
 
B767300ER
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:54 am

From my own personal experience as a F/A I find it difficult to make a blanket statement concerning Customs or Immigration in any one paricular country. I have found Immigration at LHR to be most tedius and inspite of all the horror stories, Israel is perhaps the easiest for Crew members. My most difficult experience happened in the 1990's when we flew from Egypt to Saudia Arabia and had an over night stop there. I would imagine a police line up to be friendlier. The female F/A had perhaps the most difficult time, and many would not bid the full JFK-CAI-RUH-CAI-JFK trip but short tripped from CAI to avoid RUH. Eventually the company dropped the RUH over night and returned after a short turn-around back to CAI. I find the ATL Immigration and Customs to be very accomodating to crew.
 
emseeeye
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:37 am

Quoting IADguy73 (Thread starter):
Why do crew members, especially flight attendants, have nasty attitude sometimes to US Customs

And passengers too...  duck 
 
Lostmoon744
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:42 am

Quoting FXramper (Reply 24):
Good friend of my uncle, AA 757/767 International Captain, MIA based, Dale Hersh, saluting Brazilian customs.


LOL. Awesome... every time I go through customs at JFK, they're always asking if I have dried fish in my luggage! All in good fun.
 
md94
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:50 am

I know I have loads of experience of only had to go through customs two times, once at IAH and once at ATL, but both times I had no problems and the Customs Officials were pleasant.

I am in local law enforcement and I think it is similar to how other officers expect professional courtesy when outside your jurisdiction from other officers (for example, being caught speeding, red light, accident, etc.). When they do not receive it, then they think the other officer is being rude when he is probably just doing his job. It seems this is similar to maybe a perceived "professional courtesy" between airline employees and Customs/TSA since they are all working in the same industry and expect some type of courtesy not extended to the public. Maybe true, maybe not!?!  Wink
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detroitflyer
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:51 am

Quoting LH417AF025 (Reply 28):
the US has some of the rudest immigration and customs officers that i have come across worldwide and this is coming from a US citizen. they are rude and on a disgusting power trip.

i dont get this whole power trip thingi.......i was under the impression they have to let a US citizen into the country regardless??? If you are a US citizen you really have nothing to be anxious about.
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fxramper
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:52 am

Quoting Lostmoon744 (Reply 31):
they're always asking if I have dried fish in my luggage!

 rotfl 

IIRC, the big US airports still have crew lines and don't give a lot of problems for most. I've experienced issues with arrivals more internationally than US. I did have have a very lax experience last time at AMS, but got harassed on the same trip coming home from EWR.
 
cgnnrw
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:21 am

I'm not a flight crew but I travel back to the US at least twice year. Once after I had been living in Europe for a few years I went trough passport control at BWI. The woman asked me how long I had been living overseas. I replied "four years". She glared at me and asked "so, this country isn't good enough for you anymore?" I kept my mouth shut and stared back at her. She eventually gave me my US passport and graciously allowed me to enter the country I was born and raised in.
A330 man.
 
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:35 am

Quoting SaturnVRocket (Reply 26):
I work in the private charter industry and I am in contact with US Customs officials on almost a daily basis. I have to say that the majority of the ones I have dealt with are not nice people at all. I have found that the ONLY way to get anywhere with US Customs agents is to kill them with kindness. The funny thing about these guys is that being an a-hole will get you NOWHERE. you have to respect their authoritah.

I think that the level of "@$$-hole-hood" is somehow written into their job performance standards. I'm a federal employee and they see my USDA identification in my passport folder and I usually wear my on-site ID badge when I go through the lines and consequently I never get any grief from them, and they usually will behave around my Canadian wife when she is with me. But other mutual friends we have from north of the border in the last few years have been treated like $h%*, and thuggish, nazi-like tactics aren't entirely out of the question. One friend from southern Alberta (Magrath) who now resides in SLC working as a graphic artist was pulled aside at JFK coming back from FCO back in '04 and humiliated in front of the rest of her party for not having her visa incorporated into her Canadian passport
DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
 
raffik
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:42 am

I can't say about crew, but I'm sure passengers are treated equally.
I have been to the States a number of times, last time through Montreal last week and it was the worst experience in my life (in terms of immigration and I have been all over - Australia, Asia, Middle East, Europe etc)
The Canadians were bright and smiley, friendly and helpful, but the American immigration are rude, arrogant, do not smile, are curt and totally unwelcoming. They don't even look at you but mumble questions.

Terrible!
- Alec
 
SWISSER
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:47 am

We had the sniffing dog today in LHR!
Very friendly and professional fellow, he could even snif a crewmember used nasal spray, keeps you busy, keeps the economy running and people get payed from tax money, hurray!
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ANother
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:58 am

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 36):
One friend from southern Alberta (Magrath) who now resides in SLC working as a graphic artist was pulled aside at JFK coming back from FCO back in '04 and humiliated in front of the rest of her party for not having her visa incorporated into her Canadian passport

I had a similar experience at IAD in 2004.

I presented my Canadian passport (which is not machine readable - issued by the embassy in Berne).After she tried to scan it a few times I said - I'm sorry it's not machine readable. "Don't tell me my job" was her response.

She then said "Where's your visa?". "I don't need a visa, I'm Canadian" was my response. "I told you, don't tell me my job - you aren't coming from Canada, you need a visa".

"Are you sure", I asked. "I've done this quite a few times recently. If you look you see 5 or 6 entry stamps".

"That's it" she bellowed. She grabbed an envelope, stuffed my passport into it and wrote something on the envelope. "The gentlemen in secondary will take care of you".

So off I went to secondary. Waited over an hour and finally was called to the desk. "So why are you here?" asked the gentleman. "I don't have a visa" I said. He looked at the note on the envelope, looked at my passport, looked at me and said: "You don't need a visa, you're Canadian". "You can go now".

Was she just stupid? I don't think so, Uncle Sam wouldn't hire stupid people. But that would mean that she did it on purpose. Why would she do that?
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:12 am

Quoting ANother (Reply 39):
Why would she do that?

Two words: Power trip (and because she can - complain and you get tagged in "the computer" for further harassment at a later entry - it's a no-win situation).
You can't cure stupid
 
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malaysia
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:17 am

I have never been pulled for inspection in any country so far. But the only thing about US immigration is I enjoy watching the Asian female inspectors. They seem to look tough and some are pretty in those dark blue uniform and with a handgun.

Makes you feel, are you sure they got citizenship?
There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
 
ANother
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:18 am

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 40):
Two words: Power trip (and because she can - complain and you get tagged in "the computer" for further harassment at a later entry - it's a no-win situation).

And that, I believe, is the answer to the Thread starter's question.
 
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:18 am

Quoting ANother (Reply 39):
Was she just stupid? I don't think so, Uncle Sam wouldn't hire stupid people. But that would mean that she did it on purpose. Why would she do that?

Being an @$$-hole is written into her job performance standards! what else can I say!
Stupid people working for Uncle Sam? Come to USDA/FSA/APFO in SLC and you'll see we have an Affirmative Action policy in place to hire a quota of sub-100 IQ personnel that is VERY effective!
DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
 
rwsea
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:23 am

Quoting Reality (Reply 8):
It seems to me that customs officials in the US are equally rude to everyone. Maybe the crew just notice it more because they have to go thru customs so much more frequently than the rest of us.



Quoting LH417AF025 (Reply 28):
the US has some of the rudest immigration and customs officers that i have come across worldwide and this is coming from a US citizen. they are rude and on a disgusting power trip. i can understand crews being pissed off and annoyed with them completely. this is not only my opinion but this is something that has been widely spoken about from colleagues as well.

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Agreed 100%. I would counter the OP's question with another question: Why are US customers officers the rudest in the Western Hemisphere? Everywhere else I've travelled, including "higher-security" airports like LHR and AMS have had quick, pleasant, even friendly customs/immigration officers. In the US (my home airport of SEA is especially bad in this area) you're treated like a common criminal just for wanting to get home. These people need to learn customer service, because at the end of the day they really are serving the public as a government employee. There is a way to do what you need to do, but have a smile on your face at the same time. I've seen a few instances at places like SFO and ATL, so I know that it is possible.
 
nzrich
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:26 am

Well im off to the UK soon for a holiday and the two routes are either through HKG or LAX .. The reason im going through HKG even thou its harder to get on the flights is so i miss LAX immigration and the transit there. I used to go through LAX every week when i flew long haul and i have to say it had some of the rudest staff i have ever met ..In saying that there were some great staff as well. Unfortunately after you have been yelled at like a dog you do not remember the good staff .. Its a shame really as the first impressions of America is its customs officers if you haven't travelled an American airline .. When i did fly long haul i was always nice to the customs officers as were the rest of the Air NZ crews even after a 12-14 hour flight as the last thing you needed was a problem at customs.. I remember one crew member got really yelled at because the American embassy in NZ made a minor mistake on her us visa and the customs officer went off at her ( like she was going to know there was a mistake the visa looked fine ) in the end after an hour and a bit she finally got let in .. But considering it was a mistake at a American Embassy and Cabin Crew have to get US visas and security clearance at home and considering this crew member had been flying in and out of the us for 20 years with no previous problems, one would thing she would of been one of the safest people through immigration that day !!!
"Pride of the pacific"
 
nickllhill
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:02 am

I find most countries excellent, I have travelled extensively and still the only place I dread is the USA.

Agents ALWAYS rude, I always do my best to be polite and they always give you the evils. (After a long flight, your'e tired and the line for immigration is well over an hour (happened severla times))

I even entered the UK on my birthday, the Immigration officer noticed and whished me many happy returns!

It's a shame, as it really is the first (and sometimes lasting) impression that people have of the USA. I for one know several people who won't go as that part is far too stressfull.
 
aanyc
Posts: 129
Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 3:51 am

RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:10 am

Quoting IADguy73 (Thread starter):
As professionals in the airline industry shouldn't they be an example instead of thinking they are the untouchables?

As a flight attendant I do agree we should remain professional at all times while in uniform. However, I do have to say I have been at the receiving end of some pretty bad attitudes from Customs agents and the TSA. When I where the same uniform pieces, same items through security, and go through the same metal detector each trip , why is it I set it off one day and not the other? This is quite annoying and I do get anrgy as no one at the TSA has an answer why. They are there for mine and the traveling publics safety. I can say the same about my bags going through the x-ray. In one station there is no problem. Then the next day, the same bags with the same items go through the x-ray at a different airport. Low and behold they need to search them as they think I have screwdrives (not a screwdriver) in my bags. Believe it or not these situation happen quite often and I do get angry as the TSA has no idea what they are looking for.

Customs is a whole different story. While I normally have no issues with them. Just like encountering a nasty Flight Attendant onboard. At the end of the day I just want to go home. The last thing I need is attitude from a customs agent. Guess what? They do not how to push your buttons if they want to.

This works both ways. Your nice and professional to me, then I am nice and professional to you. Like the old saying goes "You catch more flies with honey, than you do with vinegar".
 
ACFA
Posts: 197
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RE: Why Do Some Crews Give Attitude To US Customs?

Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:27 pm

Ah, the wonderful life of an aircrew.............. don't get me wrong, I love my job, and I respect Customs and Security who have an important job to do, but sometimes its difficult to contain the frustration. Esspecially when faced with ridiculous requirements, or power tripping personnel.

I once flipped out on a CATSA screener who threatened to confiscate all my liquids that I had packed for a 3 day trip. Even though uniformed crewmembers are exempt, she would not allow me to go through with them, and insisted I check them in (where?) or put them in my locker (what locker?). There are no procedures in place to allow crew members to check in their bags, and I certainly wasn't going to buy new toothpaste everytime I go through security, so I completely lost it and walked out with my bags. The passenger behind me was sympathetic.

I then walked through a different checkpoint, and to my amazement, I was allowed through without any harassment, which proved to me that the first screener hadn't had a clue what she was talking about.

Once this other screener (who always stops me for "random" inspection) made me take out my passport, where he proceeded to flip through the pages incase i hid something in it.  Yeah sure The whole excersize was a waste of time, which is particularly stressful when you are running short on time.

I am always respectful to US Customs agents, no matter how I feel about how they treat me. I don't want to get kidnapped to Syria after all, like a certain Canadian did in JFK.

In many countries we don't even show our passports when we clear Customs, which is nice for us. Its not the procedures thats frustrating, its more the line-ups, and the time it adds to our day after a long flight.

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