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US First Class FA Service Question

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:47 pm
by Emperortim21
Hi All,

After quite a few recent trips domestically in F, I got to thinking and I don't think I've ever been on a flight where the FA who tends to the first class cabin during boarding, offering drinks, taking coats, etc. is the same FA who tends to the cabin during flight. I've noticed this across all the US majors I've flown on in F, UA, DL, AS, AA.

I'm sure someone here knows the reasoning behind this, and I look forward to the answers provided. My guess is that since they are responsible for the first class cabin, they are the lead FA and thus responsible for more important things during boarding.

Re: US First Class FA Service Question

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:53 pm
by aloha73g
Emperortim21 wrote:
Hi All,

After quite a few recent trips domestically in F, I got to thinking and I don't think I've ever been on a flight where the FA who tends to the first class cabin during boarding, offering drinks, taking coats, etc. is the same FA who tends to the cabin during flight. I've noticed this across all the US majors I've flown on in F, UA, DL, AS, AA.

I'm sure someone here knows the reasoning behind this, and I look forward to the answers provided. My guess is that since they are responsible for the first class cabin, they are the lead FA and thus responsible for more important things during boarding.


Your hunch is correct. Generally the Lead F/A, A, #1, First Flight Attendant, On Board Leader, Purser, or whatever you want to call them is standing at the boarding door. Duties include greeting customers; keeping track of infants, strollers, car seats, wheelchairs, etc; dealing with issues that may arise with the boarding agent, pilots, other F/As or catering. After takeoff the Lead F/A usually serves first class.

-Aloha!

Re: US First Class FA Service Question

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:07 pm
by phllax
And not to further complicate things, but legacy CO lead flight attendants would come back and work the main cabin once in the air, swapping with one of the F/A's sitting in a rear jumpseat.

Re: US First Class FA Service Question

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:29 pm
by scamp
When I was with US Airways, I had a colleague in my office who transferred from inflight services. She told me that some lead FA's would often have the most junior FA on board tend to First Class as some of the more senior crew didn't want to deal with everything you were supposed to do in First.

Re: US First Class FA Service Question

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:32 pm
by USAirALB
I know a lot of senior crews that do everything in their power not to serve F or J and prefer to do the Y service.

Re: US First Class FA Service Question

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:00 pm
by Galwayman
It’s all about seniority in the US , the most senior FAs know it’s a lot less work down the back ..

Re: US First Class FA Service Question

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:02 pm
by TransWorldOne
USAirALB wrote:
I know a lot of senior crews that do everything in their power not to serve F or J and prefer to do the Y service.


Interesting, as a lot of flight attendants I have spoken with before, have said that they prefer working first class as there are less people to serve and the passengers are generally frequent fliers who are low maintenance and know the drill.

Re: US First Class FA Service Question

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:04 pm
by knope2001
Most of my recent F experiences have been DL* where is seems the front FA has been consistent for the entire process. Is it maybe something common on mainline but not on RJ for some reason?

Re: US First Class FA Service Question

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:12 pm
by garf25
Am a senior manager in UK rail. If I had my way, seniority would not exist.
It's a union imposed thing that encourages intimidation and unfairness rather than fairness.

Same in US?

Scrap seniority!

Re: US First Class FA Service Question

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:52 pm
by kiowa
garf25 wrote:
Am a senior manager in UK rail. If I had my way, seniority would not exist.
It's a union imposed thing that encourages intimidation and unfairness rather than fairness.

Same in US?

Scrap seniority!


wow, what an attitude.

Re: US First Class FA Service Question

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:16 pm
by coolian2
kiowa wrote:
garf25 wrote:
Am a senior manager in UK rail. If I had my way, seniority would not exist.
It's a union imposed thing that encourages intimidation and unfairness rather than fairness.

Same in US?

Scrap seniority!


wow, what an attitude.

Well it makes me happier about unions

Re: US First Class FA Service Question

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:55 pm
by smi0006
aloha73g wrote:
Emperortim21 wrote:
Hi All,

After quite a few recent trips domestically in F, I got to thinking and I don't think I've ever been on a flight where the FA who tends to the first class cabin during boarding, offering drinks, taking coats, etc. is the same FA who tends to the cabin during flight. I've noticed this across all the US majors I've flown on in F, UA, DL, AS, AA.

I'm sure someone here knows the reasoning behind this, and I look forward to the answers provided. My guess is that since they are responsible for the first class cabin, they are the lead FA and thus responsible for more important things during boarding.


Your hunch is correct. Generally the Lead F/A, A, #1, First Flight Attendant, On Board Leader, Purser, or whatever you want to call them is standing at the boarding door. Duties include greeting customers; keeping track of infants, strollers, car seats, wheelchairs, etc; dealing with issues that may arise with the boarding agent, pilots, other F/As or catering. After takeoff the Lead F/A usually serves first class.

-Aloha!


Same at VA and QF in AUS, the Customer Service Manager (QF) and Cabin Supervisor (VA) on the 737, and 717 will manager the departure as described above them serve Business class we call it down here, once in the air.

The difference being all fleets, this role is a different rank and you have to be apply and be appointed to this rank, it doesn’t rotate, to the point for both VA and QF they wear different uniforms, and get paid more. They also under go annual performance reviews and additional leadership, and medical training. They are also responsible for performance management onboard, and point of customer escalation if required - no way of swapping out of your to work down the back because you don’t want to! Good combination of seniority/merit system to me.

Re: US First Class FA Service Question

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:15 pm
by smflyer
On smaller aircraft with 12 or less seats, its been the case that the lead flight attendant will be the one tending to the first class customers and If the economy flight attendants come up front to grab something from the galley, they tend to pick up empty glasses and other things on their way up. On larger aircraft with 16-24 seats up front especially during meal time, I've noticed that a flight attendant is borrowed from the back to help with the meals and sometimes a 3rd one is up there helping out. After meal service it will just be the lone flight attendant cleaning up and doing drink refills and what not.

I always like to choose flight with the least amount of first class seats as possible so you get better service and drinks that are proactively refilled. On my last flight with 20 seats I got a coffee with my breakfast and was never offered a refill, the economy attendant collected my mug and didn't offer a refill. Most passengers around me just waived down a flight attendant for another drink. But thats not always the case, on another 20 seater I had my Bloody Mary refilled so often I got a little tipsy.

Re: US First Class FA Service Question

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:55 am
by BawliBooch
Not just at US majors.

The Cabin incharge FA has other duties during boarding and she generally comes around to the J cabin only after takeoff.

Re: US First Class FA Service Question

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:15 pm
by Emperortim21
Thanks for all the answers, guys! More or less as I figured.

Re: US First Class FA Service Question

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:37 pm
by bgm
Greeting passengers? :rotfl:

You'd be lucky to make eye contact at all with an FA boarding a US carrier flight, and if so you're typically met with a scowl.