TTT: Thank your flight attendant

September 16, 2008 at 8:46 am Leave a comment

The New York Times recently published Flying the Unfriendly Skies, an article about what it really means to be a flight attendant in this day and age.  I was already quite certain it’s not a glorious, fun-filled job, but I learned several interesting things from the article.

  1. For those of you who don’t care for children on airplanes, be glad of them!  During the summer, airlines must be particularly strict about weight limits on short runways.  If the plane is too heavy, it won’t get off the ground.  The good news is that sometimes enough child passengers can save adults from being bumped when a plane is made to take off of a shorter runway.  (Page 2)
  2. First class is more demanding than coach.  Who knew?  I’ve noticed that there’s a better attendant to passenger ratio there, but apparently there’s a reason for that.  Some of them sit up there and fully intend to tie one on – all the while being incredibly demanding of the flight attendants.  (Pages 1 and 3.)
  3. Flight attendants are paid only for in flight time.  That means that all that time sitting on a runway is not just frustrating for passengers but for the flight attendants too.  What a pain!  The paltry per diem for each hour they are away is a cruel joke.  (Page 3)

I’ve always made sure to smile at and thank my flight attendants (except on this one Iberia flight *shivers in disgust*), but now I have a renewed appreciation for the job they do.  My travel tip this Tuesday is for you to make sure you appreciate them too.

Bonus tip: If you are seated behind me, please don’t be shocked when I recline my seat.  If you wanted to be seated behind someone whose seat would not recline, you should’ve checked Seat Guru.  If you want to be really certain of having sufficient leg room, please book a seat in first or business class.  I have now twice been told by older men that I should not recline my seat.  They weren’t even that tall!  *shaking head*  Oh, and I was nice despite seething over my fellow passengers’ disrespect.  I encouraged them to recline their own seats and incrementally moved my seatback up out of respect.


Entry filed under: Planes, trains, autos, boats, Travel Tips. Tags: , , , , .

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