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What's with AA's Flight Attendants? [LHR-JFK flight cabin crew issues]

What's with AA's Flight Attendants? [LHR-JFK flight cabin crew issues]

 
Old Jan 26, 13, 1:02 pm
  #1  
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What's with AA's Flight Attendants? [LHR-JFK flight cabin crew issues]

Just returned from a flight from LHR to JFK.

On the flight, the pilot made an announcement, but his voice was hard to understand because of the noise. I was in Business and went to the galley to ask a FA what the captain had said. Her response: "I don't know. I wasn't paying attention." And with that, she turned and walked away.

When we landed and it was time to disembark, our coats had not been returned to us, and not a single FA was to be seen. The business class passengers opened the closet, rummaged through the coats, and found our own.

What's going on with AA's staff? If they're so angry, and take it out on the passengers, why don't just quit and find something else to do?
tarmac is offline  
Old Jan 26, 13, 1:12 pm
  #2  
 
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What an unfortunate experience, and sucky crew.

I understand the "I wasn't paying attention" part, to some extent. It's hard to hear the announcements just sitting NEXT to that galley, and I imagine it's harder from within it. Not to mention, general tuning out the same spiel she's likely heard about what we're passing over or how there's a great crew of FAs or the reminder to keep your seatbelts fastened just like {we} do on the flight deck. Blah, blah, blah. I do think it'd have been nice had she offered to find out for your benefit, though.

I wonder if you didn't happen upon a crew that just wasn't accustomed to this route or cabin. I've had it happen on MD80s before that the coats weren't returned. Though in my case the FA was apologetic and mentioned that she was assigned the flight but she hadn't been on an MD80 in almost ten years. I think she just honestly forgot.

I just read that AA will start its new hire training next week. Maybe your cabin was staffed with one of the new crossovers from the domestic operation.

Or maybe she hates her job and is angry with the world, who knows. Isolated patterns deserve benefit of the doubt; consistently poor service, well that's more worthy of a whine IMO.
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Old Jan 26, 13, 1:18 pm
  #3  
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nothing new....50% or so are below average.....

in the early 80's, the aa folks were having a dispute & were really bad....

i switched to braniff...bought 5 or 6 really cheap tickets....aa honored them after braniff shut down....i saved the bp's & turned in a bunch....was given gold.....

it helps to be lucky....
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Old Jan 26, 13, 1:39 pm
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In any service industry, a certain percentage of service employees will have a bad attitude or a bad day. That being said, I have 15 segments so far this year. On all of these 15 segments, service has ranged from good to great. I personally don't see a trend of FA's with bad attitudes. That being said, it is my sense that certain routes have more problems than others. I do know its not directly seniority related as a couple of routes I fly are very high seniority routes and the service is consistently excellent.
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Old Jan 26, 13, 3:05 pm
  #5  
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Random data point: Today, boarded a 738, seated in F. FA assigned to F was an older man. During boarding, he spoke to the F pax as they were seated, taking orders for pre-departure drinks. One gentleman asked for tomato juice. "Would you like that with or without ice, sir?" I was in row 6, last row of the F cabin. Two FAs standing in the front row of coach commented, "Wow, he asks if they want ice or no ice? Why's he working so hard?"
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Old Jan 26, 13, 3:44 pm
  #6  
 
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In general, I have found AA's cabin crew to be pretty good. You will encounter those that are indifferent to their jobs, or perhaps are having a bad day. However, I feel that is the exception and not the norm. Working with the public can be difficult and we all have our days when things don't go as planned.

That being said, I did see a F/A have an utter meltdown earlier this month on a trip. They got into a hysterical argument with a passenger that lasted the entire flight. They were also screaming up the jetway at the passenger as we were de-boarding. I have no idea what the argument was about and there are always two sides to every story. However, I do think as a service professional you need to take the high road and remove yourself (or the passenger if appropriate) from the situation. To be honest, I was embarrassed for this person as everyone within ear shot of me were making comments under their breath. I am a big believer in recognizing excellent service by sending an email to AA via their website when I receive service above and beyond. I also believe that when service is not good that providing that feedback constructively using the same form of communication is appropriate. After all, how is AA going to address it. I was actually called by someone from AA a few days later so they could get more information and apologize.

If you feel that service was far below normal, than report it appropriately. Be constructive and provide specifics. Also, since I manage a service team I have always found that it is always best to never make things personal. State what you saw. Most Managers really do like that feedback.
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Old Jan 26, 13, 4:54 pm
  #7  
 
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It's too bad you had such a poor experience on AA. I have been on 10 AA flights so far this year and with the exception of one, the service was always equal to or better than I expected.

My last flight, yesterday our flight attendant and the FO were so outgoing, friendly and personable I took the time to send my thanks to AA.

We all have different experiences, hopefully yours is better next time.
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Old Jan 26, 13, 5:25 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by tarmac View Post
What's with AA's Flight Attendants?
They're a mismanaged (or un-managed), inconsistent lot.
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Old Jan 26, 13, 9:41 pm
  #9  
 
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I find this thread very interesting.

I've taken 4 1/2 rt transcons in the last 10 weeks. My service has been so good on those flights that I was actually planning on starting a thread about how much better the service has become since the buyout, even in coach.

Just goes to show in a small sample size it only takes one or two to skew the results.

Sorry you had such a poor experience.
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Old Jan 26, 13, 10:04 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by tarmac View Post
Just returned from a flight from LHR to JFK.

On the flight, the pilot made an announcement, but his voice was hard to understand because of the noise. I was in Business and went to the galley to ask a FA what the captain had said. Her response: "I don't know. I wasn't paying attention." And with that, she turned and walked away.

When we landed and it was time to disembark, our coats had not been returned to us, and not a single FA was to be seen. The business class passengers opened the closet, rummaged through the coats, and found our own.

What's going on with AA's staff? If they're so angry, and take it out on the passengers, why don't just quit and find something else to do?
Surprised this happened on a LHR JFK flight. Usually, I get good to excellent FAs on this route. The worst AA FAs I get are usually on the MIA EZE flights.
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Old Jan 26, 13, 10:09 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by clacko View Post
nothing new....50% or so are below average.....
I suppose you could say that about pretty much everything.

On the bright side, 50% or so are above average...
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Old Jan 26, 13, 10:15 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by appleblossom View Post

I wonder if you didn't happen upon a crew that just wasn't accustomed to this route or cabin.
LHR-JFK.. I would find that unlikely
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Old Jan 26, 13, 10:16 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
I was in row 6, last row of the F cabin. Two FAs standing in the front row of coach commented, "Wow, he asks if they want ice or no ice? Why's he working so hard?"
Which could translate to "why is he making us look bad?"
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Old Jan 26, 13, 10:42 pm
  #14  
 
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From my experiences, AA has one of the best attendants when compared to Delta and UA
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Old Jan 26, 13, 10:43 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
LHR-JFK.. I would find that unlikely
Perhaps not; I figured if it'd ever be the case, it'd be now. Or at least, now before the new-hires hit the skies!

One of my "regular" FAs let me know that she was transferring to JFK because they had opened it up. I imagine there's a new crop there, and that they're filling in on some premium routes while more senior FAs burn sick time as they wait out exit dates for the buyout they've taken. Maybe not taking over the LHR-JFK route, but at least infiltrating it?

FWIW, this FA was always pretty good to me. Probably because we found our flow, and figured each other out after so many years flying together. But I've seen her on the rare day where she could have easily been the FA described in the OP.
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