Odd experience with a flight attendant HNL-LAX

 
Old Jun 2, 08, 6:26 pm
  #1  
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Odd experience with a flight attendant HNL-LAX

My wife and I had a very loopy AA flight attendant on our late HNL to LAX flight the other day, and I was curious about other frequent travelers' thoughts. My wife and I fly a fair amount so have seen many AA flight attendants over the years, most of whom were courteous and competent.

As we settled into our seats getting ready to leave, we heard a flight attendant nearby yelling at a group of non-English speaking passengers who were confused about where they were supposed to sit. We didn't think too much about it at the time, but it did seem like she was being particularly loud and harsh.

About five minutes later, the same flight attendant rushed up to our seats (the emergency exit row of the 767-300) with a bit of a panicked look on her face and apologized for ignoring us. She then told us in a very serious tone of voice that "when the plane crashes make sure to look out the window of the exit door at the engine to see if it's on fire, because if you open up the door when the engine is on fire, we're all going to burn to death" (as close to an exact quote as I can recall).

I've sat in the exit row of dozens of AA flights and am used to the standard question about whether I'm prepared to assist in the case of an emergency, so I thought she was just joking. I laughed and said "no problem," but she didn't laugh back and said in a very serious tone of voice "are you ok with this?" So we assured her that yes, when the plane crashed we wouldn't open the emergency exit without first closely inspecting the engine to prevent incinerating us and everyone else on board.

I'm not sure if the flight from Honolulu to LA typically ends with a flaming engine, but we thought this was more than a little bit odd. Also if we had to land half way between Honolulu and LA, I think an engine fire would be the least of our worries.

A little later, after we took off without either of the engines starting on fire, we noticed that neither of the lights above our seats worked (a sadly fairly typical occurrence for us on AA lately). Since this was the night flight and we would be flying in the dark almost half of the flight and my wife and I prefer to read on the plane, we stopped the same flight attendant as she passed by selling headsets and told her we were having a problem getting our lights to work to see if she had any ideas what we could do. In the past in similar situations, flight attendants have helped out by checking to see if our lights were actually broken or asking around to see if we could switch seats with someone who was planning on watching the movie during the flight.

Instead, she was very short and rude, shoving some headsets into our seat pockets (right next to the headsets I had brought onto the plane myself). She said that the plane was full and told us to "just watch the crappy movie." While I suppose the free headseats were a nice gesture, and while we agreed with her assessment that most movies shown in flight are "crappy," this again struck us as not the standard response AA would encourage their flight attendants to use.

Finally, as we were landing at the end of the flight into LA, we (and the rest of our section) could overhear the same flight attendant talking to a passenger facing her in her jump seat. The passenger commented that he wished airlines would have a camera pointing out the front window of the plane to watch on the screen during landing. Her response was "they used to have that until the 1978 DC-10 crash in Chicago." She went on to describe the burning wreckage and engine falling off the plane. Now the last thing most people flying (myself included) want to hear as they are about to land with the plane banking and shuddering is graphic stories of aviation disasters.

It's bad enough having to end a vacation in Hawaii but this flight attendant sure didn't help with a peaceful flight back home! I'm not sure if she was having a bad day and was just being rude/insensitive, if she was mentally unbalanced (my guess), or if she was under the influence of some substance (my wife's guess).

Anyone else ever have a flight attendant like this or have any recommendations how we should handle this? I would guess AA would not encourage their flight attendants to act this way!
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Old Jun 2, 08, 7:16 pm
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Make sure to let AA know of your weird experience. They can offer her assistance through an employee help program.
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Old Jun 2, 08, 7:17 pm
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Report her. Sounds like a bit of an ugly duckling.

As for the nosewheel mounted camera, I flew JFK-NRT about 10 years ago and they had live video from the nosewheel during take off and landing. That was pretty cool. Just because AA doesn't do it doesn't mean it's because of one of many airline crashes that have happened since the 70's. JetBlue passengers got to watch the news coverage of their own plane circling an airport while a stuck nose gear issue was dealt with. That didn't stop that airline from offering in seat live TV.
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Old Jun 2, 08, 7:18 pm
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Originally Posted by PHL View Post
Report her. Sounds like a bit of an ugly duckling.

As for the nosewheel mounted camera, I flew JFK-NRT about 10 years ago and they had live video from the nosewheel during take off and landing. That was pretty cool. Just because AA doesn't do it doesn't mean it's because of one of many airline crashes that have happened since the 70's. JetBlue passengers got to watch the news coverage of their own plane circling an airport while a stuck nose gear issue was dealt with. That didn't stop that airline from offering in seat live TV.
IB still has them. Frankly, they freak me out - that is way more information that I want to see on a JFK approach.

To the OP: I'd definitely send AA a note about her. Any chance you have her name? That will make it a lot easier.
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Old Jun 2, 08, 7:20 pm
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I've had FAs giggle and snort through the safety demo, blunting its impact on everybody. But I've never had one dwell on catastrophes real or predicted in such detail. She sounds unwell and I think you should report the details to AA.
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Old Jun 2, 08, 7:21 pm
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Yikes! With most "weird" things people post here it seems to be a mix of some actual bad behavior, and some misinterpretation. Not so here. Sounds like you just had an out and out fruit loop on this one. Definitely report this person with all of the information you have. She should not be on planes at present, IMO.

Cheers.
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Old Jun 2, 08, 7:28 pm
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JL also has the external cameras.. I thoroughly enjoy them, myself.
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Old Jun 2, 08, 7:31 pm
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Originally Posted by PHL View Post
As for the nosewheel mounted camera, I flew JFK-NRT about 10 years ago and they had live video from the nosewheel during take off and landing. That was pretty cool. Just because AA doesn't do it doesn't mean it's because of one of many airline crashes that have happened since the 70's. JetBlue passengers got to watch the news coverage of their own plane circling an airport while a stuck nose gear issue was dealt with. That didn't stop that airline from offering in seat live TV.
One other thing I really enjoyed in flight was listening to the radio transmisions from the flight crew. I think I was flying United at the time. I always wished AA would provide this on one of the 12 audio channels.

-Mike
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Old Jun 2, 08, 7:33 pm
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Sorry to hear about your experience.
There is always at least 1 bad apple.
I always have great crews on the BOS-LHR but the last time coming home we had 1 FA that just didn't want to be there. I had left my duty free tag out with cash for some smokes (on the seat back where they are suppose to be left), I must have fallen asleep and got passed by. When I woke up I asked her about getting 2 cartons of X brand and she replied "sorry we only have 1 left" and she walked away. I said to myself, ok well I'll get 1, it's better then nothing. About an hour later and still didn't have them so I asked her again as she passed by and she said sorry they just sold the last one. I wish I had gotten her name since she was just not right in the head and was very annoyed the whole flight with drink service, meal service etc... Maybe they moved her to the HNL LAX flights
When we were landing another FA (I think from first class) sat in the jump seat in front of us and I told her about the nasty FA. She was sympathetic and said I wasn't the first to complain. Oh well, shouldn't have to but sometimes you have to take the good with the bad
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Old Jun 2, 08, 7:36 pm
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Originally Posted by oc2005 View Post
She then told us in a very serious tone of voice that "when the plane crashes make sure to look out the window of the exit door at the engine to see if it's on fire, because if you open up the door when the engine is on fire, we're all going to burn to death" (as close to an exact quote as I can recall).


I would have got off the plane if I heard that. Completely ridiculous!
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Old Jun 2, 08, 7:41 pm
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Maybe she was just being extremely sarcastic? Some people have difficulties delivering humor. I actually got a good laugh out of reading that...however your concern is appropriate--I might have been shocked to hear that in person (but not if I was on WN or B6).
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Old Jun 2, 08, 7:45 pm
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Originally Posted by tuanners View Post
Maybe she was just being extremely sarcastic? Some people have difficulties delivering humor. I actually got a good laugh out of reading that...however your concern is appropriate--I might have been shocked to hear that in person (but not if I was on WN or B6).
Yes, some have an "interesting" sense of humor. My best friend will laugh at the most effed up things. But the FA has to know that the people immediately around the exit row can hear her and they might be frightened by her weak attempt at humor.
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Old Jun 2, 08, 8:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Joka View Post
Sorry to hear about your experience.
There is always at least 1 bad apple.
I always have great crews on the BOS-LHR but the last time coming home we had 1 FA that just didn't want to be there. I had left my duty free tag out with cash for some smokes (on the seat back where they are suppose to be left), I must have fallen asleep and got passed by. When I woke up I asked her about getting 2 cartons of X brand and she replied "sorry we only have 1 left" and she walked away. I said to myself, ok well I'll get 1, it's better then nothing. About an hour later and still didn't have them so I asked her again as she passed by and she said sorry they just sold the last one. I wish I had gotten her name since she was just not right in the head and was very annoyed the whole flight with drink service, meal service etc... Maybe they moved her to the HNL LAX flights
When we were landing another FA (I think from first class) sat in the jump seat in front of us and I told her about the nasty FA. She was sympathetic and said I wasn't the first to complain. Oh well, shouldn't have to but sometimes you have to take the good with the bad
Sounds like the "gem" I experienced LHR-MIA May 24th. I did get her name and did file a detailed complaint. (My first regarding a FA on any airline, and hopefully last).
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Old Jun 2, 08, 8:56 pm
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Originally Posted by jkm024 View Post
JL also has the external cameras.. I thoroughly enjoy them, myself.
Just jumped off a couple JL flights and saw the front-view camera for the first time. Kept me interested the whole flight! I'd love to see that as a TV option on the 777 AVOD so that people like me and people like bdemaria could be equally information-satisfied.
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Old Jun 2, 08, 9:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Ajohn View Post
Just jumped off a couple JL flights and saw the front-view camera for the first time. Kept me interested the whole flight! I'd love to see that as a TV option on the 777 AVOD so that people like me and people like bdemaria could be equally information-satisfied.
Flew SAS a few years ago and they had forward and downward cameras that you could switch between. Sweet...
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