Slandered by flight attendant

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Old Jun 9, 19, 6:41 am
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Slandered by flight attendant

I recently, along with family, took a paid BA trip in F to India, with four F flight segments. Two flights were mediocre service-wise. One flight was outstanding (made sure to thank flight crew profusely). And flight this week from LHR to LAX was nightmarish. My family members were returning on other flights, so I was alone. Right from the start, things went wrong fast. I was assigned 1K on a 747. When being led to my seat for boarding, I followed FA up the aisle, and 2K passenger had items spread out all over the floor. FA went around this passenger, but I couldn't with my rolling suitcase. So I stood in the aisle for five minutes or so while passenger, completely oblivious, calmly sorted through their stuff. FA said nothing to passenger. Eventually, 2K decided that they couldn't fit their bag in overhead bin. FA instructed them to put their bag in the wardrobe in the first row. Now the wardrobe, which I would also have to use for my bag since there are no overhead bins for row 1 (and I have been scolded in the past for trying to use an overhead bin when in row 1), was already full of High Life magazines, and a good deal of bedding. Passenger 2K put their soft-sided bag on top of this pile. I was left with no choice but to put my rolling suitcase on top of 2K bag. And then when 1A came in, another soft-sided bag and cast for a leg were added to the pile. On top of this, the latch to the wardrobe didn't seem to be working properly, so I was concerned about this tipsy pile of stuff landing in the aisle, but I didn't say anything at this point. Then, almost immediately, 2K wanted to get into their bag again, and made it clear that he would be accessing the bag throughout the flight. I removed my bag to get it out of 2K's way, and then put it back again. My bag again teetering on the pile, and there was no way I would put my smaller cabin bag on top of this mess.

I didn't want to have a flight of constantly moving my bags out of the wardrobe, and clearly they would have to be moved again at least to access the bedding and an unknown number of times for 2K. So I asked the FA in the area if they could straighten up the closet, as I didn't think the teetering mountain of bags, etc. was safe, or convenient, and that I might want to get to my bag too. The FA did as I asked, and mentioned that he had never seen anyone use the wardrobe for bag storage before. I replied that in my history of sitting in row 1 on a 747, I had always had to use it for storage and had been told to do so. He replied something to the effect that "it must be nice to sit in 1K regularly". I didn't reply, and his comment didn't really strike me as hostile, so I was at that time satisfied with the situation.

About a minute or two later, I heard a FA voice in the galley, while sitting in my seat in 1K, that "the lady in 1K thinks she owns the wardrobe". Then again, as if another FA had asked for a clarification, "1K thinks she owns the wardrobe". The passenger in 1A also clearly heard the comments and shook his head. Clearly, the whole cabin heard the comments. I walked back to the galley, and wasn't exactly sure who had said this, and was greeted with an absolute glare by nearby female flight attendant, as I asked to confirm who had said that I owned the "cabin" and why this was said so that the whole F and probably some of the J cabin could hear. I was quickly confronted by the offending FA, who simply corrected my mis-statement and pointed out that he had only said that I thought I owned the "wardrobe". No apology from the FA, no calming words, nothing. Only hostility. I told the FA that he should stay away from me during the flight and that I would require no service at all other than getting a bed made and a few bottles of water, and that he was totally wrong in his statementl. That was that. And we weren't even off the ground. Upon take-off, the guy in 1A did have to hold the wardrobe door closed with his foot, so the items in the closet had been both a safety and convenience issue.

Eventually, the cabin director of F came up and issued an apology of some sort. He said he had "dealt" with the situation, and that he would be the only one serving me. At this point, I was way too upset to require any service. I didn't end up eating at all or sleeping much the entire flight. The offending FA didn't ever say anything else to me, and only ignored me if I came back to use the restroom (which was very intimidating, to be honest). The Cabin Service Director came up to me eventually, and issued a mealy-mouthed apology and about being sorry I felt this way and that she had spoken to the offending FA. She was very reluctant to give me the name of the offending flight crew, but eventually did. The First cabin director did ask me numerous times if I wanted to eat, but I did not. Supposedly a report was written. But the crew seemed pretty jolly all in all.

It was so upsetting to me to be slandered by one of the crew in front of the whole cabin just a few minutes after getting on board and I honestly felt like some kind of pariah for the rest of the flight. I wonder if this would have happened to a male passenger. I don't think I am unreasonable in my requests, and I am a pretty nice person. I pay for F so that I can have a reasonably hassle-free experience. I wasn't even given a chance in this case to have an enjoyable flight. And this is where the dividing line is between a good and mediocre crew. If the crew had dealt better with the guy in 2K (and helped him get his bag in the overhead...which should have been possible given the soft-sided nature of the bag...or offered me the overhead bin), and if the F cabin wardrobe had been sorted out in advance so it wasn't full of bedding, this situation could have been avoided. Instead, I make a pretty reasonable request for BA to do their housekeeping, and for me not to have to move my bag multiple times during the flight or have all the wardrobe contents land on me during take-off, and the FA starts to seethe with resentment. I have been a Gold Card holder on BA for several years, and I am always a premium cabin passenger. Being slandered has really almost sent me over the edge with BA. And I know they don't really care.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 6:48 am
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For the record I've also always used and seen the closet being used for luggage and I've taken over 100 flights in BA 747 F.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 6:54 am
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I think this boils down to the fact that it is *incredibly* unprofessional of crew to badmouth a passenger (whether correct in the assessment or not) in earshot of said passenger and others. I can certainly see why you were mighitly p*ssed off on hearing what you heard - I'm sure I would be. The crew member should have been given a firm (private) telling off and I suspect the CSM may well have done so.

The rest of the story gets a bit 'meh' and I'll let others analyse further...
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Old Jun 9, 19, 6:55 am
  #4  
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Slander?

Sounds like you got pissed off ( rightly so) and never quite recovered despite the attempts by other crew to make it better for you while having to service 100s of other passengers as well.

Last edited by david55; Jun 9, 19 at 7:00 am
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Old Jun 9, 19, 6:56 am
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I read that, and as far as I can work out you are cross because a busy cabin meant things got a bit complex with your bag, and one of the cabin crew made a very minor observation - which your 'stay away from me during the flight' sounded like an escalation.

I'm afraid that to my reading of this, you've not come across particularly well here - your wall of text basically boils down to you being over sensitive to a comment, and then escalating it to the stage where you let it ruin your flight. It seems a bit over the top to me, and frankly I'd question what resolution here is going to achieve.

I'm sorry you heard someone say something you didnt like - that isn't a nice thing to do. But BA crew always strike me as, generally, pretty reasonable human beings working in a difficult service industry and perhaps they were just a bit tired and let their guard slip by speaking a bit louder than was necessary. But, to get them to the point where they let that guard slip suggests, in part, that you may have done something to cause them feel the need to express frustration. I am sure it was dealt with effectively behind the scenes.

Sorry to sound harsh, but I think you've overreacted to what on the face of it sounds like a fairly innocuous comment. Its not slander, and frankly I think you need to let it go.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 6:56 am
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Pretty awful treatment, but slander is something quite different. You allowed it to affect the rest of the flight, which is unfortunate
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Old Jun 9, 19, 7:15 am
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I am surprised by the reaction of the cabin crew member, most are fairly laid back about baggage issues and genuinely don't have an opinion about it. In this case the crew member lacked professionalism. The CSD, however, appeared to try to resolve this, quite rightly. We're all different but it's best not to sweat the small stuff, the CSD would have provided words of advice to the crew member, so that means it was out of your hands. This won't happen to you again, but if it did I would accept the CSM's words with good grace, and move on.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 7:15 am
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Iíd be rightly pi*sed off if Iíd heard a comment like that, as BA crew are generally extremely professional and itís what you come to expect from them, particularly in First.

But Jesus wept comes to mind with the rest of this tale. Sounds like you were given a firm apology from the CSD and a very fair offer of only him serving you throughout the flight, an appropriate course of action. That would have had the line drawn under it for me. Sounds like you were feeling very sorry for yourself for the rest of the flight, which is really no way to enjoy F.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 7:21 am
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This doesn't sound very nice at all and I can understand why you are so upset.
Where do you want to go with this, the CSD made an apology and as you asked the crew member was kept away from you?
I would have asked the crew member not speak to you or apologise as this may have made the situation worse.
The CSL (Customer Service Leader) did ask you numerous times if you would like to eat so I presume they did all they could after a very unpleasant start to your flight.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 7:24 am
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When sitting in 1A or 1K on a BA 747 I have never heard a word said in the galley. I accept my hearing is not the best.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 7:37 am
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Originally Posted by Rubecula View Post
When sitting in 1A or 1K on a BA 747 I have never heard a word said in the galley. I accept my hearing is not the best.
It was surprising how audible it was. I was not expecting to hear anything of the sort, so really wasnít paying any particular attention. But both 1A and 1K heard it clearly. I presume others did too.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
The CSL (Customer Service Leader) [...]
Is there yet another title to try to remember now?! We have CSD, CSM, Purser, and now CSL? Is there a guide for dummies anywhere about what the differences are? Or have some been phased out?
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Old Jun 9, 19, 7:44 am
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Originally Posted by Can I help you View Post
This doesn't sound very nice at all and I can understand why you are so upset.
Where do you want to go with this, the CSD made an apology and as you asked the crew member was kept away from you?
I would have asked the crew member not speak to you or apologise as this may have made the situation worse.
The CSL (Customer Service Leader) did ask you numerous times if you would like to eat so I presume they did all they could after a very unpleasant start to your flight.
Yes, I have no problem with the First CSL. He was a nice guy, and I told him I appreciated his words. But basically having someone announce to the cabin that youíre a bóó is upsetting. Try it sometime! Especially when the whole story isnít out there. Nothing I did deserved public humiliation. Totally my decision not to eat. Donít like stuffing myself with calories when I wonít enjoy it.
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Old Jun 9, 19, 7:47 am
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You missed SCCM, I think. BA has really made a pig’s ear with these job titles.

Anyway, the OP’s narrative reminds me to avoid Row 1 on the 744
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Old Jun 9, 19, 7:53 am
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The best courses of action here were either to ignore the initial comment or to speak with the CSM, but not have confronted the FA directly.

Once the CSM dealt with the issue, proposed a solution and made an apology, the issue was definitely over.

The wall of text over this minor slight suggests that it is not over for OP. But, it really is over so OP should put it in the past.
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