how do you deal with poor FA service?

Old Oct 28, 13, 9:38 pm
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how do you deal with poor FA service?

I'm on a flight from slc to jfk (#1830) right now in paid first (gotta love gogo inflight) and the service so far has been surly and slow to non-existent.

This happens not too frequently when I fly cross country, but it happens often enough that I am curious. How do others deal with really bad FA service? Do you confront them about hiding up front? Do you send a letter afterwards? I don't care about miles so I probably won't, I just want the service to get better so when I spend 2k+ on a ticket I get some decent service.
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Old Oct 28, 13, 9:42 pm
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As has been noted in other threads (see TH's thread on shenanigans) it is often a bad idea to confront a FA while on the plane. However, when poor service is exceptionally obvious, I have on occasion approached another FA on the flight and while making small talk mentioned that service in F has been relatively slow and would it be possible for me to get a drink refill, a snack, etc. I've found that there is enough accountability between FAs that often if the one assigned to F won't step it up, the one I approach usually pitches in and service improves dramatically.

Good Luck! Hope you can enjoy the rest of your flight!
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Old Oct 28, 13, 9:45 pm
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I find that THIS generally helps when I'm not getting what I need.
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Old Oct 28, 13, 9:54 pm
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As said above try the call button, if that does not work go find the lead FA, and ask for service. Then send a letter in latter.
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Old Oct 29, 13, 12:01 am
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Too many times I've squirmed in my seat wondering when the next drink service would be, or why the FA missed me when coming by with the snack basket, and it's done nothing but raise my blood pressure. Recently I switched tactics: go to the galley and strike up a conversation. Odds are, it's nothing personal. FAs have to deal with some surly people themselves, and given how much flying wears on me, it pales in comparison to what they deal with. Chances are that inconsiderate and aloof FA is a normal person and has his or her moments.

If you aren't one for conversation, the previously mentioned button above your seat works just as well.
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Old Oct 29, 13, 2:33 am
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Originally Posted by sdadept View Post
I'm on a flight from slc to jfk (#1830) right now in paid first (gotta love gogo inflight) and the service so far has been surly and slow to non-existent.
Not sure what you mean by "surly and slow to non-existent." Perhaps your expectations are a bit high (personally gave up on that long ago) but specific examples help. Was drink service slow? Snack basket not out on time? Plastic or (shudder) paper cups?

Everyone has a different tolerance level. IME FA's are often not aware of slow or poor service. It is just another flt to them. Pointing out specifically what the problem was for you might be helpful.
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Old Oct 29, 13, 7:45 am
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Originally Posted by runninaway View Post
I find that THIS generally helps when I'm not getting what I need.
Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
As said above try the call button, if that does not work go find the lead FA, and ask for service. Then send a letter in latter.

Sometimes the button doesn't work properly.

On my last flight, one of the FAs told me the sound on my call button didn't function. So even though the light worked, there was no ding for them to hear and they don't always think to look down the aisles for lights. Thereafter, I went to pick up my own water.
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Old Oct 29, 13, 7:52 am
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Originally Posted by twtrvl View Post
Sometimes the button doesn't work properly.

On my last flight, one of the FAs told me the sound on my call button didn't function. So even though the light worked, there was no ding for them to hear and they don't always think to look down the aisles for lights. Thereafter, I went to pick up my own water.
As a first step, you might politely inquire if your light and sound are functional. If you don't want to get up to do this, and no one comes for your call, ask a neighbor to hit his/hers and redirect the FA to you.
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Old Oct 29, 13, 8:18 am
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Originally Posted by jsmith50 View Post
As has been noted in other threads (see TH's thread on shenanigans) it is often a bad idea to confront a FA while on the plane. However, when poor service is exceptionally obvious, I have on occasion approached another FA on the flight and while making small talk mentioned that service in F has been relatively slow and would it be possible for me to get a drink refill, a snack, etc. I've found that there is enough accountability between FAs that often if the one assigned to F won't step it up, the one I approach usually pitches in and service improves dramatically.

Good Luck! Hope you can enjoy the rest of your flight!
I think this is the best approach. Unfortunately, no matter how nice/civil you are, you risk getting a bad FA who has the power to escalate anything and actually create problems for you when you arrive (e.g. LEOs). Sadly, I've seen this more than once.

Usually, though, I've found that if you directly approach another FA and ask for something, they will help you out.

Regardless, unless there are safety issues involved, there is absolutely no excuse for bad/spotty/surly service.
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Old Oct 29, 13, 11:03 pm
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On my flight from Detroit to Phoenix last Saturday night, I had to hold the glasses in F when we were landing because they had not been picked up (the FAs had been busily conversing instead), a bunch of seat backs were still reclined when landing (same as upon takeoff), refill service was spotty, and I did not see the snack basket. Is this combination of small mishaps something that generally would be reported to Delta?
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Old Oct 29, 13, 11:10 pm
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Originally Posted by PHXflier View Post
On my flight from Detroit to Phoenix last Saturday night, I had to hold the glasses in F when we were landing because they had not been picked up (the FAs had been busily conversing instead), a bunch of seat backs were still reclined when landing (same as upon takeoff), refill service was spotty, and I did not see the snack basket. Is this combination of small mishaps something that generally would be reported to Delta?
Did you nap at all? Hard to believe they would not make at least one snack basket run (unless there was a catering issue).
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Old Oct 30, 13, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
Did you nap at all? Hard to believe they would not make at least one snack basket run (unless there was a catering issue).
No, I did not nap. There was a sandwich service after departure, and previous times I have taken this flight there was a snack basket coming around towards the end of the flight, but that did not happen this time around. There was no announcement regarding catering issues, so I presume all was normal.
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Old Oct 30, 13, 10:01 am
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I guess I would usually request the missing service, probably in a way that might show that I know what the service standards should be. For example, "would you please take my coat" not "are you going to hang up coats?" Depending on the situation, I try to get the FAs attention ("excuse me please" when a FA walks past my seat), I use my call button, or I walk to the galley to make my (polite but firm) request.

If someone is unhappy that the snack basket hasn't been offered, why not ask for a FA to bring the snack basket. I think they're unlikely to say no if a snack basket has been catered for the flight. If it hasn't been provided, the FA will probably either explain what happened or state that the flight now doesn't have the snack basket service.
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Old Oct 30, 13, 11:06 am
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I don't understand the angst. I just hit the call button and ask for something from the basket, or a drink, or whatever. Never been turned down.
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Old Oct 30, 13, 12:52 pm
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I go to the bathroom even if I don't have to go and on my way back to my seat I stop and ask the lazy FA on the jump seat if they would mind if I had a refill. Works every time and it feels pretty natural as you're simply passing by him/her.
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