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What do you look for in crew? [FT News 'Crewed Talk']

What do you look for in crew? [FT News 'Crewed Talk']

Old Feb 17, 17, 5:44 pm
  #1  
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What do you look for in crew? [FT News 'Crewed Talk']

Hi all! First off, I just wanted to thank you all for reading Crewed Talk! It really means the world to me that you've been reading and discussing the column - and if there is anything now or in the future you would like crew perspective on, feel free to grab me here or tweet me at @skygarbageman.

I have to admit to lurking through the forum to get ideas for article topics, and one has stuck in my mind for a while. Someone had asked what made a crew exceptional, and I've always wanted outside input on this as well. I know what I like - personable and attentive but also not too over the top. But someone brought up in the thread that a first class flight attendant had Googled him prior to boarding and he was very impressed with this, as he had asked about his business. I would be absolutely horrified, if that were me. This really highlighted the differences in what different people look for.

Often the flight attendants who receive the most compliments at an airline are also the ones who receive the most complaints and break the most rules. This is because they can be especially over the top, which puts people off sometimes.

At work I try to be attentive but fairly invisible. I try to blend into the background, but if a passenger chats me up I will absolutely engage them. I allow people to set the tone they want for the flight.

What would you like from a crew? And what DON'T you like from a crew?

Thanks!
Amanda
Amanda Pleva is offline  
Old Feb 18, 17, 9:27 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by Amanda Pleva View Post
Hi all! First off, I just wanted to thank you all for reading Crewed Talk! It really means the world to me that you've been reading and discussing the column - and if there is anything now or in the future you would like crew perspective on, feel free to grab me here or tweet me at @skygarbageman.

I have to admit to lurking through the forum to get ideas for article topics, and one has stuck in my mind for a while. Someone had asked what made a crew exceptional, and I've always wanted outside input on this as well. I know what I like - personable and attentive but also not too over the top. But someone brought up in the thread that a first class flight attendant had Googled him prior to boarding and he was very impressed with this, as he had asked about his business. I would be absolutely horrified, if that were me. This really highlighted the differences in what different people look for.

Often the flight attendants who receive the most compliments at an airline are also the ones who receive the most complaints and break the most rules. This is because they can be especially over the top, which puts people off sometimes.

At work I try to be attentive but fairly invisible. I try to blend into the background, but if a passenger chats me up I will absolutely engage them. I allow people to set the tone they want for the flight.

What would you like from a crew? And what DON'T you like from a crew?

Thanks!
Amanda
I guess generally I like an approach similar to what you describe for yourself. I'm low maintenance so I don't need fawning and constant interaction. Do a solid job of delivering the expected stuff for that cabin and flight (meal, or drinks or whatever the case may be) and be available if I do happen to need something and I'll be perfectly satisfied. That said, I'm not offended or anything if an FA is more outgoing or interacts a bit more - just that I don't need it.

But that's just me and I'm sure with 10 people on here you'll get 11 different opinions! I think if you take your cue from the passenger and be flexible in that way, it's hard to go wrong. My $.02 anyway.
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Old Feb 18, 17, 1:20 pm
  #3  
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The key to excellence in any customer facing career is the ability to read people, take social cues and adapt your service to their taste.

Some people like to be chatty, so chat with them. Some people want to be left alone; leave them alone. Some people (me) like to have their wine glass refilled without having to ask much less ring the call button; keep 'er full (one FC FA on UA LHR-IAD left the wine bottle between my wife and me so we could pour ourselves....probably broke some stupid rule, but that FA got an 'atta boy' cert).

And for God's sake, smile. It's really easy and makes SUCH a huge difference.

The fact that you care enough to ask tells me you are probably very good at your job.
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Old Feb 18, 17, 7:23 pm
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Originally Posted by 84fiero View Post
I guess generally I like an approach similar to what you describe for yourself. I'm low maintenance so I don't need fawning and constant interaction. Do a solid job of delivering the expected stuff for that cabin and flight (meal, or drinks or whatever the case may be) and be available if I do happen to need something and I'll be perfectly satisfied. That said, I'm not offended or anything if an FA is more outgoing or interacts a bit more - just that I don't need it.

But that's just me and I'm sure with 10 people on here you'll get 11 different opinions! I think if you take your cue from the passenger and be flexible in that way, it's hard to go wrong. My $.02 anyway.
Thank you! Yeah, I definitely riff off my passengers. Yesterday people kept cutting me off after saying about three words because they didn't want to talk - which is FINE by me, if that's the case - but today people are a bit more interactive. Some are new to FC and uncomfortable with the level of attention, so I'm trying not to be too in anyone's face.

But the comment made by the other poster really amazed me, regarding the FA who googled him and asked how his business meetings went...I think I would be out of a job if I pulled that move, but that gentleman loved it! If I were him I would feel like my privacy had been violated, and I would feel very uncomfortable. Just goes to show you how different everyone is!
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Old Feb 18, 17, 7:29 pm
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
The key to excellence in any customer facing career is the ability to read people, take social cues and adapt your service to their taste.

Some people like to be chatty, so chat with them. Some people want to be left alone; leave them alone. Some people (me) like to have their wine glass refilled without having to ask much less ring the call button; keep 'er full (one FC FA on UA LHR-IAD left the wine bottle between my wife and me so we could pour ourselves....probably broke some stupid rule, but that FA got an 'atta boy' cert).

And for God's sake, smile. It's really easy and makes SUCH a huge difference.

The fact that you care enough to ask tells me you are probably very good at your job.

I really appreciate that! Writing this column and thinking more critically about the airline industry and the passenger experience from the passenger standpoint - not just what an airline thinks their customers want - has really gotten me on my game a bit more. But then again it has also made me terribly paranoid, in that I constantly wonder if I have read someone's cues wrong and didn't anticipate their needs. Reading through the forum here definitely makes me wonder! But I suppose, like you say, it's proof that I care and that's half the battle, right?

As I said, it's amazing how the most compliments go to the most complained about FAs, generally. They're usually the most boisterous and visible, which people love or hate. I don't mind not getting constant compliments because I don't get complained about. I understand why - for instance, I hate crews that put on a show - but others love it. So you just have to play to your audience!
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Old Feb 20, 17, 8:30 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Amanda Pleva View Post
I really appreciate that! Writing this column and thinking more critically about the airline industry and the passenger experience from the passenger standpoint - not just what an airline thinks their customers want - has really gotten me on my game a bit more. But then again it has also made me terribly paranoid, in that I constantly wonder if I have read someone's cues wrong and didn't anticipate their needs. Reading through the forum here definitely makes me wonder! But I suppose, like you say, it's proof that I care and that's half the battle, right?
I'd be a little careful using this place as a guide to passengers' needs/desires. I started my traveling life as someone who almost always flew in UA domestic first or int'l business but never paid for it (ie, the glory days of miles and upgrades). Today I almost always fly paid first or business and have become airline agnostic. And I have found that my expectations and entire attitude are totally different. I care less about obsessing over airline specific hit or misses such as how warm my nuts are and more about having a generally pleasant stress-free experience. That said, either way, everyone wants their PDB!

Many people who pay for business class love the CX/SQ experience: efficient and attentive without being overbearing or annoying. And always with a smile.

As I said, it's amazing how the most compliments go to the most complained about FAs, generally. They're usually the most boisterous and visible, which people love or hate. I don't mind not getting constant compliments because I don't get complained about. I understand why - for instance, I hate crews that put on a show - but others love it. So you just have to play to your audience!
I blame WN for the advent of ridiculously long and funnynotfunny announcements, which have evolved into the goofy video safety briefings. I mean, if the airline is not going to take the safety briefing seriously then why should I?


BTW, I just posted your January 'Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should' post on my the face book wall. Really good stuff.
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Old Feb 20, 17, 8:58 am
  #7  
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For those who have reported this thread a few times:

The OP is the contributor to the FT news column 'CrewedTalk': http://www.flyertalk.com/articles/ca...ns/crewed-talk

Since we really don't have a definitive place to request reader feedback for FT news columns, it was moved from the 'Travel News' section to EM&PR.

Constructive feedback on where it should reside within FT is always welcome.

Regards Oliver2002
Mod EM&PR forum
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