Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > TravelBuzz
Reload this Page >

Letter of Apology to the Flying Public

Letter of Apology to the Flying Public

Old Aug 21, 08, 1:23 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PEK
Programs: Alas, the Gravy Train Hath Ended...just happy to be an OW Sapphire and a ST Ivory...whatever
Posts: 4,388
Letter of Apology to the Flying Public

I couldn't find this being posted earlier, but I got this in an email through a FA, and it's funny, true, and impressive. ^

Letter of Apology to the Flying Public

This was received from a Los Angeles F/A. If you are a f/a, you'll appreciate this. If you're not, maybe you'll see the other side. Regardless of where you sit on an aircraft...be it a jumpseat or a passenger seat, it is extremely well written.

To the Flying Public: We're sorry
We're sorry we have no pillows.
We're sorry we're out of blankets.
We're sorry the airplane is too cold.
We're sorry the airplane is too hot.
We're sorry the overhead bins are full.
We're sorry we have no closet space for your oversized bag.
We're sorry that's not the seat you wanted.
We're sorry there's a restless toddler/overweight/offensive smelling passenger seated next to you.
We're sorry the plane is full and there are no other seats available.
We're sorry you didn't get your upgrade.
We're sorry that guy makes you uncomfortable because he "looks like a terrorist".
We're sorry there's a thunderstorm and we can't take off.
We're sorry we don't know when it will stop.
We're sorry you're crammed into a space so small that if you were an animal PETA would protest.
We're sorry a Super 80 has no music or video entertainment for your 3 hour flight.
We're sorry we ran out of your favorite soda.
We're sorry there are no more sandwiches.
We're sorry that Budweiser costs $6.
We're sorry we don't have diapers for your baby.
We're sorry we don't have milk for same baby.
We're sorry you can't hang out by the cockpit door waiting to use the bathroom.
We're sorry you can't hang out at the back of the airplane.
We're sorry you have to sit down and fasten your seatbelt.
We're sorry you have to put your seat up for landing.
We're sorry we don't know when we're going to land.
We're sorry we don't know whether your plane to (substitute any city in the world) will be waiting for you when we land.
We're sorry we've been diverted because we ran out of gas waiting to land.
We're sorry for these and so many other things that we have absolutely no control over but which we are held accountable for EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Please understand. Flight attendants are not the enemy. We share your space. More than anyone - we want to have a nice, pleasant travel experience.

There is a reason behind everything we ask you to do. It may be a FAA directive. It may be security related. It may be a company procedure.

We don't just make stuff up. We don't spend 8 weeks at the flight academy learning how to pour a Coke. There are many things that flight attendants are watching for constantly on every flight FOR YOUR SAFETY.
It's not because we're bored or so controlling that we just enjoy telling people what to do. I, for one, would like to have one flight where I didn't have to repeatedly tell people to put their seats up for landing. Seriously.
Can't you just do what we ask sometimes? Without the glares, eye rolling and disdain? For the record - putting your seat up for landing may not seem that important to your personal safety. However, it is very important for the person sitting BEHIND YOU. If you have ever tried to get out of a row where someone has their seat back you know it can be a challenge. Try grabbing your ankles (emergency brace position) or getting out of that row quickly with smoke in the cabin.

Understand a little better now?

Many of the things we ask passengers to comply with are FAA directives. Like carry-on bag stowage and exit row requirements. When we can serve drinks (in the air) and when we can't (after the aircraft door is closed or on an active taxi-way). We are only allowed to move about the cabin during taxi out for safety related duties. We can't get you blankets, or hang coats, or get you drinks. It's not because we don't want to. It's because we are held personally responsible if we fail to comply with FAA directives.
Meaning that the FAA can fine us personally up to $10,000 if we fail to comply or enforce an FAA Directive.

Like no bags at the bulkhead. No children in the exit row. No one moving around the cabin during taxi.
Perhaps now you know why flight attendants get a little testy when people move about the cabin when they're not supposed to. It's not the company that gets in trouble for that. It's us.

Personally, I wish the airlines would show worst case scenario safety videos. Like what happens if you walk through the cabin during turbulence. There could be a guy who has just fallen and smacked his face on the metal armrest and now has a bloody, gushing broken nose. Or an elderly lady who now has a broken arm because someone walking to the bathroom fell on her.

Maybe a passenger with a broken neck because somebody opened an overhead bin during turbulence and a suitcase fell out and onto the person sitting beneath it. These things can easily happen in a fast moving, unstable air environment.

Please just trust that we are looking out for your best interest and stop fighting with us about everything we ask you to do. It is exhausting.

Finally, please, please direct your hostility and frustrations in the direction where they will be most effective: The customer service department. They are the ones equipped to handle your complaint and implement procedures for CHANGE.

Think about it. Complaining to the flight crew about all your negative travel experiences is about the same as complaining to the office janitor because your computer isn't working. It may make you feel better to vent about it - but it really won't fix anything. More than anybody we are already aware of the lack of amenities, food, service and comfort on the aircraft. Please share your concerns with the people in the cubicles at corporate who need that information to make better decisions for the flying public.

It's frustrating that so many people are in denial about what the travel industry is about now. The glory days of pillows, blankets, magazines and a hot meal for everyone are long gone. Our job is to get you from point A to point B safely and at the cheapest possible cost to you and the company. So be prepared. If you are hungry - get a sandwich before you get on the plane.

If it's a 3 hour flight, anticipate that you may get hungry and bring some snacks. If you are cold natured - bring a wrap. Think for yourself and think ahead. Otherwise, don't complain when you have to pay $3 for a cookie and are left with a crusty blanket to keep you warm.

We hear often that the service just isn't what is used to be. Well, the SERVICE we provide now isn't what it used to be. When I was hired, my job was to serve drinks, meals, ensure that safety requirements were met and tend to in-flight medical issues.

Since 9/11 my primary job is to ensure that my airplane will not be compromised by a terrorist.
9/11 may be a distant memory now to many, but be assured that EVERY DAY a flight attendant reports to work he or she is constantly thinking about 9/11. We feel a personal responsibility to ensure that something like that never happens again. We can never relax. We can never not be suspicious about someone's intentions.

It is difficult to be vigilant and gregarious at the same time. Especially when most of us are working 12 hour days after layovers that only allow 5-6 hours of sleep. Not because we were out partying and having a grand time on the layover - but because the delays that you experience as a passenger also affect us as a crew, so that what was a 10 hour layover is now 8 hours which doesn't leave a lot of time to recover from what has become an increasingly stressful occupation.

Despite everything, I still enjoy being a flight attendant.

I am writing this letter because I do still care about my profession and about the public perception of flight attendants. In the increasingly challenging travel world it is becoming more imperative than ever for people to just be decent to each other. I can go through an entire day without one person saying anything remotely civil. I will stand at the aircraft door and say hello to everyone who enters and maybe 50% will even look at me and even less will say hello back.

I will try to serve someone a meal who can't be bothered to take their headsets off long enough for me to ask them what they want. Most of the time the only conversation a passenger has with me is when they are complaining.

Is it any wonder why flight attendants have shut down a bit? After suffering the disdain of hundreds of passengers a day it's difficult sometimes to even smile, much less interact. We are human. We appreciate the same respect and courtesy that passengers do.

The next time you fly, try treating the flight attendants the way you would like to be treated. You may be surprised how friendly your flight crew is when they are treated like people.

author unknown
theblakefish is offline  
Old Aug 21, 08, 1:29 pm
  #2  
Moderator: Coupon Connection & S.P.A.M
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Louisville, KY
Programs: Wild Wild Life, TSA Disparager Diamond (LTDD)
Posts: 57,718
"Since 9/11 my primary job is to ensure that my airplane will not be compromised by a terrorist.
9/11 may be a distant memory now to many, but be assured that EVERY DAY a flight attendant reports to work he or she is constantly thinking about 9/11. We feel a personal responsibility to ensure that something like that never happens again. We can never relax. We can never not be suspicious about someone's intentions. "

Totally lost me on this paragraph.

9/11. Get over it, get some counseling, or stay home. I'm tired of the pathetic 9/11 excuse being the catch-all for everything from poor sevice to the destruction of civil liberties.

Quit your whining, grow a spine, and try to remember what it means to be an American.
Spiff is online now  
Old Aug 21, 08, 1:47 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Marriott or Hilton hot tub with a big drink <glub> Beverage: To-Go Bagô DYKWIA: SSSS /rolleyes ☈ Date Night: Costco
Programs: Sea Shell Lounge Platinum, TSA Pre✓ Refusnik Diamond, PWP Gold, FT subset of the subset
Posts: 12,497
Iím curious as to which airline is telling their FAs that their primary job is to stop terrorist attacks.
N965VJ is offline  
Old Aug 21, 08, 1:52 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Rural Northwestern Virginia - IAD Home Airport
Programs: Lufthansa, AsiaMiles
Posts: 89
Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
"Since 9/11 my primary job is to ensure that my airplane will not be compromised by a terrorist.
9/11 may be a distant memory now to many, but be assured that EVERY DAY a flight attendant reports to work he or she is constantly thinking about 9/11. We feel a personal responsibility to ensure that something like that never happens again. We can never relax. We can never not be suspicious about someone's intentions. "

Totally lost me on this paragraph.

9/11. Get over it, get some counseling, or stay home. I'm tired of the pathetic 9/11 excuse being the catch-all for everything from poor sevice to the destruction of civil liberties.

Quit your whining, grow a spine, and try to remember what it means to be an American.
Serious question: how is it you manage to be the first to negatively comment on anything and everything related to any post containing 9/11? Do you have a "bot" or something that does it automatically?

Someone posts something they would like to share with fellow frequent flyers, and you feel you need to denegrate the poster? The OP didn't even write this!!! I surprised you didn't manage to get the word "disgusting" into your reply.
JimmyRay is offline  
Old Aug 21, 08, 2:23 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: UA PLT (MR Gld; Hertz PC), AA 2MM, Bonvoy LT GLD, GP Plt, Mets fan.
Posts: 5,057
Originally Posted by JimmyRay View Post
Serious question: how is it you manage to be the first to negatively comment on anything and everything related to any post containing 9/11?
Not serious response: it's a lot easier to scan for "9/11" references now that Rudy Giuliani isn't a candidate any more...


Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
I'm tired of the pathetic 9/11 excuse being the catch-all for everything from poor sevice to the destruction of civil liberties.

Quit your whining, grow a spine, and try to remember what it means to be an American.
I agree with Spiff re 9/11 being an over-used & misapplied excuse, esp. for degradation of civil liberties and constitutional rights. 9/11 shouldn't be an excuse for poor service -- but OTOH it's fair to say that until the runup in oil prices in 2007, 9/11 was the source of the largest systemic shock to the airline business model, and that shock is the cause of the cutbacks & pricing increases that most travelers equate with cutbacks in service.

I don't think that 9/11, or wage reductions or layoffs or anything else, should be accepted as an excuse for why too many FAs do their mandated minimum service and then retreat to the galley, never to emerge unless "interrupted" by a passenger.

But I wish more people got bent out of shape by having seen their privacy rights taken away -- instead of the reason being having their favorite brand of booze or late-night nonstop flight taken away.

And, as for "what it means to be an American"...that's a whole other topic!
CO FF is offline  
Old Aug 21, 08, 3:32 pm
  #6  
TA
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: if it's Thursday, this must be Belgium
Programs: UA 1K MM
Posts: 6,210
Originally Posted by theblakefish View Post
There is a reason behind everything we ask you to do. It may be a FAA directive. It may be security related. It may be a company procedure.

We don't just make stuff up.
This is obviously false. FAs frequently make stuff up, and are arbitrary. And they let bad moods or a bad day influence their job. And they can be lazy.

Part of it is lack of training. But part of it is lack of professionalism.

This letter seeks to ask people to respect FAs, which is a good thing, but not all FAs are the same standard, and some are not even deserving of that respect.
TA is offline  
Old Aug 21, 08, 3:39 pm
  #7  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: 10 months VLC, 2 months everywhere else
Programs: *A
Posts: 3,770
Originally Posted by TA View Post
This is obviously false. FAs frequently make stuff up, and are arbitrary. And they let bad moods or a bad day influence their job. And they can be lazy.

Part of it is lack of training. But part of it is lack of professionalism.

This letter seeks to ask people to respect FAs, which is a good thing, but not all FAs are the same standard, and some are not even deserving of that respect.
Which is one of the many reasons I will only fly Asian airlines when possible. Face it American FAs, the majority of you are a far, far distant second to the service given by the top Asian airlines. This letter of apology is just more excuses.
GuyverII is offline  
Old Aug 21, 08, 3:53 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: MDW
Programs: SWA EMP (the ultimate program)
Posts: 713
I guess you shouldn't expect the very people this email is poking fun of to appreciate the humor in it..

On the other hand I think the flight attendant who wrote this email should follow their own advice and simply "treat people the way they would like to be treated". Right or wrong, reasonable or unreasonable, service with a smile and a pleasant attitude can make all the difference. You'd be surprised how contagious a good mood can be.

And just like it may be tiring answering all of the same questions over and over again, I would imagine a factory assembly line worker tires of screwing on bolt #6 all day as well.. The point is, it's your job...
num1bearsfan is offline  
Old Aug 21, 08, 6:43 pm
  #9  
Moderator: Coupon Connection & S.P.A.M
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Louisville, KY
Programs: Wild Wild Life, TSA Disparager Diamond (LTDD)
Posts: 57,718
Originally Posted by JimmyRay View Post
Serious question: how is it you manage to be the first to negatively comment on anything and everything related to any post containing 9/11? Do you have a "bot" or something that does it automatically?

Someone posts something they would like to share with fellow frequent flyers, and you feel you need to denegrate the poster? The OP didn't even write this!!! I surprised you didn't manage to get the word "disgusting" into your reply.
I slammed the FA, not the OP.

And I'm just lucky I guess when it comes to being able to quickly find pathetic, disgusting, cowardly 9/11 excuses in posts here and elsewhere.
Spiff is online now  
Old Aug 21, 08, 6:49 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Birmingham, AL
Programs: CO Plat, NWA Gold, Delta, Hertz #1, PriorityClub, yadayada
Posts: 274
Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
I slammed the FA, not the OP.

And I'm just lucky I guess when it comes to being able to quickly find pathetic, disgusting, cowardly 9/11 excuses in posts here and elsewhere.
Play it again, Sam, er Spiff! What I am tired of is other disgusting people not allowing opinions other than theirs!
markwtaylor is offline  
Old Aug 21, 08, 7:02 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PHL
Programs: US Plat, SPG Gold
Posts: 1,331
Originally Posted by theblakefish View Post
I will stand at the aircraft door and say hello to everyone who enters and maybe 50% will even look at me and even less will say hello back.
I'm somewhat surprised evertime I hear this because I always make it a point to smile and say hello to the FAs when boarding. I find it a little strange that most people don't do this. It seems like common courtesy to me but maybe I'm wrong? I'm curious what other FTs do.

Originally Posted by TA View Post
And they let bad moods or a bad day influence their job. And they can be lazy.
I think this falls into one of 2 categories. Either a normally good FA is just having a bad day, and let's face it, we've all been in a situation where some external source/problem impacts everything else about your day. The other is just simply a poor FA and again, there are bad apples in almost every group. And, no, I'm not a FA.
USPhilly is offline  
Old Aug 21, 08, 8:03 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Programs: UAL, F9
Posts: 2
a BETTER letter of apology

We, the flight attendants of UNITED AIRLINES . . .

We are sorry that we are surly on a daily basis to even our most loyal customers.
We are sorry that you choose to complain to us about poor service because, frankly, we make sure those complaints go nowhere.
We are sorry that we no longer do anything at all to help ensure a quick boarding process, choosing, instead, to stand at the front door and make stupid greetings.
We are sorry that we'll then get on the malfunctioning intercom system and make useless inaudible reprimands.
We are sorry that you have no place to stow your carryon because we've chosen to store our bags in your overhead compartment.
We are sorry that you need a bit of water before takeoff for your medicine. Oh, we're also sorry that we're just going to ignore your request. Repeatedly.
We are sorry that we tell you HOW TO USE A SEATBELT and then blame you for paying no attention to our 'safety' instructions.
We are sorry that the air conditioning isn't working today on this flight, even though it wasn't working yesterday or the day before, either. Oh, we're also sorry that we're going to outright lie to you about it.
We are sorry that we don't allow children to sit in the emergency exit aisles, but we do absolutely nothing about 90 year old feeble passengers seated there.
We are sorry that we boarded this flight and pushed off from the gate, even though we knew -- we all knew -- that there was no chance of taking off for another two hours.
We are sorry that we have no more water, pretzels or working toilets after holding you hostage on the tarmac for six hours (before your four-hour flight).
We are sorry that you've spent your hard-earned money on a ticket for this flight, just to be treated like crap.
We are sorry that your tax dollars pay for our retirements, too, ever since our company declared bankruptcy and stuck our pension plan with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (you know, the government). So, you're now paying our salary AND our retirement. Double-sorry about that one.
We are sorry that we blame our customers for buying cheap airline tickets, like it's their fault.
We are sorry that we blame our management and our pilots for our own awful attitudes.

We are sorry that we are sorry, bitter people who can change jobs & careers at any time, but prefer to stay with this horrible company for the travel and medical benefits. We are sorry, but, still, we look forward to taking it out on you. We know you have no choice in airline travel out of Denver and we look forward to treating you like crap on your next flight.
DenverJoe is offline  
Old Aug 21, 08, 8:11 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Dallas
Programs: AA PLT/5MM; AS MVP GLD 75K; DL DM; EK SLV; HHonors DIAM; Marriott GLD
Posts: 4,065
Even without the reference to MD80's, I would have been willing to bet that this was written by an FA for American. Don't get me wrong, most AA FA's are terrific, but a not insignificant percentage seem to have the semi-snarky attitude evidenced by the "Letter of Apology," which is clearly written by someone who hates their job, yet inexplicably continues to show up day after day.
HKG_Flyer1 is offline  
Old Aug 21, 08, 10:21 pm
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: PWM - the way life should be
Posts: 12,532
Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
9/11. Get over it, get some counseling, or stay home. I'm tired of the pathetic 9/11 excuse being the catch-all for everything from poor sevice to the destruction of civil liberties.

Quit your whining, grow a spine, and try to remember what it means to be an American.
Spiff, I think I love you.

Not in that way, you pervert.
gfunkdave is online now  
Old Aug 21, 08, 10:27 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: ORD MDW
Programs: AA, UA, DL , IHG Plat, Bonvoy Gold - 2009 FT Fantasy Football Champion
Posts: 6,646
Originally Posted by DenverJoe View Post
We, the flight attendants of UNITED AIRLINES . . .

We are sorry that we are surly on a daily basis to even our most loyal customers.
We are sorry that you choose to complain to us about poor service because, frankly, we make sure those complaints go nowhere.
We are sorry that we no longer do anything at all to help ensure a quick boarding process, choosing, instead, to stand at the front door and make stupid greetings.
We are sorry that we'll then get on the malfunctioning intercom system and make useless inaudible reprimands.
We are sorry that you have no place to stow your carryon because we've chosen to store our bags in your overhead compartment.
We are sorry that you need a bit of water before takeoff for your medicine. Oh, we're also sorry that we're just going to ignore your request. Repeatedly.
We are sorry that we tell you HOW TO USE A SEATBELT and then blame you for paying no attention to our 'safety' instructions.
We are sorry that the air conditioning isn't working today on this flight, even though it wasn't working yesterday or the day before, either. Oh, we're also sorry that we're going to outright lie to you about it.
We are sorry that we don't allow children to sit in the emergency exit aisles, but we do absolutely nothing about 90 year old feeble passengers seated there.
We are sorry that we boarded this flight and pushed off from the gate, even though we knew -- we all knew -- that there was no chance of taking off for another two hours.
We are sorry that we have no more water, pretzels or working toilets after holding you hostage on the tarmac for six hours (before your four-hour flight).
We are sorry that you've spent your hard-earned money on a ticket for this flight, just to be treated like crap.
We are sorry that your tax dollars pay for our retirements, too, ever since our company declared bankruptcy and stuck our pension plan with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (you know, the government). So, you're now paying our salary AND our retirement. Double-sorry about that one.
We are sorry that we blame our customers for buying cheap airline tickets, like it's their fault.
We are sorry that we blame our management and our pilots for our own awful attitudes.

We are sorry that we are sorry, bitter people who can change jobs & careers at any time, but prefer to stay with this horrible company for the travel and medical benefits. We are sorry, but, still, we look forward to taking it out on you. We know you have no choice in airline travel out of Denver and we look forward to treating you like crap on your next flight.
Welcome to Flyertalk DJ!
sobore is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: