Rude FA in BizFirst

Old Dec 31, 13, 11:04 am
  #1  
xox
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Rude FA in BizFirst

Had a big tiff with the FA (the service manager on the flight) from MUC-EWR yesterday ... my wife never eats on planes, but she always wants to get the meal (she always wants to be sure we get what we pay for) and offer it to me ... this has never been a problem ... so I told the FA she was not going to eat but that I probably would eat part of her meal ... so she brought by the appetizer (two shrimp) and offered it to me but not a second one ... when she came by again my wife said she would like to be served ... the FA blew up and started yelling at us "So you've changed your mind, are you going to eat now? Your husband said you weren't going to eat ...". My wife said "I just want to be served." The FA kept yelling "But are you going to eat now?" She just kept yelling at us implying that unless my wife agreed to eat, she would not serve her food. We both were kind of stunned and I decided (since I couldn't walk out of the restaurant) to just not eat either.

Neither of us ever raised our voices but she kept yelling. Earlier she had been rude to a visibly upset passenger in front of us whose seat would not fully recline.

I spoke later to a different FA and asked "Is there some rule that you have to eat what you are served, or that you have to agree to eat what you are served?" "Is there a rule that you can't share your meal with your spouse?" "Didn't we buy two meals when we bought these seats?" The FA apologized, said the other one was a little overstressed, etc. etc.

It is inconceivable to me that we would have had this sort of incident on an Asian carrier. (On the other hand, we had delightful United FAs on the outbound flights, and my wife even exchanged email addresses with one of them.)
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Old Dec 31, 13, 11:10 am
  #2  
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Rudeness is never acceptable, you can write in and maybe get a future discount / miles

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Old Dec 31, 13, 11:17 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by xox View Post
... the FA blew up and started yelling at us "So you've changed your mind, are you going to eat now? Your husband said you weren't going to eat ...". My wife said "I just want to be served." The FA kept yelling "But are you going to eat now?" She just kept yelling at us implying that unless my wife agreed to eat, she would not serve her food. We both were kind of stunned and I decided (since I couldn't walk out of the restaurant) to just not eat either.

Neither of us ever raised our voices but she kept yelling. Earlier she had been rude to a visibly upset passenger in front of us whose seat would not fully recline.

I spoke later to a different FA and asked "Is there some rule that you have to eat what you are served, or that you have to agree to eat what you are served?" "Is there a rule that you can't share your meal with your spouse?" "Didn't we buy two meals when we bought these seats?" The FA apologized, said the other one was a little overstressed, etc. etc.
"Overstressed" in this case = unfit for duty. FA sounds like she was from the same school of deranged hostility as the UA one who had a passenger thrown off a plane for taking pictures of the inflight map. Or, for that matter, the UA one who responded to a parent's complaint about explicit IFE by having the aircraft diverted so the family could be thrown off.

Write to Smisek (paper, registered mail), be brief and unemotional, but make plain that you will not do business with a company that accommodates irrational lunatics with hair-trigger tempers.
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Old Dec 31, 13, 11:32 am
  #4  
 
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This happens, unfortunately. And it's not unique to United. There are so many possibilities: lack of sleep, personal or family crisis, rapid change in schedule, etc. I'm not excusing her behavior, but I know that I would probably have to learn a whole new world of coping skills to work as a flight attendant.

Toward the end of the month, it might have been someone picking up a trip out of "open time," and thus a crew member unaccustomed to the route or plane.

Although most crews on sCO Transatlantic flights are "NTL" and "NTA," there are sometimes reserve crews who get these trips. They often seem flustered by the complexities of a long overseas flight, especially in business class.

If you do write a letter, she will probably get "called in," and the contract says that the letter stays in her file for a year. If you are GS, the consequences are much more grave (not fair, if you ask me.)

As I see it, it's a really tough job, but a LOT of people want to be flight attendants. So if you're burned out, don't enjoy it, or lack the coping skills, it's time to move on.

I'm actually okay if a crew member gets stressed or snaps for a minute, as long as he or she apologizes later. I expect crews to be human. But this woman needs a reminder from her supervisor about how to work through stressful flights with grace.
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Old Dec 31, 13, 11:36 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by xox View Post
Had a big tiff with the FA (the service manager on the flight) from MUC-EWR yesterday ... my wife never eats on planes, but she always wants to get the meal (she always wants to be sure we get what we pay for) and offer it to me ... this has never been a problem ... so I told the FA she was not going to eat but that I probably would eat part of her meal ... so she brought by the appetizer (two shrimp) and offered it to me but not a second one ... when she came by again my wife said she would like to be served ... the FA blew up and started yelling at us "So you've changed your mind, are you going to eat now? Your husband said you weren't going to eat ...". My wife said "I just want to be served." The FA kept yelling "But are you going to eat now?" She just kept yelling at us implying that unless my wife agreed to eat, she would not serve her food. We both were kind of stunned and I decided (since I couldn't walk out of the restaurant) to just not eat either.

Neither of us ever raised our voices but she kept yelling. Earlier she had been rude to a visibly upset passenger in front of us whose seat would not fully recline.

I spoke later to a different FA and asked "Is there some rule that you have to eat what you are served, or that you have to agree to eat what you are served?" "Is there a rule that you can't share your meal with your spouse?" "Didn't we buy two meals when we bought these seats?" The FA apologized, said the other one was a little overstressed, etc. etc.

It is inconceivable to me that we would have had this sort of incident on an Asian carrier. (On the other hand, we had delightful United FAs on the outbound flights, and my wife even exchanged email addresses with one of them.)
The bolded statement confuses me in the context of your post. It should be inconceivable to have that kind of an incident on ANY carrier.
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Old Dec 31, 13, 11:42 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by Mats View Post
If you do write a letter, she will probably get "called in," and the contract says that the letter stays in her file for a year. If you are GS, the consequences are much more grave (not fair, if you ask me.)
Gosh, that's a fun little fact. How did you learn that?

Edit to add: from the latest collective bargaining agreement at http://www.unitedafa.org/contract/2012-2016/ I see (on pages 180–182) the text about the letter staying in the file for a year, but what it actually seems to say is that letters are removed after a year **if there have been no other bad letters in the past 12 months**. I see no contractual mention about Global Services members' complaints being a bigger deal, so this must be some policy decision? See http://www.unitedafa.org/docs/contra..._2012-2016.pdf page 180–182:

Code:
SECTION 25
PERSONNEL FILE
A. Master File
A single master personnel file shall be maintained for each Flight
Attendant in the office of the Manager of Inflight Service at the domicile
where the Flight Attendant is based. At domiciles where more than one (1)
airport is used, the personnel file will be made available to the Flight
Attendant within a reasonable time, upon request, at the airport where
she/he is currently doing the majority of flying.
B. File Contents
The personnel file which includes the Flight Attendant Information System
(FAIS) shall contain all employment records, training records, inflight
performance reports and reports from any source regarding said Flight
Attendant.
Copies of any documents placed in the Job Performance Section of the
file shall be provided to the Flight Attendant.
C. Complaint Letters
1. A complaint letter shall not be placed in a Flight Attendant’s personnel
file unless:
a. The Flight Attendant is clearly identified in the letter.
b. The alleged misconduct or disservice was something over which
the Flight Attendant had control.
c. The letter is reviewed with the Flight Attendant and she/he is
afforded the opportunity to add her/his comments to the letter.
d. The name of the person writing such a report or letter is clearly
identified.
2. All complaint letters will be removed at the first opportunity from the
employee’s file after a period of twelve (12) months of active service
from the date of their receipt, provided there have been no other
infractions during that period. In the event other complaint letters are
received at any time during the said twelve (12) months, the letters will

be retained in the file until such time that there is a twelve (12) month
period of active service with no complaint letters received. In the event
discipline is imposed, the complaint letter(s) used as a basis for the
discipline will remain in the employee’s personnel file for the duration
of the discipline.
D. Personal Comments
A Flight Attendant may attach comments to any observation or evaluation
reports placed in her/his file.
E. Inflight Observations
Inflight observation reports shall be removed from a Flight Attendant’s file
after one (1) year of active service from date of issuance, provided that
with respect to unsatisfactory reports, no further unsatisfactory inflight
observation reports have been issued during that time. Observation
reports which are removed from a Flight Attendant’s file shall be given to
the Flight Attendant. In the event discipline is imposed, the report(s) used
as a basis for the discipline will remain in the employee’s personnel file for
the duration of the discipline.
F. Removal of Discipline and Non-Disciplinary Notations
1. The Company will consider any disciplinary action taken against a
Flight Attendant as cleared from her/his record after a two (2) year
period of active service from the date of issuance, provided that no
further discipline has been imposed during that period. In the event
additional discipline is imposed at any time during said two (2) years,
all records of the disciplinary action taken shall be retained in the file
until such time as there is a two (2) year period of active service with
no discipline issued. The Company will consider any notations of nondisciplinary
discussions regarding dependability or job performance
as cleared from a Flight Attendant’s record after a two (2) year period
of active service from the date of issuance, provided that no disciplinary
action or further notations have been issued during that period.
2. The Flight Attendant’s record including notations may be cleared
earlier, when, in the judgment of the Company, her/his performance
warrants such action.


G. Review of File
All Flight Attendant records as described in Paragraph B above shall be
opened for inspection by the Flight Attendant or the Flight Attendant’s
specifically authorized Union or other representative(s).
H. Availability for Hearing
For hearing and investigation purposes, a Flight Attendant’s file shall on
request be made available to the Flight Attendant or her/his specifically
authorized representative(s).
I. Duplicate Files
Nothing herein shall prevent the Company from maintaining duplicate
files.
J. Commendation Letters
Commendation letters may be removed from a Flight Attendant’s file after
a twelve (12) month period of active service from the date of issuance.
Commendation letters removed shall be given to the Flight Attendant.
K. Placing Reports In File
The Company shall notify a Flight Attendant of any adverse records,
reports, correspondence or notations which may serve as the basis for
disciplinary action within twenty-one (21) days after receipt by the Flight
Attendant’s domicile but no more than forty-five (45) days after receipt by
the Company. Such reports, after review with the Flight Attendant, shall be
placed in the Flight Attendant’s personnel file in a timely fashion consistent
with the normal office procedure.

Last edited by mherdeg; Dec 31, 13 at 12:41 pm
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Old Dec 31, 13, 11:43 am
  #7  
 
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I"m a tiny bit confused -- so you basically wanted two meals (or one and a part)? Why not just ask for seconds youself?
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Old Dec 31, 13, 11:46 am
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Sorry, but I work with the public and I don't care what is going on in my life; stress, tired, etc., I have NO right to take it out on the customer. The FA was wrong, wrong, wrong. I know UA will really not do anything about it, but that is one of the reasons they have such a bad reputation.
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Old Dec 31, 13, 11:55 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by Alpha Golf View Post
I"m a tiny bit confused -- so you basically wanted two meals (or one and a part)? Why not just ask for seconds youself?
It doesn't matter how the OP frames his request.

I've had premum cabin flights where I'm offered "anything on the plane" -- until they run out. Of course, that was not UA, and not exclusively Asian carriers either.

Of course, if I were the OP, I would omit any reference to what Asian or other airlines do; the service issue is about United's standards.

Last edited by Bowgie; Dec 31, 13 at 12:05 pm
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Old Dec 31, 13, 11:59 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by Bowgie View Post
It doesn't matter how the OP frames his request.

I've had premum cabin flights where I'm offered "anything on the plane" -- until there ain't no more. Of course, that was not UA, and not exclusively Asian carriers either.
+1

OP, welcome to United. "The Friendly Skys"

Last edited by iluv2fly; Dec 31, 13 at 12:33 pm Reason: not starting this discussion here
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Old Dec 31, 13, 12:09 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by mherdeg:22057317
Originally Posted by Mats View Post
If you do write a letter, she will probably get "called in," and the contract says that the letter stays in her file for a year. If you are GS, the consequences are much more grave (not fair, if you ask me.)
Gosh, that's a fun little fact. How did you learn that?
+1. I didn't realize that I could fly 100k miles & my opinion counts less than someone who has 75k miles but booked 3 GF Asian trips, for an extreme example.
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Old Dec 31, 13, 12:10 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by TonyBurr View Post
Sorry, but I work with the public and I don't care what is going on in my life; stress, tired, etc., I have NO right to take it out on the customer. The FA was wrong, wrong, wrong. I know UA will really not do anything about it, but that is one of the reasons they have such a bad reputation.
How would you know UA is not doing anything about it? Does UA have to go to the press and announces how they discipline their employee

The bad apples are everywhere and it is not easy to identify. Even though some had been written up but if that person keep denying it, it's all he said, she said unless he/she has been written up too many time then it would raise a red flag. I happened to know some pursers who were stripped off the tittle and put on probation for sometime as he/she was written up too many times by passengers or other crew members.
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Old Dec 31, 13, 12:49 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by TonyBurr View Post
Sorry, but I work with the public and I don't care what is going on in my life; stress, tired, etc., I have NO right to take it out on the customer. The FA was wrong, wrong, wrong.
+1 for this part. ZERO excuse. If you are having a bad day, fine. Take it out on someone mistakenly, okay, we are all human . . . then apologize later. Didn't sound to me like this FA offered an apology or anything.

I hate it when FAs seem to be annoyed by a request. Customers are the reason for your job. If it is unreasonable or mistimed, okay, just deny the request and explain. Customer gets mad . . . then that's on the customer.

What we don't get here and have to take the OP's word on is how his wife and he responded or treated the FA before this. We have to take the high road and assume they weren't rude, demanding, or DYKWIA types.

We also had an FA who was a bully in US Envoy. Denied my wife coffee and a meal at one point, etc. I'll spare the details, but it happened.

You have to write the employer, and be level-headed about it. Don't make it personal, make threats, etc. Just say you expect to be treated fairly and courteously at all times. That's all you are asking for.
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Old Dec 31, 13, 12:53 pm
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by Mats View Post
This happens, unfortunately. And it's not unique to United. There are so many possibilities: lack of sleep, personal or family crisis, rapid change in schedule, etc. I'm not excusing her behavior, but I know that I would probably have to learn a whole new world of coping skills to work as a flight attendant.

Toward the end of the month, it might have been someone picking up a trip out of "open time," and thus a crew member unaccustomed to the route or plane.

Although most crews on sCO Transatlantic flights are "NTL" and "NTA," there are sometimes reserve crews who get these trips. They often seem flustered by the complexities of a long overseas flight, especially in business class.

If you do write a letter, she will probably get "called in," and the contract says that the letter stays in her file for a year. If you are GS, the consequences are much more grave (not fair, if you ask me.)

As I see it, it's a really tough job, but a LOT of people want to be flight attendants. So if you're burned out, don't enjoy it, or lack the coping skills, it's time to move on.

I'm actually okay if a crew member gets stressed or snaps for a minute, as long as he or she apologizes later. I expect crews to be human. But this woman needs a reminder from her supervisor about how to work through stressful flights with grace.
Slight correction there is no "NTL" FA base for CO FAs in Newark. It's either NTA - International, NLS - Speaker, EWR - Domestic.
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Old Dec 31, 13, 12:54 pm
  #15  
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Like others have said, send a registered snail mail to Jeffey. That flight attendant should be fired asap.
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