American Flight Attendants Block Off Galley On My Flight…

American Flight Attendants Block Off Galley On My Flight…

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Several weeks ago, a social media user shared a picture of the galley of an American Airlines aircraft being blocked off from the cabin inflight, so that passengers couldn’t get into that space. Funny enough, I had basically the same thing happen to be me on a flight earlier this week, and perhaps oddly, my takeaway was sort of that I can’t blame them?

American Airlines galley blocked off during flight

In late October 2023, an airline passenger shared a picture of the rear galley of an American Boeing 737-800 being blocked off from the rest of the cabin with two seatbelts. Clearly this was intended to keep passengers out of the galley.

Well, on a flight that I took earlier this week, I had the crew do the same thing, just with a different device. The crew had a sort of elastic band that they stretched across the rear galley, so that passengers couldn’t enter it. There was a trash bag hanging on it.

American crew blocks off galley

Does this violate American Airlines’ policy? I assume so, but someone correct me if I’m wrong. Does this violate FAA regulations? Hopefully someone can chime in. I can’t imagine this poses an actual safety risk at cruising altitude, when these devices can easily be removed (it would be a different story if this were during the climb out or descent). Heck, some airlines set up literal barriers in front of exits during flight, to make the cabin look nicer (like Qatar Airways on the A380, at the bar).

Flight attendants aren’t doing this because they’re lazy

When this story was first covered by others bloggers several weeks ago, some claimed that this “selfish stunt could have lost lives,” and that flight attendants were trying to “find a new way to avoid serving passengers,” and that these are flight attendants “who do not like customers.”

Let me provide a different perspective, because I recently took two American 737 flights in economy (one of which I’m referencing above). To be honest, this was the first time in a long time that I was in American’s 737 economy on a flight long enough where I had to use the lavatory (ordinarily I’d try to hold it in, because airplane bathrooms are disgusting).

On the outbound flight there was no sort of device being used to block off the galley. When I approached the rear galley, the first thing I noticed was just how horribly tight it was back there. You have two lavatories that are right across from one another, right in front of the galley, and there’s no room to wait anywhere. On top of that, the galleys are tiny, yet that’s where two flight attendants are expected to be stationed after the service is complete. The flight attendants were within inches of other passengers — it was actually tighter back there than in the cabin, and that’s saying something.

Honestly, seeing that gave me a new appreciation for how unpleasant it is to work in an economy cabin on a narrow body aircraft when such little effort is put into making the space decent for the crew.

On the second flight, the crew blocked off the galley for maybe an hour after they performed the service. You know what’s interesting, though? The crew was actually friendly. They were happy to accommodate any requests in the rear galley, and you could easily see them or talk to them. They clearly just wanted an absolute minimal amount of personal space.

Let me be clear — I’m not excusing violating company policy. What I am saying, however, is that we have people making many millions of dollars per year signing off on cabin configurations that cram in as many seats possible, with absolutely no regard for how these configurations impact the people who have to spend their entire working hours in them.

Many would argue “well you’d never see something like this on Singapore Airlines.” Yes, that’s absolutely right. But you know what else happens at Singapore Airlines? Well, they design their cabins in such a way that takes into account the comfort of flight attendants, so that they’re set up to succeed.

Honestly, how much have so many of us (including me!) whined about how tiny American’s Boeing 737 lavatories are? And we just have to use those for a minute at a time. We blame American management for that, right? Yet when exactly the same approach is applied to the workspace of flight attendants (where they spend most of their working time), some suggest that they must be lazy and hate customers.

My point is simply that flight attendants doing this don’t necessarily hate customers and don’t necessarily want to not provide service. They probably just hate how their workspace is literally tighter than any other workspace out there, due to management’s disregard for their comfort.

That doesn’t excuse them violating the company’s policy, but there’s a difference between wanting a minimal amount of personal space and hating customers. If management wants flight attendants to provide good service, then set them up for success. Part of that includes a pleasant work environment.

Bottom line

Some number of flight attendants at American seem to be blocking off the galley space while inflight, using different makeshift techniques. This probably violates company policy, and if so, they shouldn’t do that.

However, it’s absurd to suggest that this is because they hate customers, or that it’s because they’re lazy. Rather it’s because US airline executives design airplanes with the pure goal of cramming in as much into a small space as possible, with no regard for passenger or crew comfort.

Again, I’m not excusing violating company policy. But on my outbound flight I was shocked by how unpleasant the rear galley is for flight attendants on American’s 737s, and I can understand why flight attendants would want to find some way to make their work environment less miserable.

What’s your take on this situation?

Conversations (139)
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  1. Marcia McDonald Guest

    For those who commented that the exits should Never be blocked - That would preclude the set up and take down of the beverage carts. Those carts are heavy and unwieldy. It takes some time to break up frozen ice, place liner, coffee pots, sugar/milk, garnishes, cups, napkins, etc. etc. . . I would bet that no “rigged strap”would keep anyone from an exit during an emergency. After 30+ years as a flight attendant, this...

    For those who commented that the exits should Never be blocked - That would preclude the set up and take down of the beverage carts. Those carts are heavy and unwieldy. It takes some time to break up frozen ice, place liner, coffee pots, sugar/milk, garnishes, cups, napkins, etc. etc. . . I would bet that no “rigged strap”would keep anyone from an exit during an emergency. After 30+ years as a flight attendant, this is making a big issue out of one that is not. I wish to thank Ben for defending flight attendants’ comfort. I found that simply trying to gulp down a snack after noon, since a 6am breakfast, was usually watched intently by some and accompanied by requests - the same goes for the clean up and reset of the cart. I ask you to imagine having people watch, interact and request things of you constantly for up to 14 hours a day. Now operate that way for 3-4 days. I am a retired flt. attendant who still loves people and loves to fly! Is there a job group who doesn’t include an occasional “bad apple”? I hear the stories and have occasionally encountered them myself. I once pulled a f/a aside to say, “ I am knocking myself out trying to make everyone happy on our flight. Why are you trying to undo that?!?” However, the majority of flight attendants are truly dedicated, underpaid, sincere and loving safety professionals. How would you like to try to please hundreds of people who are folded into tiny, uncomfortable spaces for hours on end? We would! We also take responsibility for any medical events. Don’t even get me started on safety. That is paramount! There’s a lot going on in a flt attendant’s mind from take off to landing and it’s not involving selfishness or being lazy! I know.

  2. Lori Guest

    I am the poster of the original picture. It was never about them being lazy or not being helpful. It was always about safety. If something happened, and people are panicking, then it would be very bad for anyone trying to get those belts undone from the way they had them.

    I recently flew round trip on Air Canada. They leave the last row empty for the FA’s to sit during down time. That...

    I am the poster of the original picture. It was never about them being lazy or not being helpful. It was always about safety. If something happened, and people are panicking, then it would be very bad for anyone trying to get those belts undone from the way they had them.

    I recently flew round trip on Air Canada. They leave the last row empty for the FA’s to sit during down time. That seems like the most efficient way for the FA’s to eat, read, etc.

    If the area that was needed to evacuate the Japan airlines flight had been blocked, then the story could have ended very differently.

    I too agree that the FA’s have a small space to work in & have to deal with a**holes all day and I sympathize, but don’t put me at risk because you don’t like your working conditions. You knew what you were getting into when you took the job. When I get on a plane I expect the FA’s to help keep me safe.

    Lori

  3. Mark Guest

    Hello
    Not sure if they have a curtain for privacy but my parents would maybe end up...if the way to the lavatory is blocked like this. I agree that almost no space but even I would feel bad asking if I could fo to the washroom. Front is for C class so...Therefore still a no in my opinion.

  4. Lydia Ing Guest

    The USA TSA PROHIBIT PASSENGERS FROM ASSEMBLING IN AN AREA OF THE CABIN INCLUDING GALLEYS AND LAVS. Why is it even a discussion. Kindly ask the passengers to return to their seats while waiting for the lav to free up. Or sit nearby.

  5. Joel W Guest

    I'll happily excuse overriding policy if it means FA's aren't "accidentally" touched and encroached on by passengers. The law is clear, the rights and safety of the employee supercede any customer satisfaction. All American and Canadian management seemed to have accepted that customers can be aggressive, belligerent and violent just "because" apparently staff aren't permitted to have boundaries (which is ironic, as most of the executive live in an office tower designed like Fort Knox)....

    I'll happily excuse overriding policy if it means FA's aren't "accidentally" touched and encroached on by passengers. The law is clear, the rights and safety of the employee supercede any customer satisfaction. All American and Canadian management seemed to have accepted that customers can be aggressive, belligerent and violent just "because" apparently staff aren't permitted to have boundaries (which is ironic, as most of the executive live in an office tower designed like Fort Knox). Start locking up the management who permit poor PAX behaviour, and, surprise surprise, this "problem" will go away.

  6. Chuck Rogers Guest

    That is their office. Not a waiting room for the lavs. As long as they remain available I am fine with it.

  7. Anthony Joseph Guest

    This is clearly a safety violation issues as the contraptions in the photos seem "ad-hoc", so therefore not officially sanctioned. The SAFETY FIRST That FA's like to tout rather than be "servants" to passengers is clearly violated as it blocks access to the rear emergency exits.
    THese should be documented and sent to FAA. What the hell is wrong with airline executive management?

    1. Steve Guest

      Incorrect. Let’s start with the fact that carts in the aisle during service also block access to exits. Are you writing about that?

      In emergency procedures, a part of a flight attedner’s duties is to secure the cabin in a number of ways I won’t discuss; but one of them is to ensure that access to exits is clear and that doors are armed. That takes place at the announcement of an emergency only....

      Incorrect. Let’s start with the fact that carts in the aisle during service also block access to exits. Are you writing about that?

      In emergency procedures, a part of a flight attedner’s duties is to secure the cabin in a number of ways I won’t discuss; but one of them is to ensure that access to exits is clear and that doors are armed. That takes place at the announcement of an emergency only. And, if there were a water evacuation, the rear exits would be blocked anyway.

      Those things being said, I have two questions, to which I already know the answer. First, why do you need to be in the galley? (You don’t). Second, will you invite your flight attendants to your workplace so they can stand around and tell you how you’re doing things wrong? (I didn’t think so).

  8. Rob C. Guest

    Gotta hand it to you for stating the obvious! Was on a AA Max and the flight attendant in the tight galley warned me how tiny the rear lavatories are and to be careful with the tiny sink. Took her advice and used a bunch of paper towels to avoid any spatter. Maybe the bean counters need to work the flights now and then!?

  9. HM Khoo Guest

    The only time I’ve seen cabin crew blocking off the galley with a cart was in the forward cabin of a narrow body jet when the Captain needed to use the restroom. Other than those times, I’ve never experienced this before. I can imagine this tactic can be very dangerous during sudden severe turbulence.

  10. BY Guest

    There is no way that any of these straps could be considered a safety violation, so long as airlines and the government approve passenger seats in the exit row (Delta 75D, second door, right side, two seats in front of the exit door). Thank you for pointing out that many customer and employee complaints are due to conflicts created by management.

  11. Joe Guest

    You are exactly correct in what you saw, there's no longer real room to move in those galleys. The work space if minimal at best. Maybe all those workers that are at headquarters should have cubicles the same size and see how that works for them!

  12. Sherry Lindsey Guest

    In speaking of the aft galley on the B737, this is a workspace with many carts and cubes. We also have jump seats facing aft, which are assigned positions. There is very little room & we need to be able to work the flights without having to ask people to move to get to our supplies. Actually, I cant see that it would violate any rule, as we are inflight. These aft doors are not...

    In speaking of the aft galley on the B737, this is a workspace with many carts and cubes. We also have jump seats facing aft, which are assigned positions. There is very little room & we need to be able to work the flights without having to ask people to move to get to our supplies. Actually, I cant see that it would violate any rule, as we are inflight. These aft doors are not emergency exits inflight. People can get injured in the galley should turbulence occur.
    As the Captain suggests, please keep your seat belts fastened while in your seats, as turbulence can occur unexpectedly.
    The galleys are not passengers lounges or hangouts. The galleys are crew work areas. Please do not be offended, as we use these areas for our services, stowing supplies, juggling trash and setting up for the next flight.
    Thank you all.

  13. Alli Moore Guest

    Passengers have no business in the galley. So what's the problem?

  14. Annie M Poole-Bailey Guest

    Thanks for this. As a retired flight attendant, I'm glad you understand that we still are working. We have work to do and it's not easy when you have passengers that want to stand up.

  15. Leigh Bradburn Guest

    This doesn't pertain exactly to this situation, but when we've flown recently on both American and Southwest, we've had the pilot come out and explain to the passengers that they expect a very turbulent flight and so are not going to provide any drink service for the flight. And then, there is absolutely no turbulence during the flight. Other passengers around us said they had also had the same experience on other flights. I don't...

    This doesn't pertain exactly to this situation, but when we've flown recently on both American and Southwest, we've had the pilot come out and explain to the passengers that they expect a very turbulent flight and so are not going to provide any drink service for the flight. And then, there is absolutely no turbulence during the flight. Other passengers around us said they had also had the same experience on other flights. I don't know the purpose of not doing a drink service, but I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with turbulence! Just wondered if anyone else has experienced this.

    1. Barbara Guest

      If the pilot said it was going to be turbulent than he probably saw it on the radar. It’s not an excuse to not do the service, it’s for everyone’s own safety.

    2. BY Guest

      You sound the passenger who says her friend in Buffalo says it’s not snowing there (during a weather delay to
      Buffalo). It’s not a conspiracy—you don’t know the whole story.

  16. Robert C. Powell Guest

    To all who are concerned about this impacting lavatories -

    Take a look at the picture, it is a very small galley with certainly no lavatories back there, so the concern is nil.

    Please think in the future,

    Robert

    1. Chris Guest

      The last are to the immediate left and right of the person taking the photo.

    2. Chris Guest

      The lavs not "last". Sorry.

  17. David Roberts Guest

    Post-COVID has been hard on FAs, especially enforcing mask mandates after they were abolished everywhere else and dealing with angry passengers who paid big bucks to be crammed into tiny little seats in 100% full cabins after fighting traffic and long security lines. As long as they are willing to help when needed, let them have their tiny little space to themselves.

  18. Fed UP Guest

    We need open skies domestically, haha, Let Asian airlines fly internally and US airlines would be out of business... When I fly out of the country , I avoid US Airlines due to their horrible service and negative attitudes of FAs.

    1. BY Guest

      Can we get polite, orderly, mask wearing (when sick), policy following Asian passengers to fly on these US planes within the US too?

    2. AD Diamond

      Well... depends *which* Asian passengers -- just like any other region of the world, not every Asian country has a polite line-standing, instruction obeying culture.

  19. JM Guest

    Flight Attendant and union rep here. I’ve worked for multiple US airlines, and whike all airlines are different, I do not believe this violates a policy at most airlines. Though, it is an FAR violation to attach anything to an aircraft. However, it’s is not possible to tell whether this is ACTUALLY attached to the aircraft in anyway. The way the JS is set up in the back, it could just be long enough to...

    Flight Attendant and union rep here. I’ve worked for multiple US airlines, and whike all airlines are different, I do not believe this violates a policy at most airlines. Though, it is an FAR violation to attach anything to an aircraft. However, it’s is not possible to tell whether this is ACTUALLY attached to the aircraft in anyway. The way the JS is set up in the back, it could just be long enough to span the aisle and rest upon the JS headrests, which is in no way an FAR violation since it’s not attracted to anything. Since US airlines have decided to remove the curtains from the back galleys, passengers have taken this to mean that the galley is their space inflight, even on short flights. They insist on using our space to continuously stretch, including violating the seatbelt signs to do so. You are correct, we have absolutely no personal space of our own, except in the galleys. We’re happy to serve and give passengers whatever they want and need, but stay out of our space. Even on flights as short as an hour, there is always one passenger who thinks they're entitled to be there with us. We’re ok with having a small space. What we’re not ok with is having other people in it with us. We’d all be perfectly happy if they brought the curtain back to the aft galley.

    1. Robert C. Powell Guest

      Stop with the typical unionite crap. This is a rambling, entitled bunch of drivel.

      Oh and by the way, use your curtain a tampon and why not insert it.........

    2. Jack Guest

      You must be fun at parties.

    3. OCTinPHL Diamond

      Darryl, I mean Roberta, oops no, it’s Robert:

      What is your fascination with genitals, etc.? Grow up.

  20. Steven E Guest

    I’m sure this would definitely be against company policy. Flight attendants need their own space so I think having a curtain drawn after providing the service is adequate- and If someone were to “invade” their space then a simple response would be to ask them to not enter the galley area , COVID is still active so an appropriate distance is recommended.

  21. Nikki Malou Guest

    The problem is that the new breed of FA'S, are acting more as "wardens" than crews.
    They resent pax, hate their jobs, and keep saying,
    " WE ARE HERE FOR SAFETY ", OK, Great,
    We know that. And WE APPRECIATE YOU.
    There is no shame to being a host or hostess, at the same time.
    Mixing service with safety, being proud about what they do will make their job easier...

    The problem is that the new breed of FA'S, are acting more as "wardens" than crews.
    They resent pax, hate their jobs, and keep saying,
    " WE ARE HERE FOR SAFETY ", OK, Great,
    We know that. And WE APPRECIATE YOU.
    There is no shame to being a host or hostess, at the same time.
    Mixing service with safety, being proud about what they do will make their job easier to do, instead of looking at PAX as the " ENNEMY" !
    " IF YOU DON'T BEHAVE, I'LL GET YOU OFF THE PLANE" ,
    Creates friction, resentment and makes the job more difficult to handle.
    Comparing their pay to that of cockpit crews, no comparison.
    Too much DRAMA!
    AND a whole lot more to say about the new attitude, the tensions inflights, and the problems that keep arising during flghts.
    The FA'S, NEED AN ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT. THEN ALL WILL BE FINE.

  22. Alex A Guest

    Truly shocking you don’t find it abhorrent, Ben. I don’t know how this FA behavior is acceptable in any situation but only on AA where unions rules and no consequences for FAs ever happen, I have been a reader of your blog for years and Ford’s customer but at this point I believe your rhetoric to protect the airlines is getting out of control. Will not subside to your posts going forward.

  23. Jenny Guest

    I’m not sure why everyone is in an uproar. Does it look tacky? Yes! Does it appear rude or like the crew doesn’t want to be bothered? Yes! But why do people think it would violate FAA or company policies? Is there a rule customers have to be allowed in the galley? Isn’t this happening during the flight? You would never use the doors in the middle of the flight. So access to the galley...

    I’m not sure why everyone is in an uproar. Does it look tacky? Yes! Does it appear rude or like the crew doesn’t want to be bothered? Yes! But why do people think it would violate FAA or company policies? Is there a rule customers have to be allowed in the galley? Isn’t this happening during the flight? You would never use the doors in the middle of the flight. So access to the galley isn't necessary. I would assume as long as the crew removes it before landing. There isn’t an issue. This area is very small. Would you like someone to stand in your cubicle or office while you work or try to take a break? I could see complaining if you go back there and they refuse to open the curtains or offer service. This is like people who think the aisle is for their feet! If you want more space write the CEO not rat out the flight attendants!

  24. iamhere Guest

    A couple of thoughts here. First, the airlines use curtains to block off cabins during flight but they open it for take off, landing, etc, so I am not sure why or how this could be different. I do not think it is about personal space and more about that passengers will interrupt or tamper with the equipment there. Perhaps it is a new policy.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      seriously? A couple of rogue FA crews barricade their galleys and you think some new policy snuck in that no one else managed to miss?

    2. Not Tim Dunn Guest

      Who pissed in your cereal? Calm down, there’s no need to be rude.

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      nobody pissed in anything.

      There is no new policy or procedure.

      This is nothing but a couple of rogue AA crews.

      To subject otherwise is simply foolish

    4. Tim Done Guest

      You would never see this on Delta.

    5. Robert Guest

      Happens on DL too.... this is not carrier specific ....ridiculous if you think otherwise.

    6. Robert Guest

      And FAs need their space too, so get over it

    7. Nschippel Guest

      BTW, I recently flew Delta from Detroit to Paris and it was terrible service!
      No drink service with a bag of pretzels before the meal.
      After the service, no flight attendant to be seen for most of the 8 hour flight.
      I went back to ask for a second glass of wine and was told there would be no more alcohol served (this was about 2 1/2 hours into the flight).

      Must have been a "rogue" crew

    8. Robert Guest

      And FAs need their space too, so get over it

  25. Regis Guest

    This is what inflight service has come down do. How high we have fallen. I didn't think it was possible go any lower and yet here we are. There is just no bottom. Passengers are jerk and your employer treats you badly, but if you can't stand the heat FAs, then get out of the kitchen. Has there ever been a class of workers more discontented, cranky and unhappy than FAs? Please find another line of work, for your sake and ours.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      You mean AMERICAN FAs.

  26. Jake Guest

    What a horrible company to treat employees so badly. Everything about AA really sucks -- hopefully it wikk continue to lose market share so that it's less likely it's the only option when I need to fly.

    1. MaxPower Diamond

      You’re in luck
      Aa and united treat FAs better than delta who actually does hurt their FAs in this galley area

      Hope you remember who treats their employees badly when you book ;)
      Though… seeing you’re a guest and the timing of your remarks , you’re probably just tim after a few drinks

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      you are truly off your rocker.

      It was American's FAs that barricaded this and other galleys.

      You are so inebriated with defending AA that you lash out at anyone that dares utter a word against your dear mother.

      You and Octonutin PHL are consumed w/ the same disease.

      Both of you can keep blabbing. What you are both made of is becoming more and more apparent.

    3. OCTinPHL Diamond

      Tim, stop making up names. I don’t do it. You are just upset others troll you. I just call you out for conflating fact with opinion. As for disease - one could argue that your pathological need to shill for Delta is more of a disease.

      Serious question - why can’t you ever admit you are wrong? Like in the Turkish post - 12 airlines having 75 350s…. Not even close right now. Then...

      Tim, stop making up names. I don’t do it. You are just upset others troll you. I just call you out for conflating fact with opinion. As for disease - one could argue that your pathological need to shill for Delta is more of a disease.

      Serious question - why can’t you ever admit you are wrong? Like in the Turkish post - 12 airlines having 75 350s…. Not even close right now. Then you change it to “by 2030”. Your argument was valid without hyperbole, but you made stuff up. Then when someone else calls you out, you said “it doesn’t matter…”

  27. N Doyle Guest

    I am an AA FA. There are no FAA security issues with blocking off an aft galley inflight. I cannot tell you the number of times I have caught passengers helping themselves to liquor or rifling through FA’s personal things in an unattended galley. Passengers will also squeeze into the galley while FA try to eat or set up for services. This can become an impossibility uncomfortable situation for the crew. And lastly, as a...

    I am an AA FA. There are no FAA security issues with blocking off an aft galley inflight. I cannot tell you the number of times I have caught passengers helping themselves to liquor or rifling through FA’s personal things in an unattended galley. Passengers will also squeeze into the galley while FA try to eat or set up for services. This can become an impossibility uncomfortable situation for the crew. And lastly, as a passenger, what difference does it actually make to you? Its not your space. Refocus on issues of true importance and stop wasting everyone’s time on this pettiness.

  28. Miami305 Member

    Fine with FA's doing this to get a bit of space.

    The one I have seen - and hate - AA FA's placing a sign on one of the front lav's on a widebody saying 'Crew Only'. Handwritten of course. On a few flights they even kept it locked, with crew unlocking it when they wanted to use it. Removing a lav for their use is way wrong and shameful.

  29. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Nine hours into this discussion and all the arguments for it fail to address the basic issue- which is that these tactics just showed up within the last couple months, long after the galleys and cabins on AA aircraft were installed.
    Let's call it what it is - a wildcat labor action from AA FAs that are using the delay in getting a contract to provide even less service.
    AA's FA union is...

    Nine hours into this discussion and all the arguments for it fail to address the basic issue- which is that these tactics just showed up within the last couple months, long after the galleys and cabins on AA aircraft were installed.
    Let's call it what it is - a wildcat labor action from AA FAs that are using the delay in getting a contract to provide even less service.
    AA's FA union is not going to get what it wants - which is to significantly surpass the salary and benefits increase which DL gave its non-union FAs.
    AA is not going to give AA FAs more than what DL gave, FAs simply do not have the negotiating power that pilots do esp. now, and there will be more and more of these stunts as AA FAs act out and take out their frustration on AA's customers.
    WN's FA union is scrambling to save their jobs because they know that WN is not going to give what some FAs there want.
    UA FAs are apparently being sweet talked by Scott Kirby to just wait until it all settles and he will exceed what anyone gets; not only did UA pilots not end up better off than DL's pilots that settled first but UA FAs will never recover what they have given up by waiting.

    1. Dan Guest

      Flight Attendants just do not want passengers encroaching into the minimal space of the valley.
      Nothing to do with negotiating tactics.

    2. MaxPower Diamond

      Tim
      I didn’t expect you to give up so easily?
      Delta purposefully built a retrofit galley their FAs hate where food and fecal matter meet
      Aa could’ve but did not follow frontier and spirit like delta did putting lavs by the food but that was because aa listened to their FAs who have an organized voice.
      Delta followed spirit and frontier putting Lavs on the back wall of every airbus right...

      Tim
      I didn’t expect you to give up so easily?
      Delta purposefully built a retrofit galley their FAs hate where food and fecal matter meet
      Aa could’ve but did not follow frontier and spirit like delta did putting lavs by the food but that was because aa listened to their FAs who have an organized voice.
      Delta followed spirit and frontier putting Lavs on the back wall of every airbus right by the food and FAs, solely to cram seats in.

      The topic in this article isn’t compensation
      If it was
      I’d remind everyone again how delta stole 25% of taxpayer dollars from their employees to buy equity stakes in foreign airlines

      United, Southwest and AA all paid their employees, including their Flight Attendants, 100% pay as the federal government intended and the taxpayer wanted rather than saving latam from chapter 7 bankruptcy.
      But… the topic is galley space today ;)

      Anyone with the slightest objectivity can look at delta’s own fleet page and realize delta chose to cram seats on to their planes vs their non union FAs work balance.
      Delta is alone among the us3 in their desire to place food/drinks by the toilets in the galley.
      But sometimes it takes a realist to push through the delta BS to realize how they actually treat their people :)

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      and you still can't accept that Delta FAs aren't barricading their galleys or pitching a fit on the internet.

      DL FAs clearly have more class and deliver better customer service.

      We know you get your paycheck from AA but do try just a bit to act like you have an ounce of objectivity.

    4. David Guest

      This is laughable, that these "tactics just showed up within the last few months". I retired from AA in 2021 with 31 years of service and I can assure you, Tim Dunn, this has been going on for decades.
      You seem to have blinders for DL. Next time you fly DL ask your flight attendants how much they enjoy the galleys, or lack thereof, on the Boeing 717s. DL penny pinched so hard on...

      This is laughable, that these "tactics just showed up within the last few months". I retired from AA in 2021 with 31 years of service and I can assure you, Tim Dunn, this has been going on for decades.
      You seem to have blinders for DL. Next time you fly DL ask your flight attendants how much they enjoy the galleys, or lack thereof, on the Boeing 717s. DL penny pinched so hard on that one they actually don't even have an aft galley and instead just had more YC seating.
      You are clearly out of your league on this particular topic.

    5. Jon Guest

      Support the airline workers... their customers are acting worse and worse every year. I fly over 135 days a year and I see a great deal of people crossing the line beyond being naive.

  30. Clayton Guest

    You wrote that “per FAA regulations, if they’re violated”. FAA states to follow all crew member instructions first and foremost.. and our announcements also state do not congregate around GALLEYs or LAV areas… so stay out of the galley plain and simple. Also, how about you be a flight attendant instead of all in our business about what we are doing midflight because trust me if the plane was prepared for a crash those seatbelts...

    You wrote that “per FAA regulations, if they’re violated”. FAA states to follow all crew member instructions first and foremost.. and our announcements also state do not congregate around GALLEYs or LAV areas… so stay out of the galley plain and simple. Also, how about you be a flight attendant instead of all in our business about what we are doing midflight because trust me if the plane was prepared for a crash those seatbelts would be strapped around a flight attendants chest and not blocking the “exit” as you’re so worried about while at CRUISE. Calm down and stop hating on AA so hard. Try picking on another airline.

  31. Edd C Guest

    I am a flight attendant for American. Yes, AA management gives little to no regard for the comfort of the passengers or crew. Their only goal with Isom at the helm is to cram as many uncomfortable seats into a tiny space as possible. And yes, those 737 lavs are ridiculous. Isom's idea of success is to copy Spirit and be worse. He and all his staff need to be fired. A new management and...

    I am a flight attendant for American. Yes, AA management gives little to no regard for the comfort of the passengers or crew. Their only goal with Isom at the helm is to cram as many uncomfortable seats into a tiny space as possible. And yes, those 737 lavs are ridiculous. Isom's idea of success is to copy Spirit and be worse. He and all his staff need to be fired. A new management and direction needs to be put in for AA. Also, AA is understaffing all flights, that are always full. They did this during COVID and said it was temporary. But when service and passengers came back, the full crew never did! We are tired. Underappreciated, overworked. Look at the current request by AA to the Dot and FAA to put fewer flight attendant on full flights! I understand the crew wanting to have a little space without a passengers butt in their face.

  32. Crosscourt Guest

    Yet more excuses for cabin crew. Doesn't fly ... pun intended. It's only in the US. Just do the job you're there to do.

    1. Clayton Guest

      How about you sit there in the seat that you ultimately “rented” for this flight?

    2. Nik Guest

      OMG ok they will do their job but do u want them a chance to wash their hands. Before serving u ?????

  33. Gail Dwyer Guest

    I am all for you supporting the F/A's. It is a very difficult job as it is much less in a tin can away from home. Kudos to them.

  34. Jeree M Last Guest

    To add - it doesn't matter what exits are blocked in flight. If there is a planned emergency we will move all barriers possible in the time allotted. If it's not a PLANNED emergency it won't matter what straps are up, carts are where, etc. ‍♀️

  35. Megan Guest

    Never knew so many ridiculous people exist.

  36. Jeree M Last Guest

    Omg THANK YOU for your understanding. I always equate it to - what if I stood right by your seat, with my butt in your face and started stretching with my bare feet right near your face. That would never "fly". I absolutely do not "hate" passengers and will be happy to accommodate most all reasonable requests, just keep your butt out of my face while I'm trying to have the only meal I may actually get all day. So thank you for this article.

  37. Gary Hohenstein Guest

    Lufthansa does the same type of this. Typical lousy customer service !!!

    1. Clayton Guest

      It’s not lousy service.. we provide a service. We’re not an open bar or 7/11. You get what you pay for which you can find those type of places in the terminal not on the airplane.

  38. Sam Guest

    I’m much more bothered when they decide to skip the PDB w no reason.

  39. Frequent Flyer Guest

    I'm a flight attendant. I don't like when coworkers draw the curtain for a full flight and hide. I like to remain available for customers. Especially on long flights at night. Imagine some poor old lady trying to find her way to the lav in darkness. I always sit sideways on the cold hard jumpseat so I have an eye down the aisle, and try to walk through the cabin as frequently as we're supposed...

    I'm a flight attendant. I don't like when coworkers draw the curtain for a full flight and hide. I like to remain available for customers. Especially on long flights at night. Imagine some poor old lady trying to find her way to the lav in darkness. I always sit sideways on the cold hard jumpseat so I have an eye down the aisle, and try to walk through the cabin as frequently as we're supposed to. I try to remain attentive to my customers' needs.

    BUT. Like the author, I don't blame them. Sometimes I'll have ten minutes to shove a quick meal down my throat while standing over a garbage can, and 4 people will step into our 2 foot wide galley to wait for the bathroom as if we are not there, pressing me up against the wall and occasionally farting or even vomiting in our small space. Occasionally I will draw the curtain just for a short time to eat in private because people like taking pictures of us doing human things as if we are somehow bothering them, and someone will rip open the curtain and hand me trash.

    I always ask myself, would this happen in a restaurant? Would someone barge into the kitchen and hand you their dirty plastic cup while you're on your lunch break? We don't actually get lunch breaks. Or break rooms. Or kitchens. The plane is my home, sometimes I live there all day. I still have to do human things. And for some reason, that insults some people.

    As far as safety, come on. If a plane plummets toward the ground too quickly to remove a barrier, then we're in trouble. In that case then passengers should never have their bags out or have their seatbelts unbuckled or be out of their seats. Let's be realistic.

    Just last night I had a medical emergency on my flight and while I had a man on the ground administering oxygen, passengers were stopping us to ask if we could turn off the lights or bring them more wine. Would that happen in a restaurant? Sure there are thousands of us, not all of us are great workers or the kindest people. But for some reason we're just one profession everyone loves to find a problem with. I don't think this is as much a flight attendant problem as much as it is an American public problem.

    There's nothing a middle class American enjoys more than putting down another middle class American.

    1. BradStPete Diamond

      I was lucky enough to fly for Pan Am back in the day onboard 747's when the world was FAR MORE civilized. God bless you ! I see what today's F/A's deal with and shake my head in wonder. The flying community largely has no clue.
      I know you simply ADORE waking up at 0300 for an 0530 departure ... NOT

  40. Roberta Everhill Guest

    Can people not hold a dookie for a few minutes? Just wait, have some patience and go back later! The sausage goes in the bowl because it tends to leak, BM's are rarely a one-hole evacuation.

    1. Gary Hohenstein Guest

      What a lot of BS !!

  41. EthaninSF Gold

    Over the summer, flew from SFO to HNL on an old United B777 . Y'know, the really old ones with eight across in business class (four seats together in the middle). Whenever the pilots exited the cockpit, instead of using a beverage cart to block the cockpit entrance, flight attendants would deploy a wire screen of sorts to block off the cockpit and lavatories. It had obviously been installed by the airline but was pretty...

    Over the summer, flew from SFO to HNL on an old United B777 . Y'know, the really old ones with eight across in business class (four seats together in the middle). Whenever the pilots exited the cockpit, instead of using a beverage cart to block the cockpit entrance, flight attendants would deploy a wire screen of sorts to block off the cockpit and lavatories. It had obviously been installed by the airline but was pretty imposing. This would definitely be much of an obstruction than two seatbelts tied together in an emergency as it was taller than most of the flight attendants who would deploy it. Granted, the only access it impeded would be the flight crew. But just an anecdotal point that barriers are used in flight.

  42. Roberta Everhill Guest

    Do you go to Walmart and complain that you can't walk into their backroom? NO.... how is it any different on a plane.

    Not even that but I mean, who the hell cares!? The plane is private property, not your own personal domain.

    ***THE USE OF THE WORD YOU IS GENERIC AND DOES NOT REFER TO A SPECIFIC PERSON (HAVE TO PUT THIS IN NOW TO PREVENT IGNORANT SODS FROM FEIGNING OFFENCE!)***

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      seriously, Roberta.
      WalMart doesn't put their lavs in stocking/employee areas.
      And they, like most retailers, put signs on the door of non-public areas saying so.
      The concept isn't that hard to figure out.
      If AA wants customers out of the galleys, they would provide a means by which FAs could restrict access just like some airlines provide.
      And absent that from the company, AA FAs could nicely ask customers not to stand or wait in the galley.

    2. Roberta Everhill Guest

      Not relevant, my point had NOTHING to do with toilet bowls or bathrooms in general.

    3. tda1986 Diamond

      Then apparently you've never been on a plane, because guess where the lavatories are located?

    4. Edd C Guest

      The pilots make a PA asking passengers not to congregate in the galley areas.

  43. Ehud Gavron Guest

    It will be educational if the next time a friend of OMAAT sees this asks the FAs what's up -- not confrontationally, but honestly caring about why they do this. This entire writeup makes many assumptions as to why... but other than common sense leading to such conclusion we won't really know until we ask.

    It's clearly not company policy or the "makeshift" "solutions" would be replaced with a white band with the AA logo...

    It will be educational if the next time a friend of OMAAT sees this asks the FAs what's up -- not confrontationally, but honestly caring about why they do this. This entire writeup makes many assumptions as to why... but other than common sense leading to such conclusion we won't really know until we ask.

    It's clearly not company policy or the "makeshift" "solutions" would be replaced with a white band with the AA logo and something akin to "This area closed" written on it.

    If it doesn't impede emergency access (14 CFR 25.813) then it's not against FAA regulations. Note that outside of US airspace the FARS are superseded by IATA's Cabin Operations Safety guidelines, which are available for sale, so I don't have a copy :)

    Ehud Gavron
    Tucson AZ
    FAA Commercial Helicopter Pilot
    We have no galleys

  44. BM Guest

    The question should be why are people so entitled to stand back there in the first place? The PA announcement states not to congregate in galley and the FA are just enforcing it without having to repeat it constantly. You can not open the doors in the air, making those doos inoperative during cruise. So passengers safety is not in jeopardy.

  45. Michael Harrison Guest

    The only excuse for a passenger to be in the galley, regardless of its size, is if a crew member invites them to enter.

  46. GandrewG Guest

    I'm a flight attendant, there isn't any reason to block the galley in that fashion while you are In the galley. I will say that during the service we don't like passengers hanging around the galley doing yoga stretching etc. Our personal stuff is in that area, so it's acceptable to do that during the service, but after, there shouldn't be any barrer. I can use my words to tell you to please wait in...

    I'm a flight attendant, there isn't any reason to block the galley in that fashion while you are In the galley. I will say that during the service we don't like passengers hanging around the galley doing yoga stretching etc. Our personal stuff is in that area, so it's acceptable to do that during the service, but after, there shouldn't be any barrer. I can use my words to tell you to please wait in the isle while waiting to use the bathroom. This particular photo shows an empty galley with no one in there, so it's much ado about nothing.

  47. Joe Guest

    You treat them like servants in the sky. I would hate you too

  48. Rhys Guest

    I haven’t seen anyone weigh in on the FAA regulatory aspect of this, let alone company policy. I’m not a flight attendant, but have written ramp and customer service manuals for an FAA Part 121 carrier (the type of carrier that AA is), which had some overlap with flight attendant manuals to sync policies such as how to hand over unaccompanied minors etc. I can’t imagine anything that could impede egress through the rear doors...

    I haven’t seen anyone weigh in on the FAA regulatory aspect of this, let alone company policy. I’m not a flight attendant, but have written ramp and customer service manuals for an FAA Part 121 carrier (the type of carrier that AA is), which had some overlap with flight attendant manuals to sync policies such as how to hand over unaccompanied minors etc. I can’t imagine anything that could impede egress through the rear doors during an emergency evacuation would ever be allowed. The scenario I could think of is an emergency descent and landing after an inflight event that knocked unconscious the flight attendants in the back, rendering them unable to remove this barrier in the back before an evacuation. If there was a fire mid cabin and people had to evacuate through the rear doors, every second counts to save lives and this would impede an exit, especially if the cabin was dark and people panicked. I’ve participated in such an exercise. Any debate about size of galleys or how passengers interact with this space doesn’t really matter when the focus should be on a culture of safety first. I can’t see how this barrier could be allowed.

    1. dc_gphr Guest

      “Any debate about size of galleys or how passengers interact with this space doesn’t really matter when the focus should be on a culture of safety first”

      Who would the FAA hold accountable if something happened? If we agree that 1) the galley is too small for FAs and 2) flight attendants keep trying to block it… would the solution be to

      A) force the airline to make the galley bigger, eliminating the problem...

      “Any debate about size of galleys or how passengers interact with this space doesn’t really matter when the focus should be on a culture of safety first”

      Who would the FAA hold accountable if something happened? If we agree that 1) the galley is too small for FAs and 2) flight attendants keep trying to block it… would the solution be to

      A) force the airline to make the galley bigger, eliminating the problem or

      B) prosecute every FAs every time this action causes and accident and that FA eventually change their behavior.

      FAA usually explicitly calls out systemic reasons for why a death/accident happens. If specific accidents in the galley only happens on airlines with small galleys, ultimately the logical conclusion is “make bigger galleys”.

    2. Clayton Guest

      This barrier is in cruise. If we are prepared for landing of any kind or prepared for a crash… these seatbelts in question will be around the torso of a FA. Not while we are having lunch midflight. Chill.

    3. Clayton Guest

      Oh please, sure while on the ground these doors should not be blocked off but the image taken is in cruise. There is nothing hindering safety here as passengers should not be in the galley. Also, if we were prepared for landing of any type or an emergency evacuation the seatbelts in question would be around a flight attendants torso… chill.

  49. Ghostrider5408 Guest

    At the end of the day its all about the "Optics" in this case their really bad considering AA is not held in high esteem by FF'er's.

  50. digital_notmad Diamond

    I can appreciate the point about management disregarding FA comfort, but I'm not convinced this is about FAs protecting "personal space." How frequently do pax linger in the galley, other than while waiting for something they requested? And, to the extent it happens, a simple "please wait for the lav outside the galley" will suffice.

    I don't really think the notion that it's about personal space passes the straight-face test; this is about not wanting...

    I can appreciate the point about management disregarding FA comfort, but I'm not convinced this is about FAs protecting "personal space." How frequently do pax linger in the galley, other than while waiting for something they requested? And, to the extent it happens, a simple "please wait for the lav outside the galley" will suffice.

    I don't really think the notion that it's about personal space passes the straight-face test; this is about not wanting to provide service, plain and simple.

    1. April Guest

      The writer stated the flight attendants were friendly and happy to accommodate passenger requests; so clearly this is not about wanting to provide service, plain and simple.

    2. Person with common sense Guest

      Passenger linger in the galley more often than you think. They come in the galley just to stand for a while, to do yoga, some even try set up their lap tops back there, mothers with babies come back, others just to talk and of course to wait for restroom among other things. Yes, flight attendants can ask “hey can you please step out of the galley” and guess what they are greeted with attitude....

      Passenger linger in the galley more often than you think. They come in the galley just to stand for a while, to do yoga, some even try set up their lap tops back there, mothers with babies come back, others just to talk and of course to wait for restroom among other things. Yes, flight attendants can ask “hey can you please step out of the galley” and guess what they are greeted with attitude. I seen FA trying to eat quickly and PAX come back there sticking there trash directly in there face. They work up to 15 hour days without being paid for most of them hours. So what if they want a few minutes to reset after service.

  51. 9volt Gold

    It’s amazing how so many people are triggered at the notion of FAs sitting down and actually taking a break (although, I suspect a lot of that is fake outrage).

    If they’ve already gone down the aisle and given you your snack and beverage, what else do you need them for? They’re not there to wait on you hand over fist.

    1. Eric Guest

      Oh you know, access to the bathrooms?

  52. MaxPower Diamond

    “Many would argue “well you’d never see something like this on Singapore Airlines.” Yes, that’s absolutely right. But you know what else happens at Singapore Airlines? Well, they design their cabins in such a way that takes into account the comfort of flight attendants,”

    I’m curious what you mean by this, Lucky?
    That we’d never see the “fence” on Singapore?
    Because you’d literally see the exact same design of economy and galley if...

    “Many would argue “well you’d never see something like this on Singapore Airlines.” Yes, that’s absolutely right. But you know what else happens at Singapore Airlines? Well, they design their cabins in such a way that takes into account the comfort of flight attendants,”

    I’m curious what you mean by this, Lucky?
    That we’d never see the “fence” on Singapore?
    Because you’d literally see the exact same design of economy and galley if you boarded a Singapore air 738, 30” pitch in economy and an identical galley to what you describe on aa.

    https://www.aerolopa.com/sq-738

    Wow though. 49” pitch in first on a Singapore 738!!!

    Ironically, some of the galley angst in this article is pointed at the wrong airline. AA’s flight attendants made a huge deal about not mimicking delta and putting their lavatories actually in the galley. By no means is the aa galley a spacious spot to put your feet up, but it is something they made sure had no bathroom when the designs for the oasis were drawn up. Two lavs in the galley, as an example, is how delta manages to get more seats on their a321ceo vs aa and have some rows with more legroom. You won’t find any aa narrowbody with Lavs actually in the galley unlike delta where it’s the norm but there’s a reason for that: aa listened to its flight attendants because they had a voice via the union. Delta didn’t listen to their FAs

    https://www.aerolopa.com/dl-32b

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      as usual, you play fancy and footloose with facts.
      The simple reason why AA does not have spaceflex lavs on its A321CEOs is because Airbus did not offer it at the time AA's A321s or A320s were delivered.

      You also realize where the rear lavs are relative to the jumpseats are on the DC9 family - including the MD80 of which AA was the largest operator? (it is 6 inches outside of the lav)...

      as usual, you play fancy and footloose with facts.
      The simple reason why AA does not have spaceflex lavs on its A321CEOs is because Airbus did not offer it at the time AA's A321s or A320s were delivered.

      You also realize where the rear lavs are relative to the jumpseats are on the DC9 family - including the MD80 of which AA was the largest operator? (it is 6 inches outside of the lav) AA FAs never managed to complain about access to the lavs on the MD80.

      And the real issue is that you try to justify AA's failings by finding fault w/ DL when other people accurately note that all AA FAs have to do is ask people not to wait in the galley. And DL FAs do not and never have blocked the galley while sitting for an hour to begin service unless due to turbulence.

      Plenty of people recognize that this has nothing to do with personal space but trying to justify not working.

    2. MaxPower Diamond

      When the LUS a320 or a321 were delivered, sure
      But you betray your ignorance to assume space flex wasn’t available at the time of oasis
      Sorry pal. You don’t know what you’re talking about, as usual
      The delta airbus retrofits were done before oasis lest you’ve forgotten or are just purposefully lying as usual
      Cute that you attempt to answer but, as usual, you have no idea what you’re talking about

      When the LUS a320 or a321 were delivered, sure
      But you betray your ignorance to assume space flex wasn’t available at the time of oasis
      Sorry pal. You don’t know what you’re talking about, as usual
      The delta airbus retrofits were done before oasis lest you’ve forgotten or are just purposefully lying as usual
      Cute that you attempt to answer but, as usual, you have no idea what you’re talking about
      Purposeful retrofits were done at aa and delta. Aa chose a full galley without mixing food and bathrooms in the same space. Delta chose the spirit and frontier layout: two lavs in the back door in the galley. Delta, spirit, and frontier have that in common :)

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      DL's A320 and A319 retrofits use aftermarket, not Airbus parts.

      And honestly who, other than you, cares about what Delta did with its galleys? The only reason why you bring it up is to find fault w/ Delta as an attempt to justify AA's sorry customer service which is all this galley blocking is about.

      If anything, the fact that Delta has spaceflex lavs and their FAs don't barracade the galley argues AGAINST you.

      And...

      DL's A320 and A319 retrofits use aftermarket, not Airbus parts.

      And honestly who, other than you, cares about what Delta did with its galleys? The only reason why you bring it up is to find fault w/ Delta as an attempt to justify AA's sorry customer service which is all this galley blocking is about.

      If anything, the fact that Delta has spaceflex lavs and their FAs don't barracade the galley argues AGAINST you.

      And you still have yet to explain when AA FAs went off the rails about people in the galleys and near FA rest areas given that the DC9 family rear jumpseats are 6 inches from the lavs - and AA was the largest operator of the MD80.

      And according to your logic, AA FAs should be happy that their airline doesn't have the 717 and instead uses hundreds more regional jets than DL - despite the fact that the rear lav on the E175 is, wait, wait, in the rear galley.
      But thank goodness that AA FAs don't have to worry about passengers in the rear galley on small mainline aircraft - so they outsource that flying.

      If your logic wasn't so full of holes, you would have to laugh.

      The only deflecting is you because you work overtime trying to justifies AA's crAAppy passenger service by trying to trash .

    4. MaxPower Diamond

      Since it’s the point of this article, you must care, tim ;)
      But cute retreat
      Again
      Aa and delta both made galley decisions. Aa made their decisions with their FAs. Delta chose to mix food and toilets in the same area. Just like spirit and frontier did

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      no, Max, the configuration of Delta's A320 series aircraft is NOT the subject of this article.
      Let's face it, though.
      You have no reading comprehension if it means you can try to deflect from AA's failings by blaming someone else.

      AA FA's blockading their gallery IS the subject of this article.

      Despite the fact that Delta has 80ish 717s and a bunch of A320 series aircraft that allow passenger access into galleys or...

      no, Max, the configuration of Delta's A320 series aircraft is NOT the subject of this article.
      Let's face it, though.
      You have no reading comprehension if it means you can try to deflect from AA's failings by blaming someone else.

      AA FA's blockading their gallery IS the subject of this article.

      Despite the fact that Delta has 80ish 717s and a bunch of A320 series aircraft that allow passenger access into galleys or FA crew seats, DL FAs aren't barricading their galleys to keep passengers out.

      We know you have AA's logo stamped on your backside but do try to read and reply to the discussion and not what you want to hope is being discussed.

  53. Bas Guest

    I’m a flight attendant and it might help to understand that over the last 15 years I’ve witnessed our galleys not only become half their original size but some were removed entirely …..all to make room for even more seats….just look at the lavs in the galley of A320-319……the interiors are so compact I witness on every flight the difficulty people have going in and out ….and some laves have actually been relocated to inside...

    I’m a flight attendant and it might help to understand that over the last 15 years I’ve witnessed our galleys not only become half their original size but some were removed entirely …..all to make room for even more seats….just look at the lavs in the galley of A320-319……the interiors are so compact I witness on every flight the difficulty people have going in and out ….and some laves have actually been relocated to inside the actual galley ….it’s not an issue of laziness or disliking passengers …you simply cannot have people waiting in the galley …a lot has changed during my 35 years and not all has been great…….

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      you also realize how many airlines in the US have gone out of business, that AA is one of a very few survivors, that airfares are lower than ever while airline and FA salaries are still well above average for the American (as in country) workforce?

      again, why is it so difficult to nicely ask people not to wait inside the galley?
      none of which explains sitting for an hour after takeoff to...

      you also realize how many airlines in the US have gone out of business, that AA is one of a very few survivors, that airfares are lower than ever while airline and FA salaries are still well above average for the American (as in country) workforce?

      again, why is it so difficult to nicely ask people not to wait inside the galley?
      none of which explains sitting for an hour after takeoff to start service - while passengers were able to get up, meaning the seatbelt sign was probably not on.

    2. tda1986 Diamond

      "[W]hy is it so difficult to nicely ask people not to wait inside the galley?"

      It's as if you haven't dealt with US airline passengers at any point in the past three years.

    3. JT Guest

      I have been on American Airlines flights when the Flight Attendants block the area to alow Pilots to come out for rest room break!

    4. Nschip Guest

      This is a security rule whenever the cockpit door is opened. Have you forgotten 9/11? This was implemented right after.

  54. Todd Moore Guest

    I love this approach more than the others who are quick to assume “They’re mean” or “That’s rude of them”. Recently, Flight attendants have been getting a bad rep. but most of them are under contract negotiations and management are using any and all tactics to not pay them fairly or treat them with more appropriate work rules. And no — the simple answer is not for them to quit. Some had dedicated 35 years...

    I love this approach more than the others who are quick to assume “They’re mean” or “That’s rude of them”. Recently, Flight attendants have been getting a bad rep. but most of them are under contract negotiations and management are using any and all tactics to not pay them fairly or treat them with more appropriate work rules. And no — the simple answer is not for them to quit. Some had dedicated 35 years and more of service and almost all are choosing to fight rather than quit. I say all this to emphasize that after service, maybe….just maybe, they want a few minutes to reset mentally (because some passengers are a lot) and clean up there workspace before having to do it all over again. This strap is not only useful with the trash bag, but still a little inviting in the event someone absolutely needed something. I definitely don’t think the seatbelt blocker is a good look for them. Anyways, just remember that most Flight Attendants here in the U.S. are paid only the actual minutes of when the boarding door is first shut until it is them opened at the outstation. So if MIA to MCO is 45 minutes and a new flight attendant is working that…..$30/60*45= $22.50. $22.50 is what he/she would make to serve 16 or 20 people in first class, greet them, make announcements and conduct safety related duties. That poor flight attendant invested hours into there day…..just to be paid $22.50 for one flight. That’s the reality and some of us need to stop expecting the most and help them in whatever way (a simple tweet goes a long way). And yes, this is American Airlines. Regionals and ULCC are even less.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      you mean AA flight attendants are not paid for boarding while Delta and Skywest's are.... and AA has offered boarding pay for its FAs to match DL but AA's FA union won't accept just matching DL pay - because what good does a union do if all they do is match a non-union airline?
      Don't pin on management what rightfully is a union's failure.

    2. Percy Smith Guest

      What motivates you at work? Salary? Raises? Benefits? Profit sharing? After working through the pandemic and a very successful holiday season where we outperformed our competitors last year, we were offered a cup of chili!!! In the spring they offered us a cookie for flight attendant appreciation day. I’m not a toddler, I’m an adult who works to support myself. Southwest had a huge debacle last year with their computer systems over the holidays last...

      What motivates you at work? Salary? Raises? Benefits? Profit sharing? After working through the pandemic and a very successful holiday season where we outperformed our competitors last year, we were offered a cup of chili!!! In the spring they offered us a cookie for flight attendant appreciation day. I’m not a toddler, I’m an adult who works to support myself. Southwest had a huge debacle last year with their computer systems over the holidays last year. Their employees got a bonus for their efforts. We need a fresh new mindset at AA

    3. Edd C Guest

      Ohhh, how about we sign in a hour to hour fifteen before each flight without pay. No pay if we are delayed hours. Do you get paid when you show up to work? Bet you do. We only get paid when the door closes. It's not just about boarding pay, but the time before the boarding.

    4. David Guest

      You have it completely backward. DL matches and exceeds what the unions at AA, UA, et al., spend years negotiating. This is how they have been successful in thwarting attempts to unionize its flight attendant.
      Yes, DL did up the ante with boarding pay and I certainly applaud that. I probably lost over $100K in wages over 31 years without boarding pay, and I am happy to see that at least now it has...

      You have it completely backward. DL matches and exceeds what the unions at AA, UA, et al., spend years negotiating. This is how they have been successful in thwarting attempts to unionize its flight attendant.
      Yes, DL did up the ante with boarding pay and I certainly applaud that. I probably lost over $100K in wages over 31 years without boarding pay, and I am happy to see that at least now it has become a reality, even if it is only 50% of regular flight pay.
      And yes, AA has offered boarding pay with its current, pathetic contract proposal but one perk like that does not mean a union will accept all of the other concessions in the entire proposed contract. Other aspects of AA's proposal are pathetic, and the APFA is right in rejecting it. And please, don't get me wrong, I am the last one to defend the APFA. I have so many issues with their incompetence that it could fill volumes, but that is no indictment of unions in general, just the APFA in specifically.

  55. George Romey Guest

    People demand their right to air travel even when they can't afford it. I guess I should demand my right to a $80K car I can't afford. You get what you paid for. The ULCC started this trend and legacies followed.

  56. DenB Diamond

    Hey frustrated flight attendant: putting the word "period" at the end doesn't make it true. There is, in fact, a reason to fill up the galley: it's the only way to queue for the toilet. Put yourself in the passenger's shoes for a nanosecond, especially a male over 60, a third of whom have prostate issues. Desperate to pee, sitting in his seat until the lav is unused, there's no queue and the seatbelt sign...

    Hey frustrated flight attendant: putting the word "period" at the end doesn't make it true. There is, in fact, a reason to fill up the galley: it's the only way to queue for the toilet. Put yourself in the passenger's shoes for a nanosecond, especially a male over 60, a third of whom have prostate issues. Desperate to pee, sitting in his seat until the lav is unused, there's no queue and the seatbelt sign is off? Is that your "service culture" answer? No, I'm with Ben. It's in Bad Management's interest to make the situation bad and let pax and cabin crew blame each other. In fact, the problem is that cabin isn't fit for purpose. When you get us out of the galley, you'll make announcements keeping us out of the aisle and when we disregard that it'll be our fault again. Period.

  57. Adrian Guest

    That's nothing. On an Air Maroc flight (widebody) from JFK>CMN in August this year, the crew (all male in economy) sped through service and then barricaded the rear galley with service trolley's and curtains. So much effort had been put into the privacy, it naturally peaked my curiosity. I pulled back the curtain a little and took a look. They are all laid out on the floor, on blankets, sleeping. Clearly, been a big night...

    That's nothing. On an Air Maroc flight (widebody) from JFK>CMN in August this year, the crew (all male in economy) sped through service and then barricaded the rear galley with service trolley's and curtains. So much effort had been put into the privacy, it naturally peaked my curiosity. I pulled back the curtain a little and took a look. They are all laid out on the floor, on blankets, sleeping. Clearly, been a big night out in NYC. Guess it would have been up to the two female staff in Business Class to deal with an in-flight emergency.

  58. Steve Guest

    Was there turbulence and flight service discontinued? It may have been a safety measure to keep passengers from using the restrooms when conditions weren't safe. I have a friend who is a Captain for
    American Airlines. I will ask him and try to remember to report back (here).

  59. Thomas Christoffersen Guest

    And when the A321XLR arrives, they will have to endure these cramped Spaces for up to 10 hours… yikes!!

  60. mdande7 Diamond

    At first I thought this was up front and blocking access to a lav. But since it's not, I have no issues here.

  61. Big Al Guest

    What do you expect from US airlines - pathetic attitude, product and customer service.
    Same can be said of most of the US industries, crap food , bad hotels etc.

    America = bottom of the barrel.

    1. Big Al Guest

      So stupid to assume that I'm not from 'here'.

      Typical American attitude of assuming everything.

    2. David Guest

      Then I will amend my comment. If you hate your own country that much then go live somewhere else

    3. Shaun Guest

      The U.S. is not a "s****h*le" and abusing such hyperbole isn't helping your argument. I get out of North America frequently, and while there are many things I love about other cultures, I wouldn't be willing to give to the privilege of being a U.S. citizen, and it's still the most desired destination for immigrants from all over the globe, despite assholes like David making it less hospitable.

      U.S. airlines, food, and hotels are all...

      The U.S. is not a "s****h*le" and abusing such hyperbole isn't helping your argument. I get out of North America frequently, and while there are many things I love about other cultures, I wouldn't be willing to give to the privilege of being a U.S. citizen, and it's still the most desired destination for immigrants from all over the globe, despite assholes like David making it less hospitable.

      U.S. airlines, food, and hotels are all average or above, but there's certainly things they could improve.

    4. Try Actually Traveling For Once Guest

      I'm American, currently traveling in Asia. You are right. Any American who says "then don't come here" has a chip on their shoulder and has been indoctrinated to think the US is the best. It's not. Service culture and lifestyle are wayyyyy better in plenty of other countries. Go travel a bit. See the world. Get out of North America. You'd be surprised how much of a s****h*le the US seems after you do.

    5. David Guest

      First of all I have been travelling the world for over 40 years starting when I was 18 years old and have been all over the world.

      Second, I never said the U.S. was "better" but it's not the bottom of the barrel either as Big Al stated in his original post. Nor is it a "s***hole as TATFO stated. If you are that unhappy living in the U.S., then for god's sake why wouldn't...

      First of all I have been travelling the world for over 40 years starting when I was 18 years old and have been all over the world.

      Second, I never said the U.S. was "better" but it's not the bottom of the barrel either as Big Al stated in his original post. Nor is it a "s***hole as TATFO stated. If you are that unhappy living in the U.S., then for god's sake why wouldn't you live somewhere else? Life is too short to live somewhere where you are so unhappy.

      Third, your using vulgarity and calling me an ***hole shows how small minded and ignorant you must really be.

  62. A frustrated flight attendant Guest

    Announcements are made that pax shouldn’t be in the galleys…. Yet they continue to step in every chance they get. Them being in the galley is more of a safety issue than the strap to keep them out is. Stay. Out. Of. The. Galley. It is literally the only space flight attendants have to work, to sit, to eat, etc. leave the galley alone. Need something? The airlines put a super convenient bell at your...

    Announcements are made that pax shouldn’t be in the galleys…. Yet they continue to step in every chance they get. Them being in the galley is more of a safety issue than the strap to keep them out is. Stay. Out. Of. The. Galley. It is literally the only space flight attendants have to work, to sit, to eat, etc. leave the galley alone. Need something? The airlines put a super convenient bell at your seat. Unless you are having an emergency there is absolutely no reason any pax should ever be in a galley. Period.

    1. DCAWABN Guest

      And yet it's frowned upon industry-wide to use that "super convenient bell at [my] seat." Of course YOU'LL say, "But I ALWAYS respond to the bell. And I do so with a smile on my face and some pep in my step super eager to help them." And, of course, we pax know you're full of it and will likely turn off the light from afar, if possible. Otherwise you'll trudge down the aisle, scowl...

      And yet it's frowned upon industry-wide to use that "super convenient bell at [my] seat." Of course YOU'LL say, "But I ALWAYS respond to the bell. And I do so with a smile on my face and some pep in my step super eager to help them." And, of course, we pax know you're full of it and will likely turn off the light from afar, if possible. Otherwise you'll trudge down the aisle, scowl at the passenger, then conveniently "forget" whatever it was they wanted. This isn't a secret. And the fact that any FA pretends that bell is actually meant for "service" is even more pathetic.

    2. Another FA Guest

      As another FA, I always remind folks that there simply aren't enough oxygen masks in the galley for them to congregate. And for those of you who say there aren't enough in the aisles... On every aircraft my airlines flies there is at least one more than the number of seats in each row (this is also why we don't allow more than one lap child per row).

      Really, truthfully, the things we say are for safety. Yours, mine, the people around you.

  63. Justin Guest

    My first thought was ‘classic American’ but it’s very true - passengers would just stand there right in between the two flight attendants waiting for the lavatory… who wants someone’s butt in their face at work

  64. Tim Dunn Diamond

    glad to hear the LASIK went well but there are a number of things wrong w/ what you reported on your AA flight.
    1. welcome to coach travel where the vast majority of the world travels including service levels and access to facilities (or not).
    2. the size of galleys is established by the manufacturers first and not the airlines. There are a couple galley manufacturers in the world - just like w/...

    glad to hear the LASIK went well but there are a number of things wrong w/ what you reported on your AA flight.
    1. welcome to coach travel where the vast majority of the world travels including service levels and access to facilities (or not).
    2. the size of galleys is established by the manufacturers first and not the airlines. There are a couple galley manufacturers in the world - just like w/ seat makers - and airlines have a few choices but none of them offer "spacious" galleys on a narrowbody aircraft.
    3. the size of the galleys didn't change over the past year when AA FAs decided to start this "roping off" the galley. And other airlines have the same galleys or smaller and their FAs have not started this practice of blocking access to the galleys.
    4. there really is no reason why customers need to be in the galley and there are tactful ways for FAs to find out what customers want and then handle it or ask the customer to not remain in the galley. but the fact that the FAs didn't even come into the cabin for an hour tells you all you need to know about why the "ropes" were put up in the first place. AA FAs do not want to serve and the current contract negotiations are just another excuse for why they won't deliver service that other airlines' FAs manage to deliver.

    WN mgmt specifically is telling their FAs to get out of the galley and into the cabin because they were using too many excuses not to serve. FAs might be there first for safety but they are paid to provide service. Any excuse for not providing not only hurts the customer but harms the company - and that is precisely why AA FAs are doing what they are doing.
    The fact that AA has long had some of the most contentious labor relations in the US airline industry simply validates another reason why they do not compete well w/ other airlines which simply provide better service.

    1. David Guest

      Not true about the galley space changing over the years. I worked at AA for 31 years. When the 737-800s were initially delivered in the late 90's the bulkhead where the jumpseats are attached was further forward allowing more space in the galley to maneuver the carts in and out of their storage housing. In addition, there was another spot for 2 carts, one on each side, with a big storage locker above for FA...

      Not true about the galley space changing over the years. I worked at AA for 31 years. When the 737-800s were initially delivered in the late 90's the bulkhead where the jumpseats are attached was further forward allowing more space in the galley to maneuver the carts in and out of their storage housing. In addition, there was another spot for 2 carts, one on each side, with a big storage locker above for FA bags, etc., just forward of the bulkhead. This created a really nice buffer between the galley and the aft lavs. AA removed those 2 extra cart storage locations and the lockers later but the bulkhead wall stayed where it was. After the catastrophic takeover of America West AA crammed in a few extra rows in Steerage and actually moved the bulkhead a few inches further aft, making it even more challenging of a workspace. Pulling carts out of their housing became difficult because there was barely any clearance at that point between the cart storage and the jumpseats/bulkhead wall. So no, Boeing might dictate, obviously, where the end of the usable cabin is but it is up to each individual airline to configure the size and shape of their galleys.

  65. Keith Guest

    Thanks to AA's Sardines in Space design of its 737's everything and everyone has to fight for any space. The last time I flew American was transcon in the middle seat of the last row thanks to a last minute shuffle on AA's part. The john line stretched up the aisle, but I noticed that people tried to use the galley (the space is not differentiated from the aisle/lavs in any way) as a waiting...

    Thanks to AA's Sardines in Space design of its 737's everything and everyone has to fight for any space. The last time I flew American was transcon in the middle seat of the last row thanks to a last minute shuffle on AA's part. The john line stretched up the aisle, but I noticed that people tried to use the galley (the space is not differentiated from the aisle/lavs in any way) as a waiting space. Anyone who blames the FA's for trying to block off this space should be banned to a too tight space themselves--oh, wait, they all are already. The America West mentality infected AA when it was bought our and has taken over the line over the years. Perhaps the CEO and other executives of AA should be required to fly their own coach as a condition of employment, so they could at least consider what they have wrought.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      AA simply has refused to buy the right model of the 737 for the number of seats they need for the right economics and so fits almost as many seats in the 737-800/MAX8 as other airlines fit in the -900/MAX9.
      there are not any fewer lavs on AA's 800/MAX8s in the rear than other airlines' 900s/MAX9s so the issue is not AA's configuration.
      and Boeing, not AA, designed the lavs with the tiny...

      AA simply has refused to buy the right model of the 737 for the number of seats they need for the right economics and so fits almost as many seats in the 737-800/MAX8 as other airlines fit in the -900/MAX9.
      there are not any fewer lavs on AA's 800/MAX8s in the rear than other airlines' 900s/MAX9s so the issue is not AA's configuration.
      and Boeing, not AA, designed the lavs with the tiny sinks that get everything wet when you turn the faucet on.
      The Airbus spaceflex lav does take galley space which is no longer needed because US airlines largely do not serve hot meals or even full service on domestic flights. And the spaceflex concept is similar to how many regional jet rear lavs are configured.
      airlines don't make money on lavs; they make money with butts in seats. Airframe and lav and galley manufacturers produce what airlines want.
      FAs knew what they were getting into by the time they finished training if not before.

    2. Ryan Guest

      Nice try with the whole FAs knew what they were getting into. DL FAs have fought back on the space flex and the company responded by reconfiguring the 321/320s with dedicated FA space and the commitment that they’ll never do it again, hence why the neos, and the 220s have full aft galleys, and the 320/321 now have a dedicated crew area for them where the last row was. 10 years ago they started ripping...

      Nice try with the whole FAs knew what they were getting into. DL FAs have fought back on the space flex and the company responded by reconfiguring the 321/320s with dedicated FA space and the commitment that they’ll never do it again, hence why the neos, and the 220s have full aft galleys, and the 320/321 now have a dedicated crew area for them where the last row was. 10 years ago they started ripping all the galleys out and it took the FA’s pitching a fit to get them to stop.

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      the NEOs at DL were acquired for their longer range as is true for the A220s. DL isn't changing the design of their aircraft because of FA objections. Newer long range domestic aircraft need more galley space because the FAs are expected to provide more service. DL has have removed a half row of seats on multiple aircraft types in order to add galley space but that still yields more seats than putting the lavs...

      the NEOs at DL were acquired for their longer range as is true for the A220s. DL isn't changing the design of their aircraft because of FA objections. Newer long range domestic aircraft need more galley space because the FAs are expected to provide more service. DL has have removed a half row of seats on multiple aircraft types in order to add galley space but that still yields more seats than putting the lavs back in the cabin and forward of the galley.
      let's also remember that Airbus itself redesigned the exits so that there are fewer doors which increases cabin space more than what is gained via spaceflex lavs and galleys.
      No FA wants to have to get up their space for passengers but DL mgmt would fire FAs in a heartbeat if they taped off the galley.

      And it still comes down to tactfully asking passengers not to stand in the galley even for access to the spaceflex lavs but rather to wait in the aisle.
      I have seen FAs on multiple airlines asking passengers not to stand in the galley and very few passengers object.
      and waiting in the galley for non space flex lavs.

      And I have never been on a Delta flight where the FAs waited an hour or more to start service unless there was turbulence and the captain specifically said - or the FAs repeated captain's orders - for them and passengers to remain seated.

  66. S Gold

    How'd your LASIK surgery go? Seems like you are posting like normal today?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ S -- It went GREAT, I think... thanks for asking. I can't believe how well I can see!!! I have my follow-up appointment this morning, and then I'll share my experience in a blog post later today.

  67. DWT Guest

    The funny thing is, I find that they (FAs) generally have it worse on DL, especially with the A319s and A320s, where the lavs have been relocated to space formerly occupied by galleys. So it's not just AA management that is trying to cram in the seats.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ DWT -- Yeah, it's true across US airlines, and many other global airlines, for that matter. It's sad how little thought is put into this...

  68. Michael Guest

    I flew with American recently and during take-off and landing the flight attendant covered the "EXIT" sign above the right hand forward door with duct tape. I couldn't see if they did the same with the left hand door.

    Anyone know why they would do that?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Michael -- Interesting. You actively saw them add the duct tape, or could maintenance have done it before the flight due to some other issue?

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      that is very likely a violation of safety. Not even sure that maintenance can ok the dispatch of an aircraft without working EXIT signs

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Frequent Flyer Guest

I'm a flight attendant. I don't like when coworkers draw the curtain for a full flight and hide. I like to remain available for customers. Especially on long flights at night. Imagine some poor old lady trying to find her way to the lav in darkness. I always sit sideways on the cold hard jumpseat so I have an eye down the aisle, and try to walk through the cabin as frequently as we're supposed to. I try to remain attentive to my customers' needs. BUT. Like the author, I don't blame them. Sometimes I'll have ten minutes to shove a quick meal down my throat while standing over a garbage can, and 4 people will step into our 2 foot wide galley to wait for the bathroom as if we are not there, pressing me up against the wall and occasionally farting or even vomiting in our small space. Occasionally I will draw the curtain just for a short time to eat in private because people like taking pictures of us doing human things as if we are somehow bothering them, and someone will rip open the curtain and hand me trash. I always ask myself, would this happen in a restaurant? Would someone barge into the kitchen and hand you their dirty plastic cup while you're on your lunch break? We don't actually get lunch breaks. Or break rooms. Or kitchens. The plane is my home, sometimes I live there all day. I still have to do human things. And for some reason, that insults some people. As far as safety, come on. If a plane plummets toward the ground too quickly to remove a barrier, then we're in trouble. In that case then passengers should never have their bags out or have their seatbelts unbuckled or be out of their seats. Let's be realistic. Just last night I had a medical emergency on my flight and while I had a man on the ground administering oxygen, passengers were stopping us to ask if we could turn off the lights or bring them more wine. Would that happen in a restaurant? Sure there are thousands of us, not all of us are great workers or the kindest people. But for some reason we're just one profession everyone loves to find a problem with. I don't think this is as much a flight attendant problem as much as it is an American public problem. There's nothing a middle class American enjoys more than putting down another middle class American.

5
Rhys Guest

I haven’t seen anyone weigh in on the FAA regulatory aspect of this, let alone company policy. I’m not a flight attendant, but have written ramp and customer service manuals for an FAA Part 121 carrier (the type of carrier that AA is), which had some overlap with flight attendant manuals to sync policies such as how to hand over unaccompanied minors etc. I can’t imagine anything that could impede egress through the rear doors during an emergency evacuation would ever be allowed. The scenario I could think of is an emergency descent and landing after an inflight event that knocked unconscious the flight attendants in the back, rendering them unable to remove this barrier in the back before an evacuation. If there was a fire mid cabin and people had to evacuate through the rear doors, every second counts to save lives and this would impede an exit, especially if the cabin was dark and people panicked. I’ve participated in such an exercise. Any debate about size of galleys or how passengers interact with this space doesn’t really matter when the focus should be on a culture of safety first. I can’t see how this barrier could be allowed.

4
Todd Moore Guest

I love this approach more than the others who are quick to assume “They’re mean” or “That’s rude of them”. Recently, Flight attendants have been getting a bad rep. but most of them are under contract negotiations and management are using any and all tactics to not pay them fairly or treat them with more appropriate work rules. And no — the simple answer is not for them to quit. Some had dedicated 35 years and more of service and almost all are choosing to fight rather than quit. I say all this to emphasize that after service, maybe….just maybe, they want a few minutes to reset mentally (because some passengers are a lot) and clean up there workspace before having to do it all over again. This strap is not only useful with the trash bag, but still a little inviting in the event someone absolutely needed something. I definitely don’t think the seatbelt blocker is a good look for them. Anyways, just remember that most Flight Attendants here in the U.S. are paid only the actual minutes of when the boarding door is first shut until it is them opened at the outstation. So if MIA to MCO is 45 minutes and a new flight attendant is working that…..$30/60*45= $22.50. $22.50 is what he/she would make to serve 16 or 20 people in first class, greet them, make announcements and conduct safety related duties. That poor flight attendant invested hours into there day…..just to be paid $22.50 for one flight. That’s the reality and some of us need to stop expecting the most and help them in whatever way (a simple tweet goes a long way). And yes, this is American Airlines. Regionals and ULCC are even less.

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