Flight attendants have hard jobs to begin with, and they’ve become even more difficult during the pandemic. Flight attendants have to enforce mask requirements, and on top of that we’ve seen an unprecedented increase in air rage among passengers.
I’m sure there are lots of things that flight attendants would like to say to passengers at times, but they bite their tongue. As reported by Snopes, one American Airlines flight attendant didn’t bite his tongue, and there’s now video of it online…
American flight attendant addresses rude passengers
This incident involves American Airlines flight 2511 on June 7, which was scheduled to operate from Los Angeles to Charlotte. The flight ended up diverting to Raleigh-Durham due to bad weather at the destination. As you might expect, this was an unpleasant experience for everyone, as the flight ended up being delayed by several hours.
Apparently some passengers were misbehaving horribly, and took that out on flight attendants. It’s reported that one passenger called the flight attendant a “fat gorilla” and told her to suck his you-know-what because he was asked to put on a mask.
After enough misbehavior from passengers, a flight attendant got on the PA and said the following:
All we’ve done is [be] flight attendants the entire flight. We really did [experience] the delay just like you. We have not eaten also. We’ve been delayed here. We’ve catered to you the entire flight and we do it because we love this job.
But the fact that we get insulted and mistreated by passengers over things that we cannot control. It is disgusting. We’re just going to go to Charlotte because we do not want to escalate this, but shame on the passengers who have made this flight a living hell for the flight attendants.
Here’s the video of this:
After all of this, a passenger calls the flight attendant a “drama queen,” at which point the flight attendant says they’re going back to the gate (though I’m not sure if that actually ended up happening):
Were the flight attendants justified?
While I’m sure some people will say “how unprofessional of these flight attendants,” personally this is a situation where I think the crew was justified. We’re all human, and we all deserve a basic level of respect, regardless of who the customer is. You can hear the sincerity in the flight attendant’s voice, talking about how they do the job because they love it, but that this passenger behavior is crossing the line.
It’s apparent that it was a small minority of passengers causing the problems. The flight attendant makes it clear in his announcement that he’s only addressing certain people, there’s applause after his announcement, and you also hear passengers saying “we’re sorry” and “he didn’t mean it, it’s the hunger talking,” in response to what’s going on. Clearly most passengers recognized that other passengers were acting out of line.
People like to give flight attendants a hard time, but the reality is that in any other business you’d be kicked out if you call an employee a “fat gorilla” or tell them to suck your genitalia simply because they tried to enforce a federal law.
Sure, the crew could have just immediately brought the plane to the gate and offloaded those passengers, but in that sense they were doing passengers a courtesy by letting them get their act together so that they didn’t delay everyone. But then those misbehaving passengers continued to misbehave, calling the flight attendant a “drama queen.”
A transcontinental American Airlines flight was forced to divert due to bad weather in Charlotte, which made for a long day for both the crew and passengers. Unfortunately some passengers decided to take their frustration out on the crew, addressing them in ways that no one should have to endure.
At some point the crew could no longer ignore it, and one flight attendant took to the PA to share his opinion. Personally I think he was justified, and frankly his address seemed more constructive than just having the plane immediately go to the gate and have passengers offloaded.
What do you make of this American Airlines flight attendant’s PA?