Unhappy First Class Passenger Hands Flight Attendant Rude Note

Filed Under: American

Some passengers are out of control. Just over a week ago an American Airlines passenger handed a flight attendant a vicious note, calling her a “gloried maid,” “4 eyed c*nt,” and saying that if it wasn’t for this job, she’d be “cleaning motel rooms for $2 tips and meth.” Fortunately American Airlines acted swiftly to ban this passenger.

Well, now another flight attendant is reporting that she received a note from a passenger…

An unhappy (or drunk?) American Airlines first class passenger

On Facebook an American Airlines flight attendant shares what happened on a flight she worked yesterday from Tampa to Dallas. As she describes it from her perspective:

  • She was on standby, and was called to work the flight at 4:15AM, and the entire crew working this flight will be furloughed in a couple of weeks (this is more for background than anything else)
  • The flight attendants did the full service in first class, including handing out snack bags during boarding, and serving drinks throughout the flight
  • Upon exiting the plane, one passenger handed one of the flight attendants a note
  • This man had four alcoholic drinks on this fairly short flight
  • Five minutes before the crew prepared the cabin for landing, the man came to the galley to ask for another Jack and Diet
  • The crew explained to him that they’re about to prepare for landing, but they still served it to him though said that he’d need to finish it quickly

So, what note did the passenger write for the crew?

“YOU USE COVID TO JUSTIFY BEING LAZY AT A TIME WHEN YOU SHOULD DO THE OPPOSITE”

As the flight attendant concludes:

“My heart hurts because here we are getting furloughed and trying to enjoy our last 2 weeks of flying and people are so hateful!”

My take on this situation

While this wasn’t quite as bad as the last note left for an American Airlines flight attendant, this was completely inappropriate and uncalled for. If someone was served multiple alcoholic drinks on a roughly two hour flight, they have no grounds for calling a flight attendant “lazy.”

Any frustration the passenger had should be addressed to management rather than flight attendants. Maybe the passenger wasn’t happy about the lack of a proper meal service? Obviously that’s not the flight attendant’s fault.

I almost wonder if the problem may have been that the guy was served too much to drink, if he had four drinks on a two hour flight with little to no food? In that case, I’d say the crew was providing too much service, rather than being “lazy.”

It almost reminds me of when I flew Emirates first class from Los Angeles to Dubai, and the guy seated in front of me was drunk beyond belief, and then still complained to the purser that the alcohol selection wasn’t any good (if there’s one thing Emirates has, it’s a good alcohol selection).

Lastly, not that it really matters, but what exactly is this note written on? It doesn’t look like American’s standard cocktail napkin, which is square and branded. Is it a piece of toilet paper? And was the guy traveling with a permanent marker?

Bottom line

C’mon, folks, treat people with respect. That’s something that should be done in general, and in particular something that should be done right now, when people are going through a tough time.

It doesn’t sound at all like this crew was “lazy.” If you have issues with American’s limited service then address that to management, and not to flight attendants. But please let’s not make a trend of handing flight attendants notes with messages, unless those messages are to thank them for working and encourage them to hang in there…

What do you make of this passenger note?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments
  1. Yes some flight attendants are lazy and COVID 19 has “empowered” some of them to be real lazy. I’ve experienced first class AA flight attendants that have totally ignore their passengers. The other night flying PHX/SNA I really needed some water and hit the call button (which I rarely ever do). The flight attendant saw me ringing the button yet ignored me (and all the other first passengers) while he munched on a pizza. Finally a flight attendant coming up from coach asked if I needed something.

    That being said, such a note is absolutely gross and highlights the occasional passenger that believes flight attendants are glorified waiter/waitresses or domestic worker. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  2. Flew Air Canada this week – zero service in J – flight attendants nowhere to be seen.
    Joke of an airline

  3. First class passengers such as George need to be treated better than coach passengers.

    Perhaps the flight attendant arranged to eat while the other covered briefly. Since you don’t know the exact situation, don’t assume you were being deprived the exquisite attention you are accustomed to.

  4. TWO way street. I flew AA cross-country flight to CLT in June2020. Passenger ahead of me, 1st class dropped small glass bottle to my feet at takeoff. I handed it back. AA FA observed this and rather than asking – she had pilot radio ahead CLT police to question me upon landing – as if I were “passing drugs”? Almost missed my connection as my heart was pounding – trying to figure out what happened. AA FA was an unhappy employee, having a bad day who never said a word to me the entire flight. My WORST AA flight ever w FA who was clearly striking back. I am wife, mother of 3 &AA Exec Platinum. Why would this AA FA also see me as a DRUG dealer? (all I got was an apology from CLT Gate Agent) //

  5. On my honeymoon a couple across the aisle got so intoxicated so quickly on a 12 hour flight they had to be cut off 3 hours in. They fell over their seats and splayed out on the ground, and then were extremely racist to the Japanese flight attendant staff (it was an ANA flight). Considering the circumstances of being over the pacific there wasn’t much the FAs could do except try to keep them away from more booze and tolerate things, lest we all had to take a short stop at the Wake Atoll.

  6. But this is something many of your followers have expressed in the comments of many of your articles. The difference is this guy handed it to the FA.
    Is that the only reason it’s not respectful?

  7. Slightly OT but I think we are at the point where CV-19 is being used as a universal excuse for lack of service in any industry or company. If you are a company that has decided to leave your employees working from home until who knows when, then at this point, you also need to figure out how to provide the same level of service you did before you sent your staff home. I am trying to get a physician credentialed to provide emergency coverage for a hospital we work with-every credentialing office we called, at her previous institutions, we got essentially the same VM-staff working remotely, responses will be delayed. 6 months in, this is no longer acceptable, especially to those of us who had been working from home long before CV-19 & were expected to still provide prompt service to our clients.

  8. I’ve had such experience before. After handing out the snack boxes and drinks, she sat down in first class and ate the same meal as us. I don’t mind that but it became an issue when she sat on her phone the entire flight. All pax in F just got empty cups and trash in front of them until descending.

  9. I see several commenters complaining about instances where they didn’t receive the level of service they thought they were owed. I assume these same commenters never ever comport themselves with anything less than the utmost professionalism, hospitality, care, and respect in their own dealings with clients, customers, and coworkers.

  10. There are people who, for reasons not fully understood to me, seem to believe flying in expensive seats and drinking wine is the equivalent of working in the coal mines, and that they should be served hand and foot due to the difficulty of their likely not socially useful job.

  11. I am really puzzled by many of the comments on this post. If a person has not received good service he or she can certainly complain about it, but writing a note in that way is completely unjustified. This is just personal frustration passed onto the next available person (who cannot fight back!). We need to stop being this angry society!

  12. With no great travel deals around no no trip reports, this blog is rapidly diverting to what the social media is good for – shaming other people. Lucky, is the the only means you can generate the traffic to your blog nowadays?

  13. As the announcement states prior to boarding on AA and after boarding the plane, there will not be a food or beverage service provided on most flights. Even for 1st class, it is request ONLY. Right now, because of the close proximity and to keep those that are trying to have a drink at all times in front of them just to have an excuse to keep from wearing a mask, Flight Attendants are not providing a normal service. The same goes for DL and other airlines. As for people who think they are better then those in the back and should be waited on hand and foot… they are not. They all pull their pants on the same way. Most that are sitting in 1st are having their ticket paid by someone else or as of now, getting super cheap ticket prices. PEOPLE NEED TO Act better. Be better. Show some CLASS!

  14. An alcoholic, misogynist, cowardly loser. Four drinks on a flight of 2.5 hours is above and beyond the call of duty for the FA. She should have stoped him at three. Would he have presented this note to a male FA? I’m willing to bet the farm he wouldn’t. Handing the note to her on the way out the door was about as cowardly as it gets. Sadly after deplaning, Mr. Big Shot probably felt empowered by his boorish behavior. Someday, if he gets help for his many issues, he may be fortunate enough to stand before an AA meeting and tell this story about what a first class a$$hole he was back in the days when he was nothing more than a drunken loser.

    COVID has brought out the best and worst in people. Clearly, this is yet another case of the later although it pales in comparison from the note from last week’s blog post.

  15. You have no idea what happened here. For all we know, the passenger is spot-on. Also, the note doesn’t seem to be particularly out of line. What’s the passenger to do, draw the outline of five stars and only fill one-and-a-half-in Amazon style?

  16. On my last First/Business trip on AA, I had the most inattentive FA I have ever had on any flight in any class over 45 years.

    Our overhead compartment was filled with his crap so we had to gate check our carry on. We found out it was his stuff during the flight as he leaned over us three times during the short flight (RDU-> PHL) to retrieve personal grooming supplies before spending a fair amount of time primping in the lav.

    Our drink service was one soft drink at the beginning of the flight. Never offered refills. There was no alcohol offered. Most people finished their one beverage shortly into the flight and I was wondering if he planned to retrieve the glasses which he finally did as we descending into PHL.

    The next leg from PHL to ZRH was fine. FAs could not have been more professional.

    After taking the time to call AA about the RDU -> PHL experience, the phone center person acknowledged the FA had been abyssmal but then wanted me to write a long email detailing everything I told her. I would have hoped she could have taken it from there.

    I am stunned that someone who got four alcoholic beverages during a two hour flight felt the FA was lazy. I definitely had lazy.

  17. Readers: why don’t we all try to ease up on Ben and his team? Why is everyone so harsh? Like most of the travel industry the livelihood of Ben, Tiffany and Ford (Winston too) is at risk. He is trying to figure it out like all of are doing.

    What do the critics expect him to write about? His blog is his blog and represents what the travel and credit card industry is dealing with now.

    My plan is to not judge, continue to read Ben’s blog and support him as we need his team to survive.

  18. The only thing I give to flight attendants is Starbucks gift cards. Usually keep 3 or more $15 gift cards in my bag for when service is excellent.

  19. The original Donna

    On our recent ( got back Sunday) BA flight from Corfu – London WE had in 3hrs 15mins:

    3 Quarter bottles of champagne,( both)
    5 vodka & ginger ales( her)
    6 bourbon and cokes ( me)

    Everything was fine, staff were more than happy to serve us that( in fact as it was the final rotation of the day we got a take home bag with some more bubbles and some scotch). No one was drunk and our last drink was cleared as we set up on finals.

    The entire J cabin ( what you in the US would call Domestic F) was drinking like fish and no one was offended or offensive at any point.

    Is my good lady wife a “drunk, misogynistic, cowardly, loser” ( along with approx 40% of the cabin which were female) or is it simply the fact that a CUSTOMER had a complaint with what he deemed to be subpar service and had the audacity to pass on HIS feelings? Contrary to recent, sectional, belief if person A is female and person B is male and B has an issue with A it does NOT make them a woman hating, sexist, misogynist.

    ( I’d personally have complained to the airline itself[ or the CSM/ CSD IF I had a major issue with a member of crew during the flight,which this wouldn’t have counted as] but different people deal with things differently). The letter wasn’t abusive. There was no name calling. It might be abrupt but that person who paid to be there IS entitled to their opinion ( AGAIN even if it’s not how I would’ve personally dealt with it).

    Now harsh as it sounds there are also zero sympathy points for the fact there’s an up coming furlough. MILLIONS of people were furloughed, or worse still lost their jobs/ careers months ago. I’m one of those people and no tears were shed for me when a decades long career was ripped out from beneath my feet through no fault of my own. At least this person has lasted this long and will be kept on furlough soon. That’s a damn sight more than many millions have had these last few months.

  20. @MYSELF

    If you and your wife consumed that much alcohol in that short of a time period and didn’t get drunk, you should both talk to a professional about treating your alcoholism.

  21. @myself. It is pretty obvious that you and your wife are alcoholics but will not admit it. Get help before it’s too late. First step is to admit it and not flaunt it.

  22. If a person wants to offer critical feedback, s/he should a) put a name to the feedback and/or b) be willing to share the feedback to the person’s face. There’s a reason notes like this are a common tactic for middle schoolers to resolve any number of issues.

  23. Empathy people. We have one side of the story (and possibly about 12 words about the other side). Not nearly enough information to make a decision about who is right and who is wrong.

    Judge not, lest ye be judged !!

  24. My adult daughter and I flew AA first class recently from DFW to SEA. We were treated very well. The service met our expectations. My daughter was surprised that one person in front of her could consume as much alcohol they did and she commented she hoped they weren’t driving or renting a car.
    There are some people that will be rude and/or complain no matter what the circumstances.

  25. @Hosea – Spot on

    @Micky C – I can’t even imagine what you went thru. It must have been horrible for you to sit in that filth for so long. You have my sympathy

    @Lucky – I didn’t know you have such a large following amongst “millennials”

  26. Are we sure this note is authentic? I have no doubt that there are rude passengers out there…but did this really happen?

  27. I’m going to address this as I was the flight attendant who received the note. To the people saying this note could’ve been “spot on” I assure you it is NOT. I have every bit of confidence in our crew. We did MORE on this flight than I’ve seen done on many of my deadheading flights. We gave the passengers doubles. He had 5 cocktails. Each doubles. Only the last drink we gave him before landing was a single. We relieved everything on trays, interacted with our passengers. We went above and beyond what the company asks of us, why? BECAUSE WE STILL LOVE OUR JOB.

    I enjoy doing services. I enjoy working in first class. I enjoy my passengers. But, just because the company doesn’t provide us with 3 course hot meals in first class doesn’t give anyone the right to belittle or berate us.

    We are working as hard as we can (at least my crew is) and it’s a crying shame that we do so with a smile when we only have two weeks left until furlough.

    If the passenger had something to say about the service or was displeased he should have had the sense to come up to the galley and let us know what we could do to better accommodate him. But I think 9 Jacks was plenty accommodating enough. We were glad to serve our first class passengers.

    But, I will not tolerate a passenger being rude when we did more than the company asks of us.

    I’m sorry if this displeases people, but some of you have no idea what we are going through. Learn to have compassion and empathy.

  28. To George Romney:
    That’s when you break into your bag of in-shell peanuts and enjoy them. Man O Man…..they make a big ole mess!

  29. @Myself….

    While you may think you and your companion drank responsibly and behaved with no issue, may I tell you that the amount of alcohol you consumed is disturbing.
    Please seek help, you are functioning alcoholics.

  30. Also, to U S— this did in fact happen. If you don’t believe me, you can call the company yourself. My captain witnessed the passenger handing me the note. The company has all the documentation. My crew witnessed it. I have no reason to lie because I have nothing to gain from the situation. The reason it is public is because I’m tired of watching my co-workers being treating with such inappropriate behavior. If he had an issue, he could take it up with management. He could’ve written American Airlines and told them about his experience.

    I cannot help what AA gives us to provide for our passengers, all I can do it my best and provide the best service possible with the limited resources I am given.

  31. The comments here really show the disconnect from reality and entitlement of people who fixate on flying first class. My boyfriend works in the service industry (barista/bartender). Every day he puts his life on the line to serve people their daily coffee/booze. He faces an incredibly unstable job market, his tips are a fraction of what they were before and he regularly has to deal with entitled jackasses who want to dump their issues on him. He does not have the luxury of working from home. Find another job? In this market? He’s working on getting his degree, but financing this education is challenging, to put it mildly.

    These pushbacks you’re seeing from people working in the service industry? Unless we take a step back and try to treat everybody as a human being it will turn into something more serious. These people serving you drinks and snacks while flying? They’re dealing with a lot of crap that is completely out of their control. Show them some compassion and respect.

    But hey, if you want to make getting your fifth jack and coke (on a 2 hour flight) the hill you die on, well… good luck to you.

  32. Good for the pax here. AA FAs are the absolute worst. I can’t even imagine how bad they are during COVID times. I avoid AA at all costs due to their FAs.

  33. I flew AA first class PHX to DTW last month…was handed a bag with water, cookie, and a cleaning towelette. Only one time, ONE time did the flight attendant come through during a four hour flight, to hand out a cheese and cracker tray, and then immediately went back to the galley where the current was draw for the entirety of the flight. No offer of drinks of any kind throughout the flight. Why should the service be THAT much different? I’m masked, they’re masked and gloved…waste of money.

  34. Sorry no sympathy for the flight attendants here. Many are on a power trip and I have unfriendly experiences often enough to give the passenger the benefit of doubt. I am exp so usually sit first and despite explaining that I am a little hard of hearing I still get flight attendants who tell me they are not repeating themselves (eg menu options). I often end up asking the person next to me who is usually far more patient.

  35. It looks like a paper towel from the lavatory. I think TP would be too thin to write on it with a permanent marker without the TP ripping (especially the cheap airline TP).

  36. I disagree with you it’s their job and if they can’t do it they should not go to work. Flight attendants are rude 99.99% of the time and I m a frequent flyer.

  37. I just don’t understand how people can be so awful to others sometimes. I get that this guy was drunk but still heavon forbid we all have a little respect for each other!

  38. There are a lot of entitled reader posts here in the comments section. You’d think in a pandemic, a plummeting world economy, mass unemployment, multiple international crises, and impending environment doom, the entitled could tone it down a notch, show respect that they so desperately believe is owed to them under any and all circumstances. Guess not. Way to prove the point of this article.

  39. We flew first last week from Phx to Mia. Those flight attendants actually huffed at you if you asked for something. MIA crews were already horrible. COVID-19 has let them become down right awful!

    Oh and we got a 1.50 turkey sandwich on bread from a loaf they got at Publix. AA is a joke.

  40. I work in the industry as a flight attendant. Almost 30 years of service. First I would like to say we are dealing with something that has never been dealt with in the 30 years I have been working. Covid has changed our jobs as we know it. When everyone around the world was told to stay home in the beginning of all this guess who still had to go to work. Its very scary to go to work and not know if you are going to get sick or not. Many airlines are being very fair with the service that is being given to the public while trying to keep their flight attendants safe. Sitting on the jumpseat eating, reading a book or using an electronic device is not being lazy. Im not sure what people think flight attendant should be doing when we are not serving passengers. Time are different and so is the service. Its pretty simple. It is clear that every single person that complains about the service they get on the airplanes are also complaining about every other aspect in there life. Im sure the lines at the supermarket sets them off as well. I love my job but it definitely is not the same that it was 30 years ago. Society has changed. People are different. Just be kind to others. Period.

  41. I just flew AA and was shocked to see every single seat on the plane full. How is not serving drinks and/or snacks helping to prevent Covid transmission when they are still packing folks onto the planes like sardines in a can?

  42. In addition to the passenger’s note being offensive and disrespectful, some of the comments appear to pile-on and excuse this patently abusive behavior. While just a few years ago such behavior would be met with outrage, some comments have excused the note outright and the blogger, Ben quips that, “it’s not quite as bad as the last note…” Have we really sunk so low that we are not able to condemn such incivility and nastiness outright? We are all under more stress during these Covid times – especially while flying. Flight crews deal with it as part of their work and have the added stress of job insecurity. Instead showing empathy and and constructively discussing his issue with the flight attendant, this entitled jerk decides he’d rather demean and shame. The Golden Rule needs to be resurrected.

  43. I’ve gotta say if I saw the note that first jagoff gave to the stewardess it would have been worth it to punch him in the face several times and go to jail.

  44. Happy to say I haven’t flown since 2006 and hope I never have a need too.

    It is indeed very sad how people are behaving these days. I am happy just staying in my little cocoon. I have been furloughed for 6 months this week and I will have a meager job to go back to someday but I have developed a good amount of anxiety worrying about what income I have available to myself. Stay healthy, my friends. Try to be kind.

  45. These entitled comments make me think about many of these same people are making comments about how they hope the USA has a civil war to “eliminate all the libs”
    Well, Ive got news for them: They dont know what hardship is….and would not survive that kind of world…I for one.would do my part to ensure that as will everybody else….just for entertainment

  46. I don’t think it is unreasonable, when one pays significantly more for a first class seat than one in coach, that they should receive the service for which they have paid.
    Also, air travel is not a gift from the airlines. It is a service that people pay for, and people who leave nasty notes or behave objectionably aside, we expect to receive the service for which we paid, not an attitude that we are just lucky to be on the airplane at all. If you expect me to kowtow, the flight should be free.

  47. I get tired of these so called rich people more than likely they’re not rich and know someone and yet they try to get people in trouble or fired. I work in the service industry and find most of the so called rich people who cause problems are not wealthy at all, matter of fact, they’re actually filing bankruptcy but still want to pretend that they’re wealthy. I’ve dealt with extremely wealthy people and people whom are truly wealthy are the nicest people because they don’t have to pretend.

  48. @mindy g. Their business is to sell all seats. Don’t like it. Don’t fly

    @ myself. Bragging about how much alcohol you drank and no mention of food. You have a problem

  49. “If you are a company that has decided to leave your employees working from home until who knows when, then at this point, you also need to figure out how to provide the same level of service you did before you sent your staff home.”

    This is ASTOUNDINGLY privileged, entitled BS. The reason the airlines aren’t providing “the same level of service” is because we’re in the middle of a f’ing pandemic, and FAs have a duty to keep *passengers* safe – including, with many (or most?) airlines, a reduction in potential infection vectors such as on-request snacks and full beverages in Y as well as F/J in some cases.

    While I agree that FAs’ workloads have been reduced due to the pandemic, thus giving them a bit more “leisure time” (though I wouldn’t personally call it that), they are nonetheless a frontline worker putting themselves in harm’s way due to sheer economic necessity – and that’s before delving into the coming furloughs for many carriers, including AA.

    Have some respect & decency already.

  50. “On our recent ( got back Sunday) BA flight from Corfu – London WE had in 3hrs 15mins:

    3 Quarter bottles of champagne,( both)
    5 vodka & ginger ales( her)
    6 bourbon and cokes ( me)

    Everything was fine, staff were more than happy to serve us that”

    Or maybe that was simply your perception, given how absurdly wasted you had to have been to consume a total of 14 drinks (!) between two people (!!) on a three-hour flight (!!!).

    “Is my good lady wife a ‘drunk, misogynistic, cowardly, loser’ ( along with approx 40% of the cabin which were female)”

    Misogynistic, cowardly or loser? No. Drunk? Definitely, as were you. And btw you also appear to be assuming that British levels of excessive intoxication are somehow “the norm.” They’re definitely not, and the British tendency to drink like a fish whilst on holiday is the main reason why so many European destinations have been utterly ruined thanks to the advent of discount travel on Ryanair et al from the UK. (Even Americans rarely get blackout-level drunk after the age of 25 or so.)

  51. American now has expanded the First Class Service. Despite the “no food or drink” announcements flight of over 1.1K miles but not International/Transcons get either a sandwich or cheese plate. For the most part there’s a full beverage service in first, including alcohol, but in some situations it’s only one round and/or flight attendants are requiring passengers to mix their own drink. The latter I prefer.

    If a flight attendant believes the job is putting his/her life in danger they should find another occupation. If the CDC and other health organizations saw doing a food/beverage service on flights a major threat to passing on the Corona virus they’d make a strong recommendation that airlines cease doing any kind of service. Statistically unless a flight attendant has significant health issues they are more likely to die driving to/from the airport than of COVID 19. Plain and simple fact.

    Writing a crude note should never be allowed. There are other means to express dissatisfaction. However, flying to Chicago today the flight attendant was making the “must wear a mask requirement” something as my seatmate described as an intake at a local prison. Going on and on that they don’t want to ask you more than twice or they will “need to write you up.” On the taxi out the same flight attendant made an announcement that she was being furloughed and in a tone as to say it was the passengers’ fault. I can sympathy for your plight, I’ve been there myself, but I never took it out on those that had nothing to do with the unfortunate situation I found myself in. The same flight attendant was working first by hid behind the curtain the entire time. She is a person that should not be in a customer interfacing role, particularly one serving a business’s most valuable customers.

  52. Some comments make you wonder if we are really getting into shame culture on this blog. I think it is not that 1 class should be treated better than a coach- the treatment should be the same for both. 1 class is not just about a bigger seat, but an expanded service, which one can expect after paying more money. It has nothing to do with a supposed entitlement.
    All we know about this customer is based on what an upset FA said. And yes, I agree, in a lot of industries Covid used like an excuse of cutting on services. It might be a case here also, i think people who fly a lot all observed some degrees of poor crew performance in all cabins.
    @Dan- when i read the words “put his life at the line” i thought your boyfriend is a first responder. Does he work in a coffee shop at the hospital slammed with Covid? I work in healthcare (so you can call it a service industry I guess), but we don’t push back on customers even if you have a crap of a crap day 🙂
    @Hosie and Ryan: sure, if you want to deflect from the issue under discussion, let’s just attack a person with a different opinion 😉 we are not really discussing someone’s drinking habits, right?
    @AK lol that was funny!
    @Lucky- I really enjoyed reading your blog for quite a while because I travel a lot, but I agree- too much of negativity , shaming and personal attacks are creating a different atmosphere…

  53. “I enjoy doing services. I enjoy working in first class. I enjoy my passengers. But, just because the company doesn’t provide us with 3 course hot meals in first class doesn’t give anyone the right to belittle or berate us.”

    I agree 1,000 percent, and I am always horrified when I read tales like this one of passengers acting like toddlers mid-tantrum. Absolutely no one deserves abuse for problems beyond the control – ESPECIALLY amidst a pandemic (to which you’ve exposed yourself to obvious potential harm) and MORE ESPECIALLY considering you bent over backwards trying to please a clearly unreasonable passenger.

    “I’m sorry if this displeases people, but some of you have no idea what we are going through. Learn to have compassion and empathy.”

    THIS. The fact that we happen to have a president with no qualms about calling people horrible names or acting like an all-around a**hole doesn’t mean anyone – even young children – should follow suit. And in a similar vein…

    “Also, to U S— this did in fact happen. If you don’t believe me, you can call the company yourself. My captain witnessed the passenger handing me the note. The company has all the documentation.”

    …you (as in pax) shouldn’t instantly assuming something is “fake news” if it merely states something you don’t like. There is zero reason to suspect this FA was lying about a single thing.

  54. “I really enjoyed reading your blog for quite a while because I travel a lot, but I agree- too much of negativity , shaming and personal attacks are creating a different atmosphere…”

    @Anna Fran I agree, except the negativity, shaming & personal attacks are coming from *commenters*, not him. While it sucks that we (as a society) are now in a position of having to treat functioning adults like children, we’re doing it because they’re ACTING like children. (Or, in the case of the Tampa drunkard, a college freshman trying to pledge a frat.)

  55. “I don’t think it is unreasonable, when one pays significantly more for a first class seat than one in coach, that they should receive the service for which they have paid.”

    That’s fair, but how many FC customers do you think guzzle FIVE drinks – actually, ten, considering they were doubles – on a three-hour morning flight to DFW? (as opposed to, say, a Friday night flight to Vegas)

    Paying significantly more for a ticket doesn’t give ANYONE the right to be abusive to airline personnel. This type of passive-aggressive abuse (cowardly handing over a mean note while disembarking) is, if anything, even more noxious than the norm.

  56. “If a flight attendant believes the job is putting his/her life in danger they should find another occupation.”

    How about your kids’ teachers? Uber drivers? DoorDash delivery people? The millions of civil servants who keep the country running? Should they all quit as well if they have hesitations about groveling at your feet?

    ALL of them are putting themselves in at least some danger due to economic necessity – and no, “finding another occupation” isn’t a realistic option for someone like a FA in most cases, given how many tens of thousands are being furloughed or flat-out fired (on top of us having some of the highest unemployment levels since the Great Depression at present).

  57. This is the first time I’ve ever commented in a public forum…I felt compelled to opine and say, the people who believe money and the price of a first class ticket entitles them or anyone to behave so badly and speak to others rudely… make me want to apologize in their behalf and hope that they are not parents’ perpetuating their uncivilized and boorish manners.

  58. This senior ain’t flyin’ until I’m vaccinated. Neither is anyone I know, unless it’s a medevac or an emergency.

    That said, I’m both blessed and cursed by living in a region of Alaska where Alaska Airlines has a monopoly 7 months of the year (Delta flies one flight SEA-JNU in the summer only). Blessed because their FAs, at least those on the Alaska runs, are the best. Cursed because we want to go to sunny climes at the time of the year when Alaska is our only choice. We’re halfway between Seattle and Anchorage, but because of competition, ANC-SEA is sometimes cheaper than JNU-SEA.

    My private limo sightseeing tour business is closed, as is my small B&B, until I’m vaccinated. I was about 1/4 booked for both businesses when the shutdown came, and ended up dealing with cancellations and deposit refunds. Don’t get me started about the CARES Act application and funding nightmare. Applications are pending. With my age and health history, my doc says no to opening either business until I have immunity.

    All travel is going to stay in slumber mode until vaccination levels reach her immunity level. I’m predicting more flight reductions and layoffs until at least mid-1922. When airlines, cruise lines, and the hospitality industry recover, things may be quite different. Many of our favorite restaurants may no longer exist, and many of our favorite destinations have have been changed by the pandemic. Millions will been ill, and many more will have lost jobs or businesses.

    Through all this, there is no need to be rude. I’m so tired about the selfish no-mask twits and folks who get rude when you ask them to keep distant. I was raised to believe that rudeness is unacceptable, and I may be betraying my age I tell you that when I was young all adults corrected rude kids, so that by the time we all got to high school we were polite, just like the majority of society.

    Back then, the times when we saw public rudeness were on the nightly TV news watching southern segregationists screaming a little children attending an integrated public school, or gangsters in TV crime dramas. Now it seems to have spread anywhere. We need to make it intolerable and unacceptable again.

  59. It is possible that he did in fact receive bad service from someone and he gave the note to the wrong person. Many employees are using C-19 as an excuse to give bad customer service and several things may have happened earlier with a final incident occurring on the plane that was the final straw. I don’t agree with what he did but I also see both sides of the situation. Has the airline reached out to the passenger to find out what was wrong or did the flight attendant just automatically assume that they were right and he was wrong? That’s a failure in customer service right there. Find out what the issue is before passing judgment and reporting that the man is some sort of a cad. As a business, you can do better than that.

  60. @Tellem Jones says:
    “Sorry no sympathy for the flight attendants here. Many are on a power trip and I have unfriendly experiences often enough to give the passenger the benefit of doubt. I am exp so usually sit first and despite explaining that I am a little hard of hearing I still get flight attendants who tell me they are not repeating themselves (eg menu options). I often end up asking the person next to me who is usually far more patient.”

    Have the same problem w/the hearing & can usually get by w/reading the FA’s lips, which is no longer an option due to the masks. Last flight I took, on DL, tried telling the FA, multiple times, I couldn’t hear her, to no avail, & when I tried to read what was in the snack basket offerings, she literally pulled it up & away from me. I can’t be the only person in the world w/a hearing problem but apparently in the FA’s mind, that’s being rude & uncooperative.

  61. First of, there was NOTHING abusive about his note. Customers are 100% entitled to provide feedback from their perspective, even if it is critical. Nobody on this site (including the author) was on that flight, so maybe the attendant WAS lazy. Her own comment was that they were trying to “enjoy” the last 2 weeks. When I fly, the “enjoyment” of the flight attendant is the last thing I worry about. I expect outstanding service, especially in 1st class. That’s what you’re paying for. And so what if he had 4 drinks (again, according to HER). He wasn’t belligerent or boisterous. Lastly, the fact that she was about to be laid off is a strong indicator that she was likely NOT very motivated to put her best foot forward. Too many flight attendants are way to sensitive about being held to high service standards. Nobody is forcing you to do this job, but once you take it, understand that your customers have the right to provide feedback on what THEIR experience was.
    …and to all those comments out here, taking sides with the flight attendant, you have ZERO idea what really transpired. The note was not threatening or abusive in any manner. Enough with the virtue signaling.

  62. Chickens are coming home to roost for the rude, lazy, obnoxious FAs (yeah, don’t pretend they’re not pervasive). The aad thing is, most of the rude, lazy, obnoxious FAs are riding their seniority and staying, while the more junior folks, who are (generally) eager to do their darn job are getting furloughed.

    Now, those same junior folks will be bitter, cynical and turn into rude, lazy and obnoxious FAs when they’re eventually hired back. And the cycle will repeat itself in a decade or so.

    Thanks morons, who make these decisions. You’re the brightest tools in the drawer. Not!

  63. Should be able to turn those first class pricks into parachuteless first class shy divers. When the high society pricks consider essential workers as subordinates and do not respect them. No respect should be given to the pricks RESPECT IS EARNED NOT OWED TO THE RICH PRICKS. A Tip of 10.00 wouldn’t hurt that rich ass any . Most but not all pricks are spoiled non deserving douche bags that never have went hungry or without a dammed thing then they expect working class people to worship them. If I were to buy first class tickets it would be for the extra leg room not for a personal bartender.

  64. Everyone has their bad days. But after years of dealing with the public. When you do receive exceptional service. It requires that it be pointed out. How many customers do that. When service is bad it might be because the customer is equal to the service that they receive.

  65. I get tired of arguing with people over what the real risk of this virus is versus the hysteria. FACT: If you’re under age 65 and in good health you are more likely to be seriously injured or die in an automobile accident than getting seriously ill or die from COVID 19. I really hate hijacking social media to repeat the truth but it seems as though most people get cornered by the fear factor.

    If you’re at risk you should not be traveling, particularly on a packed airplane. If airline employees like we can close down the commercial airline industry, park every plane and fire every airline worker pending a vaccine. As a healthy person I’ll take the risk of COVID over the problems of being unemployed (and I’ve been there before and it ain’t fun) any day.

  66. I work in the service industry and we are constantly abused but believe you and me one day one of you spoiled entitled little bitches are going to cross the line and take a few to the face. Mind your manners and watch your mouth.

  67. So from my own experience 10 days ago: American Airlines will not offer drinks in 1st Class, but if you ask the attendants you will be served.
    The only negative thing I experienced was that after 2 people requested a drink, the flight attendant walked to the back of the plane with the main cabin attendant and didn’t return until the aircraft was cleared for landing.
    It appeared that the attendant deliberately made themself nonexistent for the majority of the flight.

  68. I’m a 58 year old white male and it blows my mind to see how many guys (especially older entitled guys, kinda like me) have no problem treating women like shit. Grown men saying things to women that they would never say to a man. Plus, it’s easy to be a jerk to someone while they’re working and not in a position to answer back. In 2020, airline crews are first responders. These crews must be in close contact with hundreds of people a day while you can choose wether or not to put your health at risk by getting on a plane. FA’s are primarily there to ensure you get to your destination safely. That FA will be your hero if your flight has an emergency. We are in the midst of a global pandemic. You can start bitching again about first class service and cocktails once there is a vaccine. Meanwhile, if you think your service was subpar, wait till you sober up and then write an email. And if you don’t like an airline, don’t fly with them.

  69. George – do you STILL not understand the concept of being a carrier? Or do you genuinely not care about the elderly or compromised?

    Never mind you’re flat out wrong.

  70. OMG she took the snack basket away from me!

    It’s a global pandemic, we’re barreling towards a second great depression, but that business class ass felt the FA was rude when she took the basket away from his pawing hands.

    JFC you are delusional. Hearing problem? Gesture at your ears. People can figure it out.

  71. George, you’re correct that the risk of serious injury or death from car crashes is higher than the risk of the same from COVID-19. However, it doesn’t follow that the level of concern about COVID-19 is overblown. If anything, it highlights how cavalier we are about the wanton death and destruction that pervades our stupidly auto-addicted country.

    Woodrow Phoenix’s recent book “Crash Course: If You Want To Get Away With Murder Buy A Car” is an excellent primer for anyone who thinks that death and dismemberment by car is just the price we have to pay for living in a developed nation. It’s not. We absolutely should care more about life, health, and safety, both in the infectious disease realm and the transportation realm.

  72. Yes, these comments were unacceptable but airline staff as well as airlines are using this covid plague to cut services in order to cut costs and cheat the public out of what they are paying for. Emirates being one of the worst offenders.

  73. It’s not really appropriate to call them out in this situation.

    However, the level of service onboard is terrible. And frequently the crew has stayed in the back. Service is simply down.

    But, do you ever write substantive or hard-hitting articles?

    Thanks, Mike

  74. Brian here thinks that the real problem in today’s airline industry is that he doesn’t get to get blasted in business class anymore. Or the uninspired snack pack.

    OMG what an asshat.

  75. I have flown 8 times in the last 30 days, 3 RT’s on AA in first. 5 of those 6 legs the crew literally ignored us almost the entire flight. This isn’t just Covid reduced service, this is wholly unacceptable service, just as the drunken petty note was wholly unacceptable behavior. In all instances the flight crew chatted with each other, ate and drank, played on their phones, in short engaged in behavior that I would be immediately terminated for in my job. I’m not justifying it but I understand it as my experience this past month has been awful on both AA and United. Delta was great just FYI.

  76. There’s risk everyday, everywhere. How about this? Try to avoid personal contact with at risk people. Of course our society has gotten so dumb down we can’t have strategy based upon risk factors. Instead we tell an 18 year old to take the same precautions as an 85 year old.

    Shutting down an economy has horrible consequences. Don’t think so? Just read some of the hopeless, stressed out, gut wrenching threads on Reddit.

  77. I have read all the comments. We started out with a flight issue and quickly turned into some personal attacks on the commenters. Just because you aren’t face to face with someone and there can’t be any repercussions, does not make it ok to say anything you want. You should address the topic, and only the topic. Other commenters are not the topic. Y’all sound like a bunch of kvetching yentas. You didn’t even cut the author a break. Opinions are just like butt holes, everybody’s got one, but you don’t need to show it. This isn’t addressed to all of the commenters. It’s about the tone of the fallout.

  78. Flight attendants have a not so easy job and should be classified as first responders. They are risking theirs lives just for a drink for a passenger. Flight attendants should be appreciated and cared about by their passengers. My heart goes out to every flight attendants no matter what airlines they are flying to and from destinations.

  79. Dear privileged, rich people,

    You use COVID-19 to justify being hateful and rude; at a time you should do the opposite. Your sense of entitlement disgusts me. You should be grateful that you can afford to travel when many people are struggling to pay rent and feed their families.

    COVID?! You use toilet paper as parchment!! Did you also use a turd for a pen? I guess when you’re a drunk, paper is paper.

  80. I find the level of worker entitlement present in these replies pretty amazing. Flying first class typically costs four or five times the cost of flying economy. The job of the flight attendant(s) in First Class is very clearly to ensure good service to the First Class passengers.

    Sometimes, you can’t get everything you want, and yes, COVID is impacting service, but the idea that poor service is justified because workers might be getting furloughed, have their own problems, feel tired, or whatever really just doesn’t make sense. If you can’t do your job for these or any other reasons, you shouldn’t be working in that job. The people who are being charged VERY high prices for these seats are being promised a particular level of service. The attendants work for the company making that promise, and it is their job — literally, the reason they are there working — to make good on that promise.

    Now, in THIS case, the man complaining is said to have consumed four drinks. That he was able to get four drinks suggests that the service was attentive, and that perhaps his complaint isn’t warranted. But that’s not what most of the defensive replies here claim. The vast majority of people replying here are acting as if paying for First Class service doesn’t entitle a passenger to expect First Class service, and it absolutely does.

    Those of you who want a no-frills airline experience fly economy, like me. Well and good. If you make the choice to pay for First Class, though, you really DO deserve First Class treatment. If airlines can’t deliver on that, because their workers are sad or tired, lazy or whatever, then they need to stop selling it.

  81. I’m a retired million miler who made 100 plus flights a year, I always flew AA if possible because of the crews and people. I was disgusted more than once on the behavior of passengers both in 1st class and coach. It amazed me how entitled some people are in their minds, FA’s are there for your safety not your maids. If you can’t sit in a chair and STFU for 2-4 hours then drive from now on.

  82. Airplanes are merely transportation, just a fast bus. If you can fit into a coach seat, then you are wasting your money on a domestic first class ticket and deserve what you do not get. The pandemic is stressing everyone out, too. Throw that onto the fire and top it off with an election of the Hatfields and the McCoys, and now you have a perfect firestorm of insurrection and anarchy. Under such circumstances, anyone who chooses to lock themselves into a flying vault for hours with a group of like-minded “blame everyone else” strangers is a masochist.

  83. People have gotten so hateful and disgusting. It is so pathetic and fyi, you’re on first class, so cry me a freaking river. There are people that have ACTUAL difficulties right now. Come back down to earth and try acting like a human.

  84. Plain and simple, this passenger was a clown. If service isn’t up to your liking, be an adult and address it with the airline in the manner of system they have in place. That’s why THOSE people have jobs – to deal with disgruntled asshats like this guy is. And if you agree with what he did in any way, you deserve to get kicked in the face by a mule.

  85. George Romney

    I was on that same flight as you today in Main cabin and no one listened to the flight crews instructions. They had people
    Intoxicated and refusing to wear masks. I’m guessing you missed that part of the flight. And her announcement wasnt blaming anyone.

  86. How kind of that man to go out of his way to counsel the FA on her job performance. Our society has become so entitled, it’s disgusting. You never know what someone is thinking or going through. Have some personal courage and put up with an “inconvenience”, especially when you are being served by others. People don’t go into customer service because they don’t like to serve others. Certainly, there are exceptions. The given example was clearly not a customer service issue, but unrealistic expectations of a pompous a**.
    I fly quite a bit for work, as an executive. I absolutely love getting the free or point upgrade to First Class depending on what airlines I am on, and would never pay a company dollar for anything other than the cheapest fare. Mainly for the extra room so I can get some work done or stretch out. There is definitely a different group or “expectation class” at times in that section. Most people are kind and considerate, but there always seems to be one or two that go out of their way to make sure that the attendants are in some form of servitude to them or identify to all how important they are and how inadequate the things around them have become.
    I make it a point to go out of my way to recognize and thank anyone in a service position for their work. It is work and they are likely making not a lot doing it. I have met a number of people in service that could have a significantly higher wage/salary but do the work because they find a passion in helping others.
    To those entitled few, I wish I could instill a period of adversity or a real problem to help you appreciate real problems, and not to impose your perceived problems on others.
    Example: you are clearing rooms door to door, hallway to hallway, building to building somewhere in the middle east and your medic cannot get to you because of the intense weapons fire as you are out of bandages/dressings. You used yours on someone else and you are now the one bleeding too much from somewhere you cannot be sure of, and don’t have the liberty to address. That’s a real problem.

  87. Dang, you people are angry. Just because you paid $$ for something does not mean you are god and all should bow down to you. Just because you paid $$+1 more than the passengers behind you doesn’t mean you are super god. You should expect during covid that flying = lesser service than before. That should be zero surprise to anyone. Maybe the airline is using it as an excuse, maybe it’s a liability issue but whatever is the case you should not expect above and beyond service during this time. In fact, even in the best of times you should temper your expectation that you are god. you are not that special no matter how much you paid, how elite your point status is or if your last name is well known around the world. You are just not as special as you like to think you are. There are literally hundreds of thousands other just like you. For crying out loud, just show some manners. sheesh. We are not part of the cast of housewives of whatever.

  88. There apoear to be so many people who become upset at life and everything about life. Their behavior is almost unbelievable at times.
    When you add a substance such as alcohol, esp. the quantity in this timeframe, there are many very angry, nasty drunks who will behave poorly.
    The American dilemma seems to have far less to do with Republican, Democrat, wear a mask or don’t.
    It has everything to do with people’s intolerance and lack of respect toward others.
    Criticizing and taking out one’s own unhappiness and frustration toward others who do not agree 100% with one’s point of view seems insane.
    It is both concerning and disgusting at the same time.
    If people honestly followed The Golden Rule and not allowed every single thing to become an issue when they don’t get their way or someone disagrees on a point, it would lend more goodwill than what is going on in today’s reality.
    The take away from this scenario…. FA needs to get a thicker skin and don’t take it personally. Guy needs rehab. without a doubt.

  89. I’m surprised this happened so early in the morning. I know it is 5 o’clock somewhere but I understood it to be P.M. not A.M. I am also disappointed by the passing of this note and I believe FA’s deserve better. Having said that so do passengers but this flight seems to have gone well from a customers perspective.

  90. If you fly with AA you shouldn’t be expecting much even tho you are in first class. Those flight attendants are among the union, they are known with bad services and attitudes. The only airlines to be considered is Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines. They are the one who really care about their customers even tho you are in the economy class.

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