Why I feel bad for off-duty airline employees

Oops, I forgot to mention something about my outbound DTW to IAH flight, the same flight that had the extremely rude passenger. We pull up to the gate at IAH about 35 minutes early but there’s no one to “drive” the jetbridge. The captain comes on the PA and explains that it should be just a few minutes. As luck would have it, sitting in front of me was an off-duty 757 captain, and I guess to some people anyone with a few stripes is worthy of a bitchfest. The guy sitting next to me starts going off on the captain in front of me, saying “This is ridiculous what poor planning you have, this is planning 101. You should be calling ahead to make sure they are ready, it only takes a few seconds, but I guess that’s too much work for you guys. Is it that hard to coordinate even the simplest things? This is why we really don’t like you guys, you need to learn to do a better job at this.” The whole time the 757 captain is standing there patiently nodding his head, and as they guy’s tirade comes to an end, the captain simply says “thanks.”

If I were an airline employee I would never commute in uniform.

Filed Under: Northwest
  1. Wow – I’m impressed he was able to maintain composure. If I were him, I would’ve gone all four stripes on his @$$.

  2. I am not employed by an airline and probably not qualified to comment, but neither was this rude passenger, so I’ll take a stab anyway: airlines probably don’t have a ton of extra stuff sitting around idle at the airport. The staff that receives an inbound aircraft probably just finished sending out another one, either from the same gate or from another one. In this case, it seems (since there was no other aircraft at the gate) that they probably came from another gate. “Calling ahead” doesn’t do much good if they are busy with another flight.

    Besides, I take it the idiot still got off the plane ahead of the planned arrival time.

  3. Hi there, I saw your post a while ago about soliciting questions and advice-seekers.

    I recently booked a non-refundable roundtrip ticket with United, and then plans changed and I won’t be using the return flight (which has two legs). I figure I would like to notify them, so they can resell the seat if they like, or whatever, but is it possible to negotiate any credit from them in addition? Thanks.

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