2010 hasn’t been as big a year of travel for me as 2009 and I am a little out of practice. This trip I left my iPhone and computer chargers at home. So I conserved phone battery power, and thankfully was travelling with another Mac user, enabling me to borrow juice from her charger.
In the past four days I have been on three different airlines, in two countries, one trip for pleasure and this one for business. And I am noticing something I don’t think I did last year. Or perhaps I was just de-sensitized to it and now it’s all coming back to me. Flight attendants, it seems, make no attempt to hide their impatience and disgust with the quirks and foibles of their passengers. I noticed glimmers of it last weekend on another flight.
This particular crew, Continental 739 (9:25am departure Dec. 8th, Houston – San Diego) is particularly bad.
A woman with two small children, looking frazzled as her children dragged and bumped their kid-sized carry-ons down the aisle asked if it was possible to change seats to sit together. I’d bet the two girls were 4 and 6-years old, maybe. Now admittedly I didn’t hear the whole conversation or witness first-hand how possibly demanding or unreasonable this passenger may have been. But I did get to witness the flight attendants after the fact, in the galley at the front of the cabin bitching and moaning about this woman. I mean bitching and moaning. Followed up by the same antics about the final passenger who boarded the plane when there was no remaining overhead space and he didn’t want to check his bag – for fear of losing it.
How bad could it have been to deal with these two customers, and who really cares? I didn’t want to hear about it, or be left with the feeling … “what do they say and think about the rest of us”? And then I wanted to smile at them and say, “I hope you are having a great day” or, “geez you should be glad to have a job, though you clearly hate it” or the final thought, “as a result of the woman and her children in seats whatever A, D, and F you can actually feed your family”.
I mean seriously. I know the airline business has been pummeled of late. As passengers dealing with reduced schedules, crammed planes, vanishing upgrades and checked baggage fees, we are all living the life. So, from a passenger’s perspective, I say if you hate it so much, get a new job. Have a little courtesy and spare us your whining about those of us who pay your salary. Here’s the deal, I’ll return my seatback to its full upright position, ensure my tray table is locked and stowed, and my seatbelt fastened, provided flight attendants … you please keep your voices down.