you’ll read in just a minute, a flight attendant is a real person! This lovely girl is Ange. Ange has been generous with her advice here
in my column recently and she has a few more things to help us with today. She’s been a flight attendant for years and
her wisdom here in this article is solid.
Taking the stress out of traveling is the key to being a successful
business traveler. A lot of times,
people bring the stress onto themselves by inflating their sense of importance,
or by demanding a level of service that is unrealistic. In other words, Calm, Courtesy, and Patience are three words
you should remember when you’re flying.
Here’s some “tough love” from Ange:
Before, during, and after
a flight, we have security procedures that have to be followed. In most cases, we are not available
throughout the boarding process to handle “passenger comfort” issues unless
those security procedures have been fulfilled.
Therefore, if you want us to pick up your “emergency trash” that you
brought on board with you, you may have to wait.
I don’t know the exact
statistics for other airlines, but for Southwest a large majority of our flight
attendants have BS or BA degrees, many of them have their Masters degrees and a
number have their doctorate. While it
can be an entry level position, most of our flight attendants have been
successful at another career and are fulfilling a dream to be a flight
attendant. That dream is all about
seeing the world, serving an airline, advancing the ease and comfort in which
people can access foreign destinations, etc.
It is demeaning to us (and to anyone, really) to be treated as your
servant. Most of us were born to serve,
and we do carry a servant’s heart and attitude, but we are not your personal
There is a schedule to the
service and a routine that must occur according to the flight time. Therefore, you don’t have to ring your call
button to get a drink, we will come by every single seat. I don’t know about other airlines, but we will
always be back after we finish giving everyone one drink to see if you want a
refill so you don’t have to ding for seconds.
Again, we will be back! After
service we will always come by to pick up trash so just hold on to it and we
will be by. The flight attendant will
pass every row so you don’t need to poke them when they are facing the row
beside you, they will turn around to get your trash too! Poking me and ringing the call button for “emergency
trash” are my two pet peeves! I have
never understood what will happen to those people if they have to hold on to
that trash for a few more minutes??
Don’t be afraid to ask if
you want something, we can’t help you if we don’t know what you need, but just
remember that in our case there are usually 137 passengers with 3 flight
attendants so we each have about 45 passengers to serve, and remember serving
drinks is not all of the responsibilities we have. Think about what you really need before you
reach for that call button, but never be afraid to ring it if you really need
us! Respect your flight attendants and
they will treat you care. After all, they
may have been your high school principal or the fire fighter that saved your
home, they may have been the policeman that stopped a robbery or the nurse that
wrapped your child’s injury, they could be the girl you saw in that show “CATS”
a few years ago, or a law student, so if you take a moment to see them as the
professional they are and not a waitress you might find an exciting story! They are probably a mother or a father who had
to leave their spouse and child for 3 days to serve you on that flight. There
are no holidays for airlines so they may be serving you on Thanksgiving or
Christmas and doing it with a happy smiling face while they miss their
families, so remember that they are just people like you with every day joys
and problems, good days and bad days.