In Defense of Flight Attendants

by Anthony Losanno
Flight Attendants

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On Sunday, I wrote about my recent experience on a United Airlines flight where one of the flight attendants sat on the galley floor having a meal while watching videos on her iPad. My reporting on what I saw struck a nerve with a lot of people both inside and outside of the industry, so I thought I’d share some additional thoughts.

Over 400 people have taken the time to comment on the article or one of the social media posts. Opinions have run the gamut from calling me entitled and saying that the flight attendant had every right to do what she did to others that felt she was not doing her job or helping her coworkers. One even pointed out that watching videos on a personal device and having Atlas boxes on the floor were FAA violations. I’ve enjoyed the discourse and thank everyone for interacting whether it was good, bad, or ugly. Let me share some additional context and my thoughts on airline crews. These are just my thoughts and I am just one passenger, but I write this blog so I can share my thoughts, tips, and tricks. Here are my thoughts on flight attendants.


It’s Not An Easy Job, Nor As Glamorous As Many Assume

The reality is that this is no longer Pan Am in the 1960s (and if you watched the TV show, a lot of that was sensationalized). Flight attendants are stressed, COVID made it worse, and like many industries they are asked to do more with less. Some have adapted and continue to show up every day with a smile or at least a desire to make sure their passengers have a good flight. Others are there to complain and be miserable. They go out of their way to do as little as possible and leave their colleagues to pick up the slack (thankfully, this is a small minority).

Flight attendants need to keep a few hundred people safe, prevent them from getting too rowdy, and make sure that everyone gets along as a metal tube hurls through the air at 600 miles per hour. That is coupled with customers who expect to be treated like royalty and talk down to them. Despite what some commenters feel, I am not one of those passengers. I am always respectful. I like to chat with the flight crew. We trade stories and generally have a good time. I am not demanding. I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t complain to them about the poor catering. That’s out of their hands. “Please” and “thank you” are always said and we get along swimmingly.


Flight Attendants Are People and Deserve Respect

Flight attendants, just like everyone else, deserve respect and kindness. But, that doesn’t mean that they can do whatever they want at 35,000 feet. Most flight attendants I have flown with over several million miles in the air have ranged from polite to downright awesome. However, there have been some bad apples in the bunch (just like in any industry). The woman sitting on the galley floor was one of these and really should be reprimanded, retrained, or shown the door for both her work ethic and the way she treated her coworkers and the passengers.


Providing Poor Service is Not Okay

I could tell from the moment I boarded that this flight attendant was going to have a bad attitude. There was no greeting from her as she hid in the galley. Her colleague asked her about providing predeparture beverages and she told her they didn’t have to do them every flight and that she could give a passenger water if requested. I was sitting in seat 1B, so I could hear all of this as it was said. She rushed through setting up trays and had them haphazardly stacked around the galley. Warm towels were not provided. When meals were served, she did not warm the rolls or the cookies. Trays were plopped together while she wore gloves (that she also used to open the lavatory door multiple times).

After the trays were cleared, she took two Atlas boxes and made herself a table and chair. She then sat there eating a pasta meal, drinking a Diet Coke, and watching videos on her iPad without headphones. It was loud enough that all of us in row one heard her iPad. She sat there for over 30 minutes before she got up and put away her tray. During that time, the other flight attendant was still serving the cabin and had to work around her. She at one point would not move and told the flight attendant to make a passenger wait for a beverage. The other flight attendant did her job well above what she needed to and went to the back galley to fetch a can while the first one stayed seated. She did not come out of the galley once and even chided her coworker when she opened the curtain to do her job.

United Business

I’m Paying For A Certain Level of Service

I buy First and Business Class tickets. I rarely use upgrade certificates or points for myself and buy the tickets. With that comes some basic expectations including: a comfortable seat, operational Wi-Fi and power outlets, a decent meal and drinks, and friendly/efficient service. There is a premium paid to sit in the front of the plane and these are some of the perks that should come with it. If people don’t think that these are reasonable requests then we have a problem with what is advertised versus reality. The image above shows what is advertised by United (it’s on their site). It lists all of the benefits I did above. These should be provided when a premium seat is purchased.

Work Harder

Don’t Misquote Me

I never said the flight attendant should not take a break, nor did I say that she should not eat. Spending more time on a break than working was wrong. Using her iPad to watch videos while working was wrong. I get that schedules are tight and that flight attendants are not given time to always eat. Should they be allowed to? Absolutely. Should they sit on the galley floor and block their coworkers from working? No way. If you think that this behavior is acceptable, you’re part of the problem. I will never say that flight attendants don’t deserve respect, but they are also at work and should not be making it unpleasant for their coworkers or passengers.

Anthony’s Take: Most flight attendants do a fine job with providing good service and wanting to make the experience good for all passengers. But, some are there for themselves and give others a bad name. And, when I see that I will always speak up.

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Advertiser & Editorial Disclosure: The Bulkhead Seat earns an affiliate commission for anyone approved through the links above This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. We work to provide the best publicly available offers to our readers. We frequently update them, but this site does not include all available offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.


Johnathon August 23, 2023 - 5:14 pm

Yet we STILL haven’t seen any pictures of said flight attendant “sitting on the floor.” Weird.🙄

Carolyn Miller August 25, 2023 - 8:04 pm

Because no flight attendant would ever sit on those disgusting galley floors. They’re gross.

Nona August 24, 2023 - 2:19 pm

A little too late. BTW, there isn’t an FAR saying flight attendants cannot sit on carriers or listen to their PDAs, those are company policies. You may have gotten someone fired. All in a days work for you, I guess.

K Helldoge August 24, 2023 - 9:55 pm

She should have never been hired. Any white trash loser grazing like this cow is a poor representative of her employer. Get a clue.

Seth August 30, 2023 - 9:37 pm

1st of all. Name calling is for the garbage that flies on-board today’s trips. She could have been a reserve forced to work with this crew in overtime due to a shortage and this was the 1st time she had to eat all day. When all are aged flight attendants and one is young , that is the case usually. Senior trips have reserve young ones on board. You should be banned from flying for your snot nosed comments. Typical white trash. You carry all the mouth characteristics of a non christian and, awful credit, loser job hopper, parents hate you, brothers and sisters cannot stand you, and you are a person that flies SPIRIT. Now get a clue trash and go truck yourself.

Josephus August 25, 2023 - 6:45 am

Actually Nona, I’m a flight attendant too. Whether it’s company policy or FAA, we all know it’s NOT ok to setup like this FA did in the FC galley. One of the biggest reasons, I won’t even work domestic trips is because of this type of behavior. Defending these FA’S to no end just makes you look like you’re cut from the same cloth. Too many times, the attitude and work ethic is way under par. The company bears a LOT of responsibility for substandard training and lack of proper oversight.

DeltaAirman August 25, 2023 - 5:25 pm

You are bent on writing false information. This flight attendant may have been viewing videos for her yearly recurrent training. We are required to view these videos.

She wasn’t sitting on the ground. Boeing clearly doesn’t provide private areas where a flight attendant can eat their dinner in peace. And it’s NOT a leftover first class meal. Flight crews have their own crew meals which happens to be the same as first class meals

They work up to 19 hour work days. Perhaps if you gave them 20 minutes to eat rather than continually asking for more cocktails then the flight attendant just might be a bit nicer.
You need to back off of the flight attendants because your blog is abusive and detrimental to our industry.

Do you do this at grocery stores? Other businesses? You are pathetic and I hope everyone ignores you when you fly.

Barb Jensen August 25, 2023 - 8:07 pm


Will August 26, 2023 - 9:28 am

This past two weeks, I did some ttavelling and in the course of that travelling, I had 6 First Class flights. To each set of cabin crew I encountered, I gave them a small bag of mini-candy bars and M&Ms. These gifts were always appreciated and in fact on one of the flights a cabin atendant from economy came up to First to personally thank me. A little courtesy can go a long ways. The Flight Attendendants do a very hard job and they make it look so easy.

Celine August 26, 2023 - 3:53 pm

I’m a newer FA, and I’m curious if there has been a more recent issue with this due to national labor shortages and increased union power. It seems extremely difficult to enforce a level of professionalism. Enforcement for some things is extremely strict and swift and yet other behaviors are tolerated. I believe there might be a disconnect between airlines hiring safety focused FAs and then advertising them as customer service representatives. Again, I’m new to flying and grateful for the wonderful benefit of my union protection, however I also take extreme pride in my presentation and attitude primarily for myself and secondarily for coworkers.
I have appreciated the debate.

Mark August 27, 2023 - 1:29 pm

I flew as a flight attendant for Eastern Airlines in the 1970’s. It was a pleasure then to fly, we treated passengers, especially first class, like royalty. We had to have a good attitude, a smile on our faces even on those days when we were crying on the inside from some personal matter or problem. I know many times I wanted to reach out and just smack some rude passenger who thought I was their personal butler, but could and would never do that. I have too much class and too much respect for my fellow flight attendants. This flight attendant sitting on the galley floor should have been reprimanded or fired.

Kim Roach August 28, 2023 - 10:51 pm

She should have been fired.Period. End of story. Unacceptable behavior.

PeacefulAntiMask August 30, 2023 - 7:53 pm

FAs are a thing of the past. Really. If you can’t find your seat, wear a seatbelt, bring your own snacks and drink as an adult well you shouldn’t be flying. In flight emergency? Everyone is gonna die.

Bobby September 1, 2023 - 8:49 pm

Not sure how pointing out that you don’t drink alcohol somehow makes you superior or that this somehow points to your better treatment of FAs.

Frankfurt Airport Lufthansa
Anthony Losanno September 1, 2023 - 9:43 pm

No thoughts of being superior here. My point was that I am never intoxicated or belligerent.

Chris September 2, 2023 - 4:27 pm

I felt in love with flights attendant since I was a little 👦 boy in New York City. My family used to travel to Europe & Israel. I never forget how those flights Attendant used and still treat my family 👪! Flights attendants are human being with feelings. I can’t understand why some passengers hurts them verbally and physically 😢?Flights Attendants are very professionals. I love they uniforms and makeup🙂! And the uniforms from the males as well. My respect for each flights Attendants worldwide. Especially in United States 🇺🇸! May God bless them alongside America. Sincerely Chris


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