Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why can't we just work and do our best?

The past few weeks has been a turbulent time in the news for the airline I work for. Reports of pilots retiring, the tenure of the CEO, maintenance base closing and moving, pilot bases closing, reports of possible bankruptcy, and the possibility of layoffs.

It really got me thinking. We the flight attendants keep hearing that things would be better if the price of the tickets were increased just $5-10. Ok, so if that's going to make us a profit, then why not do it? Well, it comes down to all of those travel know, sites like Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Cheaptickets, etc. The airlines want to ensure that their airline is on the front page of the search. If they increase the ticket price by $5-10, then it's possible that the airline will go to the second page, and folks won't click on the airline.

Ok, so what else? I've been reading stories left and right on travel sites (from passengers) how they really dislike seeing lazy flight attendants. I've read stories from where flight attendants were making forts in the First Class galley, to booting paying customers out of certain seats so they themselves can have the more comfortable seat during their FAA required crew rest.  WTF!!! (there are already designated places for crew rest, so why should the working crew inhabit a cabin where a passenger who is paying $15,000-$23,000 R/T) I've also read reports that flight attendants will just sit in their jump-seats and ignore the passenger. Reading their magazines and not paying attention to the passenger.

Sure, I have been known to get irritated by those who are overly-needy, but as the saying goes, why bite the hand that feeds you? There are many over zealous flight attendants who will make the flying public's flying experience remarkable, and at the same time, there are flight attendants who will make their customers experience a living hell. (usually these flight attendants don't want to be working, are only here for the benefits, and truly shouldn't be in the profession)

It's not just at one particular airline, it's at many airlines across the United States. There are flight attendants who are so angry at their company for enforcing policies (that have long been in place) that they just hate to put on the uniform and go to work.

Reading about the pilot retirements that have 'surprisingly' popped up the past several months got me to thinking. How old are these pilots? Are these the same pilots who would have had to retire 5 years ago under the age-60 rule, but because the FAA changed the age limit to 65, they are just now coming to their regulated retirement age?!?

I often wish that there was a similar age limit for flight attendants too. There are many elder flight attendants across the nation who truly need to stop flying. Just a few months ago I read that a flight attendant at one carrier based in Atlanta just celebrated 60yrs of flying....that puts the flight attendant at least 80yrs old! I know we have many flight attendants who really need to retire, but won't because this job has become more of a social atmosphere for them. Sure, if they retire, I'm sure they would probably die from boredom, however, it would be better to die at home, than from working a long duty day and die at the hotel.

With so many people complaining about this and that, I just wish they would put their time and energy in doing the best they can. Stop griping about what they can't do, but do what they can do! Sure, a company may keep taking the tools for us to do our jobs effectively, however, if those who bitch and complain would use their time and energy to do a great job, maybe....just maybe, things will change because a happy flight attendant makes for a happy customer, who in later becomes a returning customer!

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