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Customer ServiceIAmA Flight attendant that’s been stuck on the snowy tarmac for the last 3.5 hours with irate Newark passengers. AMA

Feb 18th 2018 by NarcissusNoir • 19 Questions • 7675 Points

As air travel goes, snow has messed everything up tonight. In the last 3 hours, I’ve given out countless waters, juices, sodas, cookies, pretzels, just to try to alleviate the frustration on the ground tonight (I know it doesn’t do much, but it’s all I can do)

I’ve answered countless “do you think we’re gonna make it out tonight” “are we gonna cancel?” questions with “I’m sorry, I only know as much as you do right now”

We waited forever to get our aircraft de-iced. Then while in queue, too much snow got on the wings, so we had to go and get de-iced again. Waited in line for that. Now, we have to go back to the gate because our pilots are going to go illegal (time out and unable to work after being on duty for a certain amount of time)

So these people are pissed. And i’m stuck on here and bored. AMA.

Proof: https://imgur.com/gallery/SgK8p

*edit: This blew up. Not ignoring! Still on the plane. We taxi'd back to the gate about a half hour ago, all pax had to get off and go to customer service. Shows that we're still leaving tonight and will arrive at destination at around 3 AM. Fun times. Chillin on the plane now and whipped my laptop out to try to answer some Q's. Waiting to see when we'll be boarding.

Q:

Are y'all aware of who the Air Marshal on board is? If not can you usually guess who they are?

A:

Yeah, we’re made aware in our briefing with the captain. Can’t really guess em.


Q:

What's the worst airport in your opinion?

A:

LaGarbage. I mean laguardia.


Q:

A little surprised you didn’t say the one you’re stuck at now. My experience at Newark has not been great. (But you’ve had a lot more opportunity to experience both than I have.)

Anyway, hope you get going soon! Good luck.

A:

Based here. Has it’s follies, but a great variety of flying out of here. And the best FA’s in the system.


Q:

I interviewed to be a flight attendant and chickened out at the job offer..is this a career you would recommend to people?

A:

Aw man. You should’ve went.. by not going, you had a 0% chance of passing. If you went, you’d have a chance! But it takes a certain kind of person to deal with it. It’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle. You’re away from home/family a lot, miss a lot of events and holidays. But it’s a balance. You can escape for a while from your home life if you need to. Pick up a trip to Europe, south america, etc. The job is a get-away.


Q:

Do you ever cropdust the passengers?

A:

Hell yeah. You gon come at me with some “yeah seltzah watah, 2 and a half ice cubes, 2 limes” you gettin 2 pounds worth of my gas later on.

Jk, but yeah, sure. Where else am I gonna bust ass? In the tiny galley next to my coworker? Awkwarddd


Q:

What’s your most memorable moment on the job?

A:

My 22nd birthday. I was working on a 777 (biggest plane in our fleet) doing an island turn. During middle of service, I was working economy aisle. Purser picks up the PA and informs everyone that it’s my birthday and instead of being out and enjoying my day, I decided to be here, and to join the crew in singing me happy birthday. Literally, the entire plane sings along, I’m red as a damn cherry.. these group of Mexican dudes whips out of their bag those mariachi instrument instruments that you shake (i cant remember the name, i suck) and we’re goin wild with it. I felt so embarrassed but so loved at having an entire 777 sing to me.


Q:

Besides what's going on right now, how do you like your job and what are the perks?

A:

I love my job! My worst day here beats my best day at a 9-5 job.

Perks: good health insurance, fly for free, spouse / parents / i can pick 2 enrolled friends to fly for free, and I get paid to see the world!


Q:

Where are your favorite and least favorite airports? What do you like to do in your free time?

A:

Vancouver has a really pretty airport. Denver is comfortable and has good food options. I hate Laguardia and IAD. Bleh.

In my free time, I like to go running. Chill wit my man. Movies. Read. Ironically, I don’t travel too much on my personal time. Few times a year maybe, but last place I wanna be on my day off is airport/plane. I have plenty of coworkers that take a few personal trips a month, but call me jaded, I guess? ;p


Q:

So are we gonna make it out tonight? You think it’s gonna get canceled?

A:

Taxi'd back to gate, all pax deplaned and directed to customer service. Shows that we're still leaving tonight and due to arrive in at 3 AM.


Q:

So I've heard pilots and stewards only get paid when you are in the air, are you passing out all these waters for free now?

A:

Yeah, thank you. Something I wish most people knew on the ground. We're paid our hourly rate only once we're in the air. Used to be once the breaks were released and we pushed back from the gate, but I've heard that's being done away with. Regardless, there's tons of time that we're in uniform and not getting paid for it, most irritatingly, during boarding -- which is the most stressful part of the job.


Q:

How do they get away with this. Every other job if you even think about working off the clock they freak out.

A:

railroad labor act


Q:

ever had beef with a pilot or another crew member?

A:

Of course. I hate stickler flight attendants that lean over passengers shoulders demanding that the phone is in airplane mode. It’s not 2003 anymore. It’s so extra. And I call them out every time on it. They give the rest of FA’s such a bad rep.


Q:
  1. How many times did you have to practice the "pre-flight-instructions-that-nobody-pays-attention-to" routine?

  2. How nervous were you the first time you had to use the PA to say something to the passengers?

A:
  1. In training? a few times. Still felt awkward doing it my first flight out of training but just followed along what the senior lady in front of me was doing.

  2. I would pause for like 15 seconds and practice what I wanted to say in my head.. became a pro at it as time went on.


Q:

What % of the male FA's are not gay?

A:

There's a few. They're the minority, of course.


Q:

You say you get paid to travel but do you actually have time to explore the cities you go to? Or are you just stuck in a hotel room by the airport for the night and have to fly somewhere else the next morning?

A:

WHAT! Of course we have time to explore cities we go to. There's a variety of trips. Trips that have long layovers, aka you get to the hotel, layover for however long, go out with your crew, get messed up, have wine and cheese and salami in the hotel room together, etc! Just depends on the layover. Over christmas, I saw a trip that was an 8-day geneva trip. Fly to geneva, layover a week, then fly back. Literally, that's a paid vacation. But geneva is way too expensive, I'd have gone broke out there. Of course there's trips with short layovers and early morning checkins, those are generally the more productive trips. There's something for everybody in this industry. Usually, the sweet multi day layovers go to flight attendants that are more senior and can "hold" (obtain these trips based on seniority) them.


Q:

Sorry, but are you a man or woman?

A:

I'm a man


Q:

Don't you have to deplane after a 3 hour delay from scheduled takeoff time? Those people are going to riot if they can't get some food!

A:

We did indeed taxi back & offer egress. We passed out plenty of pretzels & cookies (I know, its nothing) and drinks, just to try to hold people off.


Q:

This happened to me in JFK in early January.

We were about to take off and 3 people asked to get off the plane. They had to taxi back to let them off.

Is this a requirement that they let them off the plane if they ask? We ended up getting stuck in JFK for 3 days because they had to cancel the flight due to the duty time of the pilots.

A:

By law, we have to offer egress after a certain amount of time.


Q:

Are there any attractive or interesting looking people on the flight? What do they look like?

A:

Not really. Come to think of it, seriously not one made me break my neck. All crabby parents with kids and a shit ton of ladies with the "let-me-speak-to-your-manager" haircut.