Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Unnecassary and Confusing Passenger Drama

Yes, as some of you may have noticed from my facebook status yesterday I was sent to work a domestic flight....I had to go to Detroit and back. As an International flight attendant doing ANYTHING domestic is like dousing a vampire in Holy water....not to mention I received this assignment @ 630am. Its not that I am better than doing domestic (Yes, I am) but its also b/c domestic flights involve smaller airplanes, and repeat boarding processes, more delays, blah blah.........less traveled travelers (especially around the holidays). Ok, moving on...........
I was the lead flight attendant so technically 'in charge of situations, etc...'
Ok....so just to get you started I LOVE my job and even though people get on my nerves I really do like being happy and smiling and working with people so even though I was not happy about the trip itself I had a nice crew and was a happy flight attendant.
Everything was going fine.....small situation (on the flight to Detroit) with some bitchy lady in first class about her dog but nothing too traumatic. All the rest of the passengers were really nice and commented about what a great flight they were having and what a great job we were doing, etc.....
Flight back same thing.....everyone friendly, happy, one old guy kept saying how pretty I was (which was especially nice to hear b/c I felt about as ugly as ever after my 630am wake up and my roots needing major touch up, but I will take the compliment OF COURSE.
Let me back up a little.....right after take off we had moderate turbulence. We had already set up the beverage cart in the back but had not gone into the aisle yet. As 'lead' I suggested waiting and the other flight attendant and I even took our seats. Right then the captain called back to tell us to remain seated and that this was to continue for approximately 15mins. Of course people were using the lavatories. So I made an announcement "The captain has just informed us that we will be experiencing moderate turbulence for about the next 15 minutes and has asked the flight attendants to remain seated during this time. The seat belt sign is on and we DO NEED everyone to take their seats and remain seated with their seat belts securely fastened. This is not only for your safety but for those around you. Thank you." The people that were up we advised to go to their seats and they complied. In some cases people do not and my answer ALWAYS is the same "The seat belt sign IS ON and if an incident does occur it is your personal responsibility as you have been advised to be seated. I do not say this w/ force I say this just to inform them......if someone has to really go to the bathroom or just doesn't care that is up to them.
Ok........so with that said......back to the flight. On our second pass though with the beverage cart towards the back of the aircraft my colleague starts to ask me "What is the deal with the guy in 20B?".....and begins to tell me the situation......It's not professional to discuss passengers (or issues) in front of other passengers so i told her to hold on and we would discuss it in the galley.
When we reach the galley she tells me that this guy asked her if it was our policy to allow people to be up while the seat belt sign is on. She told him no, it is not and that we do advise people to sit down while the seat belt sign is on. He says there were people up while the seat belt sign was on, etc, etc......and then asks if there is an Air Marshall on the a/c. She tells him that we are not permitted to disclose that information. (PERFECT answer as air marshalls are to remain undercover.)...he ends up telling her that he needs to speak to someone in charge.
So of course I go up there, introduce myself and ask him if there is anything I can help him with.
Man: Yes there is..........and proceeds to voice concern over why we allow people to be up while the seat belt sign is on.
Me: We do ask people to sit down and that we can inform people but can not force people to sit down.
Man: What if something happens?
Me: After we advise customers to take their seat and they do not comply they are informed that if an incident occurs it is no longer Continental's liability they take on their own responsibility. Man: What if it involves another passanger?
Me: I reiterate that any incident that occurs once they have been advised to take their seats becomes their personal responsibility.
I also inform him that after advising customers to take their seats if they do not comply we can not physically force them to sit down and fasten their seat belts.
He continues by asking (or saying) that as lead flight attendant I am in charge of handling situations inside the aircraft to which I say is correct, and this leads to him to tell me that I am not doing my job. I tell him that I am sorry if that is how he perceives the situation but I do do my job and follow all Continental policies and FARs (Federal Aviation Regulations).
Man: The Captain is in charge of flying the plane and making sure that the flight is safe and is also in charge of the entire aircraft, right?
Me: I respond and confirm this.
Man: Ok.....well I am going to speak with the captain about this later.

So I let him know that is fine. I will let the Captain know the situation and that he is more than welcome to discuss this matter further with the Captain.
I did discuss the entire situation with the Captain right away and the Captain agreed with everything I said and was looking forward to speaking with the gentleman upon departure of the aircraft.
After landing and while deplaning when the gentleman approached the exit I asked him if he would like to speak to the Captain. The man continued to exit while saying that he would discuss it with my CEO.

I find this situation confusing......of course in my years of flying I have encountered many ridiculous and heated situations--- and far worse, but nothing too bad lately. This situation in general confuses me......I am not sure why he was so riled up over this situation.

6 comments:

Jenn Ann said...

I'm going to go with the fact that he was a paranoid guy who likes to cause a stink. At least it made your domestic flight exciting. :)

Queen B said...

this is totally ridiculous. what a doofus 20B was. ugh.

Paula said...

Some people just aren't happy unless they are unhappy! I think he was just hoping to get a free flight.

Jane: a female given name of English origin said...

I would credit this to the Merry Christmas Cheerful Dumb Traveler Season

Kim Thomas said...

This idiot cant fly much. Like you are really going to tell someone if an air marshall is on the flight.

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