As a retired American Airlines flight attendant, I have never written a letter of any kind to any airline regarding bad service or experiences. I can certainly appreciate the hard work flight crews do, along with the fact their main purpose is for passenger safety, and any meal service or niceties fall in the “icing on the cake” category. But my sister who is, by far, the nicest person I know, told me of her recent experience as she flew out to visit her ninety-year-old mother. When she asked my opinion, I knew immediately she had been treated badly. It was only a moment, but as any of us know, one moment can stick for a lifetime. This may sound trivial, but if you read my letter that I am ghostwriting for her, you will probably relate to it on some level. My sister also had the ah-ha moment of realizing this flight attendant would probably never have said it to a male passenger. That is mere conjecture at this point, but I had to agree with her. In general, that would not have happened to a seasoned business man traveling in First Class. I leave it to you to decide for yourself. And for the record, I love American Airlines. I loved working for them. And I do realize this is merely one individual in a sea of incredibly great employees.
To American Airlines…
I am a big fan of American Airlines and I am not happy to have to write this letter, but I was traveling between LAX and ORD on [yada,yada,yada,] and had an uncomfortable experience related to one of the flight attendants. I’m sorry to say I cannot tell you her name, but she has dark hair, is fairly senior, and is a little heavy set.
I choose to fly First Class and enjoy the comforts that go with it. But on this particular flight, I was reprimanded by a flight attendant in a way that I felt was inappropriate. I had ordered a Bloody Mary and as she was placing cans down on my tray table, I realized she had accidentally put a soda can down and I told her I had ordered a Bloody Mary. She responded, with attitude, “You could have told me that before I put the can down.”
First of all, I was assuming she knew what she was doing as she was setting up drinks for the person in the seat next to me, as well as what she was placing onto my tray table.
I was pleasant in correcting her, to let her know she simply needed to replace whatever it was she served me, with the drink I had actually ordered.
Mistakes happen. I am not a demanding person. But when she admonished me, for the mistake she had made, it made me feel bad. I actually questioned myself, wondering if I had not reacted quickly enough.
I was taken aback and wish I had responded appropriately to her snide remark, instead of trying to explain why I didn’t correct her mistake rapidly enough for her taste. As if removing the can was really putting her out. I will leave you with this quote:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou
And this flight attendant started my four hour flight off, in FIRST CLASS, making me feel stupid. Perhaps she needs a gentle reminder from Maya Angelou.
Amy’s kind and unassuming sister