Sitting next to a passenger from the UK, who like me, is astounded at the hack “service” provided on US AIR. The clodhopperish and barely community-theatre standard of waiting on the customer is dumbfounding.
The steward barked out to several passengers keen on enjoying a nice pee during the 5 hour flight: “You can’t congregate around the lavatory; I need you to get back to your seats.”. Then he lied, “It’s a federal regulation that passengers can’t congregate around the lavatory due to security reasons.” Oh, yeah? What security reasons? What a load of horseshit. Was Mildred conspiring to take down the 737 by dropping a meaty turd into the metallic commode? Would, then, several other passengers rapidly follow suit in this congregational conspiracy?
The corporate standards of US AIR are more than abundantly clear. The whole-cloth disregard for the customer should be understood for what it is. These aren’t aberrant moments in modern airline folklore; these are the new normal D+ service standards. Aged and cranky old broads wheedling up and down the aisles, snapping at the paying public as if we were trespassers and hooligans. The males are likewise burnt out air butlers who maintain an overt scorn for the people for whom they are charged to serve. In former times, when standards were high and airlines actually competed, youthful, attractive flight attendants adorned the aisle. Because they had not withered with tenure and the callousness of overexposure, they maintained a certain zeal and style–not lost on an esteemed public.
I had one such experience on the first leg of the flight from Key West to Charlotte. The attendant was a late-20′s gay man, happy to provide first rate experience. He fully understood the stagecraft required in good customer service; in the successful entertainment of a group audience. He might be reminiscent of what we’re told Pan Am was like decades ago, when similarly facilitated by female bodies.
How difficult is it to understand that flight-attending is showbiz and panache–not a team of dispassionate and weathered old queens and thrumpy saggy-breasted grimalkins grunting up and down aisle ways, finger-wagging and reproachful. The true security issue is that these attendants couldn’t muster the necessary gusto to cope with a critical or nuanced airborne tragedy than they could summon a moment of feigned courtesy.
Even the most ramshackle diner has a higher approach to wait service than our domestic airlines. This is not by error. Customer feedback must be no less than humiliating and remains largely unpublished on airline websites. Occupy your right to a dignified flight experience. If the staff are uninterested layabouts, slap the management into an awake state. Let them know, your dog can fetch a ball better than these aeronautical slobs can fetch a tomato juice. And that you fully recognize that these flight attendants must be handpicked by management to replicate the crap performance coming from above.