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May 30, 2024
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Flying in the US has been getting less comfortable for years.  Passengers focus their irritation on the flight attendants.  The job of a flight attendant today is not the one it once was.  There is no glamor any more.  Flight attendants face the customer for extended periods (longer than any other airline employee).

Decisions taken in an office far from the airline seat impact the interaction between crowded airplanes and a small number of amazingly patient, uniformed people.  These uniformed people are expected to smile, sometimes through gritted teeth, at situations few office workers would or could handle.

Take a look at what an flight attendant does in cold numbers. The US DOT data shows us that the typical flight attendant has to handle the needs of 11 people per flight hour.  To put this in context, in 2012 this meant handling 6,800 people over 636 flight hours.  By and large this is done with dignity and a politeness that is surely tested every one of those hours.  So show some patience and tolerance this holiday period as you are stuffed into a small seat.  A typical US traveler flies 2.4 times per year.   Your flight attendant is doing this much more frequently and deserves more than just common courtesy.

7 thoughts on “Have patience, its not getting easier

  1. Well-said. Flying public must realize that whatever their “beef”, it is not the flight attendant’s fault. Taking out your air rage on these poor folks is just not right. Instead, if you don’t like being treated as sardines or whatever, sit down and draft a letter to the management and your congressman. They are the ones who decide how the airlines balance profits against passenger comfort.

    Wait till the airframers and airlines go through with 17″ seats on 10, 12 hour long transoceanic flights to reduce seat-mile costs! You will really see what discomfort can really be.

    Deregulation has been not as good for passenger flying experience as it has been for flying costs. While it reduced ticket prices significantly (few tens of percent?), it also brought in the era of LCCs skimming off lucrative routes forcing mainline airlines to cut costs “at all costs” to stay in business. Sky high oil prices did not help. Consequently, our airlines teeter on the edge of bankruptcy, forcing them to reduce wages and staffing to an unhealthy level, impacting on their customer flying experience. If you are really ticked off, lobby for relaxing of some of this “deregulation” so that the airlines can concentrate on providing you a good flying experience instead of constantly having to find ways to survive. If you are not convinced, compare the pre-deregulation flying to “modern” post-regulation one. You will be amazed how low we have sunk and are continuing to.

    The question the flying public has to answer is simply this: Are you willing to pay say 20% more so you can fly in comfort? That 20% means a lot to airlines, when the profit margin is a few percent and often negative. Bring back some regulations so that predatory pricing is eliminated thus providing some stability (and steady profits?) to the airline business.

    Only we can effect this change. Otherwise, hello sardines!

  2. I couldnt agree more with this article and your response. I’ve always believed that some regulation in the airline industry is essential for passengers, CREW, EMPLOYEES and shareholders.

  3. Spot on.

    Been in a Q400 lately? And they are adding more seats to those and seats with no padding. When do we get down to Ratan? Per RyanAir, can’t I just have them stand up?

    Back in the day we simply traveled less (at need) and accepted that travel had to be justified not a whim. We could get to where we needed in decency and not crammed in so tight as to make a sardine can palatial.

    At some point it is going to have to stop, writing an Airlines is useless, its a race to the bottom and then they drill deeper still. It worked far better when it was regulated.

    As per the 3+ hour hostage taking on the ramps the Airlines used to do, it will take legislation and that will be a dog fight that likely will have its loop holes they drive a 747 through.

  4. That must be the decimal. The numbers are around 10, so the first decimal does make a significant difference in the graph.

  5. To stimulate better empathy in the FA-pax intercourse and thence make the FA’s job easier, rearrange feeder aircraft cabins to look as shown herebelow for eg H21QR @ “MOL’s Sweet Point” = 28 inch pitch 1+3+1 = 198 pax : (SHOW LOPA)

    (I’ve sent a LOPA drawing by mail to AirInsight, to be inserted here, this blog’s software doesn’t accept imaged inserts)

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