Flight Attendants Fight Back

Flight Attendant
Flight Attendant

Many flight attendants emailed me over yesterday's postabout a Wall Street Journal article saying American Airlines was investigating the actions of attendants on a flight making an emergency landing at LAX.

"S." was very upset:

"As a Professional Flight Attendant myself, I resent the fact that this article and safety question is even published! How dare this question be asked and published? We are trained for safety issues like this...It is those (who) question our responsibilities on an airplane and don't pay attention to safety announcements or do not have regards or respect to any compliance with flight attendant instructions as well as any lighted signs and posted placards! Which by the way is a federal requirement. I wish I could write a ticketed fine for everyone who does not comply with in-flight instructions. Maybe it will be one way for the FAA to get more money to fix this ailing travel system! This article is offensive and demeaning to the thousands of every day safety professionals and should be removed! IMMEDIATELY"

From Ralph K:

"I'm a Flight Attendant with a major airline for 35 years. I am extremely upset with this 'funny' article. Should we call the fire department to this house fire when we only see smoke? Our job is to save passengers, not wipe there noses. Our airline credits Flight Attendants' judgment in the need to evacuate airplanes. Other airlines have had passengers killed when they have to wait for pilots to give the word, assuming the pilots are not incapacitated. Ask me if I give a damn about airport inconvenience if it comes to saving one life."

T is an American Airlines flight attendant, and responds to my comment that 9/11 might naturally make American crew members especially sensitive to danger:

"We are taught to deploy slides if needed. The captain usually does make the call, because with all the indicator lights and other things to tell them if there is a fire or not...But if there was smoke...depending on how thick the smoke was we could order the evacuation, or (if) there are other things in the cabin the pilots cannot see that we can...9/11 and those idiots who crashed our planes have NO bearing on us doing our jobs correctly."

From Guri S:

"Stupid management would have rewarded them with kudos if the fire was real and no passenger was hurt. These kinds of calls should be made by the purser who is in the cabin. I would NEVER fly AA if the FAs are reprimanded for this incident. I can't believe they are wasting time investigating this. This is why AA and other legacy airlines will not exist in 10 years. There simply is too many levels of management..."

"A concerned citizen" suggests that, despite the Wall Street Journal headline, am American Airlines official earlier praised the flight attendants in this statement:

"I want to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of the crew of flight 31 LAX-HNL on August 5. The crew evacuated using slides after returning to LAX due to smoke in the cockpit and cabin. Thankfully, there were no injuries to crew or customers. On behalf of all of us, I want to say job well done. Thank you to the entire flight attendant corps for the care and service you provide our customers everyday, and for the professional safety you provide when needed in more serious situations."

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