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Dec 8th 2011 11:17AM Heather,
When you get time I hope you post new commentary on the Alec Baldwin/American Airlines dust-up. As a fellow flight attendant I find his alleged behavior and very public remarks reprehensible. We all know this type of traveller, the arrogance, the phony indignation...etc. But Baldwin's notariety, or what's left of it, has most of the media accepting his distorted version of events. No one should be able to falsely discredit another human being, trying to do their job in difficult conditions, and get away with it. One would think getting kicked off the flight would embarass most people, but Baldwin and his grotesque ego apparently have no boundries. He continues to trash this flight attendant and the flight attendant profession (see Huffington Post/travel/Dec08,2011), with little regard to facts or human decency.
If I were the flight attendant in question I would first demand an apology from Baldwin. Assuming he won't do that, I would insist on being interviewed by CNN or MSNBC or The New York Times. I would throw it all back in his face in a very public way, including the threat of a civil suit for defamation of character, until he and his agent get the message. I hope flight attendants everywhere are paying attention. Airline management as well. I hope he flies my airline and refuses to comply with the rules. It would be an honor to kick his lame ass off another flight.
And by the way, any man who can't keep a Kim Bassinger happy is one flawed individual. I feel sorry for the daughter too.
Apr 19th 2011 3:27PM Heather,
I wish I had seen this earlier and responded. As a straight male flight attendant with a wife and two teenagers I find it hilarious that people are still infatuated with this topic. I've worked in three different business sectors in my life and there were gay people every step of the way, many of them dear friends. Yes, the percentage of gay to straight males in my current profession is higher than the other occupations but, with all due respect to Brian, there is a dubious reason for it. Allow me to offer you "Jimmy's Theory."
The flight attendant profession has been shrouded in mythology and mis-perception for, oh, about 40 years now. Why? I'm not completely sure but I believe it begins with the nostalgic yearning for a time when the public dreamed (or claimed) every flight experience was a magic carpet ride through Hugh Hefner's mansion and, of course, the airline companies went right along with it, as the uniforms of the past bear out. Problem was, the airlines weren't very nice to their "bunnies" when they got married or pregnant. They fired them. Thankfully we have certain Constitutionaly-protected rights in the USA and the sexist pigs who were running the airlines then had their wrists slapped and wallets tapped.
At about this same time a book came out titled "Coffee, Tea Or Me" claiming to be a confessional tell-all of a rather promiscuous "stewardess", and her fast lifestyle. Problem was, it was all fiction. Worse than that, it was ghost-written by a confused man who fantasized the whole seedy mess. But why let a popular piece of perverted fiction spoil everybody's fun right? So gradually over time hedonism was accepted to be "the life of a flight attendant", even though most of us, when not deflecting snark and weirdness at work, are actually at home, mowing our lawns or coaching little league.
Eventually, the airlines got fed up with this whole notion of maternity leave and time-off, and realized there was another way. Hire gay men. They won't get pregnant. Won't need to take a leave. Won't have to take a day off with a sick kid. So they tilted the scale in that direction thinking "screw them bitches and their families, we don't need them." Problem was...., you guessed it, the public is a bit homophobic and began whispering, then shouting, "where are all the bitches!!??" So, they started to hire straight guys..., or to paraphrase Brian's image, hard-faced Alpha-types. That would be me, I guess.
The result is the airlines unwittingly ended up with a group of folks who are a micro-cosm of how America looks today, a collection of mutts who could care less what the orientation of a co-worker might be. I'm proud to be in the dog pound with them.
So, the next time a customer asks "how come...", ask them why they care. Then ask them "if you ever found yourself in an ambulance with someone trying to save your life, would you care what their orientation was?" Why does it matter? And no, I don't "fly this route all the time." What a dumb question.
Nov 19th 2010 8:53PM Bob,
Apples and oranges both grow on trees. Someone has to pick them and put them on the market. Most people buy both. You can hate oranges but someone keeps buying them. If anything is "mixed" here it would be your lack of understanding of why the TSA is in existence and your own blind selfishness. If you really think eliminating x-ray machines in America is the answer so that there'd be, as you say, "minimal lines", then you've been bobbing for apples too long. Do you really think the lines would be shorter? Is that your only concern? What do you really know about terrorists Bob? If they don't go through the TSA why would you then propose getting rid of the TSA? You make no sense.
Nov 19th 2010 12:54PM This song and the attitude it embraces is a disgrace to America's service men and women who protect us all over the globe. This schmuck Jonathan Mann is one lucky bastard to have the time and place to write this crap as our soldiers sleep in holes over in Afghanistan. Unfortunately many of our fellow citizens have forgotten what is at stake since 9/11, or they just don't care. Problem is, a lot of them seem to end up in airports bitching and whining at the TSA or the flight crews. It is disgusting and selfish to watch. Maybe Jonathan Mann should write a song about the family who just buried their kid in Arlington Cemetary a week before Thanksgiving? Can't find the melody or the lyrics for that one Jonathan? Why not become a TSA screener for just one day and see for yourself how ungrateful your "fans" are. Get a real life dude.
Sep 8th 2010 7:01PM Robert,
Just wondering...., are private jet flight attendants responsible for reserving and paying for their own lodging and meals? Are these expenses reimbursed? Do weather/mechanical delays impact their salary? Do they have real monthly schedules with actual days off, or are they on call all month? Vacation days with pay, sick pay, disability pay, healthcare?? Are they subject to the jurisdiction of the FAA...., with random drug and alcohol testing and crew rest requirements? Who oversees their pilots and mechanics? I would think many commercial flight attendants around the USA would be very interested in enjoying the same luxuries of the world's elite travelers, as you state, albeit with some protections to allow such an employee to have a life on the outside........, i.e, a family, parent/teacher stuff, little league coaching....etc, ...along with the things I mentioned above.
May I assume they don't get cursed at and smacked on the head with carry-ons?
Thanks for any info.
Sep 5th 2010 2:30PM Heather,
You are very welcome. Your blog is informative, witty, and right on time. I wish I could start my own, I'd be there with you. I have never found it to be a "soap box" or a rant or a provocation towards passengers, yet it's obvious that a few people who post here would prefer you not have an opinion on your occupation, or the situations you encounter. I'm not sure where that angst got its energy but it's there.
Perhaps the media has been locked into a long-running, one-sided discussion about air travel that frankly, borders on phony hysteria. It might sell a few papers and magazines but it's not reality. I see 95% of the passengers and crews going with the flow every day in a hectic world, but it's that 5% who bitch and moan, and that's the angle of most airline stories. Isn't it ironic to you, as a writer and a flight attendant, that people have no problem sharing their "airline horror" stories on your blog, but when an intelligent and thoughtful airline employee turns the mirror the other way, he/she needs to "quit the job", as though your observations are irrelevant? Whassup with that??
Keep it real Heather. The universe needs you, and more like you.
Sep 4th 2010 12:44PM Fred,
I think upon reflection, you do understand what Heather does. What is interesting after reading this blog for a couple years now, is the mis-perception many people have of what the job entails. This mis-perception is nothing new, mostly because the airlines would rather people not be talking about the flight attendants. They don't come out and publicly defend their employees because that would mean reminding everyone why F/As are there in the first place; the plane could crash. It's the nature of airline management these days to let their employees take it on the chin for the failed "business" policies that infuriate their customers. Combine that with a "dumbing-down" mentality of today's consumer (cheap, really cheap fares), and the media's insatiable appetite for air rage stories (we know more about Steve Slater than the crew from the Huson River splash-down), and you can see why F/As must keep their "shields up." No one has their backs, except themselves. It's not a complaint, just reality.
Jul 16th 2010 11:08AM Buggsym,
You are on to it but most posters will bark at you because they can't handle the truth. People are ignorant and stupid, especially when booking airline reservations. Also, we have an entire generation of air travelers who believe it's a birthright to get on a flight for $39 bucks. Congress is enticed by all the negative airline chatter we hear these days, so they'll jump on the bandwagon and claim to be coming to the rescue. Where were they when these airlines threw all their emplyees under the bus after 9/11?
For Alfred Corleone.... the airline employees saved their companies when they were forced to give up their pensions wages and benefits. If you're claiming that you "own" the airlines, shouldn't we be directing our complaints to you? Can you handle that?
Jun 12th 2010 4:57PM DJ,
Your story is full of it. "Paying for a ticket" doesn't give you the right to make up lies and try to hurt someone's career. You have the flight attendants accused, tried and convicted with not a shred of proof. I think your real issue is your contempt for flight attendants, a job you couldn't do for one hour.
Jun 10th 2010 1:50PM Douglas Wright... if you're so smart and clever why don't you run an airline? Are you suffering a little writer's block these days? Obscure airline commercials as a target.... wow, Douglas, your creative energies are really flowing now.