flight attendant

Stop harassing the flight attendants


We didn’t want the #MeToo motion to recognize that flight attendants are regularly subjected to verbal and bodily sexual harassment on the job.

But allow’s hope the #MeToo motion – and the current survey of greater than 3,500 flight attendants at 29 unique airline through the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA – places a stop to it.

According to the study, more than -thirds of flight attendants within the U.S. have experienced sexual harassment at some point of their flying careers.

More than one-in-three flight attendants say they have skilled verbal sexual harassment from passengers, and nearly one-in-five have experienced physical sexual harassment from passengers in the remaining yr on my own.

What’s being performed approximately it? Not enough.

While Alaska, United, or even Spirit have taken a few step to cope with the difficulty, sixty eight percentage of flight attendants say they saw no efforts with the aid of airlines to cope with place of business sexual harassment over the last 12 months.

“While an awful lot of the coverage of the #MeToo motion has focused on high-profile cases in the amusement industry and politics, this survey underscores why AFA has long been pushing to eradicate sexism and harassment within our own industry,” stated Sara Nelson, AFA President. “The time whilst flight attendants have been objectified in airline advertising and those joked approximately ‘espresso, tea, or me’ needs to be permanently grounded. #TimesUp for the enterprise to place an end to its sexist past.”

Here’s greater element from the survey outcomes:

*35 percent of flight attendants skilled verbal sexual harassment from passengers within the ultimate 12 months. Of those, sixty eight percent faced it three or extra instances, and a third five or greater instances within the beyond yr.

Flight attendants defined the verbal sexual harassment as feedback that are “nasty, undesirable, lewd, crude, irrelevant, uncomfortable, sexual, suggestive, and grimy.”

*18 percent of flight attendants skilled physical sexual harassment from passengers within the closing 12 months. More than 40% of these suffered bodily abuse 3 or greater instances. This form of harassment covered having their breasts, buttocks and crotch region “touched, felt, pulled, grabbed, groped, slapped, rubbed, and fondled” each on top of and below their uniforms. Other abuse covered passengers cornering or lunging at them observed with the aid of unwanted hugs, kisses and humping.

*Only 7 percentage of the flight attendants who experienced abuse have reported sexual harassment to their organisation. More frequently, flight attendants stated they respond to verbal and sexual harassment by means of keeping off the passenger, at once addressing the passenger about their conduct or the usage of any other technique to try to diffuse or deflect the situation.


Want to be a flight attendant?

United flight attendant trainee practicing serving a premium class meal

Although flying itself might not be as glamorous and carefree and unusual an revel in because the vintage advertisements inform us, being a flight attendant still offers some cool tour perks and a paycheck.

So, at some stage in a visit to Houston to look at an afternoon of flight attendant training for United Airlines, I turned into now not definitely surprised to analyze that it's far nevertheless not uncommon for someone to use for the job and get popular into the schooling software having in no way flown in a aircraft.

Vonn Crosby, now an skilled United flight attendant and a Service Training Team Leader for Inflight Training, changed into one of these human beings – and it became out just first-rate for her.

Vonn Crosby_a Service Training Team Leader- for United Airlines

And whether they’ve flown before or no longer, it will likely flip out simply great for the scholars I joined for an afternoon of international service education that included getting to know the way to prep and serve a top rate class meal.


See my complete story about some of the talents you’ll need to emerge as a flight attendant in my piece over at the Runway Girl network.

Flight attendant fired for breastfeeding cowl-up remark


Julia Bernstein, a 32 yr-antique, New York based totally flight attendant for Virgin America, stated she turned into fired from her job on June 2, “due to the fact I asked a female who was breast feeding in one of the closing rows to thrill cover up,” on a latest full-flight from Los Angeles to New York.

“With the consistent line for the toilet being right over her, humans had been feeling uncomfortable and requested me to have her cowl up,” stated Bernstein. “The lady’s breast was out and revealed the whole lot.”

In a telephone interview this morning, Bernstein told me stated that she requested the breastfeeding mother if she had a blanket. “I attempted to be matter of truth and said, “Well, you want to cover up.”

Shortly afterwards, Bernstein said the lady’s husband have become disappointed and requested if overlaying up whilst breastfeeding become an airline coverage or if she made it up. “He said what I changed into doing became unlawful. I informed him it was no longer a coverage, I turned into simply trying to fix a state of affairs,” said Bernstein.

The lead flight attendant then stepped in. “She talked to the husband and said they have been pleasant,” stated Bernstein.

But certainly they had been not.

“The motive Virgin fired me is due to the fact they felt I did now not express regret sufficient to the passenger or deal nicely with the state of affairs, despite the fact that there's no proper schooling with the aid of Virgin America on the way to deal with this form of a situation,” stated Bernstein.

Abby Lunardini, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Virgin America stated that for privacy reasons the airline can not divulge specifics of the termination but shared this statement:

“Our in-flight teammates are skilled to deal with some of situations in-flight, such as this one. We honestly do accommodate breastfeeding moms in-flight. If a situation ought to rise up in which fellow visitors are uncomfortable, our teammates also are skilled to try to re-seat the guest uncomfortable with the scenario.”

Bernstein seemed in a business for the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) that aired at some point of “Fly Girls,” a reality TV show featuring 4 Virgin America flight attendants that aired for much less than two months in 2010. She also said she’d been reprimanded earlier than for what a passenger considered to be an beside the point observation in reaction to complaints approximately an object at the in-flight menu and, after being overdue for a flight, changed into on probation.

In this example, however, Bernstein feels she used “desirable judgment acted correctly and did what any correct flight attendant would have completed.”

Telling a breastfeeding mom to cover up is a touchy and probably high priced trouble for airways. In March,  Delta Air Lines and other airline companies reached a agreement with Emily Gillette, who in 2006 was ordered off a aircraft in Vermont when she refused to cowl herself up whilst breastfeeding her infant.

In response, outraged moms staged “nurse-ins” at close to 20 different airports.

Confessions of a flight attendant

During her 17 years as a flight attendant, Heather Poole has now not handiest been pouring sodas and telling passengers to lock their seatbelts, she’s been taking notes. Copious notes.

Now, in an offbeat memoir, Poole is dishing approximately flight attendants’ lives within the air and on the floor and the often outrageous conduct of each passengers and different team individuals.

Here’s an excerpt from an interview I performed with Poole for msnbc.com’s Overhead Bin approximately her new e-book “Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet.”

Q: Why did you need to jot down a e-book about some time in the sky?
A: Airlines have had a lot tight manipulate on their photograph that human beings have no concept what the fact is. I wrote the book so people could have a better know-how of the lifestyles.

Q: So what made you want the existence of a flight attendant?
A:  My mom. She’s additionally the reason I didn’t want to become a flight attendant. Whenever some thing could pass incorrect in my existence, she’d usually endorse applying to an airline. I didn’t officially decide to grow to be a flight attendant until I didn’t get a enhance at the business enterprise I labored for. I had seen a “Flight attendant desired” ad in the paper and determined to move for it. At $14 an hour, I figured, “Why not?” It might be amusing, and I may want to travel and meet new human beings. Seventeen years later, I’m still flying.   

Q: Was that first process tough to get?
A: The first airline I interviewed with didn’t lease me. It turns out “glamour and loose tour passes” isn't always the proper solution to the question, “Why do you want to grow to be a flight attendant?”

Q: Obviously you did sooner or later get hired. Is “Barbie Boot Camp” actually what flight attendant education is known as? And what's it like?
A: It’s no longer absolutely called Barbie Boot Camp, however that’s our pet term for it. Basically, it’s seven-and-a-half of weeks of hell. The only component I can examine it to is being on “American Idol” throughout Hollywood Week. It’s now not that what we have been learning turned into difficult, however we have been under a lot of stress and completely sleep disadvantaged due to late night time observe organizations and early morning drill tests. When it came to commanding evacuations, we had 3 photographs to get it right.  If we did something wrong, an trainer could stop us and ask us to do it again. One small slip, one point in the incorrect direction, and it turned into buh bye, adios, sayonara!

Q: Why did you stay with it after your first job with Sun Jet International [a long-defunct, low-fare, charter airline]?  
A: In that chapter, I write about the bounce seat falling off the wall during landing, the passenger who followed me into the [airport] bathroom to rip me a new one thru the toilet stall over a flight delay and the passenger who was escorted off the plane in handcuffs however then wound up in a neighboring booth at a nearby restaurant after the flight. The crazy factor is that’s once I determined I definitely wanted to be a flight attendant. After experiencing all that, and greater, I implemented to some other airline. I desired a profession, not just a process, with an airline I will be proud of.

Q: You additionally write about crash pads. What are they and what without a doubt occurs there?
A: Did you ever see that reality show with the Virgin flight attendants who all shared 1,000,000 dollar home close to the beach in Venice? That was no longer a crash pad. Most new-hire flight attendants make among $14,000 and $18,000 their first yr at the process and junior flight attendants don’t generally get primarily based in which they stay. So they’ll proportion an condominium and commute to paintings. Crash pads generally have bunk beds lining the partitions in every room. There are even crash pads that provide “hot beds”: Flight attendants will percent up their pillows and sheets and save them in a bathtub so that others can use the mattress when they leave. Not loads goes on in a crash pad except sleep and Chinese food takeout parties.  Commuters suggest commercial enterprise.

Q: What is “bounce seat syndrome?”
A: It’s a term I made up. It’s like being a bartender or a hairdresser, the manner people confess matters to you. I’ll fly with other crewmembers and we’ll cross proper into personal memories. You get close actually quickly and then you can in no way work with them once more. It’s like having these types of one-night stands; you get truely intimate and then it’s done. It additionally every now and then happens whilst we start speaking to passengers in the galley.

Q: You proportion a whole lot of horror stories about passengers to your flights. Do you have got a idea about why individuals who are “everyday” at the ground become hassle within the air?
A: One motive awful behavior stands proud at the plane is because we’re unable to multitask the way we do at the ground, so we’re greater in track to what’s happening. If a person bumps into us on the road without apologizing we might curse underneath our breath, but pass on. On the plane, we take a seat and stew over it for a four-hour-long flight, and then explode when the kid in the back of you kicks your seat or the flight attendant tells you they’ve run out of the beverage of your choice.  

Q: In your ebook and on Twitter and other locations you write approximately your paintings, you don’t call the airline you work for. Why?
A: So I can preserve my task.  Plus, I’m not writing approximately my airline.  I’m writing approximately what it’s like to be a flight attendant.  It doesn’t certainly matter which airline we work for, the task is quite tons the identical wherever we move.

Q: Are there also subjects you cannot or will no longer communicate approximately?
A: Anything to do with safety. I received’t communicate about faith or politics with passengers, and I refuse to talk about the electronic tool coverage any extra. The rule is, if it has an on/off transfer it needs to be off and stowed. It’s usually been the rule, however now that humans have so many devices you’d suppose it become a state-of-the-art rule.