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Verbally Agressed by American Airlines Flight Attendant


Jul 26th, 2006, 07:55 AM
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Verbally Agressed by American Airlines Flight Attendant

I would like to express my concern and dismay regarding a recent flight experience with American Airlines.

My husband and I were returning from a business trip on the American Airlines flight 1952 departing from Miami International Airport at 20:15 June 9 2006, arriving at Pierre-Elliott Trudeau Airport in Montreal at 23:39 June 9 2006, when we were verbally harassed by an AA Flight Attendant who refused to properly identify herself.

Allow me to provide a brief but detailed explanation of the facts and events that unfolded on this flight:

My husband and I were seated in seats 13E and 13F of the aircraft. At approximately 22:45, I decided to use the lavatory prior to the pilot commencing his landing. As I got up from my seat, I noticed that access to the lavatories at the rear of the aircraft were obstructed due to a Flight Attendant who was pushing the beverage cart; so I sat back down. Understanding my discomfort in being unable to use the restroom, my husband suggested that I use the lavatory in First Class. Therefore, I made my way towards the front of the aircraft, to the lavatories in First Class.

As I was about to enter the lavatory, the Flight Attendant who was seated in front of the Cock Pit door addressed me in a very rude and aggressive tone and said �Get back to your seat�.

I was taken aback by her tone and demeanor, and responded by asking, �I beg your pardon?�

She then repeated in a rougher tone �Get back to your seat, this is First Class�.

Wanting to explain my intentions I responded �Ma�am, I�m here because I need to use the lavatory desperately, and the lavatory in at the rear of the plane is blocked by the beverage cart. Can I please use this one?�

Her response, once again was �Get back to your seat. Don�t make me tell you again� � but this time her tone was not only rough, but much louder.

I was so stunned by her lack of compassion, empathy and customer service that I simply returned to my seat without a word. Seeing my shocked expression, my husband asked me what happened. I explained, and he got up to speak to the Flight Attendant in hopes of getting her name so that a complaint could be filed. Not only did she refuse to provide her name, but she was equally rude to my husband.

Shortly after my husband returned to his seat, the Flight Attendant in question marched down the isle, stopped at my seat, leaned over me and shoved her finger in my face and began yelling �WHAT DID I SAY TO YOU!?�

I was so stunned that all I was able to mutter was �Ma�am, don�t yell at me�.

She ignored my plea and continued to yell with her finger pointed at my face, using very unprofessional language. At this point several passengers sitting around us were staring at the commotion, most of which were my husband�s colleagues as they were all returning on the same flight from the business trip.

I finally managed to muster a response and said �Ma�am stop yelling at me. All I asked was to use the bathroom. Is this how you represent American Airlines and provide quality customer service?�

She rebutted by yelling even louder �You gave me attitude!!�

Finally my husband cursed and told her to stop yelling at me. She then leaned over to him and said in a menacing voice (her finger was now pointed in his face) �You can�t speak to me that way. I am a Crew Member and I have the power to have you arrested for harassment�.

I then jumped in and said �If anything, you should be accused of harassment. You yelled, embarrassed and aggressed me in front of 150 plus witnesses for asking to use the lavatory!�

With that, she turned on her heels and walked to the rear of the plane.

The damage had been done and as a result my husband and I were uneasy and shaken for the remainder of the flight. When we finally landed, we were greeted at the gate by authorities who took a statement from the Flight Attendant and one from my husband and I. The authorities also encouraged us to file a complaint against the Flight Attendant.

I have to stress the fact that in all of our years of traveling (we fly very frequently) we have never experienced such poor treatment from an airline Crew member whose primary concern should be the comfort and safety of their passengers. Both my husband I have flown First Class on several occasions (to Europe and abroad). We are fully aware that the First Class lavatories are reserved for First Class flyers, however I stand firm in my belief that exceptions can be made depending on the circumstances. I can honestly say that I did not feel safe after falling victim to the Flight Attendant�s erratic behavior and unprofessional demeanor.

As a Communications Coordinator and Public Relations Specialist, I understand the unsurpassed importance for an enterprise such as American Airlines to maintain an image of quality, safety and professionalism, and to provide a memorable experience for passengers, especially in the day and age that we live in. As I am sure you are aware, word of mouth travels quickly and one negative customer experience overshadows ten positive experiences. Several of my colleagues and media contacts fly with American Airlines, and I am confident that after hearing of my experience, they will choose to take their business elsewhere. As consumers we have a vast choice of airlines to travel with, and due to this experience my husband and I are considering bringing our business to another airline unless appropriate action is taken.

I feel that my husband and I should be compensated for the embarrassment, fear and total disregard for human decency that we experienced at the hands of this Flight Attendant. Her work ethic, attitude and demeanor, from what we experienced, should not be tolerated by any company that values their reputation.
ACR is offline  
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Jul 26th, 2006, 08:21 AM
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While there are always two sides to every story it seems you certainly had a very disturbing experience. I'm an AA frequent flyer and I don't ever recall seeing an incident such as the one you described. I am not making any excuses but it just seems so unusual for a FA to react so strongly that the way you described the events indicates the FA might, at the very least, be in need of some Customer Service clases.

If I were you I'd contact the American Airlines Customer Relations office and relate the details of the incident. I'm sure they would like to be made aware of what happened and given a chance to remedy the situation. You can go to the AA websie (www.aa.com) and click on "Contact Us" or write them at:

P.O. Box 619612 MD 2400
DFW Airport, TX 75261-9612

A_Traveller is offline  
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Jul 26th, 2006, 08:41 AM
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Have you contacted AA and did you receive a response?
Patty is offline  
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Jul 26th, 2006, 08:51 AM
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Amazingly, it's a first time poster, and complaining about the F class toilet use, just as there is a long thread about the same issue.....?????

Coincidence? I think not.....

If it's real, contact AA. You may get some miles and or a voucher.....

but I doubt this is real, or it's not as 1 sided as you make it out to be....sorry, but just like A_Traveller, I have never seen anything close to what happened to you, and I do fly AA almost exclusively and a great deal per year....
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
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Jul 26th, 2006, 09:49 AM
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I don't buy it. Something is fishy, and we're not getting all of the "story" (complete with dialogue and stage directions!).

Flight attendants wear name badges, or have their name embroidered on their uniform or apron (if serving beverages). It would be a simple exercise to look at the FA to get their first name (minimally), then go complain to AA Customer Relations. And why couldn't the "authorities" give her the name of the FA?!

This sounds suspiciously like a cheap smear job. Maybe the OP got the deserved scolding for trying to use the john DURING landing. Or simply heading up to First Class to use the john because she felt like it. And can someone be "aggressed"?!
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Jul 26th, 2006, 09:55 AM
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Date of Agression: June 9.Date of Today: July 26.hmmmm.......And who were the "authorities" and how come they were waiting to greet the flight?The FA willingly gave a statement? And no statement from the victim(hubster was not the victim)....Oh, and wonder when the flight number changed....Looks like that time slot is flight 1932.....Hercule, Hercule, where forth art thou??
BeachBoi is offline  
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Jul 26th, 2006, 09:55 AM
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hmmm...sounds like the flight attendant was doing thier job. they are so not allowed to have passengers have free reign over the cabins of the aircraft.
otto is offline  
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Jul 26th, 2006, 11:39 AM
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Maybe I am that "lucky" but on all flights I see an attempt of at least one coach passenger to use the first class bathroom, although they announce on the radio at the beginning of the flight not to do that.

ACR, have you ignored the announcement? Have you tried to argue with the attendant? Didn't you get the name off the name tag every attendant has?

Yes, the employees don't have the right to yell at their customers, period. But they are only human. Were you the first one to try to sneak into the lavatory you have not paid for?

And by the way, when I flew internationally Continental the attendants do their best to let you squize by the food cart. I trust the same is done on AA.

Let's see this accident from the 1st class passenger's point of view: they pay a lot. I mean, A LOT. How much was your ticket? And if their lavatory is in use by a coach passenger they are not happy. And the flight attendant would hear from them.

And I believe she has other things to do besides guarding the lavatory.
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Jul 26th, 2006, 11:54 AM
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Why on earth do you need to write your husband's name in full at the start of the 4th paragraph? It makes the story seem a little contrived. For someone who describes themself as a "Communications Coordinator and Public Relations Specialist" it is a frankly hopeless post.

If it's true, the FA did her job well and if I were Mr Arpey, I would give her a rise.

However, I have little doubt that this story is pure, stinking, revolting BS.
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Jul 26th, 2006, 12:22 PM
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I don't think that "agress" is a word. At least it is not a verb like you are using it. Now, "egress" is a word.

Hope this helps!

btw, you should send a registered letter to the CEO of AMR Corp and state that you will never fly that airline again. But, you should not start flying on United because they are even tougher than the bullies at AA.
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Jul 26th, 2006, 12:22 PM
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You're a "Communications Specialist" and you don't know that "aggress" has two g's and doesn't take an object? (You can't "aggress" somebody. You just do something aggressive.) And by the way, it's "cockpit" not "Cock Pit." ROFL
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Jul 26th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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On 2 of my last flights (within the past 3 months) I've noticed announcements that say that it is now against the law for a passenger in coach to use 1st class restrooms and vise-versa. Anyone else heard this lately?
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Jul 26th, 2006, 03:44 PM
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Ah...I see that the OP wants compensation for her allegedly bad experience. Is this perhaps the first step in trying to get some?
Underhill is offline  
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Jul 26th, 2006, 04:16 PM
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You claim to be a communications specialist, but you are posting your request for compensation on this travel board.

Wouldn't a communications specialist write to the airline rather than post a rambling message on this board.

Sounds like fiction to me.

Dick is offline  
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Jul 26th, 2006, 04:44 PM
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Did she ever get to go to the bathroom?
Carrybean is offline  
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Jul 26th, 2006, 07:44 PM
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It looks to me like she copied her official letter to AA and pasted it into her post.

The reason coach passengers aren't supposed to use first class lavatories is for safety reasons, not because of the ticket price. Since 911, the FAA doesn't want people congregating, hovering, lining up near the front of the plane. Disallowing coach passengers from using the first class bathrooms is the best way to accomplish that objective, right? It's a safety issue.

Sounds like the flight attendent was a bit snarly, but it's her job to stand firm in enforcing the rules. And her husband was out of line to use a swear word. The authorities showed up at the gate because a disturbance was reported. That's no surprise.

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Jul 27th, 2006, 04:39 AM
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It's not a troll if it's true. Sadly, this seems legit -- and the reason why those who write airlines with justified complaints get treated imperiously.
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Jul 27th, 2006, 06:13 AM
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lynnjoe...absolutely. acr...take it up with the federal aviation authority, not american. it's their (appropriate, and totally valid) rules.
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Jul 27th, 2006, 06:37 AM
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I don't entirely disagree with the TSA/FAA idea that congregating in front of a restroom right by the cockpit is a bad idea, but I do have to question the concept that potential evildoers will be in coach, not first class.
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