I’m getting tired!

Wow, what a couple of days! I’m sitting at the EWR RCC right now after a redeye from SFO. This is my second redeye in three nights, and I’m starting to feel it. I got home on Monday at around 6:30PM and headed straight to bed since I had to get up at 3:45AM for my next run. The service on my IAD-TPA flight was good, and the Captain came to my seat to thank me for my note to her regarding Channel 9 before the flight.

Everything worked pretty well yesterday, except for the little dispute I had with an FA on the TPA-IAD flight at 6AM. I was in 11C on Ted and there was an FA in 11D and a young guy from WHQ in 10D. During taxi two on duty FA’s were talking very loudly to those two employees (which is how I know exactly what they were doing), to the point that I could hardly listen to music without hearing their voices in full glory. The FA’s weren’t bad, but weren’t the best either.

When drink service came around the FA told the guy from WHQ in 10D “Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I’ll give you the whole can.” He didn’t even ask for it, but didn’t turn it down either. For those not familiar, Ted has a VERY strict policy about not giving out cans to any passengers in order to save catering costs, but they always say you can have two cups, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

So a bit later in the flight I noticed that only the FA that gave him the full can was in the galley, so I went up to her and asked for some CranApple juice. As she finished pouring I asked if I could get the whole can. She said “I can give you two cups but not the can.” I paused for a second and said, “Hmmm, I thought you gave the guy in 10D the can.” Before I could even finish she said “Take it, PLEASE,” and she really seemed pretty scared and basically shoved it in my hand. I should mention that I said it in as nice of a tone as you can say something like that, as I really don’t get hostile. I then said “I really don’t want the can anymore, but I don’t appreciate you treating non-revenue passengers better than 1K’s and breaking policies for them in front of me.” I swear there was a look of pure horror on her face, and she was shaking as she held the can, and again said “please take the can.” I said “no thanks” and walked away. I won’t be reporting her as I think she learned from the experience and won’t be doing it again anytime soon. Still, I don’t really feel bad about what I did because I think this type of blatant favoritism is unacceptable, at least in front of other customers.

The rest of the day was relatively uneventful. I ended up getting the upgrade on the transcon flight from IAD-SFO. At SFO I saw a lady being denied to the RCC as a Senator with LH because she didn’t have her card on her. She was furious, and had called a Supervisor (although they sent a Service Director). She said “I’m reporting you for your awful attitude.” I didn’t hear the dispute itself, which was probably a good thing.

I met up with a friend at LAX for a few hours, and also went to the RCC where I saw Tracie again, who’s awesome. I then stood by for an earlier flight from LAX-SFO since I wanted to grab something to eat at SFO and didn’t want to be rushed. Sadly I was put in 5B and had to store my bag way upstream near row 16, which sucked. Despite the flight being “completely full” my aisle seat stayed empty so I could move there and have an empty middle. The purser on this flight was also the same one I had just a couple of days ago on the same route, and was overall quite mediocre. I eventually managed to fit my 22″ carryon under the center seat during the flight which meant I didn’t have to wait till everyone was off.

It’s also worth mentioning that 2A stayed empty until the last minute on this flight, and was eventually filled with an FA. The man in the bulkhead aisle seat threw a fit about this to the FA. I understand his frustration and would love to know more about why the FA ended up in F when the upgrade waitlist was long, but the FA is the wrong person to bitch at in that regard.

I got back up to SFO where I met up with a few more FlyerTalkers. I grabbed something to eat and headed to the RCC, where I was surprised to see American Idol on at the bar. It was pretty funny since the businessmen were talking about their favorites, and I can honestly say I don’t know any of the finalists, which I’m kinda proud of.;)

I was in 6C on a A319 on the redeye with an open middle. Not even kidding, it was more comfortable than F. I was asleep right after takeoff and woke up right before landing, but I’m still extremely tired. When I entered the RCC the lady said “Weren’t you here just recently?”

It’s fair to say at this point that I’m looking forward to getting home and sleeping, enjoying my two days off before getting back in the air.

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. I then said “I really don’t want the can anymore, but I don’t appreciate you treating non-revenue passengers better than 1K’s and breaking policies for them in front of me.”

    Wow – that strikes me as really petty. Why would you care about this? It’s only a drink…. If you object to the no-can/two-cup policy, why not take it up with UA management, rather than with the FA?

  2. You are right, it was petty, which is why I’m not reporting it to WHQ (which the FA clearly feared by the way she acted, so I’m guessing it would be taken more seriously than I might have thought). The issue here isn’t the can, it’s consistency. United’s single biggest flaw, in my opinion, is lack of consistency. I had the best flight attendant I’ve ever had on my SFO-EWR redeye a few nights back, and as I told her, “If every flight attendant had the same amazing attitude as you there’d be no reason to fly Singapore Airlines anymore,” which, while an exaggeration, gets at the point.

    Then I’ve had absolutely awful service some days. In international business I’ve witnessed an FA giving meal priority to an NRSA (non-revenue, space available) passenger over a 1K (fortunately not me).

    I was also once on Ted in 11C and there was a uniformed FA in the window seat, 11A. The working FA asks the FA in 11A “Well let me know if there’s anything I can get you, do you want a pre-departure drink?” Saying this right in front of me was rude as well, in my opinion.

    While a meal choice, a drink, etc., might be relatively minor, it’s the overall mentality that I have a problem with. Some employees really see nothing wrong with treating their friends (who happen to be flying for next to nothing, compared to a full fare business passenger, for example) better than their “real” customers right in front of them. I have no problem with FA’s treating employees better in terms of talking to them, etc., but as soon as it takes away from the experience of a revenue passenger there’s a problem.

    So it’s not about the can, it’s about the overall mentality of “I’ll take care of my friends and screw the customers.”

  3. Sure, but my point is that the FA in question wasn’t “screw[ing] the customer”, as you put it. You were not left worse off by the minor favor that she extended to her colleague.

    It would be different if this kind of behavior was done to the detriment of the attention paid to another (paying) passenger — i.e., if the FA offered the can to her colleague but then declined to serve you a drink or respond to a service call from your seat. But in the absence of that, I just don’t see how it “takes away from the experience of a revenue passenger”.

  4. Great meeting you at the gate at LAX.

    Trying to plan MR with my 3 year old so that maybe my wife will view it as something of a break…

    Greg

  5. Good call on pointing that out to the FA. Although it didn’t affect you, I’m with you on the consistency.

    Plus, the two cups over 1 can is quite a bit of waste.

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