Altitude Sickness

My parents instilled in me many values:

... the value of self-confidence ...

... the value of cooking from scratch ...

... the value of generosity ...

... the value of earning advantage miles ...

Being raised in Dallas,
I'm a faithful American Airlines passenger.

My AAdvantage account was started when I was 5 years old,
and I hit Platinum for the first time when I was 19...

I, typically, love everything about my AA experience.

From the direct service from London to Dallas
to the faint hope of an upgrade.

But, I have to ask:


Too bad my mom isn't condescending, or this ad could still be relevant.
The treatment to passengers
by the flight crew has been so rude 
on my past few flights-
I am appalled.

Whatever happened to the glamourous days of flying?

Because these days, I walk off the plane
feeling less like a jetsetter
and more like a piece of of mishandled luggage.

The truth is, flight crew:
I'm actually your biggest fan.
You serve me dinner
(without asking for a tip),
play the role of in-flight concierge,
and are even trained to save my life.

I completely respect for the work you do.

I'm just left to wonder...

Is it impossible to fly coach
without feeling abused?


  1. augh I feel your frustration!! having flown between Italy and and the US several times over the course of my life so far I have to admit the the more recent trips were significantly worse than what I remember! But not even when I was in the air, but in the terminal as well! It's sad, really. I honestly appreciate all they do...but when they are snobby or rude it doesn't make me a very friendly or happy flier, either.

  2. Lets bring back good stewards! I too feel your pain. I vote for you to run a first class program to teach all those good values! Travel would be much nicer. (much!)

  3. that stinks! i have noticed a decline in customer service everywhere. I don't understand it i was taught to always be polite to the customer and help them first, and i'm only 20. my mom always dressed us in our best clothes for plane rides, and i still do that, but no one else seems to. i hope that your next trip is better.

  4. Coach is a cattle pen these days. I live for my Business Class upgrades.

  5. I so agree! I used to fly all the time and I noticed that Southwest were the most laid back and happy, Delta was the most uptight, and do not get me started on AA. Urgh! It's like they are treating us all as potential no gooders who will cause havoc on the plane.

  6. i was literally talking about this last night. flying is so expensive you'd think it would be more enjoyable. i flew all the time when i was growing up and i miss those days so much! and not just on a security level (don't get me started on that...), but the crews as well. you're so right. the american airlines crews treated my brother and me like royalty when we flew alone. it was amazing. i'm dreading flying to NY and Hawaii in the next months. it's so worth the $30 upgrade. preach on!!

  7. I have felt the same way recently! Boggles my mind.

  8. oh this is true, last time i flew AA the crew were so foul to me. i look pretty young but at 21 it is kind of offensive to be referred to as a child (the hostess wasn't allowed cola when she was a child - the response i got when i asked for caffeine free!). it shocked me because i associate friendly service with the USA! it is the only airline where i have had grouchy staff, i used to fly swiss all the time and they were lovely, so are BA.


  9. I have to echo what dancing branflake said -- Recently, I've found flying Southwest to be so much more pleasant than any other airline! They're a little more casual and joke around and stuff. Not sure if they do interantional flights, but if so, check them out!

  10. True story: 2 weeks ago I realized that I never changed my last name with AA after I got married, so I had to call customer care and take care of it. Easy. Fast forward to Friday when I log in to my aadvantage account to find that my new identity is Haley Dilon (mispelled last name) and my gender is now male.

    I called back, and even though the agent could see that the gender was updated, I had to FAX a copy of my drivers license for them to change me back to female so I can buy a ticket. Seriously, who faxes anymore?? And why was the onus on me to prove that I am not a man? I was sad at the state of things and want to fly Virgin.

  11. Not on United overseas. In the U.S., yes, more so.

  12. I've never really encountered rude flight attendants, though I always fly on the same airlines (JetBlue in US, Iberia overseas.) I can't imagine what I would do/say if a steward(ess) was rude!

  13. AA and UA act entitled to mistreat passengers. They even look more like prison wardens than flight attendants nowadays with their frumpy uniforms and their loafers. I emailed a complaint to one of the airlines after an attitude-filled flight and their reasoning for their new attitudes was that ever since 9/11 their #1 priority is our safety, with service being secondary. They seem to think that the more rude they are, the more safe they are?We flew Lufthansa and it was such a striking difference with glamorous, smiling, service-oriented crews. I always felt like I needed to "buy american", but now I'll pay a little more to get an enjoyable experience.

  14. it's amazing how much air travel has changed since i remember flying as a little girl. real silverware in coach, full hot meals...there will be lots of "once upon a time" airline stories to tell my children. but there is no excuse for poor customer service on an airline. ever.

    sorry for your recent bad experiences...

  15. I felt the exact way on our flight home last month!! Flat out rude...left me with my mouth hanging open more than a few times. One lady refused to take my cups or trays unless I literally gathered it all and placed in her outstretched, impatient hand. I felt like she was going to bitch slap me next!!

    On the other hand, we're dealing with family medical hell and AA didn't bat an eye to fully credit us for flights we had to cancel (with no change fee). Flight attendants are ruining what the rest of the company is doing.

    Of course I'll continue to fly them, mileage whore am I!

  16. Customer service is a lost art, it seems..

  17. Isn't air travel so awful? It's so exhausting nowadays. I just got back from Venice and am headed to France in two weeks but the thought of the journey is making me dread going anywhere. I love the train now, so much more pleasant but alas limiting!

  18. Amen. All I can say. Amen.

    British Airways and Air France is where

  19. I'm with you! I honestly dread air travel these days. We upgrade occassionally if it's just me and the hubs, but not with 2 children.

    I purposely love destinations that I can drive to now. I would much rather be in my car, where I'm in control, than slammed into a seat where I pray for no turbulence.

    Jet set is something I think is left to those lucky enough to have Net Jets accounts!!

    xo Elizabeth

  20. Wow Lauren, this post certainly got people talking. I have to say, that I have encountered a few attendants who might have just been having a bad day, but for the most part I usually meet really great helpful attendants. In the last two years I've even had 2 attendants sit down and chat with me for awhile. Yes this was in first class, so it might be a bit different in coach, but even the last time I flew coach the flight attendant was serving us was hysterical. She kept cracking jokes, and by the end of the flight a guy sitting a few rows ahead of me actually called her over and congratulated her on doing such a great job. that was a flight between Dallas and my hometown. Anyways, just giving my two cents :)

  21. I agree! I feel like after paying so much money, flying should at least me somewhat enjoyable, but now I just dread it!

  22. I flew Delta forever and was always treated well. Southwest's staff really are terrific. I agree though we don't need to be treated like 4th graders!

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