Skip to main content

Flying the "friendly" skies

As I believe I've noted here before, I fly a fair amount for my work.  Not traveling this week, thank God, or else all of the talk in airport gate areas and on planes would surround Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant who lost his cool and stormed out the rear of an airplane onto the inflatable slide and into airline folk history, as well as custody.

Most of my travels are on Delta and its affiliated regional carriers, and that's largely by choice.  From my home in Lexington I have far more options to get just about anywhere when I fly Delta than if I use competing airlines.  But let's be clear, I've flown most every airline that services the state of Kentucky, and have had what I would charitably call mixed results in terms of service and cooperation from flight crews.

For about two years I traveled long distances regularly, as I managed a sales territory in the mountain time zone of the western US.  That meant a flight to a hub, then on to cities like Denver, Phoenix or Salt Lake City (and sometimes beyond).  So on each given trip I would have a commuter flight with one attendant, then a large aircraft with as many as six or eight attendants (I don't do headcounts, but that's my recollection), so the quality of service rendered can vary greatly by the passenger-to-attendant ratio.  And my thoughts have been colored more and more by upgrades to first class, where the attendants simply cannot do enough for you, as they have far fewer passengers to serve.

But I want to make it clear that I've seen more polite, helpful, friendly and cooperative attendants from just about all airlines than I have those whose behavior is less positive, boorish, confrontational and the like.  I was on a commuter jet recently from Columbia, SC to Atlanta, and the single attendant on that flight was very much like a drill sergeant, if a little quieter.  She sternly instructed my seatmate to do or not do several things during a tarmac delay, and was equally abrupt with several other passengers within earshot.

But on the connecting flight home to Lexington (which was also delayed significantly by weather in the Southeast US) the attendants could not have been nicer or more accommodating, and they were held up themselves in much the same way my flight from South Carolina was.

How does this happen?  How is it that some people wear a bad day on their sleeve, while others could have a bucket of water dumped onto their heads and never lapse into a frown?

Not sure, but I like to think, at this stage of my life, I'm more the latter category than the former.  And when one travels, one has to accept what's within and not within his control.  With practice, I've done that.

It's a shame that Mr. Slater didn't master that.


Popular posts from this blog

Oscar Magico!

Good Monday morning to everyone!  If you're like me, and stayed up to watch the Oscars last night, you're a little sleep deprived.  I mean, after all, how often does an awards show end with a major twist in the ending?

If you didn't watch and have not watched or read the news, then you don't know about the colossal screw-up that ended what was a pretty entertaining Academy Awards show last night.  The final and biggest award, for the Best Picture, was being presented by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, selected apparently because 2017 represents the fiftieth anniversary year of their vehicle "Bonnie and Clyde."

In any case, after a brief political statement, the pair got down to business and introduced the nine nominees, then Beatty appeared a bit flummoxed by the contents of the envelope.  Dunaway laughed and said "you're impossible" and announced "La La Land," the odds-on favorite, as the winner.

In the midst of acceptance speeches b…

Learning opportunities

Good Monday morning to you.

Perhaps I should state up front that it's a bit of a blue Monday here in the Big Blue Nation, as our beloved Kentucky Wildcats went down in defeat to the arch-rival North Carolina Tar Heels last night in a wild and highly competitive game.  Kentucky's team never really got going in the first half, owing to foul trouble for three starters, and that foul trouble and lack of rhythm carried over for the rest of the game.  Somewhat miraculous that Kentucky had the lead at a couple of points late, but Carolina's depth and experience won out.

Though my wife doesn't agree, that's pretty much the end of basketball for me this year.  I don't watch much other college basketball except to see who Kentucky might end up playing, so if they're done, I probably am, too.

My company is getting into a new aspect of business that you've probably seen and heard about, but because I don't talk in detail about work in this space, I won't el…

Stunningly apathetic

Good afternoon to everyone.  Unusual day and time to post, but my schedule got a little fouled up this week.

Are you planning to watch the Super Bowl?  For a number of years, starting when our kids were, well, kids, we really made a big deal of the day of the big game, buying special snacks, planning a menu appropriate to the site of the game or the participating teams' cities, and so forth.

Last year was great, since the Denver Broncos won and our daughter and her family are season ticket holders!

But this year?  Hard to get excited about the New England Patriots (again) and the Atlanta Falcons.  Admittedly, the Falcons have a Kentucky native and UK grad on the roster, tight end Jacob Tamme, but he was injured mid-season and won't play.  But otherwise, the Falcons don't have any players who command a high level of attention from me.

And then there's the Patriots.  Sorry to my friends in the northeast, but I don't care for the team owner, the head coach, the offens…