A Flight Attendant Served A Passenger Food And Cocktails, Then He Handed Her This Note

At the beginning of the month a passenger handed a flight attendant ‘the worst note ever’. It was so bad – calling the crewmember “a glorified MAID” a “mask nazi” who should be “cleaning motel rooms for $2 tips and meth” and that her life is “a waste.” – that American Airlines suspended the customer’s flying privileges.

Now, if two data points are enough to make a trend, you’re going to be hearing a lot about another customer note flight attendant Ariel Ladner says she was given on board American Airlines from Tampa to Dallas Monday afternoon.

The man who reportedly gave the note was sitting in first class, and handed it on the way off the plane. The crewmember who says she received it started her day on standby at 4:15 a.m. She reports doing “a full service in first class, drinks, meals..handed the snack bags out during boarding.” She says she “took care of first class the entire flight.” She says the man had 4 alcoholic beverages on the 929 mile flight,

At 5 minutes before the prepare for landing, this man comes to the galley and asks for another Jack and Diet. We explain we are about to prepare for landing so he’s going to need to finish it fast. So we give him the drink.

This flight attendant says she and the rest of the flight’s cabin crew are being furloughed by American in less than three weeks.

I’ve had plenty of flights with crew who were more interested in People magazine than doing their jobs. This doesn’t sound like one of those. As junior cabin crew she worked throughout the country’s lock down orders, while senior flight attendants who are keeping their jobs were paid to stay home. Now the crewmember sounds like she’s trying to enjoy and find meaning in each of her final flights before being separate from the airline.

I should note that some observers have raised questions about the paper that the note looks to have been written on, that it doesn’t appear to be something that was available on board and if it was a paper towel taken from inside the terminal it would likely have been more creased by the end of the flight.

However if the flight attendant made a mistake perhaps it was serving the man so many drinks over the course of just a couple of hours, at a time when so little food is being served.

Let’s all hold our liquor, shall we? Delta and Southwest aren’t furloughing flight attendants. But if you’re flying United or American, which have plans to furlough thousands of flight attendants each at the beginning of October, let’s be a little human over the next few weeks.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I hate these stories. So we’re supposed to bow down to flight attendants who work long, thankless days or may be losing their job? I’m sorry that anyone is losing their job, but the reality is (1) American was in trouble before the Wuhan virus, (2) the commercial aviation industry is notoriously unstable and full of risk, and (3) the economy is relatively strong, all things considered, and she can probably get a job that pays as much or more than she is making now.

  2. @FNT – the “Wuhan” virus? Really? Then can we also refer to the 200,000 dead Americans as “Trump’s idea of acceptable collateral damage” for refusing to address the global pandemic in a scientifically appropriate manner?

  3. Think these are real? Maybe I’m just a cynic but haven’t most of the nasty notes left on restaurant receipts been proven to be bs after the server admitted to writing it themselves? A lot of these flight attendants are getting laid off shortly….perhaps this will make a good sob story for their upcoming Go Fraud Me.

  4. Shameful. I’ve had my share of suboptimal service from flight attendants, but I can’t even imagine writing a note like this. Whatever happened to basic human decency? I blame the toxic politicians (on both sides) for normalizing this sort of behaviour.

    In these difficult times, we should all be making an extra effort to be kind to one another.

  5. @Arcanum, human decency went away when bragging and virtue signaling became acceptable. Notice how you arrogantly proclaim you could never do anything like this? Well aren’t you a good boy? Want a fuckin’ cookie?

  6. @FNT Delta Diamond/postnobills: It’s not an either/or situation. We can blame China for the pandemic AND blame Trump for mishandling the US response.

  7. Gary, what is it with your readers? Of the first 6 replies, 4 of them are derogatory or hostile, reflecting the belligerent, self-centered, condescending, and/or “F-you” attitude which is increasingly prevalent today.

    The point isn’t that AA is a crummy airline, or the junior flight attendant may be furloughed after working long, hard hours–although both of these facts do have merit.

    The issue is that this passenger thought it socially acceptible to write an insulting note while seated for under 2.5 hours in a somewhat comfortable chair and being served food and beverages. Are we such entitled, spoiled brats that we have to lash out like mercurial dictators, with an “off with their heads!” whenever we feel we haven’t received star treatment/adulation?

  8. Obviously the note was rude. I flew American last month and I have to admit I was surprised by how little the FAs were doing. Not only that, but on one of my legs (while sitting in first), I had to listen to two FAs complain about their schedule and having to work during the pandemic. We get that it’s a tough time right now working in the airline industry, but it’s not great being a passenger either.

  9. Over the past several month, due to illness and eventual passing of my Mom, I’ve flown AA a lot between PHX and PHL and the flight crews have been amazing (better than my last DL experience for sure). I hope AA blocks this A-hole from flying with them again.

    I support AA and their crews and doing as much flying as I can during this time with them. This type of behavior has grown since social media became a “thing”. I am so tired of the disrespectful and stupid people in this country.

    Keep up the great work AA flight crews, we love what you do and appreciate you and support you especially now.

  10. Alcohol should never be served at the airport or on an airplane. Just causes too much trouble. Of course a bunch of whiners will complain that they need/want their alcohol.

    4 drinks on a flight is too much.

  11. Life under Donald Trump. And Gary, your comment about flight crew reading people is insulting to hard working people, mostly women, so it is misogynistic also. In fact it reaks of contempt for working people. You r the one who is insulting and degrading to flight staff. I now read this blog to collect your right wing comments

  12. Hey please don’t pawn FNT off on FNT. Our people are much better than that! We respect people and don’t make statements like “Wuhan Virus”…we know where that racist statement came from and says a lot about the person using it in this blog.. The whole issue here is the flight attendant went above and beyond her call of duty taking care of this inconsiderate drunk (yes probably should have not served him a fourth drink in such a short flight…and perhaps not even a third drink) and then getting a note like that is degrading and uncalled for.

  13. The most important is that you know you did your best and God knows and saw that you did your best that is all that matters. I’m sure there are more passengers that appreciated your services than this one obtuse person who should not be allowed to fly with AA again but for him to find another Airlines to fly with. It is no surprise because in the Bible in the Revelation states that this kind of people will the obvious in the last days.

  14. The saddest part to me (as a lifetime Platinum AA flyer w over 3 million miles) is that this hard working and attractive (I know that isn’t supposed to matter but it does) flight attendant will be laid off and all the lazy old grannies will be left on the planes. Gotta love a union (NOT).

  15. I am travelling through this time and i notice different airlines have different rules regarding in room dining and beverages. This can bteed frustration. i paid $250 for a one way Chicago to Dallas in first class and was served nothing: no drinks or food. Delta serves wine but no spirits (?!). Spirit, my favorite airline, has normal service. Some people could see this downside service as an excuse to raise prices and lower service (a practice airlines are quite famous for).

  16. People need to either lighten up, or walk, train, bicycle, drive, swim to their destination. Too many inhabitants of this planet have become pathetically soft and lazy.

  17. I’ve worked in a service industry for 50 years, and dealt with ALL KINDS! 95% wonderful, 5% horribly mean and abusive. My take on the whole thing is to throw those notes away and don’t look back! You’ll be better off for it.

  18. People have become intolerable since trump has been in office. He encourages bad, childish behavior. People, for the most part, didn’t act this way before trump. Hopefully, things will go back to normal by the end of January.

  19. So glad i retired from being a FA, thank you Covid. But so glad i no longer have to work 14 to 16 hours days, it was bad enough to put up with bad mangement but extremely glad, not to put up with rude, bullies and thank less asses from Diamond, GS or Gold members. I am heartbroken to see so many of my friends who have worked through this pandemic, who are great FA who would rather be working then collecting unemployment. Why do people have to be so cruel?

  20. Truthfully, even in First class I think the airline should set a limit on the amount of alcohol consumed on such a short flight. I have to feel this man was drunk and would quite possibly be driving. As for the paper he used, it looked like toilet paper, which is exactly where this kind of comment belongs.

  21. There should be an instant feedback button on all airline apps so we paying passengers can rate FAs, pilots and cleaning crew after every flight.
    I am 1K with United and have four flights per week in first class, though first class means almost nothing these days. There is no full service, which would include drinks before take off, a hot meal with dinnerware and silverware and offers to refill wine glasses.
    Maybe this FA has never experienced “full service”.
    Most of my weekly flights involve hearing FAs and pilots complain about either how few flights they are getting.
    Some FAs treat passengers as a nuisance, thinking the only reason we buy tickets is to pay for their job. FAs only have jobs because passengers pay. No FAs are needed on cargo flights.

  22. We recently flew on AA and had good service. They were on time and friendly. It was very different flying but each encounter was friendly. We had good flights. People are trying to stay working and pay bills. We are all in the same boat. People need to be nice first class or not. Kindness goes a long way.

  23. “Jason”, “Topostnobills”, “Arcanum”, “Allen”
    Jason, suggest that you go back and see what the “Media” was calling the virus when it first hit our shores (and for weeks after)…..can you say “Wuhan Virus”. Jason it is obvious (as every time there is a comment by you it is always against TRUMP. ) you only have one agenda….bash Trump. Do you ever have anything constructive to say about the subject at hand? Not that I have read and your rhetoric gets old!
    Gary I do not know why you allow political bashing by anyone, no matter their leaning, on blogs that really do not need the idiot fringe to comment on. I have been a reader of your blog for over 15 years and but am growing old of the same dumb comments by the same dumb people.

  24. Well after working and drinking in bars I can tell you that a lot of people don’t think when they’re drinking and do stupid things. Yes it was wrong for the passengers to hand the flight attendants those notes.
    It’s not their fault for the reasons the passengers are “unhappy”, they’re just doing their jobs and they’re already risking a lot by working around a plane full of people. With the virus and all going around.
    I work for Wal-Mart and I can tell you I’ve seen some pretty nasty people that bitch and complain about this and that to the hourly employees, which can’t really do anything except get a salaried manager to deal with them.
    Do do I think that the passengers were in the wrong HELL F*CKIN YEAH THEY WERE!! How would they like it if something like that happened to them?

  25. As a passenger I had 2 passengers yelling at me for sitting in an overbooked seat … considering I was aleady seated, the seat was mine. I let both yell and scream and eventually the assisting stewardess, had us all removed. I gave up the seat and let knucklehead man and knucklehead woman fight over the seat as I agreed to take the next flight and a $500 voucher … several minutes passed and, I heard my name on the terminal announcement, turned out I was upgraded to 1st class on the same flight and could keep the voucher. I was pampered with 1st class accommodations and the assisting stewardess came and talked to me and apologized for rhe other passengers behavior. So for sweet revenge, I deliberately went to the rear restroom passing knucklehead man & knucklehead woman seats in the cabin …

  26. It’s a very hostile and political world we live in today. We have a friend who is a senior F/A and she complains that most of the junior F/A are in fact lazy and only want to sit on the jump seat and read. That being said if you have a complaint with the airline personnel then take it up with the company management and don’t write hateful notes. Stick to the facts and quit the name calling. Don’t expect any resolution from AA as they don’t really care.

  27. It’s a note lady. From a drunken stooge with money. Take a page from the French ladies code of conduct and just slap that bastard silly. You are only a victim if you chose to remain one. Be an adult!!! A scibbled note from an inebriated stranger should not even become a blip on your radar. If it irritates you, do something about it immediately. If the abuser escapes your grasp to punish his malignant behavior, then FORGET ABOUT HIM. It is now somebody else’s jerk to deal with. I lost my job too. That’s life. Rejoice.

  28. Some things will never change here. Its just more hate towards flight attendants. This site is a safe haven for the haters. A place for them to gather invisibly and spew their ignorance and phony indignation with the other poor, mistreated babies. It’s a fact-free zone too, I might add. I could make up some sad-sack story right now posing as a disgruntled passenger and it would get posted as gospel and believed.

    I read all these posts and most didn’t even address “the note.” Instead, it was yet another horrendous display of the blatant disrespect towards fellow humans trying to perform their duties in this upside down world. I didn’t read much compassion in these posts either, and truthfully I wasn’t expecting it from this board. The lack of gratitude for frontline workers expressed here is very indicative of how selfish some airline travelers truly are.

    News flash to the haters: flight attendants are deemed “essential front-line employees” by their states. They would rather stay home during this pandemic like you did. Instead they were compelled to work and expose themselves to your sickness. Many have contracted Covid-19 on the job. Some are dead and buried. I’m certain nobody on this board would last one hour in their job today.

    Keeping it real,
    Jimmy Mack

  29. Screw the person in 1st class! He thinks his s__t doesn’t stink! Get a life! I think all crew are doing a fantastic job!! We are all in this together and deal with it!

  30. I think the note was written on the “puke bag”.
    This man obviously has a drinking problem and an asshole problem.
    IE: his whole being is an asshole!!
    Gotta love those that feel so entitled

  31. @Jersey Joe: Wow! A Trump apologist posting on a blog about rude behavior and defending the self entitled road warriors who support the jerk who wrote the unacceptable note. Dude, you have a serious case of Trumplove. No worries though. You’ve been “Foxed” and the condition is treatable. It’s true! Cult members can be cured.

  32. Hi .this was insulting my daughter even work a flight attendent in same company .kindly respect them .they even leave their frustration &depression at home ,just give u always a smiling face .they know very well in 2 weeks thry have no job.still she is smiling ,and making her passenger happy .this is what the passengers &company appreciate .I think so this passenger should never allowed to travelled on AA flight any more who font respect their job

  33. Amen to that @Dave

    “ We get that it’s a tough time right now working in the airline industry, but it’s not great being a passenger either.”

  34. I dont think alcohol should be served on airline flight due to the effects it has on one behavior which can cause a hostile environment. When dealing with the public it takes alot of patience you can let hateful or disrespectful people change who you are as a person or worker. Keep your head up and be encouraged.

  35. When people see that it’s fine for the president to act like an arrogant a$$hole, they figure that it’s fine for them to behave that way as well. We can also thank Trump for his handling of the virus, as (per capita) we are the worst in the world. Our travel days are not going to be very pleasant for many years to come.

  36. The author only heard the attendant’s side of the story. I’m curious to know the passenger’s side of the story.
    Not all attendants do their work professionally. They use the authority given by the 9/11 incident to provoke confrontations with passengers. Only a foolish passenger would engage them in any squabble.

  37. Everyone in this entitled “me first, me only” country should be REQUIRED to work at least one year in an entry level customer service job where they deal with the general public every day. I guarantee that within 10 years or less, we’d have a more kind, understanding society with far less entitlement. Yes, there are those out there who are disengaged and don’t care, but have you ever considered why? For most, it’s NOT simply because they are lazy, though there are those out there and entitlement can work both ways. But those people really are not the majority. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes for 5 minutes, especially if you’ve never worked a customer service job where you deal with people all day, everyday and give your best for a great experience only to be treated like a stupid, sub-human cog who also assumedly (and conversely) has all the power to make decisions and enact policy in a company you don’t run which barely pays you a livable wage.

  38. I just lost 10 minutes of my life reading an unimportant story about human complainers and then more complainers’ complaints, and somehow “Orangeman Bad”! Stop the world!… I want to get off!!!

  39. I recently flew AA 1st class from MSO Montana to DFW and I was amazed at not only how shabby the seats and plane was (looked and felt only a fraction bigger than coach) but at the unfriendly attitude the FAs had. There was NO SERVICE to 1st or coach unless you pushed the FA button. No snacks being handed out. I will never fly AA again. I was disappointed after paying twice as much for my ticket. Shoulda flown coach.

  40. Any passenger who leaves a disrespectful note of any kind to the flight attendants should be banned. At this time during covid19 we all need to show some compassion and stop being selfish and self centered.

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