American Airlines Flight Attendant “Goes Off” On Rude Passengers

On June 7 passengers on board an American Airlines flight 2511 from Los Angeles to Charlotte got rowdy after a flight delay. Crew were initially kind and apologized. However one flight attendant summoned his inner Howard Beale from the film Network and decided he wasn’t going to take it any more.

A passenger recorded the announcement,

All we’ve done is [be] flight attendants the entire flight. We really did [experience] the delay just like you. We have not eaten also. We’ve been delayed here. We’ve catered to you the entire flight and we do it because we love this job.

But the fact that we get insulted and mistreated by passengers over things that we cannot control. It is disgusting. We’re just going to go to Charlotte because we do not want to escalate this, but shame on the passengers who have made this flight a living hell for the flight attendants.

Passengers – at least those who had remained civil throughout – applauded.

@brentunderwood

Flight attendants on @officialamericanairways are done with your b.s.! From our flight 6/7 LAX-NC. #americanairlines #facemask #dumbcustomers

♬ original sound – Brent Underwood

Bad behavior might have ended there – with the crowd on the crewmember’s side – but the flight eventually diverted to Raleigh due to weather in Charlotte and spent two hours on the ground there. Things became unruly again.

Unsurprisingly the flare up began with a conflict over masks. It’s one thing to wear a mask on a cross country flight. It’s another to wear it throughout an additional two hour ground delay and final takeoff and landing.

The flight attendant instructed the passenger who had taken off their mask to put it back on. It’s both the airline’s rule and a federal regulation. That led to a confrontation – nasty words from the passenger and a threat to go back to the gate and further delay reaching Charlotte by having the individual removed.

@brentunderwood

Part 2 @officialamericanairways on 6/7 LAX-NC diverted due to bad weather. 22 year old man calls attendant “Fat Gorilla” & Suck his 🍆 because of 😷

♬ original sound – Brent Underwood

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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Comments

  1. Good for her! Honestly, people need to stop treating flight crews like @#$% and expect them to smile and take it. They are human beings, they are doing a job and they deserve respect. I am sure AA will reprimand her, but I support her feelings and actions. People need to stop acting like TRUMP and think it’s okay. . .it isn’t, treat each other with repect and grace, the world will be a much beter place.

  2. Even first officers work for peanuts, less than $40,000 per year at most regionals . F/A’s make even less than that. They work their ass off even when they are being lazy to take care of everyone and they are the ones who will put their lives on the line to save you if something goes wrong.

  3. Some people just go crazy for no reason. I was on a flight in Europe heading back to the US in business class (United Polaris I think) and the flight was delayed (thankfully it allowed us to make the flight). It was a long delay because I think I nearly watched Dunkirk completely before we took off. Anyhow this guy kept complaining but it was snowing outside and coupled with an airport problem with some system it certainly wasn’t the airline’s problem.

    I think the things that rightly annoy passengers are when they lie about delays or do stupid things like trying to reserve one restroom for the crew, etc. While some passengers are a mess, so are some airline crew members.

  4. What is so hard with keeping the masks on? Unless they can prove everyone on board is either fully vaccinated or COVID-19 negative, the masks can stay on for everyone’s sake. People work all day with masks on, can they not sit in a seat with one?

  5. I don’t care what the f/a thinks. The reason flying is miserable now is because of them. Customer service is hard….too bad. Perhaps they’d be happier working in a prison. What are they going to do in September when the potato’s unnecessary order runs out? Gonna be tough to give up that “power” that they’ve become addicted to.

  6. Would have been pretty easy for the flight attendant to not say anything about the mask. That’s just poking the bear at that point.

  7. Sounds like flight attendant needs a new job. Oh wait there are rude, odd, obnoxious customers in all fields. Including mine.
    Suck it up and do your job like the rest of us.

    Then again FAs (sky natzis) are always on a power trip. If you want that power be a politician.

  8. I have been on some miserably delayed flights–including an AA delay after the mask mandate, where we were on the tarmac for many hours, and then deplaned, eventually leaving 21 hours late–but NEVER have I seen people act like this. While I am sure the FA is going to get reprimanded since they are expected to “keep their cool,” I also can’t blame him. These passengers are acting like ingrates. What do they want? I mean, I GET it. But it’s also not the FA’s fault they are stuck in a tube and probably don’t have food to give them. There is a bigger system at play. They don’t even make the rules. The mask mandate is definitely making things worse. And yes, Gary, I agree with your posts about how now that we have a choice, people should not have to wear one if they don’t want to. At the very least, domestically, this should be the case. We are now back to choice because getting a vaccine in this nation is a choice. I live in Texas and I couldn’t tell you where my masks are because I never have to wear one anymore (I am vaccinated) except when I need to get one for flying. But back to the point, these passengers (the ones acting this way, for surely not all were) they are the real problem. Certainly the CLT stop was a connection to MIA, right?

  9. Too Many – read the CDC recommendations and positions every state except Hawaii and CA have taken (and CA will next week). If you are vaccinated you are “safe”. Also, I am at very low risk of infecting anyone (since I am almost certain not to be infected). If people that aren’t vaccinated take off their masks they are only putting themselves at risk – no one else.

    I just hope Slow Joe decides to remove this ridiculous mandate before Sept 13. When he extended it many states still required masks indoors but that changed rapidly after the CDC restated their position in May.

  10. Rudeness is never acceptable. But a flight attendant, on AMERICAN AIRLINES of all carriers, going off on rude passengers – that’s like a moron saying a Nobel prizewinner has low IQ.

    To make it perfectly clear, AA has the largest concentration of grumpy flight attendants among all carriers in the United States.

    I agree with @CHRIS and others, customer service is not an easy job. If it grinds your gears, there are many non-customer paying positions even within the airline.

  11. @AC – The current requirements for sitting in a plane is wearing a mask. If you want to sit on a plane, then follow the rules. Try not to confuse things.

  12. @AC – Also add that people who are unvaccinated and asymptomatic can spread to people who are unvaccinated and healthy. So they are potentially harming others. Unless everyone is vaccinated or COVID-19 negative (and can prove either) masks is the cheapest and most effective way to minimize spread. Especially when people can lie about their vaccination status or falsify a test result.

  13. @TooMany
    At this point, if you’re unvaccinated (even first dose) then you’re an idiot. Also, cheeseburgers and cokes eventually leads to heart disease and diabetes. The other coke leads to heart attacks too. Make you own decisions for yourself but I have no obligation to acquiesce to your stupidity.

  14. @Too Many

    We do not live in a lowest common denominator society. Everyone who wants a vaccine has now had the opportunity to get one, with the exception of children under 12. If you are unable to get one because of a preexisting health condition, that’s always been a problem for you pre-COVID, so you have to decide whether flying or any crowded condition is worth the risk. Those who wish continue to wear masks may do so. We could screen out those running a fever. Other than that, let’s eliminate the mandatory masks.

    Besides which, collective punishment is a war crime under Article 33 of the Geneva Convention.

  15. Flight attendant sounds uneducated (can barely speak coherent English). No sympathy for them. They need to talk to AA and tell them to cater food and run the flights on time. Or find a new job. They deserve whatever bad treatment they got.

  16. The US has turned into a nation of whiny crybabies who can’t put masks on for a few hours, something that surgeons and nurses do every day for hours on end.

    And to think that just a generation or two ago the US used to be the land of the brave.

  17. The pandemic is over in the United States. People who choose not to get vaccinated will continues to get sick with COVID and some will die. However, our healthcare system can handle those people.There is no longer a risk of failure of our health care system.

    It’s time to end the mask mandate on planes. It’s silly, you can take it off when you are actively eating and drinking. On my last flight;the guy across from me actively ate a large bag of popcorn then entire flight.

    List us who are vaccinated live our lives and let the antivaxers get sick

  18. On the second video, I loved the passenger who joked, “Anybody got a Snickers?”

    In a more serious vein – and without judging who was right or wrong in this incident – it might be appropriate for airlines to advise passengers to bring snacks with them in case of delays, etc.

  19. I’ll keep saying this until someone pays attention. If people behaving badly aren’t punished, they will escalate their bad behaviour. And more people will start behaving badly. It’s exponential. We need prompt, painful punishment to stop the ever-rising number of jerks. This is applicable to anyone, anywhere, any time.

  20. Have to wonder if there was in-flight entertainment screens provided how many would just sit back and watch a movie or tv versus get all bent out of shape as there is nothing else to do. I’ve been on 3-4 hour delayed flights that had IFE and this never happened. I’d bet there is some good data to show that. Don’t really hear about brawls breaking out on Delta flights. Just sayin’…

  21. There are still Mask Cultists who believe the hype. I was just at a Casino in Philly this week – They required a mask to enter, as soon as you ID was checked, removing your mask and going about your gambling business, no one enforced anything. The craps tables were super crowded, only one guy was wearing a mask.

    I went to Blaze Pizza for lunch, where they required you to have a mask to order, as soon as you pay, there we no mask disciples spurning the unmasked, most of the diners were not sporting masks.

    I was in Orlando airport TODAY, sans mask. I got asked to wear one going to security screening (who immediately asked me to lower it so they could verify it was me on my ID) after I picked up my crap from the belt, got on the tram, I removed it, and didn’t have to put it back on until boarding the flight.

    A K9 police officer was walking near by in my gate area in DFW this week, a lady in front of me at Starbucks asked him if she needed to wear a mask, his reply was “I’m certainly not going to enforce that, my job is to find contraband…”

    More than 70% of people in those places were sans mask. People are tired of hearing the BS and they are just ignoring the warnings of the federal mask “law”.

    The hand wringers at the federal level might decide not to end their “mandate” – but the citizens will, as someone once said, “They can’t arrest us all…”

  22. So much is in the FA’s attitude. Coming from an antagonistic place toward passengers, or coming from a respectful, sympathetic place? A power tripping attitude reaps what it sows.

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