Flight Attendant Upgrades Their Girlfriend On American Airlines Regional Flight

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • As they do each year, American Airlines is offering the ability to spend money to buy up to higher elite status. It’s expensive but not as expensive as United.

  • Man Sues American Airlines Alleging Flight Attendant Kicked Him Off Plane Because He Was Speaking in Russian it was a mask dispute (he’d taken his off to swallow medicine, he says) but he says it was motivated by his national origin. The specifics of this case aside, American Airlines flight attendants have handled mask confrontations less well than crew at some other airlines.

    “A male flight attendant saw that I was about to drink my water and he immediately started yelling at me to put my mask back on,” Boris says in the lawsuit. “I told him nicely that I needed to take my pills and would pull my mask up immediately after taking such pills. However, the flight attendant did not care.”

    “Instead, he started screaming and yelling at me and began clapping his hands in my face, saying that I am off the flight. While he was clapping his hands in my face, he hit my hand, which caused my pills to be knocked out of my hand.”

    …At this point, one of his daughters started crying and became faint. The flight attendant, however, didn’t show any sympathy and instead allegedly told her that if “she did not shut her mouth” then she, too, would also be thrown off the flight.

  • Flight attendant at American Airlines wholly-owned regional subsidiary PSA reportedly upgrades girlfriend after takeoff, sits down next to her, and neglects duties while loudly chatting throughout the flight

  • I love what Boom is doing, aand it makes sense to will this thing into existence, but it’s going to take awhile. They do not have an engine yet.

  • While Delta is making a big deal about return of hot meals in first class in March, American hasn’t made announcements and is apparently pushing back its gradual roll out to mid-February. Meanwhile United is trialing improvements to its international business class service flow.

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. “FA upgrades their girlfriend” … how many girlfriends were there? It’s almost comical (unless it’s happening to you) watching FAs flex their power after all the years of being tightly regulated on the job. Yet another reason to hope that the mask requirement soon disappears. I laughed out loud at the idea that buying elite status on United is more expensive … what kind of chump wants elite status on United?

  2. Apparently, you don’t need to buy up to elite status. You just need to upgrade to a girlfriend/boyfriend who is an FA so you can score free upgrades!

  3. The Russian guy learnt that in today’s leftist American MSM everything can be distorted as racism, to deviate from the real cause of the issue. Smart move!

  4. Well this FA took complete advantage but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this happen especially on international. We were standby non rev causing us to get bumped.

  5. I’ve often wondered what AA FAs (who normally spend the whole flight huddled in the galley talking to each other as loudly as possible) would do if they were the only FA on the flight.

    Now I know.

  6. I just checked the AA status buy-up option and it’s literally offering me the ability to buy the status I already have. So for the low low price of $675 I can upgrade my status from Platinum to Platinum.

  7. How do you know that the girlfriend wasn’t nonrevving and simply got first since the flight was empty? Nonrevs can clear into first if there’s space. Now the FA socializing her is still a problem, though.

  8. @potsey what a brilliant marketing move! Money for nothing! Those guys at AA have figured it out.

  9. I respect everyone’s views – but I can’t say I share them. Here is what I do think: flight attendants go through a rigorous hiring process, aren’t paid for training, have to eat dirt while they “pay their dues” being on call. Then they have a job where they aren’t paid while they work and the plane isn’t in the air, they often have to wait extended periods of time between flights (which “drains” you).

    It is traditionally a woman’s job and men can be looked down on for taking these roles. They have irregular schedules where a significant other may not want them because of it. Bare in mind that the reason the PSA’s of the airline industry exists is to save money. Much of the savings is in the backs of the flight and cabin crew. Let alone COVID-19 and the unruly passengers.

    Among many other challenges…..

    If there is a moment where that person can feel special – that they are someone before another person who doesn’t look down upon them (their girlfriend) – I say let them be a “somebody” for a moment. If the flight was empty and it’s my coworker – and it’s a short DC to Tallahassee flight, then I WANT to pickup the slack for my coworker and let them “live a little.”

    When we don’t hear someone else’s story, we are prompted to analyze the situation and become somewhat sinical and come across as bitter.

    On this day, this guy was proud of his job, where he gets attacked and shared it with someone who is dear to him. It is those small things that later make them more motivated and productive. I’d say that if the passengers truly needed service then he needed to be working – but I’d give him some slack there too.

  10. I’m shocked……that a flight attendant was actually straight and had a girlfriend

  11. AA flight attendants socializing on the job instead of working is not a new or unusual occurrence. Maybe a bit more blatant to sit down in First with your girlfriend and ignore the passengers but the outcome is the same. Usually what I have observed is dead heading flight attendants that move from their seats to the jump seats near the galley. Very common then that the curtain gets drawn and the off duty and on duty flight attendants spend the flight in the galley talking. Other variations include the pilot that comes out to use the lavatory and then spends 20 minutes chatting in the galley and of course then you have the “looking for a one stand” passenger who goes to the lavatory and then stands in the galley for the rest of the flight chatting up the attractive flight attendant. The end result is the same, the flight attendant is not during their job.

  12. The expectation for service in coach – more so in domestic/WAY more so in regional flights and airlines – is minimal. Once the work is done, I just don’t see why a person finding a moment when there isn’t a battle to be fought with another person (passenger) finds a moment to connect with someone, as a proud member of the accomplishments that they have achieved, together with the rest of a team, to create this amazing airline. To say they “aren’t doing their job” beckons a very high benchmark.

    Chatting, building relations, are all qualities of a “person” and it is a “person” who works in these positions and they will have friends, girlfriends and one night stands.

    Everyone we truly beeline that we must have something, do we not need to ask ourselves if we are paying for it? I’m all in favor of meals on short hops….but to make it work when legacy airlines operate under existing labor contracts with the revenues that are nearly those of low-cost carriers, they are going to have to charge for it.

  13. “Their” girlfriend?? How stupid is this?!
    “Non-binary, gender fluid earth dweller upgrades their androgynous homogeneous gender bender cohabitant.” Sick of all the MADE UP garbage from the wacky liberals!

  14. @Jack Martinez the airlines and by extension their employees, especially flight attendants having the most interaction with passengers, have forgotten that they are in the service industry. There is no comparison between the service airlines provided in Coach or First Class 25 years ago and what is provided now. There is even a huge difference between now and 10 years ago.
    I always fly in First Class on purchased tickets. I pay a premium price for those tickets because I want to enjoy the flight. It is very frustrating, as it often happens, to get poor service even when paying for First Class. It is one thing for a flight attendant to be friendly but when they ignore the passengers to have a lengthy conversation with one passenger or worse, another airline employee it is just rude and bad service.
    If we go into a restaurant or shop and the staff are too busy talking to each other or with a single table or customer to be of assistance to the other tables or customers most of us that were ignored will say that is a terrible customer experience. Yet flight attendants can ignore a whole group of passengers for a long period of time just so they can socialize and that is supposed to be accepted practice. No, that is being lazy and choosing not to do the job they hired to do.

  15. Even in a premium cabin there is plenty of downtime. If the FA wasn’t talking to their friend, it doesn’t mean they’d be smashing anything to passengers. In a DCA -TLH flight it would be:

    Can I get you anything?



  16. Once upon a time the United States might have had a service culture. One where the employee was proud to deliver a fantastic experience to the customer. That type of culture has not existed since the 1990s at the latest — maybe even earlier.

    This is not uniquely an airline industry problem or an American Airlines problem. It is a countrywide problem and I do not know who is to blame, not that it would make a difference. But probably Bill Clinton. Definitely a Democrat, that’s for sure.

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