Passenger Stepped In Offering Snacks and Drinks When Flight Attendant Went AWOL

Recently a frequent flyer shared a story of taking on the role of flight attendant when the American Eagle first class crewmember was neglecting her duties.

They were flying a Bombardier CR-9, so the flight was presumably operated for American by Mesa or PSA. The first class flight attendant “did a single drink service and and placed the snack basket on the closet in front of[seat] 1A” not bothering to do a pass through the three rows of first class.

That was the end of her service. After “at least 30 minutes” had passed, the passenger helped themselves to a drink refill from the galley. Then they offered refills to the rest of the cabin, everyone that wanted another drink in first class.

Once the passenger completed these duties, they passed around the snack basket, and then “started passing it to the people in coach.” However,

By the time I got to the third row in Y, the FA came running up the aisle and angrily told me I wasn’t allowed to do that. Oh well. The people around me liked me.

American Eagle EMB-175 Operated By Republic in Miami

This passenger is a modern day Justin Ross Lee who is known for playing Robin Hood and taking bottles of first class champagne and running through the economy cabin and pouring it for passengers.

Flavor Flav once passed out peanuts and pretzels on a plane in a supposed effort to democratize air travel. Although last year an American Airlines first class passenger was kicked off a flight for sending predeparture beverages back to coach.

While it can be tempting to stand in for crew failing to fulfill the most basic tasks, don’t try this at home kids, it can also be your one way ticket to Guantanamo.

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, 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. Had a similar experience with AA on a flight last summer. The FA in first was just going through the motions. Served everyone one beverage and took it easy for the rest of the flight except when he was primping in front of the mirror in the lav. Found the time to pick up the glasses and trash right at the end of the flight.

    Also, we could not use our overhead because the FA had his stuff up there. We know because he leaned over us to get things from his carry on twice during the flight. Because he took our overhead space (which is clearly marked for “First/Business” passengers) we had to gate check one bag and, due to several other AA issues, we almost missed our next flight to Europe.

    There were no issues flying biz to Europe. The staff was fine.

    Complained to AA when I got back and they send a message demonstrating minimal contrition.

  2. Why the fuss? The flight attendants say they are there primarily for your safety. So let someone else pass around the snack basket. The chips are in a sealed bag so psychos cannot do anything.

  3. sounds like a definite wanna-be who thinks he’s entitled to someone serving him non stop(who cares if there are other passengers?) and thinks he can do anything he wants.. I’m sure there is more to the story.. but this guy only considers his side as important.

  4. There’s a word for what Mr. Robin Hood was doing by taking champagne and giving drinks to coach customers. It’s “theft”. Theft is stealing something that isn’t yours and not paying for it. I hope American has banned him for life. If he had left a $100 bill for the booze and given drinks to people, I’d be ok with that.

  5. It’s not clear why the flight attendants stopped service. They are in contact with the pilots. They may have been picking their way around weather that time of year. They would’ve been instructed to sit down. Unless there is an emergency and you’re a career first responder. Stay in your seat.

  6. I don’t know, I seem to see a lot of FA’s (in domestic business) sitting focused on their i-phone the entire flight. And no, nothing from the pilot about bad weather, etc.

  7. I love how people are coming to the defense of the flight attendant. Uh AA flights attendants are awful as anyone who actually flies them can attest. He probably got pissed off and said to hell with all of you. And by the way it’s not stealing giving first class passengers drinks nor the snacks which are accounted for on that flight. AA has a serious problem with surly FAs who do the absolute minimum.

  8. Oh the nerve some poor soul in 7a, likely AA gold, got beef jerky instead of a biscoff cookie. That person should be charged with theft. You all are a bunch of weirdos.

    I would wonder why the FA, who was likely helping out the Y FA as happens all to often, the finds the time to run up and bitch. Maybe do your job and no one would be serving the damn snacks. It’s not your job to sit there somewhere and say hell yourself.

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