Passenger Who Handed ‘Worst Note Ever’ To Flight Attendant Has Been Banned By American Airlines

The note a disgruntled passenger passed to an American Airlines flight attendant has gone viral. In the note, the passenger objected to being told their mask had to cover their nose and called 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.”

To add insult to injury the Washington DC-based flight attendant who received the note is slated to be furloughed by American Airlines effective October 2.

The flight attendant filled out an incident report, which was reviewed by American’s corporate security department. The passenger was identified and now, according to an internal memo from Senior Vice President Jill Surdek, they’ve had their travel “suspended” pending an “investigat[ion of] the incident.”

Surdek also offers that they have “been adding more and more cusomers” to the “face covering refusal list” of passengers who will not be allowed to travel on American until the face mask requirement is lifted.

This customer, however, really should receive a permanent ban.


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. 🙂 thrilled they did this. I wish Walmart could ban for life all customers who start trouble. Wearing a mask sucks- all of this sucks. I will do what i need to adapt and hopefully save lives including my own and get back to traveling. .

  2. This passenger clearly never heard the advice to write your nasty email, then wait 24 hours before you send it! You will have cooled down by then and will not do anything embarassing or career ending.

  3. This seems to be the type of behavior that should have all the airlines joining in solidarity and seeing if they can make sure this person doesn’t fly on any of their planes.

  4. If only I were king.
    Drag them out onto the tarmac and ……. so even the stupid will catch on that this is serious and it’s not optional. Banning them for the duration of the pandemic is a weak kneed response.

  5. This culture war on mask wearing must stop.
    It does save lives if you wear them.!
    Let’s all follow the science and beat this disease until we get the vaccine!
    No more politics!

  6. @Michael – No, it doesn’t, and you likely didn’t even know what a virus was before the pandemic so spare us the “follow the science” crap. You know nothing.

  7. I’m so happy the company took care of this person, what wrong with you to say such hurtful things to someone who is doing her job.. When karma comes back it comes hard

  8. @Michael- the same science that told us first not to wear masks? That mistake by CDC and WHO is a big reason for the controversy. A sign that we should not always follow the science but use common sense too

    Seriously, Why would medical staff wear masks for decades, if they don’t help? Some barrier is obviously better than none.

    In general, glad that AA is enforcing the requirements and banned the passenger

  9. Is that all the pax gets, a slap on the wrist ? I think she should have her name black listed on all airlines. No one, whether crew or CSA should be subjected to such vulgar language and extreme disrespectfulness, I hope TSA has this persons name as well.

  10. Just DB Cooper her – FL10, open the back door and Buh Bye Karen!
    And why hide her identity? We all know the names of all the Kens and Karens out there! Why hide her name? Let her friends, family and employer know what a b*tch she is.

  11. Great job American Airlines for supporting the flight attendant! The flight attendants do an amazing job with all of the passengers.

  12. This is covered by “Freedom of speech”. Why is this a big deal. Flight attendants disrespect people all the time. Should they be fired?

  13. All airline companies should team up and create a centralized database to share the block list. Once the person is blocked, it will block by all airlines. Those disrespectful customers deserve this treatment.

  14. @JhonnyB
    If the roles were reversed and the FA left a disrespectful letter to a passenger most certainly yes, he/ she would be fired. Freedom of speech doesn’t exempt you from consequences.

  15. Just because you have free speech doesn’t mean you also have no consequences to what you say. This person should absolutely be banned permanently.

  16. Do we know the gender or ethnicity of the person who wrote the note?
    If not all those people who are writing “Ken’s ” or “Karen’s” are showing their unconscious bias by assuming so. Why do you believe it is an entitled white person? Do other ethnicities not get upset sometimes over such matters?

  17. @Trevor – they said the passenger was identified and banned so obviously they know the gender. Kudos to AA for doing this. I have several friends who are attendants and I’m disgusted that this woman couldn’t follow a simple protocol and keep her foul opinion to herself.

  18. Is this the same company who was disciplining their FAs for WEARING face masks as recently as march, April?? Because ” science”. The left’s insanity and fascism is a very dark and ultimately bottomless latrine

  19. I thought the note was kinda funny and it’s not like it wasn’t true. I’d rather be a Ken (never gonna make that name sound bad, try Kevin) than an uneducated service worker without a college degree lmao .

  20. @Randi. Yep they have which is great. No place for this whatsoever.
    My point was that the various thread commentators have “identified” the person. How? I have seen nothing publicly about the gender or ethnicity of this person.

  21. This note is blindingly revealing about the writer. It’s someone easily provoked to rage, has no respect for others, cares nothing about the well being of society, is deeply insecure and easily humiliated, They are probably prone to road rage, bar fights and domestic violence. Kudos to the airline for banning this piece of crap. Wait until the profane and malicious scribbler’s employers finds out. Unfortunately Trump will probably come to his/her defense.

  22. I think the passenger was looking in the mirror at herself and writing what she saw about herself.
    It’s about time the airlines sticks up for Flight Attendants they are their to save your life coffee and tea is secondary to their jobs .
    It does not matter what Status the passenger is.

  23. As a supervisor, I have been involved in resolving a few conflicts at the working place. I also learned to be especially careful with employees who are re-assigned or getting fired. Typically, complains from such employees spike after they receive the unfortunate news.
    Note that “To add insult to injury the Washington DC-based flight attendant who received the note is slated to be furloughed by American Airlines effective October 2”, and, as such, fits this pattern.
    Again the note is very nasty and I do not see many happy passengers on the planes nowadays making it difficult for FAs to do their jobs. But it is still their job to enforce the existing policies while keeping customers happy.

  24. @Ken the fact that you are saying flight attendants are uneducated service workers without a college degree just shows how ignorant you are!

  25. It amazes me the percentage of people nowadays who think so little of freedom of expression. That includes ugly, disrespectful speech. You do not judge whether something is protected speech by the content. It is chilling to me that so many people want “Karen” to be punished, fired, banned from flying on all airlines, etc.

  26. Mr. Leff, did you write an objective article? Not sure about your last sentence: “This customer, however, really should receive a permanent ban.” Who feels that way? You, personally?

  27. @Bernadette, The implication here is that the writer is a trump supporter and I would imagine in your mind white. If you hadn’t seen the video of the two women fighting on the jetbridge at LGA would the political persuasions be blindingly obvious?

  28. Great but I’m still sad seeing people call this woman a “Karen”, it’s prejudice and sexists. Haven’t you learned anything?

  29. People forget airlines are private property. Nobody is forcing you to use their service. If you do, gotta abide the rules.

    Thems the rules.

    Glad this person got banned. Can’t wait to hear they’ve been banned from United flights for pulling the same **** in a few months.

  30. @ken… I have been a flight attendant for 38 years yet I have a bachelors degree in legal studies with a minor in Psychology. I also have a Master’s in Public policy. Uneducated? I prefer my lifestyle to a 9-5 job. I work my job around my life and not my life around my job. How unintelligent is that? I LOVE MY CUSTOMERS and treat them like they were in my home. It is people like you that make your fellow travelers and the crews that are there to save your ass, pissed off. Attitudes like yours show you are the one with no education. The majority of flight attendants have a minimum of a 2 year degree. Why don’t you finish high school before you post stupid comments.

  31. @Mark Lawhead No, Mr Leff can’t write an objective article. Whenever you write something, it’s already subjective and based, influenced by your own feeling and opinions.
    Yes, Mr Leff may feel personally that this passenger should receive a permanent passenger. At last count, among 41 readers who bother to comment, there are at least 40 of them feel the same way. I am not sure about the other one.
    But if you feel otherwise or have some objections, at least express them clearly in order to convince others about their validity or objectivity rather than showing sarcasm.

  32. @ Joe and hjb. Come on guys. “Follow the science” is not crap, but really needed to survive during this period of severe pandemic, although it may not affect you two personally.
    Also, common sense should mean that you should never take only the initial statements or assessments (of an accident, investigation etc.) as a permanent basis and conclusion later on.
    Sure, a lot of people made wrong recommendations at the beginning (like CDC, WHO, Dr. Fauci) about masks mandates, but you should know the full context and timeline of their statements. And, they did evolve and change, rewrite their recommendations accordingly. So common sense should guide us (at least a super majority of people in the US and elsewhere) to listen to their new and updated advices.

  33. I think we should set up a, airline were masks are not required. Call the planes DEATH TRAPS. No shoes required. No shirts needed. No masks allowed. No underwear either but you can wear hauler tops things and sandals if you have socks on. Toe nail clipping allowed during flight. Daily trips from airports non stop one way to private island with crematorium

  34. It says in the published tweet, “ today a passenger handed this to a flight attendant upon deplaning. the flight attendant had asked her to wear her mask over her nose. incredibly done with the general public.“

  35. Im not a fan of any airline and for sure there’s 2 sides of this story ( some of those flight attendants have zero friendliness for passengers and a lack of costumer service attitude) but the letter is way to nasty.
    This is just a perfect example of how tense life is these days and how is bringing some of us to the limits.

  36. @Ken
    I’d much rather be an uneducated service worker than an @$$ hole like you. I have a degree and was a flight attendant for many years as we’re a lot of my friends in the industry. I also knew lots who were going to school while they worked for the airlines and loved flying. If you think that’s ok to write to someone you’re just an evil person and no matter what anyone says you’ll always be miserable so no point in trying.

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