This May Be The Worst Note Any Passenger Has Ever Given To A Flight Attendant

An American Airlines flight attendant received a note from a passenger last this week that may be about the worst thing I’ve ever read. The woman who wrote the note had been asked to wear her mask over her nose.

The passenger apparently complied – but later decided to share what she thought of the flight attendant, who had simply asked her to follow airline policy, which was agreed to as a condition of flying. The note contained words that may haunt this passenger for a very long time.

You mean s— in life.

You are nothing but a glorified MAID who needs to jump down off her high horse and learn how to speak to [people]. Nobody cares about your stupid seat policies or your nose issues. We pay your salary and your attitude is unnecessary.

The very fact that we have to listen and kowtow to a nobody who does s— except collect our trash and serve crappy food makes me absolutely ill. You are a masknazi and a [insult redacted] and if it wasn’t for this job, you would be cleaning motel rooms for $2 tips and meth.

I made sure to write this on a bag labeled as to what I think your life actually is… A WASTE.

Warm regards,

A person who hates your guts

There’s not as much service offered by American Airlines right now, but flight attendants go to work each day exposing themselves to passengers – and while planes are relatively safe as indoor environments go, they’re putting themselves at risk.

The flight attendants who have been flying for American are relatively junior, because while flights have been cut about 50% the airline has had all of its cabin crew on payroll because of the CARES Act. Senior flight attendants have gotten paid without going to work, while junior flight attendants have been on all the airline’s flights.

To add insult to injury, I understand that the flight attendant who received this note is on the American Airlines furlough list. I wouldn’t blame them if they decided not to return even if American brings everyone back quickly.

Here’s the letter that just went out from American Airlines Senior Vice President Jill Surdek to the relatively junior flight attendants being let go:

It won’t do much for the flight attendant, but the airline knows who this passenger is and that they were abusive to an employee. Hopefully they will soon no longer be welcome on board American Airlines.

Update: American Airlines offers the following statement,

American Airlines is investigating an incident involving a customer passing an offensive and derogatory note to one of our flight attendants, and this customer’s ability to travel on American has been suspended. Our flight attendants are professionals who play a critical role in ensuring the health and safety of our passengers, and we will not tolerate mistreatment of them.

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. It may be rude, but it is refreshing someone speaks her mind through written form. We don’t know what precipitated this and what the actions of the flight attendant were. Remember, the Big 3 are known for poor cabin service and rude flight attendants. Flight attendants regularly abuse their positions to threaten passengers with legal action for failing to comply with a crew order that has nothing to do flight safety. Flight attendants regularly lie and make false accusations against passengers. Before I dish out judgement, I need to see pictures of both parties, their social media profiles, and hear both sides of the story.

  2. @ Jackson Henderson This note is in no way “refreshing.” This behavior is unacceptable regardless of the circumstances.

  3. A note like that written by someone to another person is indicative of the low self esteem in which they hold for themselves. There are many rules that we encounter that cause angst and discomfort, more often than not the person reminding us of those rules is merely the messenger.

    The other issue is the mixed and confusing messages coming from those who should’ve been able to lead us through this crisis, but instead have used the opportunity to continue the culture wars.

  4. I take exception to the statement that “the Big 3 are known for poor cabin service and rude flight attendants.” I fly quite often and on all of them at times. I can’t remember the last time I had a rude flight attendant. And the service, while sometimes not stellar, is never at the level of “poor.” This flight attendant got dumped on for enforcing the airlines rule, and that’s just wrong.

  5. Can the passenger be ID’d and put on the no fly list. It would be nice not to have to sit next to this self important person who thinks being told to follow instructions is beneath her.

  6. @jackson it does not excuse the person for calling a flight attendant a four letter c word as well as demeaning her profession.

    I hope AA bans this customer for life.

  7. Completely rude and unnecessary. I think this passenger should be banned for life and the FA should be complimented on performing her duties professionally. There is no room in life to tolerate this BS.

  8. This note is much more reflective of the character of the writer than the recipient. It is obvious that the note writer is living in their own little (probably self created) hell with plenty of demons to vex them. While well deserved, any additional punitive action from the airline would only compound the self inflicted misery in which this pathetic passenger already wallows.

  9. It’s not refreshing, it’s the ignorance of these people and time to put them in their place, on a bus or train. I hope AA block her from flying again. AA FA’s keep doing the right thing for the rest of us.

  10. @Mark says “I can’t remember the last time I had a rude flight attendant.”

    Mark is either:
    a) very lenient
    b) very lucky
    c) an 18-29yo nonfat white woman with C cup or larger breasts
    d) only flying premium cabins and routes AA LAX JFK for example
    e) lying out of his ass and his anus (is it possibly famous?)

    HOWEVER I WILL SAY flight attendants are much more professional and less rude than ground staff

    The rudest flight attendant I have ever met is still nicer than a good 10 or 20% of ground staff

  11. @All commenters

    THANKS for not being racist or needlessly political like the commenters on this article on OMAAT

    We’re the best!

  12. Edit: @All commenters ***THUS FAR*** probably some dipshit will start going on about how the note writer was of a certain race or political persuasion

  13. It’s good to see the same crass horribleness that led to this note repeated in the comments.

    I wonder where the idea that treating people like is ok would have come from.

  14. @Mallthus, it’s likely coming from the Northeast. I had a coworker from Boston who would yell the most vulgar insults to anyone who made the most minor transgression, even if it was an honest mistake. He would always encourage me to do the same. He was a very effective employee however, and a pretty good guy (in terms of morals and ethics) with the exception of this peculiarity. As I learned more about Northeastern culture, I found that blunt and aggressive confrontation is prevalent in the region.

  15. Of course @jacksonhenderson would find a way to justify this. After all these actions display a feverish devotion to his Dear Leader

  16. @Jason

    Or – Mark is being honest (with a little illeism thrown in). My experience with the flight crew on the big three hasn’t been bad, and in fact, my interactions have generally been very positive. I have to go back a long way to remember the last time somebody was actually rude to me (ah Northworst).

    Full disclosure, my Delta flighs are almost 80% of the time in Comfort+ or above. But my flights on AA and UA have been in the main cabin. Maybe I don’t ask much of the flight crew, but they’ve actually never crossed a threshold to what I would consider rude.

    Now, please don’t get me started on the United ground crew at Newark.

  17. I think the person who wrote the note has a certain sense of humor at least. I know the whole thing is horrible, but that last line about working for $2 tips and meth is priceless.

    I was always taught to write down whatever horrible s**t I felt as well, but my sage parents told me to then fold the paper up and put in my pocket. I wonder how the person will feel when her name is plastered all over the internet, she loses her job and the other things that (sometimes) happen to people who do stupid things.

  18. I would want proof the flight attendant did not write this herself.

    Have you not heard about all the fake racist hoaxes that occur?

  19. So many people have become so excessively toxic, rude, self-centered, incapable of empathy and trigger-happy that this kind of obnoxious note to a flight attendant is sadly a sign of the times. No surprise that more and more employers may have to fire more and more customers for obnoxious behavior directed at valued employees.

  20. The person who wrote this note is deeply sad inside. I feel bad for them and whatever horrific life they must’ve lived. The flight attendant will be just fine. This person will suffer inside probably for the rest of their lives. Hopefully next time they do us a solid and suffer in silence behind closed doors.

  21. Spot on Jackson.

    If I didn’t need AA to get me to the nearest Asian Airline, I would probably start writing similar notes. The difference would be that I would detail how they failed their job but still met my expectations that AA flight crews have driven into the ground. Keeping in mind that the only time I fly in the main cabin is when AA cancels, delays and lies about the flight that I had my first class seat on.

    Obviously the writer had a huge need to vent and as someone else said, we don’t know what happened to precipitate this. I can easily imagine how a ‘junior’, furloughed, and inconvenienced FA could generate this kind of response from a passenger. I certainly don’t see anything abusive about it, letters are easy to ignore, dispose of, leave behind, or any other manner to avoid being insulted. This FA wanted to share her alleged pain and get her 15 minutes of fame.

  22. The note given to the flight attendant by this passenger speaks more about the passenger than the flight attendant. To describe the passenger as a piece of low class garbage would be the understatement of the century. My heart goes out to all flight attendants, pilots and other flight related crew during this pandemic. Not only are they exposing themselves to increased infection risk by coming in contact with many passengers on a daily basis but let us also not foregt the stress that they are under not knowing whether they will have a job tomorrow. With all the news of furloughs and layoffs here and there and airlines being on the verge of bankruptcy, not sure anyone would want to work in such an environment. The flight attendant was properly doing her job. I would highly recommend that AA track down this passenger and forever ban him/her from ever getting on board another AA flight. People need to learn that you do not treat another human being this way and despite your not liking to wear a facial mask when on board a plane, this is how it is. If you do not want to wear a mask, fine. Do not get on board the plane. You can walk to your destination.

  23. I’m in ATL so only get to fly Delta. Am a back of the plane guy, but am a Diamond and a 2 Mill miler, I don’t find 99.9% of the attendants I encounter rude. The exact opposite has been my experience. As long as Covid is out there, I want my fellow passengers to comply fully with the mask policy. Delta please ban her also, I will fly an extra leg or to make up for her.

  24. Just rude and unnecessary, I could care less if you don’t want to wear mask but when your flying commercial with other lives who care follow the goddam rules, other wise get your on damn plane to fly or drive.

  25. The rule is wear mask over nose and mouth. This passenger is illiterate, she does not read very well. Her ignorance shows in her personality.. Flight Attendants are on board to help protect
    And enforce the rules to protect us all on the flight. This is a tragedy.

  26. @Jackson Henderson and anyone else on here that sides with being rude to flight attendants:

    First of all, if one has something derogatory to say about the inflight rules, don’t take it up with the crew-You need to understand these are either company/airline compliance rules, or FAA federal laws. Mad about complying with laws concerning PPE, don’t take it out on you crew who are doing their job. If you cannot respect the house rules anywhere you go, then you need to stay home!

  27. Release the name and face of this woman who wrote this note or there will be 100’s more like her. Public scorn is sometimes some of the sweetest justice!

  28. Regardless of what made that passenger angry, there is no excuse to use demeaning language as he/she did. Actions meant to dehumanize others are like a double-edge knife. They dehumanize the intended target, but also have a similar effect on the perpetrators of those actions.

  29. Your freedom stop where mine begins! People forget that is not only “you” but it’s another people rights that we need to respect: right to be and feel safe in COVID time. By the way, if this IGNORANT woman doesn’t know, many of this MAIDS have a college degree, masters and PHDS…..just saying…

  30. Surprised such a fuss is being made over the actions of a mentally-ill person. FAs are trained on how to deal with the jerks in life, since they unfortunately will encounter more of them than in most other professions. I doubt if this FA gave this ugly incident more than 5 minutes of her time. And for the record, I have probably met 7 FAs out of several thousand over the years who were incompetent. Mediocre, yes, but I’ve never met a rude one, but if I did, I’d take action immediately.

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