There has been a lot of bad press for the airlines lately. It upsets me because I know that the people involved in these incidents are NOT representative of the vast majority of airline employees. I see crews and gate agents and ground handlers every day. I see them showing up to work at crazy early hours. I see them still working late at night. And even when the day has been stressful with bad weather and canceled flights, they still manage to laugh when I see them on the shuttle at the end of the day.
So this is for you, pilots and cabin crews. I see you in the parking lot heading to the terminal. Most of you are commuting to your bases for the start of your trips. I often wonder just how far you have to go before your working day begins. And let’s face it, in a lot of ways once the uniform is on, you ARE working. I see passengers asking you questions and looking to you for guidance, even though at this point you’re technically just a passenger too.
This is for you, being part of an industry where you aren’t allowed to have a bad day. Any mistake or misunderstanding can be videoed and sent out to the masses in 140 characters or less, which is never enough to really tell the whole story. You deal with thousands of customers every year, doing your job well day after day and almost always with a smile. Then the bad behavior of a very few puts you under suspicion, even when you’ve done nothing wrong.
This is for the baggage handlers working outside in the wind and freezing rain. It’s for the gate agents explaining a flight delay to frustrated passengers. And it’s for the pilots waving at excited children who are jumping up and down and pointing at the plane through the terminal window. This is for the Southwest pilots who saw a military casket being removed from an American plane and out of respect for the fallen soldier, stopped their taxi until after the hearse left. This is for the flight attendants on the shuttle who had me laughing so hard at their stories that I couldn’t breathe. (And if you guys are reading – I continue to support your quest for casual Fridays!) This is for every one of you who works hard every day to make the aviation industry something I’m proud to be a part of:
And for any of my aviation friends who may be feeling down or discouraged, I strongly encourage you to watch the movie Living in the Age of Airplanes. If you’ve seen it before, then watch it again. Or just watch this trailer. It’s a good reminder of just how amazing and wonderful and special aviation is!
12 thoughts on “For You, Airline Crews”
I totally agree! Many airline crews have to go to work at irregular timings and be away from the family.
Great post, Jen. As much as I dislike dealing with the airlines and the insanity of modern airline travel, it’s important to remember that there are many who work in this environment day in and day out while (somehow) maintaining a good attitude and a smile. God bless ’em…
Thanks Ron! I agree – don’t know how they do it! And so many of them truly love their jobs in spite of the challenges.
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So much truth in this post. We have a member in our 99s chapter who is a United Airlines pilot and it was terribly frustrating for her to be placed under all of that mess when it absolutely does not reflect her or her professionalism. The majority of airline crews genuinely care about what they do and would never be a part of the mess that gets placed on social media.
Thanks for reading, Leah! You are absolutely right – it’s a shame that so many hard working crews have been negatively impacted by these isolated incidents.
Nice job young lady. Nicely said.
Thanks so much, Rob!
Thanks, Jen. Most of us (almost all) really do try to do the best job we can. It’s nice to know that we’re appreciated for all the sacrifices we make.
Thanks Capt Jeff!
Superb blog there Jen. I agree with everything you had to say there.
Thanks so much, Nev!
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