US Airways Complaint - Bullying, humiliating flight attendant behavior
I've never been so upset with a flight - I'm not one to complain about cancellations and delays, these things happen. I'm not very sensitive to busy flight attendants either, they're people dealing with their own issues every day too. However, this was unbelievable. Below is the letter I sent to US Airways after getting home from the airport still so furious that I was fighting back tears. I wrote the following to US Airways and was going to leave it at that until I saw the video taken by a passenger of another passenger being deplaned over saggy pants, at which point I decided to Google it. I wanted see how rampant customer service complaints are with this company. What I'm finding is shocking.
To Whom It May Concern:
I did not stop to obtain the name of the person at subject of this communication, so I apologize in advance for my inability to provide the full details of the issue. I'm sure this is not the first complaint about this employee however and have no doubt that you will in short order identify her. I have never been so aghast or repulsed by a flight attendant's performance and do fully expect that this complaint will be taken seriously. The flight attendant was working flight 1480 from Charlotte to Detroit that was scheduled to depart at 4:27 PM and is thin with short blonde hair, approximately 45-50 years old.
I was seated in 11C, just behind the emergency exit rows as the safety speeches were underway. The flight attendant going through the explanation of the duties required for seating in these rows was standing in the aisle two rows in front of me, asking all to affirm that they understood and agreed, asking that they respond with the statement "I understand." The gentleman in 10D said "yes" rather than the required statement and the flight attendant's behavior became shockingly demeaning. She told him that she needed him to say that he understood and he responded that he understood, at which point she leaned down in front of him as one does with a naughty toddler and said to him loudly, "Then what did I just say?" Looking at her in disbelief as she launched into a loud and indiscreet lecture over the necessities of his seating, the gentleman was quite visibly embarrasssed. She then asked if he would like to be moved to another seat, to which he responded no, that he liked the leg room (in what appeared to be an attempt to diffuse the situation with humor) and she responded with more public lecture.
She then came down the aisle to me and said "Push your bag completely under the seat in front of you." I pushed the bag the required inches from its original location and quipped to the man seated next to me (who had been equally appalled at her behavior) that three inches will make all the difference and reopened my book. The flight attendant bent down, placing her head between my face and the seat in front of me and said "What did you just say to me?" Shocked at her confrontational behavior and invasion of my personal space, I repeated what I'd said to the man next to me. At this she began a lecture about the space and an accident, to which I said "Yes, yes, I understand". I was trying avoid the same extended public shaming delivered to the man in front of me. She then stood up and pressed the call button, interrupting the other flight attendant in his safety speech, making her threat to remove me from the plane very clear. In my utter horror and surprise, I said "really"? The idea that I was about to be removed from the plane and probably arrested for making a joke about the effectiveness of three inches in saving my life during a plane wreck left me astounded. Was this really happening? She looked back down at me and said, again loudly and as if I was a school child being reprimanded on a playground by a nun, "Are we going to have a problem?" I responded that I just wanted to read my book. I know by this point my face was burning red with mortification and my only goal was to end the harassment. The people seated around me, to my left, behind and across the aisle, all expressed the same incredulity as soon as she was safely out of ear shot - no one wanted to place themselves in her sights.
I fly on a regular basis and I have never been chastised or threatened with removal from a plane. More, I am a paying customer who did not deserve the treatment I received on your flight. If any of my employees EVER treated a customer in such a way, he or she would be terminated with prejudice on the spot. I am still quite beside myself and frankly furious. I tell you now that if I ever see that woman working a flight on which I am scheduled to fly again, I will immediately disembark and find another carrier, knowing that US Airways allows their employees to indulge in pointless power trips, to disrespect and publically demean its customers. Today was completely uncalled for, utterly unacceptable and I would rather pay much higher prices at Delta than ever subject myself to that again.
P.S. I would recommend that you reach out to the man seated in 10D and apologize - he was also humiliated and did not even crack a joke to bring this degradation down on himself; I am quite sure that he also is furious.