Check out the May issue of Woman’s Day Magazine! On page 158 I offer a few travel tips….
Check out the May issue of Woman’s Day Magazine! On page 158 I offer a few travel tips….
Passenger accused of groping Spirit Airlines flight attendant originally appeared on NBCNews.com. (NOTE: They left out a story I shared about a pilot who was smacked on the behind by a female passenger sitting in the exit row. “Woo get some!” she yelled out for an entire airplane full of passengers to hear. So ya see it’s not just flight attendants who are getting groped, poked, and smacked.)
Heather Poole, a veteran flight attendant for a majorU.S. airline, has seen her share of passengers acting out on flights, though she says the misbehavior has changed over the years.
“Today, passengers are more likely to get aggressive with us than touchy feely in a sexual way. Not to say it doesn’t happen,” said Poole, author of “Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet.”
“Recently, a female passenger hit me on the butt hard as I was passing by. She (was) angry because I stepped on her toe.”
A male passenger once asked Poole if he could lick her, she said. “The answer was no. No written warning was issued.”
When confronted with a flier who seems to have amorous intentions, Poole says she stops serving alcohol and removes herself from the situation by sending in another flight attendant to deal with the passenger. Most of the time that’s all it takes, she said.
“Trust me, there are some passengers who might live a lot longer if they keep their hands off certain flight attendants,” Poole added.
[Photo credit: TheZipper]
“Does Sex Sell Airline Seats? Some Airlines Hope so. ” originally appeared on TravelChannel.com
We asked Heather Poole, a 15-year flight attendant and author of Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet her thoughts about marketing flight attendants as sex symbols.
She wasn’t too impressed.
“Cheap airfare is the only thing that sells tickets today,” says Poole. “That and — oh! — on-time departures and good safety records. If passengers really cared about what their flight attendants looked like, Hooters Air would still be in business. They only lasted for 3 years!”
Poole adds: “The only airlines that seem to flaunt sexy flight attendants are the ones looking to sell calendars or get “likes” on their Facebook page. There’s a reason they’re selling sex over a quality airline. Business must not be quite as hot as the crew.“
Plus, what about women fliers? asks Poole. Sexting up campaigns aren’t likely to win over this huge travel demographic.
“Do most female fliers really care how sexy flight attendants are? I don’t think so. It’s like some airlines are only directing their marketing at male passengers. Last time I checked there were women not just sitting on the plane, but occupying business and first-class seats, serious hardcore frequent fliers! They’re also flying the plane. To which I say, God Bless America! I’m so thankful I work for a US carrier. “
So what do you think? Do the marketing attempts to present flight attendants as sex symbols make flying more attractive to you? Or should airlines focus their efforts elsewhere?
[Photo credit: Heather Poole]
What’s the worst passenger behavior you’ve witnessed?
I’ve caught passengers taking other people’s luggage out of the bin to make room for their own bags. I’m not joking. They’ll pull out a bag, drop it on the floor and walk away leaving it in the middle of the aisle for the passengers behind them to crawl over. Have you ever tried stepping over a 21-inch Rollaboard? Not easy. Happened three times last month!
Recently a woman tried to stow her suitcase in that, oh, what do you call that spot? Crevice? Crack? Between the overhead bin and the ceiling? There’s like a millimeter of space there! I don’t care which airline you’re traveling on, that’s not going to fit. Then there are the recliners and the anti-recliners. One anti-recliner got upset at a recliner because she couldn’t get her tray table down. I suggested if maybe she removed the gigantic fanny pack from around her waist it might go down. She looked at me like I was the crazy one! One man actually called me over because the passenger in front of him had reclined his seat. I had to point out that, uh … his seat was reclined too!
What’s the most common bad passenger behavior you’ve seen?
[photo credit: Telstar Logistics]
Photo courtesy of @VenySurfsTheWorld
Caption courtesy of Barry In La Jolla
This article was originally published in Executive Travel Magazine
By Christopher Schmicker
This flight attendant and author shares her perspectives about change up in the air, and ways savvy passengers can make the best of it.
“Flying today is like being on an episode of Survivor,” says Heather Poole. “Only the strong survive.” As a veteran flight attendant at a major U.S. airline (the name of which she declines to disclose), Poole should know. Over the past 15 years, she has witnessed the industry’s rapid evolution from pre-9/11 to the present.
Six years ago, in July 2007, Poole opened a WordPress account and set out to chronicle her life in the sky. When you Google her blog a disclaimer of sorts appears: “Another Flight Attendant Writing About Flying.” But Poole’s candid observations, infused with a brand of black humor that only those tasked with servicing fickle customers with a smile can properly lay claim to, have won so many loyal fans that to call Poole just another flight attendant fails to paint the full picture.
Thanks to her book, Cruising Attitude, published in 2012 by William Morrow, Poole appears frequently on TV shows from Good Morning America to Fox & Friends, and in the pages of newspapers from The New York Times to USA Today. Along with Steven Slater (“What a nice guy,” she says of meeting the former JetBlue employee. “It felt like I’d known him all my life.”), Poole has become a de facto ambassador for her profession.
Cruising Attitude expands on content from her blog and covers topics that range from crash pads and crew wages to air rage and the perils of pouring Diet Coke at 35,000 feet. What comes across through all of these anecdotes is Poole’s sincere passion for her job, despite the ups and downs. “I wanted people to understand what [flight attendants] do and where we’re coming from,” she says, “because honestly we’re all in this together.”
This interview originally appeared on Societe Perrier
What led to your foray as a flight attendant? Was it always the plan or was there a moment that led to the leap?
My mother always wanted to be a flight attendant. Whenever anything went wrong in my life, she’d suggest I apply to Southwest. That only made me not want to work for an airline. But when a job promotion didn’t lead to a raise, I decided to apply. I figured I’d do it for a little while. I thought as I travel the world and meet new people, I’ll interview for other jobs, the kind that people have respect for, maybe something in sales or marketing. Eighteen years later I’m still flying. And happy to be doing so!
What is the biggest misconception that people think about flight attendants?
That we’re not college educated. We make a lot of money. While you don’t need a college degree to get the job, competition is fierce and only the most qualified are hired. I’ve worked with flight attendants who are also doctors and lawyers. And trust me no one takes this job for the money. What money!?!
What is a telltale sign that you got a hell on wheels passenger in flight?
When they board the flight complaining. How am I supposed to respond to a passenger that looks me in the eye and says, “This airline sucks!”
Last night a woman came on board miffed, because she had to check her third bag. Then the flight was delayed because she didn’t think the business class bathroom was clean enough. After we had the cleaners come in to take care of it, she informed us she’d only be using the first class bathroom. It just went on and on.
Worst pick up line in-flight?
You fly this route often?
A smile. More wine and water for them!
Porn in flight? I saw your post on that the other day. Can you share your thoughts and the latest update on that status with our readers.
Passengers cannot read porn in flight. Most people realize they’re in a public space. But those who don’t follow the rules actually get mad at us for embarrassing them when we politely ask them to put it away.
This past weekend flights across the northeast United States and eastern Canada were cancelled en masse as a winter storm descended on the region. For the tens of thousands of travelers stranded or delayed, it’s a lousy experience that seems to have no end. But we know it isn’t any better for the pilots and crews scheduled to work the grounded aircraft. To get some perspective on the matter, we turned to Heather Poole, our favorite flight attendant/writer, for some insight on why exactly it’s so lousy for them. — Jason Clampet
You think you’ve got it bad?
Passengers aren’t the only ones suffering when a storm hits town and causes the airports to close. Here’s what happens when flight attendants get grounded.
We don’t get paid
Flight attendants are paid for flying time only. Time on the ground doesn’t count. I’ve been working as a flight attendant with a major carrier for 17 years and from time to time I’ll work an 11 hour day and only get paid for five of those hours. Happens all the time to more junior flight attendants.
All that time between flights goes unpaid. The flight attendant greeting you at the boarding door is not getting paid. Neither is the flight attendant helping you find a spot for your bag. The time clock doesn’t officially start ticking until the airplane backs away from the gate. Needless to say delays and cancellations affect flight attendants just as much, maybe even more so, than passengers.
We can be reassigned to work for days
Once we’re on a trip, we’re at the company’s beck and call until we die or the weather clears up. When airlines are low on staffing, they can reassign us to work different flights as long as we’re legal. The FAA allows us to work a 16-hour duty day, but we have to get at least eight hours behind a hotel door at the end of the day. Between trips we get 11-12 hours off, depending on if it’s a domestic or international route or whether or not we’re on reserve or holding “a line” (schedule).
After flying six days in a row, the FAA requires us to take a 24 hour break. These 24 hours don’t always take place at home. Sometimes they happen at an airport hotel. 25 hours later we could be right back up in the air. Which is tough because there’s just no way to let our families know when we might be home again.
Super Bowl weekend is one of the biggest human trafficking events of the year in the U.S. Because flight attendants are often the first line of defense, we’ve been trained to spot traffickers on the airplane. It all started when Sandra Fiorini, an American Airlines flight attendant based in Chicago, tried to report a situation involving an eighteen year-old boy on a six-hour flight carrying a newborn infant with its umbilical cord still attached. No wife. Just one bottle of milk and two diapers stuck inside his pocket. No one responded. Fiorini later met Deborah Sigmund, founder of the organization Innocents at Risk, and soon they began working together with airline employees.
Flight attendants aren’t the only ones who can help. There are more frequent fliers now than ever before. Passengers should also be aware of what to look for while traveling.
4. Someone who isn’t sure of where he or she lives or has no sense of time
5. Someone who avoids eye contact or appears fearful, anxious, tense, depressed, nervous, submissive.
6. Someone who rarely is allowed to come and go independently and may be accompanied by someone who controls their every movement
7. Someone who may be dressed inappropriately regardless of weather conditions.
Number to call
Human Trafficking Hot line 1-888-373-7888.
There are more slaves today than any other time in human history. A person can be sold several times a day for many years, opposed to drugs that can only be sold once. Because of this human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world, only second behind drug trafficking. It generates 32 billion annually for organized crime. Each year two million women and children become victims. 300,000 children within the United States are being trafficked each year. Most are forced into a life of prostitution and pornography in large urban areas such as Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Florida. If it can happen on my flight, it can happen on yours. Open your eyes. Get involved. Write that number down!