Flight Attendant Stories

Archive for the ‘Airlines’ Category

Turkish Airlines Backs Down On Lipstick Ban

LONDON (Reuters) – Turkish Airlines is quashing a ban on female flight attendants wearing red lipstick and nail polish, its chief executive said on Thursday, after an outcry by secular Turks worried the country is becoming too Islamic.

The national carrier had said in a statement this month the use of red and dark pink lipstick and nail polish would impair the “visual integrity” of its staff.

But Chief Executive Temel Kotil said the order was made by over-zealous junior managers who did not consult senior bosses about the initiative.

“As to the lipstick, we had no problems but somehow low-level managers put together a paper without asking us and that paper leaked to the media and became a big issue,” Kotil told reporters in London.

Asked whether there was a ban, he said “no”, and confirmed female staff could wear lipstick and nail polish of any color.

“As you know, some in Turkey are a little bit keen about these issues,” said the fast-talking, U.S.-educated Kotil, who has served as chief executive since 2005. “We are a great global carrier and we know what we are doing.”

Many Turks took to Twitter to complain about the ban and the president of the airline’s Hava-Is union, Atilay Aycin, called it a bid by the management “to shape the company to fit its own political and ideological stance”.
Turkey is 99 percent Muslim but the NATO member state and European Union candidate has a secular constitution.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party, which traces its roots to a banned Islamic party, has relaxed the state’s control over the expression of religion, such as once-strict limits imposed on wearing the Islamic-style headscarf.

Such restrictions were aimed at reining in Islamism and improving women’s rights, but effectively prevented many devout women from studying at university or taking government jobs.

In a presentation, Kotil forecast operating revenue would rise to $9.749 billion in 2013 from $8.318 billion last year. No net income guidance was given. A decade ago in 2003, operating revenue was $1.898 billion.
The airline, which says it flies to more countries than any other carrier, aims to increase passenger numbers to 46 million this year from 39 million last.

Aviation union Hava-Is has threatened to strike this month over pay but Kotil was optimistic such action could be averted.

“We love the union, we love our employees … and hopefully we can find a solution,” he said.

Credit: Reuters/Osman Orsal

Airline Crew Mistakenly Tells Passengers The Plane Will Crash

Published January 17, 2012 | NewsCore

Passengers flying over the Atlantic were terrified when it was announced twice that their plane could be about to crash.  British Airways (BA) Flight 206 was at 35,000 feet, halfway from Miami to London’s Heathrow Airport, when the taped message was played by accident.  Screams rang out as the message was repeated.

An Edinburgh man said, “It was about 3:00am. An alarm sounded, and we were told we were about to land in the sea. I thought we were going to die. My wife was crying, and passengers were screaming. Then they played an announcement telling us to just ignore the warnings.”

Another passenger said, “When we landed, they were handing out letters apologizing, but it was the worst experience of my life. I don’t think BA should get away with this.”

A BA spokesman said of the scare en route to Heathrow on Friday, “The cabin crew canceled the announcement immediately and sought to reassure customers that the flight was operating normally. We apologize to customers for causing them undue concern.”

In August 2010, a message announcing, “We may shortly need to make an emergency landing on water,” was played by mistake on a British Airways flight from Heathrow to Hong Kong.

Some habits seem to die hard…

Our thanks to Frederick Russillo for submitting the above story.

The Flight Attendant Wiggle – Who Says Only Santa Can Dance Through the Skies?

Click:   The Flight Attendant Wiggle

Ah, that’s the way to get a passenger’s attention!  Flight attendants for a low-cost Philippine airline who gained fame by dancing through safety demonstrations are back dancing through the aisles.

They’ve swapped the Lady Gaga tunes that made them popular last year for Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

Manila-based Cebu Pacific airline says the choreographed dance helps passengers pay more attention to the safety demonstration.  I bet…!

Our thanks to Tom Kraay for submitting the story for this jazzy post!

Lawyer Sues Southwest, Says Airline Breached Free-Drink Coupon Contract

The ABAJournal Law News Now posted the information below on Nov. 17, 2011:

Although Southwest Airlines revised its policy in August of last year, notifying customers that such coupons would be honored only on the day of the flight after August 2011, a Chicago lawyer is challenging that change.

Adam J. Levitt, who allegedly has about 45 now-worthless free-drink coupons from Southwest, filed suit yesterday in federal court in Chicago, according to Reuters.

The complaint, which seeks class action status, contends that the carrier breached a contract with passengers by changing its policy and refusing to honor the coupons, which have no expiration date.  Alcoholic beverages purchased on board the aircraft otherwise would cost about $5 each.

Levitt, who practices at Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz, is the plaintiff in the case. He is represented by Joseph J. Siprut of the Siprut law firm, who tells the ABA Journal that the situation is akin to a retailer refusing to honor a customer’s gift card.

Describing Levitt as a “customer who got burned,” Siprut said his client and many others aren’t getting the benefit of their bargain. When they purchased their Business Select tickets, they expected to get a free drink, too. But now Southwest has changed the terms of their deal, after the fact.

“This is where a class action lawsuit really is the appropriate mechanism to deal with this issue,” Siprut said. Given the $5 value of the free drink, “it only makes sense to do this as a class action on an aggregate basis.”

Attorney Tommy Wells of Alabama, a former president of the ABA, says he himself has quite a collection of worthless Southwest drink tickets, too. He plans to use some of them as exhibits when he defends the airline in the case.

The Levitt suit, he tells the ABA Journal, is the second of two would-be federal class actions filed by attorneys against Southwest over the airline’s cancellation of its free-drink coupons. The plaintiff has since been substituted in the Birmingham, Ala., federal suit, however.  The earlier suit, Wells explained, focused more on another type of free-drink ticket earlier offered by Southwest, which essentially was a bonus gift sent out in a coupon book when a customer used Rapid Reward frequent-flyer miles to purchase a ticket.

It is black-letter contract law, Wells said, that such offers can be rescinded prior to acceptance, which would be manifested, in the case of the bonus drink coupons, by actually presenting them for a drink on a Southwest flight.

Similarly, although the free-drink coupons associated with the Business Select tickets purchased by Levitt and others contained no expiration date, they were intended to be used on the ticketed flight, Wells said. However, the ability of customers to print out or duplicate multiple free-drink tickets while booking a flight thwarted that expectation.

Given a choice between keeping flights affordable for all customers on the highly competitive routes that it flies and continuing to offer free drinks to some customers, Southwest opted to eliminate the booze benefit, Wells explained.

In a statement emailed to the ABA Journal, the carrier said that “Southwest Airlines works to reward our loyal customers by offering perks for their business. The perks that accompany our Business Select product include a complimentary drink for day of travel, in addition to premiere boarding and extra Rapid Reward points.

“When the Business Select program initially launched, drink coupons associated with the purchase of a Business Select fare did not specify an expiration date,” the statement continues. “But we found that some customers were photocopying drink coupons to obtain multiple drinks from a single coupon. We made the decision to post an expiration date on the coupon to prevent the unauthorized copying of the coupons. We cannot directly comment on pending litigation, but we value our customers and we will continue to look for ways to offer rewards for their business.”


Meet Iurii Chumak.

The 53-year-old was recently arrested after allegedly groping a flight attendant while onboard a British Airways flight traveling from London to New York on April 28, 2011. Chumak, seen in the mug shot on the left, was photographed by the United States Marshals Service after being forcibly de-planed in handcuffs.

According to The Smoking Gun, Chumak placed his hand up the flight attendant’s skirt and “grabbed her genital area” when she bent over to pour coffee for another passenger and “began to run his fingers back and forth”. Although the incident was witnessed by a second flight attendant, who immediately placed him in restraints, Chumak maintained that he had simply been “drinking on the airplane, fell asleep, and woke up in restraints.” The second attendant told the FBI that a male passenger had previously complained that Chumak–drinking from a bottle of Dewar’s–had “bothered and verbally abused” his wife.

Since his bust, Chumak has been locked up at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. He was named last week in a misdemeanor criminal information charging him in connection with the in-flight April 28 incident (the filing of an information–in lieu of a grand jury presentment by federal prosecutors–often indicates that a defendant is negotiating a guilty plea).

Chumak’s lawyer, Sergei Orel, declined on May 31 to comment about his client’s case.


On March 27, 2011 another groping incident happened but this time on Delta Airlines Flight 269.  

An Israeli rabbi flying to New York from Tel Aviv allegedly twice fondled a female passenger as she slept, and when the woman angrily confronted him, he claimed, “It’s a mistake, I’m asleep,” according to federal court records.

About 90 minutes into the 12-hour flight, rabbi Bidany allegedly reached over to the sleeping woman seated next to him and “placed his hand under her blanket, on her groin, and was groping her genital area.” When the victim, identified only as “Jane Doe” in the complaint, “jumped back,” Bidany “quickly removed his hand from her groin.”

The woman told the FBI that she then “pulled her blanket back over her head and body.” But minutes later, Bidany allegedly again “reached under the passenger’s blanket, this time groping the passenger’s breasts.” “What are you doing, stop touching me,” she told Bidany.

He replied, “It’s a mistake, I’m asleep,” according to FBI agent Ambrisco. The female passenger “then left her seat to advise the flight crew of the incident.” Delta personnel confirmed to the FBI that the passenger had reported the inappropriate touching to them, and one crew member described the woman as “visibly shaken and frantic.”

Saul Bienenfeld, Bidany’s lawyer, declined recently to discuss the case against his client, but said that the rabbi “asserts his total innocence” and states that the alleged sexual contact “never occurred.”

Following his arrest, Bidany posted $250,000 bond and was ordered to surrender his passport and limit his travels to the New York City metropolitan area. At his April 5 arraignment, the Orthodox rabbi sought permission to return to Israel, though that request was denied by a magistrate judge.  Later, Bidany bail was modified and he was allowed to travel to Israel from April 14 to May 1 for the Passover holiday. He had also recently learned his father was gravely ill.  Bidany’s bond was increased to $500,000.  His trail was scheduled for May 4. 

Let the Layover Begin!


                                        One day they’re going to say these were the good ole days!

The Last of the Lockheed 1011 Stars

Engines ready?  Go!  This is not a Lockheed 1011 flight simulator.  It’s the real deal.

Airfares Increase

According to the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the 2nd-Quarter 2010 domestic air fares increased 3.8% from the 1st Quarter. The highest fare came from Huntsville, AL.  The lowest fare – Atlantic City, NJ.

 In  November, 2010  the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported the average domestic air fares rose to $341 in the second quarter of 2010, up 3.8 percent from the average fare of $328 in the first quarter – the fourth consecutive increase from the previous quarter. During those four quarters, fares increased 13.1 percent after falling to a recent low of $301 in the second quarter of 2009.

Fares are based on the total ticket value which consists of the price charged by the airlines plus any additional taxes and fees levied by a third party at the time of purchase. Fares include only the price paid at the time of the ticket purchase and do not include other fees, such as baggage fees.  Averages do not include frequent-flyer or “zero fares” or a few abnormally high reported fares.

Flight Attendant Jobs

The Association of Flight Attendants has posted on its website a list of airlines that are currently hiring and/or accepting applications as of November 12, 2010.  Union and non-union affiliations are also included.  The list is below.  Hiring needs change on a frequent basis in the aviation industry, so check the airlines’ websites often.  We do not provide employment information or hiring advice.  For more information about job opportunities, please check the airlines’ websites. 

Air Tran Airways (AFA)                             Air Wisconsin (AFA)                       
9955 AirTran Boulevard                             W. 6390 Challenger Drive, Suite 203
Orlando, FL 32827                                     Appleton, WI  54914-9120                           
www.airtran.com                                       www.airwis.com                                                                               

Allegiant Air (Non-union)                             Chautauqua/Republic/Shuttle
8360 S. Durango Drive                                America (IBT)
Las Vegas, NV  89113                                8909 Purdue Road, Suite 300
www.allegiantair.com                               Indianapolis, IN 46368                  

Colgan Air (USW)                                        Delta Air Lines (non-union)
10677 Aviation Lane                                    1030 Delta Boulevard
Manassas, VA  20110                                  Atlanta, GA  30320
www.colganair.com                                   www.delta.com

Hawaiian Airlines (AFA)                              Mesaba Airlines (AFA)
3375 Koapaka Street G-350                       1000 Blue Gentian Road, Suite 200
Honolulu, HI  96819                                     Eagan, MN  55121
www.hawaiianair.com                               www.mesaba.com

Piedmont Airlines (AFA)                               Spirit Airlines (AFA)
5443 Airport Terminal Rd.                            2800 Executive Way
Salisbury, MD  21804                                   Miramar, FL  33025
www.piedmont-airlines.com                      www.spiritair.com

Pinnacle Airlines (IBT)                                   Virgin America (non-union)
1689 Nonconnah Blvd., Suite 111                  555 Airport Blvd.
Memphis, TN  38132                                     Burlingame, CA  94010
www.flypinnacle.com                                  www.virginamerica.com

                                                     US Airways (USW)
                                                     111 W. Rio Salado Pkwy.
                                                     Tempe, AZ  85281

Wages and Benefits

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wages of flight attendants in May 2009 were $40,010.  The middle 50 percent earned between $31,070 and $51,470.  The lowest 10 percent earned approximately $25,420, and the highest 10 percent earned $71,280.  New hires usually begin at the same level of pay, regardless of experience. 

Beginning pay scales for flight attendants vary by carrier, with the larger carriers usually paying higher wages.  Typically, carriers pay new hires while they are in training.  For instance, Delta Airlines currently pays new hires about $1,746 a month during flight attendant training. 

Some airlines offer incentive pay for working holidays, night and international flights, or taking positions that require additional responsibility or paperwork.  Flight attendants also receive a “per diem” allowance for meal expenses while on duty away from home. The per diem rate differs with each carrier. 

Flight attendants and their immediate families are entitled to free or discounted air fares on their own airline and reduced fares on most other airlines.  Some airlines require the flight attendant be with an airline for 3 to 6 months before taking advantage of this flight benefit.  Other benefits may include medical, dental, life insurance, 401K, sick leave, paid holidays, paid vacations, and sometimes tuition reimbursement. Flight attendants are required to purchase uniforms and wear them while on duty. The airlines usually pay for uniform replacement items.

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