To Whom It May Concern:

I regret to inform you that the state of commercial aviation has no likelihood of improving. As ticket prices lower, security lines get longer, and more seats are squeezed into already cramped jets, your air travel experience will continue to trend in the direction of  “necessary evil” as opposed to a day pleasantly spent.

Disappointingly, you will find yourself surprised when a customer service representative actually employs good customer service. It will become a feat of greatness to get past a computer to ask questions of a competent person. I’ve heard stories of flight attendants, so jaded and uncompassionate, that they spit in your coffee if you ask for it at “the wrong time.” God forbid you— the air traveler— need anything, that might inconvenience the flight attendants reading their magazines or talking about their latest hooks-ups, between boarding and deplaning.

And flight attendants, don’t get mad at me for saying this. I am one of you. I will always be one of you— commercial or private. Once a flight attendant; always a flight attendant. I know what we go through on the daily and your commercial aviation experience is awful sometimes. I get it. The joys of the job are being robbed as you get less and less time in cities and less and less pay for dealing with the crazy of airports, airlines, and passengers. But, have you considered the alternative? A desk job. Staying in one place? Only have two days off in a row? You may have it worse, flying wise, than it was before air travel became so accessible, but it’s not always awful.

We, along with every single mainstream media outlet, is getting caught up in the drama, constantly bitching about how terrible flying is. Well, yeah— it can be. For you, as well as them— the passengers. Flight attendants are misrepresented more often than not when one of us loses our cool. Rarely does anyone hear about the person you saved from that medical emergency or the mom who said, “Thank you SO much” because she was overwhelmed by flying alone. You don’t know how much of a difference you can make, or maybe you do, and you have simply forgotten because you are overworked and overwhelmed.

You don’t know how hard it is being ‘them’ and they don’t know the difficulties of being you; the challenges of your job. 

Now that we have established that, please can you bring your kind, bright, self back into the dismal outlook of commercial aviation? It’s really a sad thing for someone on the outside and inside— someone like me— to witness. Be a better you today. Be a better flight attendant.

When I observe the state of commercial aviation, I find myself depressed and discouraged. I find myself scared to go on flights as a passenger now, because security talks down to me when I forget to take out my computer and the flight attendants can’t be bothered to walk five steps to pour a cup of water for my parched throat. I’m plain clothed and they don’t know that their job is the only job that I know. No one expects flight attendants to be nice anymore, so when one is, we are shocked.

I imagine if you are following this blog and reading this, you are one of the good and nice and wonderful flight attendants who love what you do and enjoy the people. You have your bad days, but overall, you are as shocked as I that spitting in coffee is a thing. This isn’t a rant directed at you, but a mutual plea to make these things better.  
I have so much respect to you domestic flight attendants and the work environment that you have to handle. Long-haul international was a breeze in comparison. Hang in there and do your best to change the image that the media constantly paints. There are so many of you who love your job and are good at it. You are a source of hope for commercial aviation. Remember that. Commercial aviation needs you.

Flight Attendants

About the Author

Hello, I’m K. J. Watts, but my friends call me Kara. I fell into the sky and have worked as International cabin crew, on private jets as a corporate flight attendant, and earned an FAA Private Pilot Certificate. Over a decade ago, I started this blog, which developed into a love for writing and a debut memoir based on Flight Attendant Life. A California native, I now live in Sydney, Australia, where I enjoy spending time with my husband, writing, and surfing.

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