I LOVE being a flight attendant, but recently it’s been more of a challenge than ever.
Everyone has this “Passengers’ Lives Matter” mentality since the United Airlines incident, where a passenger being bumped for an airline employee was bloodied while being dragged off a plane.
They are way more disrespectful and blame us for every problem they experience.
People regularly say things like, “I was going to push my call light for a drink, but I don’t want to get dragged down the aisle.” And, “There was no space for my bag, but we all know what will happen to people who speak up.”
It’s frustrating, but we just have to take it and smile because they can tape it and tweet it — usually out of context — and get us in trouble at any moment.
Every facial expression, every gesture or even a sigh can be taken as some sort of indirect hostility or disrespect.
During an average eight-hour workday, I deal with 600 to 900 passengers and it’s becoming increasingly hard.
About a week ago, I was the galley flight attendant during a flight from JFK to Phoenix. A gentleman who had been mouthing off the whole flight stood in the galley to wait for the rest room. I kindly asked him to step out of the area and wait in the aisle, but he refused.
He snapped, “What are you gonna do about it? Am I in big trouble now?”
Then, when the rest room opened, he didn’t go inside.
I pointed out that it was vacant and he rudely responded, “Am I even allowed to go to the bathroom? Are you giving me permission to do that now?”
I replied, “Yes, of course, sir, and you can; please drop the attitude.”
He gave me a look of disgust and mumbled something under his breath.
People are attacking us simply for making sure they are safe and following regulations.
A few days later, I found out he had written me up, saying I had disrespected him. In my four years as a flight attendant, I’d never been written up before.
Now, I have to meet with my manager and get a talking-to. The incident will also permanently go on my record until I get enough positive reviews to bump it off.
But I’m grateful for the passengers who go above and beyond to treat us with compassion. People like that make all the difference.
Nathan Henderson, 34, of Brooklyn, has worked as a flight attendant for a major American airline for four years. Here he tells The Post’s Melkorka Licea that the recent spate of viral videos capturing violent airline incidents is fuelling a virtual passengers’ revolt and a tide of unwarranted hate toward flight crews.