As flight attendants, our trips pretty much define our lives. Trips allow you some insight and predictability on a lifestyle that usually assures you neither. I have said it many times before and I will say it again, a trip legitimately has the ability to make or break you so to speak, and can really play with your emotions.
And unfortunately with the race to compete with low-cost carriers, dropping fare prices, and increasing staff utilization, bad trips are becoming more of the norm. But just yesterday when Crew Scheduling called I was happy to see for once a trip that was laughably easy, which is something that is hard to come by nowadays.
It all started last night at 6:24pm when crew scheduling called with my trip. They explained that I was going to depart JFK Airport on flight 1105 at 11:50pm to Boston, and I was going to lay over that night for 10 hours and then deadhead (to fly as a regular passenger) home first thing the next morning. They instructed me that my check-in time for the trip was 10:50pm, and to be at Kennedy at that time.
As I am casually getting ready for work around 9pm, I see that crew scheduling has left me a voicemail stating that my flight time has been pushed back up to its original departure time of 9:50pm, and to get to the airport as quickly as possible.
I finish getting ready for work, and leave the house hurriedly knowing that my departure time is much earlier than originally anticipated. As I am driving to work crew scheduling calls me a few more times and leaves me some more voicemail messages asking where I was. After calling me a few times and feeling harassed, I pulled over to the side of the road to pick up the phone. They are questioning where I am, in which I tell them I will get there when I get there with such short notice. I explain to them talking on the phone while driving in New York State is against the law and I will call them when I arrive to the airport.
Upon arriving at the airport I scramble to sign in for my trip, find the gate number I am departing from and rush to that gate. As I run up to that gate the agent tells me not to hurry because the plane is broken, the flight departure time has been pushed back to 1am, and we are waiting for a different plane to come… from Los Angeles. He explains to me that I can go sit on the broken plane with the rest of my crew and watch some movies while we all wait for the new plane to arrive.
About an hour or so of watching the movie Love And Other Drugs the pilots inform us that their duty has been extended too long, and they are now illegal meaning they can not work any longer. The company decides to lay them over in a hotel, and we are now left without pilots.
A bit later on the gate agent comes down on the plane to tell us that they found us some new pilots and they are flying in from San Francisco. The gate agent jokingly announces in the departure lounge that, “If any of you need to get to Boston tonight, I highly suggest you renting a car and driving there.”
Fast forward to after 1:00 in the morning and both our aircraft and pilots have arrived from the West Coast. The aircraft needs to be cleaned and catered and then we are ready to take off. Hours of disorganization, disaster, and mess have finally resulted in this flight taking off which can be looked at as some sort of miracle. We apologize profusely to the passengers for the delay as we truly do feel horrible.
We end up taking off around 1:45 am (finally) and landing in Boston at around 2:45am. Since we are going to lay over in Boston at the Courtyard Boston Logan Airport Hotel, we call to confirm that we have arrived and get an ETA for the hotel airport shuttle. The lead flight attendant speaks with the hotel clerk auditor Jose, who snaps back at him rudely on the phone and says, “momentarily.”
When we arrive at the Courtyard Marriott hotel at a bit past 3am, Jose is anything but warm and welcoming to me and my crew of three other flight attendants. He explains that the hotel is in an over-sale situation, and only has two rooms for our pilots, in which he rubbed in our faces that they were premium suites. Jose demands that we get in touch with our company’s hotel reservation desk and have them fax over some unnecessary paperwork in order to determine if he can release the rooms or not.
Very patiently we call our hotel desk to ask them to fax over the paperwork that Jose is requesting. The saint we speak too at the hotel desk informs us that Jose is just being difficult and that she has faxed over this paperwork twice. Jose informs us that he has not received anything. As this point the pilots are already tucked in and sleeping in their rooms, and the captain had given us his room number and told him to contact him if any issues arose.
We wait patiently for about another 30 minutes making it close to 4:00 in the morning and Jose informs us that he has still not received any fax. We call our hotel desk one more time to ask them to please fax over the document one more time, because we are very tired and just want to sleep. She assures us that she has faxed over this document a third time, and complains that Jose is even giving her a hard time and making her life difficult as well. In the meantime while all of this is going on we are just sitting patiently in the lobby chairs, embarrassed as people are looking at us like we are homeless or we have done something wrong. Jose also calls security to stand by him, as if we had threatened him or something.
About ten minutes later, Jose informs us that he received the fax and can magically release four rooms for us that apparently appeared out of nowhere, because remember he said the hotel was oversold. The lead flight attendant signs the paper grabs his key and heads upstairs first. As myself and the other two flight attendants are signing in and getting our keys, Jose goes on a wild tangent that he is doing this as a courtesy to us, and that if he wanted too he could take any of our rooms away at any time. At this point we are tired and do not want to do anything to anger this guy who is on a psycho power-trip, and we quickly sign in and take our keys. As we are getting ready to head up to our rooms Jose is tripping out and basically making us feel worthless, ungrateful, and pathetic. One flight attendant says a minimal comment back letting him know that this bullying is not OK, and he signals security over and tells him to get that flight attendant “out of his presence,” and she was now not allowed to stay there tonight.
He then tells me and the other flight attendant we can head up to our rooms but I calmly explain to him that I am not leaving a young 22-year-old new-hire flight attendant female ALONE in the pouring rain at 4am, in the middle of a seedy Boston area. I tell the other flight attendant to call the lead flight attendants room, and let him know we will all be leaving this hotel because of insane Jose.As she is about to call the lead flight attendant on our trip, he comes out of the elevator frantic exclaiming that he had been given the key to a large mans room, who got scared when he tried to enter, and almost punched him the face. Jose did not like this and our lead flight attendant was also instantly banished from Jose’s presence, and kicked out of the hotel as well.
Fast forward to a few moments later and all four of us flight attendants are banished to the hotel vestibule sitting on the floor, embarrassed, cold, wet, and essentially homeless. It’s after 4am, pouring raining and nowhere for us to go, and Jose thought it was appropriate to kick us out of the hotel when we never threatened him, caused confrontation, became vulgar or rough, and not one of us even used profanity. While the lead flight attendant called our hotel desk to try to set up a new reservation for a different hotel and transportation, the one flight attendant and I who were not kicked out of the hotel decided to go inside and call the captain to inform him of the situation, as he stated to do if something happened. Not very interested the captain thanked us for calling him and said good night. And there the four of us were stranded with nowhere to go in the vestibule of the Courtyard Boston Logan Airport at 4am in the pouring rain, with people coming in and out every few moments just looking at us and asking if we were alright. Even the van shuttle driver was concerned about us as he saw us sitting there for hours, with nowhere to go.
In what world anyone thinks that it is alright to kick out four flight attendants who need to work that next morning out of a hotel when they have done nothing wrong is beyond me. I myself am only twenty-three years old, and the other female only twenty-two. We were completely nonviolent and non-confrontational and yet we were just thrown to the curb.I have never not once in my life felt that level of shame or embarrassment, and I am appalled that any staff member of any company would act this way. I have tried to leave emotions out of this story, did not embelish, and told the facts as is. I hope there is some way the tapes can be pulled from the lobbys cameras to shine a light on this abusive and ludicrous behavior.
Wishing you all fly safe my kittens, XoXo.
Update #1: Since the time of publication I have been informed that Jose has been fired. #Bye 👋🏼