For some reason, the old United slogan “Fly the Friendly Skies…” was all I could think of when I encountered these two jaw-dropping news items in rapid succession last night.
On Southwest Airlines…
…Passengers boarding a Nashville-to-Philadelphia flight were startled to discover a flight attendant stuffed into one of the overhead luggage bins. Luckily this was a strange joke rather than the beginning of real-life murder mystery, but some of the passengers weren’t amused. “I can’t get over how weird I find this,” one of them tweeted, adding “@SouthwestAir please get it together.”
Oh, it’s weird alright. It’s also unprofessional and unsettling. Flying is simply not a joking matter. In-flight staff are responsible for our lives, and we have no choice but to trust them. Any hint that they don’t take their duties seriously, are prone to goofing off, or have poor judgment undermines that trust.
Southwest’s response was to spin for its employee,telling Fox News,
“Southwest Employees are known for demonstrating their sense of humor and unique personalities. In this instance, one of our Flight Attendants attempted to have a brief moment of fun with Customers during boarding. Of course, this is not our normal procedure, and Southwest Crews always maintain Safety as their top priority.”
Reading between the lines, I’d guess that the attendant will not be facing smiles from the brass over her “attempt,” and will be facing some not so funny consequences for acting like a middle-schooler on the job.
But as the great Al Jolson used to say, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” “What were they thinking?” advances to “Are they capable of thought?” in this amazing tale from
When a series of delays caused Elizabeth Coffi Tabu, a 71-year-old cancer patient in a wheelchair, to miss her connection in Montreal on her way her back home to France, Air Canada told her that she would have to share a bed with a 35-year-old male stranger because the hotel the airline chose to house its passengers had only one room left.
When the woman’s daughter learned that her disabled mother was being forced to bunk with a man who could have been anything from a slasher to a snorer (he was neither, and volunteered to sleep on the couch according to Yahoo News), she had to spend three hours arguing with Air Canada officials before they had emergency brain transplants and agreed to procure a second room at another hotel—which they could have done in the first place and not looked like cheap, irresponsible, incompetent fools.
How could any company be this obtuse? I don’t know, but an airline that hires idiots for administrative jobs might be inclined to hire a Boy Scout with an Aviation Merit Badge to fly one of its planes.
I’d recommend staying off of Air Canada until it explains how this fiasco happened, and has announced that everyone responsible has been stuffed in a Southwest luggage compartment.