Airline personnel need to show courtesy

Posted: Monday, October 20, 2003

I have been flying with Alaska Airlines for 25 years and used to be a very satisfied customer. The flight attendants were helpful and personable. The pilots were, and continue to be, excellent. In the past two weeks I've flown on eight flights with Alaska Airlines.

I have come to the sorry conclusion that service and common courtesy from Alaska Airlines flight attendants is a thing of the past.

I phoned Alaska Airlines consumer affairs and asked the job description of a flight attendant (did it involve more than safety?). I was told they are not "obligated" to help me or any passenger. I'm not impressed. What's wrong with civility or even respect?

My recent flying experiences were consistent in the rudeness and apathy of the cabin crew, but I grew more than weary of it by my last trip. On my flight home from Juneau the morning of Oct. 13, 2003, I was traveling with my 10-month-old and 3-year-old daughters, our carry-ons and a stroller.

I was told by the ticket agent to take the stroller down and leave it in the gateway. Not sure exactly where in the gateway and with no flight attendants visible at the door to the airplane, I stepped onto the plane. I saw the cabin crew chatting and sipping coffee. I received a large sigh from one and was told to set the stroller outside the airplane. When I attempted to do so, I was informed, with a great deal of exasperation, to take it back down the gateway to a door.

When I didn't move fast enough the flight attendant tried to usher my 3-year-old onto the plane without me, asking her along the way if she knew what seat she was in. No, she didn't.

Fellow passengers on every plane during my intensive 14 days of flying were exceptionally kind. They offered to help put luggage in overhead compartments, guide my 3-year-old daughter up and down In any way they could. Maybe even more appreciated were their smiles, courtesy and general goodwill.

Perhaps the greatest asset Alaska Airlines has is the kindness of its passengers.

Dawn Wilson


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