On a recent flight from Houston Bush to San Antonio, I was fortunate to receive an upgrade to First Class. I know it probably sounds cool that I was bumped to the front cabin, but the reality is that the flight is only about 30 minutes long. Regardless, the seats are more comfortable, and we generally are offered a pre-flight drink, which includes any of the available cocktails.
The Flight Attendant
The flight attendant working the First Class cabin was young, definitely not 25 yet. There were only 12 passengers for her to service, so she had ample time to take the pre-flight drink orders. After jotting down what we wanted, she made her way to the galley, and we were looking forward to our drinks. Abruptly, however, she came back to the cabin and noted the following: “I will not be able to provide the drinks because we’re getting ready to taxi here in a bit. I will provide your drinks while in the air.”
Interestingly, the plane didn’t move for another 10 minutes, which means she had time to serve the beverages. I could tell that she lacked experience, but decided to stay quiet. We would, after all, get our drinks once airborne. It was a 6 pm flight, and many of us were looking forward to our cocktails.
Shortly after getting to our cruising altitude, the flight attendant approached all the passengers again to re-take the drink orders. I suppose that most of had the same requests as when we were on the ground. I mentioned earlier that we had 12 passengers, which means four rows of three. I was in Seat 3A, which on this aircraft is the single side of the third row. The drinks were provided to the first two rows, and my row was next. It was our turn!
Not so fast!
The novice attendant came out of the galley hurriedly, and informed the First Class passengers that she needed to terminate the service because we were close to landing. Those of us in rows three and four were stunned! To make matters worse, she informed the folks in the first two rows that she needed to pick up the drinks. An older gentleman in Seat 2B had to give up his cold beer, even though the glass was more than half-full.
The Economy Cabin
The two veteran flight attendants working the Economy cabin had time to serve water to the 100+ passengers. They even made the following announcement: “For those of you in Economy and Economy Plus, please note we’re serving water. However, if you would like an alcoholic beverage, please lower your tray table, and we’ll do what we can to get it to you. We accept all major credit cards.” The flight attendants continued to work the back cabin for another 15 minutes after our attendant called it a day.
I was finally able to get in touch with one of the experienced flight attendants, and expressed our dissatisfaction. She was concerned with the situation, and had a 5-minute discussion with the young lady working our cabin. Even after this talk, she offered to get drinks for us, but we weren’t in the mood anymore. We wanted to get home!
I want you to know that I’m not upset at the young flight attendant. There’s no doubt she lacked the necessary experience to work alone. Therefore, the lesson here is to make sure our employees have the proper training to do the assigned work. It’s best to have them work with an experienced person before they go out on their own.
When I made it home, my teenage son and I went to In-N-Out Burger, and I ordered the #1 with a Diet Coke! I even went back to refill it! Good stuff!