In a new poll by, readers were surveyed and asked which US airline has the rudest flight attendants. American was the unfortunate winner with 25% of the vote while the other legacy carriers were not too far behind. Meanwhile, the low-cost carriers fared pretty well with a 4 way tie at 2% for Alaska, Frontier, JetBlue, and Virgin.

Curious as to what flight attendants think of you and your requests? Check out this post.

Perhaps some of the reasons for the rudeness can be found in this Say What? Overheard on the Plane – Crazy Things Said to Flight Attendants Edition

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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Solar December 18, 2012 - 6:23 pm

I doubt respondents have flown all 12 carriers (I’ve only flown 7 on the list & avg 50k BIS/yr), therefore don’t feel they could accurately answer which carrier has the rudest FA’s. With most people flying the largest carriers due to destinations/network, it’s no wonder they are on top. I call BS on this survey.

adam December 18, 2012 - 6:39 pm

@Solar – Definitely agree that the legacies have more flights and are obviously flown by a greater number of people , thereby potentially skewing these results. Though Southwest is the 3rd largest airline by passengers carried and number 2 by fleet size.

Av8Purser March 20, 2013 - 7:32 am

I have flown more than 15 carriers … I think to truly to get an accurate reading you must have flown said carriers more than once or twice. We all know every company has those kind individuals, and those you would love to throw in the blue room and hope they get a good dose of their own smelly attitude. Our number ONE flight attendant, top seniority is 86…. there are several hundred that are within a few years of that. Do you really think from our 21-86 yr old 22,000 air stewards, stewardesses, hostess, crew, flight attendants, you are going to find great customer service every time? I wished it were so… Many times we start out with a good attitude, as passengers board, (the hardest part of flt) they are frustrated and overwhelmed from hours of hotel chk out, early, late hours, travel to airport, standing in line, baggage issues, security, running to airplane, missing flt due to traffic, the stupid agents, or BAD WX (weather). and of course it is OUR fault mother nature is having a tornado and we can take off and are causing someone to miss their meeting… How ridiculous we are because Auntie Em says there is no weather where they are. I love that you (smile) believe we control the weather… Please help us to help you and be kind. We are in the customer service industry and we do all that we can for you… but if someone is provoked 100 times, even if you just happen to be the last one to do so… TADA,,,, YOU will see the other side of the service. Buckle up. Welcome to the Twilight Zone. Do not attempt to adjust your seat.

arms March 22, 2013 - 5:00 pm

who put up their hand and committed themselves to their dream job??? you did… if you can’t cope… then leave…. there are thousands of those who were rejected at interviews… they’ll gladly do it…. thank you… p.s. i was f/a for 10 yrs and my love for the job didn’t get all the hassles unknown and not the guests business get in the way of what was second nature and what i was required to do…. show my love for my job… cheers

arms March 22, 2013 - 5:07 pm

check out the asian carriers… they have the right formula…. hire at the most youngest age possible… for me 18 plus would be good as they would meet alcohol serving legal age… they are out to discover the world… then maximum 4 years they’re out… no questions askd… they leave with great memories and no guests/passengers to throw their garbage on… cheers sorry that is the reality of it all…. p.s. i was an f/a for 10 yrs and if i still had the opportunity will give it another go… so there you go… cheers (i have also flown with american airlines and they are… as the poll says…)

Steve December 18, 2012 - 10:31 pm

I find that the low cost carriers have younger, less experienced FA’s (i.e. lower paid). It might be that they are still new to the business and aren’t worn out from all the travel and dealing with crazy passengers. Legacies have FA’s who’s been around a long time and are often either burnt out or just not willing to put up with the crap passengers give them. I’m not saying they should put up with most of the stuff, but it can come across as being rude whether they are right or not.

arms March 22, 2013 - 5:27 pm

exactly what you said “burnt out”… step aside and let others step in with the “shining light” not yet burnt out… 🙂

Jim December 19, 2012 - 7:49 am

As an AA f/a, I know that some of ours are incredibly rude to passengers. On the other hand, when passenger order us to put their bags in the overhead bin, and we have to explain to them that we are not permitted to lift passenger bags (we can assist you, but not do the job for you), they immediately start yelling that we are rude, that Alaska/Jetblue/Frontier/(fill in the blank) f/as “always put my bag away for me.”

Even though I have only been around for 11 years (my 5th career), I’m thinking more and more of retirement as the passenger attitude of “whatever I want to do is my bygod Constitutional right to do” becomes more prevalent every day.

arms March 22, 2013 - 5:34 pm

cabin baggage? no problems i usually eye the noisiest teenage boys willing to step in to give the pax a hand at stowing their heavy bags and presto… done… no hassle or reading the rights to every pax… cheers fyi ex f/a 10yrs

Chris December 19, 2012 - 8:56 am

@Jim, As you know, being nice is a two way street. I agree that some pax can be unreasonable, but the F/As have to face all the pax, and not carry a bad experience throughout the whole plane, or the whole day. As a group AA F/As do seem to be mad at the world these days. I don’t blame them for being upset at management, other workers, or bad pax, but being the front-line workers they need to put that behind them and let the good pax feel welcome.

arms March 22, 2013 - 5:41 pm

totally agree with you here…. don’t bring in your garbage to work… they paid for you to look after them… just do it… you don’t do this 12 hrs of the day everyday…. hint …. look at your flight roster and see who works more hours… you or them??? and who gets to sleep on duty with a bed???? you or them??? who has the most days off in the world???? you or them????…. i know exactly how this works… you are letting your hangover out on your poor paying passengers who are keeping you on the payroll… so do wake up and really smell the coffee… cheers

Travel is Free December 19, 2012 - 11:16 am

I’ve flown a lot of airlines and a whole lot of AA… and I agree with this poll. I once told a flight attendant on an international flight that I COULD NOT eat the food (and I told them ahead of time) and the flight attendant said, “that sucks”, shook his head and never offered anything else. I didn’t eat for like another 5 hours. – That was AA.

That kind of service is even more shocking after you’ve been in Asia for a while.

Dee March 20, 2013 - 7:14 am

IF you have a dietary need, and you CAN NOT eat the food that a plane carries, then of course, whose responsibility is it that YOU EAT? We have a set menu of items on board. We have a set number of pax on board. We rarely have “extra” items on a full flight. Unless a PAX turns a meal down, we have allotted meals for pax and crew. There fore, my public, if you are diabetic, lactose intolerant, vegan, vegetarian, Hindu, Muslim, Kosher, need Childrens meals, sodium free, seafood only, fruit only, etcccc etccccc etccc …. BRING YOUR OWN FOOD…. we do not have an unlimited supply of restaurant type items available. We are not trying to be rude, its THE FACT. We are on an Airplane, traveling at 35000 in the air, with pax, cargo, bags, blankets, pillows, limited beverages and limited food. Respect, kindness, and empathy go along way. We can not help those who need a personal asst to remind you to bring some thing as we do not who you are. Though, (smile) I am sure you will tell us. Buckle up. Its going to be a bumpy ride.

arms March 22, 2013 - 5:16 pm

sorry dee…. duzn work that way… you sounding like a f/a …. you know that when you are trained… you IMPROVISE…. on the airline that i worked for for 10 years we sacrificed our crew meals for ANY guest/pax rqst…. we provide a tray of food from bits & pieces from the carts that we call a FRANKENSTEIN tray to feed our guest according to their request to the best of our ability and they ALWAYS appreciate it…. our CAPTAINS give up their meals… we have a healthy allowance once we arrive at each port so therefore can feed ourselves to our hearts content and as you know meals on board aren’t as nice as those on the ground… cheers

ORD-TGU December 19, 2012 - 12:41 pm

@Jim, I appreciate your hard work, rude f/a are not the norm, people usually remember the bad ones and forget all the positive f/a.

adam December 19, 2012 - 1:18 pm

Thanks ORD-TGU and of course Jim, yes it’s certainly important to remember the great F/As as well,

arms March 22, 2013 - 6:43 pm

what does one do to a rotten apple?? yep the trash receptacle is waiting…. allow the others to continue attracting the appetite of those poor paying customers… they certainly don’t deserve to purchase those full of crawling worms…

Bill December 19, 2012 - 1:13 pm

@Travel is Free: Just curious, what were you expecting them to do once embarked? They have what they have. Granted, a better verbal than “that sucks” was called for, but they can’t produce what isn’t loaded.

Ten Shocking Secrets of Flight Attendants..and other fun posts & pics - Point Me To The Plane March 7, 2013 - 10:01 pm

[…] Some fun related posts: What Do Flight Attendants Think of You…and your requests? Smelly Seatmate Survival Tips Say What? Overheard on the Plane Edition 28 – Crazy Things Passengers Say to Flight Attendants …and I thought some of my seatmates were gross American Wins for Rudest Flight Attendants while Alaska, JetBlue, Virgin, & Frontier Tie for Ni… […]

SIL March 15, 2013 - 6:40 pm

As a FA I have experienced very rude & selfish pax-s and some grateful ones as well. People in general will bring onto the A/C their bad and pissed off attitudes with their carry-ons and expel it all on to the FAs. We have two choices. Ignore it or engage. Depending on the situation… Most of us will ignore, give short answer and move on. If we engage, usually no matter what we do, for the pax, it is not good enough and they can not be satisfied. Most of the time its not worth the time of day…!

arms March 22, 2013 - 6:32 pm

you didn’t feel/notice it but your term used “grateful” is an attitude word that makes majority of f/a’s think they are better than others… i say no more…

Jamie October 13, 2013 - 12:53 pm

I fly American a lot and also many Asian carriers and can certainly feel the difference. But the difference is not unexpected. I adjust my expectations accordingly. Of course I want US carriers to be more like Asian ones but the reality of labor laws, unions, etc are just some of the roadblocks to that.

But one thing I never expect from FAs is assisting me with lifting luggage. You want to bring that oversized carry on? You lift it. Don’t expect other passengers or crew to do it for you. If you can’t, and you’re not elderly or disabled, pay the fee and check it in you cheap ba**ard. Can you imagine if the FA had to lift 3-4 bags per flight and they have multiple flights during their shift? No, you packed it, you lift it.


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