Flight Attendant Says She Can Understand What Happened To Colleague

Judlyne Lilly, NewsRadio 1080 KRLD Austin Bureau

AUSTIN (KRLD) – One flight attendant says the incident aboard an American Airlines Jet at DFW on Friday could have happened to anybody.

When word came of the attendant’s rant about the plane crashing, veteran flight attendant Heather Poole said she suspects there was an underlying reason for the woman’s behavior.

Poole says many airline flight crews are on edge, simply because they’re worried about their jobs and their pensions.

KRLD’s Judlyne Lilly Reports:

Poole is a flight attendant for an airline she will not name.

She’s also an author, and has written a book about her work called ‘Cruising Attitude.’

In the book, she says that members of the flight crew can also be fined for delays, which is why the most stressful time for flight attendants is during boarding. They’re trying to get passengers in buckled in as fast as possible to get the plane off the ground on time.

In addition to worrying about their jobs and pensions, flight attendants still have to keep smiling.

Poole says the smile is there despite the fact that passengers don’t often reciprocate. She says many flight attendants will go all day without passengers speaking to them, and sometimes flight attendants don’t feel like smiling.

She adds for the most part, being a flight attendant is a good and exciting job, except when job security and pensions are threatened. That’s when attitudes change which spills over into how happily or not they do their jobs.

While American Airlines is so far still flying, it’s talking about laying off 13,000 people and wants labor concessions from unions.

Poole says the lack of job security can be troubling to pilots, flight attendants and other flight workers.

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  • susan

    i find it odd this woman will not say what airline she works for..i think she is using this incident to promote her book..flight attendants are not fined (as in paying money or getting a ticket) for flight delays..i dont know about her airline,but gate agents at american are required to have everyone on board 10 minutes to departure, and go down to shut the aircraft door at 5 minutes to departure in order to prevent a delay..the computer system onboard records the exact time of pushback from the gate when brakes are released, and the exact time the aircraft takes off.. flight service is responsible if a delay is caused by a flight attendant for whatever reason..flight attendants are no more” pressured” than the gate agent.is when boarding ..they both must assure the door is shut on time..onbaord..they make announcements ,go down the aisle then take their jump seats when the plane is already backing up and the captain has said “ready for departure”…as far as a smile or passengers talking to them,i have found many flight attendants would prefer the passengers dont talk to them and even stay in the galley to avoid it….i will agree that attitude spills over because of happiness or unhappiness with the job,and it is not as glamorous as it used to be,but flight attendant candidates are advised of all the good and bad parts of the job before they are offered employment.. airlines for years have furloughed when things got tough, and then called back the same people..the difference here is that american is in the bankruptcy court and it is doubtful all of those laid off will be called back..the flight atttendant in question told them she was bi-polar and off her medication..that was her “underlying” condition..you cant blame american airlines for that..

    • re: Susan

      I could not have said it better myself. This article did NOTHING to further the story. There is no excuse for the behavior of that airline attendant…and missy with her don’t name me, but name my book??? Whatever…

      • re re: Susan

        my bad…she does say what her name is, but I’m still with Susan. She’s doing nothing but trying to promote her book.

  • Apache6

    Stress, this is not stress…want to know real stress??? Real stress is not knowing what direction that next Bullit with your name on it is coming from, 24/7, for 365 days, now that is real stress………..people afraid of losing their job, of losing their retirement??? How about losing your life………?????

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  • Stacy

    are all of you freaking BLIND??? She said her name is Heather Poole and course she doesn’t want to name her employer..If I wrote a book about my experiences in my job field the last thing I would do is name my employer since that would be a conflict of interest and lead to termination and lose of benefits..

    • Geffen

      Stacy, you aren’t thinking this through. If she gives her name then she pretty much gave her employer. She isn’t really smart. If any airline manager is reading this they can just do a quick search of employees to see if someone has that name.

  • FedUpTxn

    Those of us who have had experience with someone bi-polar off their meds, knows exactly what happened here and it can become a very dangerous situation. Using it to promote a book is seriously wrong and leads to the question “did these two ladies plan this all along?”

  • Brian

    Flight attendants cannot name in the media the airline they work for. It’s airlines’ policies. Plus if you name it, you cannot tell the full truth.

    I don’t know what happened on that flight exactly but that flight attendant should have limited her frustration. However, personal problems and pilling up pressure can lead to such break outs. We are all human so we should understand this and limit our “OMG! an FA who just freaked out!!” attitude.

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  • cbinflux

    Life would be easier on them if they were more waitress, and less bully. Cops are friendlier than most stewards/stewardesses (yes, I said it) these days.

  • cbinflux

    Heather works for AA.

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