Flight attendant loses cool on NYC plane

Posted on by TheLastPsychiatrist and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

An American Eagle flight was grounded on the runway in NYC (during a heat wave) for five hours.  People started to complain.  Jose Serrano, flight attendant for American Eagle, yells back at the passengers.

“If you have the balls to try [and get off the plane], now’s your chance.”  Etc.

(No one tried.)

The facts of the case are not disputable, because there are phone videos all over the place.  Nevertheless, in the face of objective evidence, the news story, as the agent of the corporation, manages to do something that even almost swayed me:

American Airlines issued an email from a first-class passenger defending the flight attendant and blaming the incident on “the most horrible display of passenger aggressiveness” toward Serrano.

And suddenly I was in the midst of the class struggle hardwired into all our lives.  Suddenly, this wasn’t about gay=crazy flight attendants who open emergency chutes to get TV shows.  I suddenly felt the class distance: those animals in coach drove this guy crazy, reliably narrated by a gentleman in first class.

The point isn’t who is more reliable, cameras or passengers; but rather how instinctively I reacted to the class divide– even against my own nature.  We are the 98%, and we are too slow.

At no point should you ask if five hours on a runway is a kind of torture, especially in coach.  NB: the air condition doesn’t run well if the plane’s not flying. 

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15 Responses to Flight attendant loses cool on NYC plane

  1. spindritf says:

    Is that the correct video? The video report is about a pilot flipping out mid-flight.

    • AnonymousAtLarge says:

      I liked this video better, having seen both of them.

      The one about the crazy pilot reminds me of the onion.
      technically, so does the Serrano story.
      BTW,Serrano is an elderly hispanic man with a heavy accent, and he’s HILARIOUS fyi. I was cheering him on as someone who knows what “customers” are like. He sneaks it in at the end of the sentence. “…if joo have the balls!” <—LOL FOREVER.

      Gay=crazy doesn't make sense. A gay guy yells in the video but it is a passenger and not Serrano. As far as stereotypes are concerned this would be more a case of underappreciated elderly & hispanic = crazy.

      • sunshinefiasco says:

        “gay=crazy flight attendants who open emergency chutes to get TV shows.” refers to Steven Slater: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Slater

        • AnonymousAtLarge says:

          I had never heard of this story before. Thank you, I’m now in teh loop. PS, this is the best version of all of these stories. Crazy bitch flight attendent on a manic booze bender emergency evacuates after crazying on the intercom. So great haaaa. He should work at my job, he would fit in.

  2. ironhans says:

    This post has clarified something for me: I’m way too obedient. Now whether that means I’m a coward or simply well-trained I just can’t tell. My movie-self wants to cry out, “challenge accepted,” to Jose and rush the door. Instead I’ll just stare at my shoes, eat my peanuts and write a negative review on Yelp, and that certainly isn’t brave. Since 9/11 the somberness of travel has been magnified as well as the fear of TSA cavity searches.
    “Too slow”= all yelp, no bite. Because of what fear? Fear of change? I mean of me changing; it’s ok if you change.
    I won’t ask if sitting in a constricted hot-box is torture, but what is being shamed into enduring my misery in silence by a social superior? (he/she sat in first-class after all.)

    • AnonymousAtLarge says:

      IRL I would have been one of the harpie bitches in the background yelling at no one, whining. WHATS TAKING SO LONG. THIS IS RIDICULOUS.

      Another crazier bitch would have sooner or later confronted me and we may or may not have gotten into a fight.

      I don’t have white people nervous system, sorry ironhans, that sounds unpleasant. I’d rather be low class and crazy and get it all out.

      • ironhans says:

        That’s sort of my point. All yelp and no bite. Whether you sit in silence or whine loudly, you’re not rushing the door, hence doing nothing.
        So ‘loud’ means ‘not white’?

        • AnonymousAtLarge says:

          Well, actively going against expectations and telling everyone how it is, IS DOING SOMETHING. Rushing off the plane is not the only way to let it be known how it is. Perhaps I want to stay on the plane to get to where I’m going, in addition to letting everyone know the situation is shit? Things are not so black and white my friend!

          Just the other day I was in a store, and the cashier got bitchface with me. I said “I’m sorry but you are being very rude”. She did not apologize and amped up her rudeness in response to my confrontation.
          I dumped all of my merchandise down on the counter and left the store. I said “you know what, you can put this all back now, thanks”. I told everyone in the store the cashier was extremely rude and that is a ridiculous way to treat a customer who is about to drop half a fucking grand.

          Leaving the plane isn’t the only way to get the job done (of being true to yourself). Maybe I want to go to fucking florida more than I want to make a point. For those times, calling the flight / attendant a bitch is the standard therapy, perhaps augmented with “if I wasn’t going to wherever I would leave but unfortunately I am stuck here for the next few hours with your useless ass. ”

          It is a medical fact that white people are spineless conformists incapable of any kind of independent thought or action. They are like asians without the productivity or math skills. It’s written in the bible.

          • ironhans says:

            Your racist tirade toward Caucasians aside, in your store example you did more than complain: you dropped all your products and stormed out. You ‘got off the plane’. Bravo.
            Also, I don’t think loud, bitchy public rantings ‘go against expectation’, as you say. Most of us, possibly including yourself, have worked in service positions and borne the brunt of a customer a rant, justified or not. It probably makes the customer feel better, but at the end of the day it accomplishes nothing. Unless perhaps you’re in first class. But then, what have you got to complain about?

  3. Guy Fox says:

    how instinctively I reacted to the class divide– even against my own nature.

    Your own nature? Were you born with an affinity for the working class or to see the world in those terms? If you learned your own nature, to what extent is it yours, and in what sense is it nature?

    There’s also probably something deeper than just class conflict pushing your reactions. Instead of the letter coming from a passenger in 1st class, imagine it coming from a facially pierced teenager, a shallow-eye-candy MSM reporter, and the steward’s union rep. (okay, so it’s an alternate universe where discount carriers’ flight attendants have unions, but go with it). The same letter from the teeenager could be discounted as just sympathizing with another low-status person who had the balls to say ‘balls’ in uniform over a corporate intercom. Take that establishment/dad! From MSM, it could be interpreted as just about anything from the old, reliable story of collapsing civility in the modern world to the power of smart phones for professional accountability to the tyranny of NTSB regulations and how they’re driving us all nuts – just giving you whatever familiar story will keep you from voting with the remote. From the union rep., the class interpretation of the letter is pretty hard to avoid, but it would be coming from an authoritative, institutionally recognized, professional speaker for the class. It was probably even more important for your interpretation that the letter’s author wrote “the most horrible display of passenger aggressiveness” instead of “the whole damn plane got all up in dat Mexican’s face” than where the author was sitting.

    My point is that the letter’s power to influence your reading of the actual incident depends on cues as to the speaker’s authority and credibility, but if you only think of those cues in terms of class and you think the only cue you received is from the author’s row number, you’re missing most of the game.

  4. BHE says:

    What’s ridiculous to me is that anyone tried to defend anything. At what point is a minor breakdown of social decorum not to be expected? Cramming 150 people into a metal tube in the heat with no end in sight SHOULD result in some bitchiness on all sides.

  5. AnonymousAtLarge says:

    PS I just wanted to say, I love the new background images. Gorge. I also love that the website greets me with a “howdy”. HOW NOVEL IS THAT. No one has ever said Howdy to me before!

  6. AcademicLurker says:

    I thought that after that JetBlue fiasco a few years ago they instituted rules about how long passengers could be kept sitting on the runway. Or is that just voluntary policies adopted by individual airlines?