American Airlines Flight Attendant Upgrades His Girlfriend To First Class After Takeoff, Sits Down Next To Her, Spends Flight Loudly Chatting…

Have we discovered another reason why the union representing American Airlines flight attendants demanded cutbacks in beverage and meal service onboard: so flight attendants can upgrade and fraternize with their significant others?

American Airlines Flight Attendant Upgrades Girlfriend, Spends The Flight Chatting With Her Instead Of Working

A reader, whom I trust, shared the following story with me:

On January 11th onboard American Airlines flight AA5597 from Washington (DCA) to Tallahassee (TLH) I was seated in a mostly empty domestic first class section. There were two male flight attendants servicing this leg.

Shortly after take off the taller of the two FAs approached the FA in the first class cabin and spoke to him. Immediately after they spoke, the taller FA waved a girl from the coach section to come up to first class. She seated herself at the window seat on the two seat side of the plane. Shortly thereafter (not long after beverage service was completed) the taller FA took the seat beside her.

I attempted to sleep on this 90-minute flight but soon found that impossible. The FA and this woman were looking at photos on their phones and carrying on hysterically for nearly the entire course of the flight. The FA neglected whatever duties he may have had to carry on with this woman until approximately 20 minutes before we landed.

What disturbed me most was the coach section was quite empty as well. If they wanted to engage in these activities why didn’t they go to the back of the plane? Instead the FA chose an area of ​​the plane where people pay for a premium experience.

As I exited the airport I was wondering if I was making too much of this in my mind. But as I was leaving, the woman who was seated in front of this couple grabbed my arm and asked me if I was as upset as she was at their behavior. I thanked her for validating my feelings.

I will point out this is not the normal experience I have enjoyed from AA over the years. But there does appear to be a recent downward trend.

Pretty damning, isn’t it? Doesn’t matter how empty the flight was – there is no excuse for this behavior. The flight was operated by PSA Airlines, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Airlines. While not mainline, this was still an “American Airlines” flight attendant.

I write about this not to denigrate the many hard working flight attendants at American Airlines or PSA. Rather, I share this story so that flight attendants like this are rooted out and held accountable.

To the flight attendant: American Airlines does not pay you to sit down in first class and chat with your girlfriend during the flight. Those onboard upgrades are also unauthorized. Did you think no one would notice?

To everyone: so many negative stories about American Airlines lately and most of them, it seems to me, are unforced errors. I am not anti-American Airlines: I generally enjoy flight American Airlines and think the carrier has great potential to improve in so many areas. I look forward to seeing what Robert Isom will do to put his mark on AA.

But one thing that must be done for consumer confidence to be restored: root out flight attendants like this. They have no business wearing an AA uniform.


An American Airlines / PSA flight attendant was observed upgrading his girlfriend to first class onboard, then proceeding to sit next to her and chat during the flight, disturbing other first class passengers and neglecting his (already meager) duty to passengers.

I trust that American Airlines will look into this incident and take corrective action. It’s simply unacceptable.

image: PSA Airlines

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