Pete Lee

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

About those international flight attendants...

From a missive to my friend Doug:

> Hmm, so what airline has the best FAs? Care to comment about the
> quality of my fellow Texans (i.e., CO, AA)? Do the Britts indeed have
> better service (BA)?

I think it depends on all on what you like. I've noticed only slight differences between airlines, and most are charming:

*United, NWA, etc.: Plain old American service. That's about it. I think my flight to Seoul in 1987 served a somewhat dessicated-looking piece of bul-go-gi on rice. While lacking in the aesthetics department, it was an adequate comestible.

Stewardesses walked down aisles with trays of beer during the "lights out" portion of our flight. YEAH! The bread served with meals was very good.

Stewardesses offered aperitifs and digestifs with each meal (the latter being cognac), and along with the great bread, offered the Scandinavian favorite, Wasa rye crackers, with each pass of the bread basket. I actually thought that was pretty nifty.

On the European airlines, there seems to be more focus on really tasty (and potent) tea, coffee and breads. I'm sure BA will not disappoint, with midflight announcements about the health of the Queen's pinky toe, as well as hourly renditions of "Hail Britannia." If they're gonna be really authentic, bland British food will be served--along with options for Indian, Indonesian and Italian.


  • Since I've flown with SAS, I must comment on this post. Regarding the service, there is simply no comparison to domestic flights. SAS provides more than enough happy, beautiful and competent female flight attendants to make your journey a pleasant and relaxing experience. Simply making eye contact with one of the nordic beauties will get you a nod and visit to ask if you would like another drink, wasa rye or plush blanket.

    Alaska Airlines has to be the worst, although Continental Airlines comes a close second. Alaska Air stewardesses are snotty, self-absorbed and worried if their crewmembers saw their smeared lipstick heeled shoe-carrying walk of shame from the captain's hotel room at 4:30am the night before.

    Saturated with jewelry, lipstick and adultery, these fake gold-digging Alaska Airlines stewardesses only remind you of the shallow, material-oriented, bitchy, backstabbing frame of mind that exists in Seattle and Los Angeles.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at Thursday, August 25, 2005 2:18:00 PM  

  • You're right about the service--and yes, they're easy on the eyes. Did you fly on SAS to Prague as well? I did a layover in Copenhagen, which made for a fun 3 hour visit.

    Hahaha, walk of shame. I love it.

    You're not kidding about that Seattle/LA frame of mind. It's bad when people who were born and raised there make the same observation. Quite sad, really.

    By Blogger PeteLee, at Thursday, August 25, 2005 2:33:00 PM  

  • Northwest has actually improved. I generally avoid eating Korean food on any flight, because it sucks. This goes for Korean Air as well. Anyway, I prefer Northwest to Korean Air and both above pretty much everything else I've ever flown (including Cessnas). My main airplane concern these days is just making it home in one piece.

    By Blogger Pilar Cruz, at Friday, August 26, 2005 2:04:00 AM  

  • It's a shame that Alaska's service has declined in recent years. They used to be the best airline on the west coast - on-time, decent service, good use of technology to speed things up (they first offered those check-in kiosks in, what, 1999?). I really enjoyed using them, particularly on the PDX-BUR route I regularly took 3 times a month.

    Alaska has now fallen to LAST among the major airlines in terms of on-time performance, and it sounds like their FAs are keeping pace. FWIW, it sounds like a lot of this has to do with the antoginstic relationship between the airline management and labor unions. I won't say who is at fault, but it's not a good scene. Northwest seems to be catching up.

    Strangely, Horizon ("QX" in airline speak), the regional arm of the Alaska Air Group, is doing much better than parent Alaska. I have recently heard many positive comments over on and I have always found the people to be better on Horizon. Gotta love the free beer and wine.

    But God help you if your QX flight gets diverted. We diverted to Spokane (itself a good-sized QX station) for an over-heating engine one day heading from SEA to Bozeman, MT. They put us on a six hour bus ride over to Bozeman. Sheesh.

    By Anonymous pdx_refugee, at Friday, August 26, 2005 4:27:00 PM  

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