I am sorry!, A flight attendants most common words.


    ORD watcher
    Once again I am sorry!, A flight attendants most common words.

    We’re sorry we have no pillows.
    We’re sorry we’re out of blankets.
    We’re sorry the airplane is too cold.
    We’re sorry the airplane is too hot.
    We’re sorry the overhead bins are full.
    We’re sorry we have no closet space for your oversized bag.
    We’re sorry that’s not the seat you wanted.
    We’re sorry there’s a restless toddler/overweight/offensive smelling passenger seated next to you.
    We’re sorry the plane is full and there’s no other seats available.
    We’re sorry you didn’t get your upgrade.
    We’re sorry that guy makes you uncomfortable because he “looks like a terrorist”.
    We’re sorry there’s a thunderstorm and we can’t take off.
    We’re sorry we don’t know when it will stop.
    We’re sorry you’re crammed into a space so small that if you were an animal PETA would protest.
    We’re sorry that this plane 80 has no music or video entertainment for your 3 hour flight.
    We’re sorry we ran out of your favorite soda.
    We’re sorry there’s no more sandwiches.
    We’re sorry that Budweiser costs $5.00.
    We’re sorry we don’t have diapers for your baby.
    We’re sorry we don’t have milk for same baby.
    We’re sorry you can’t hang out by the cockpit door waiting to use the bathroom.
    We’re sorry you can’t hang out at the back of the airplane.
    We’re sorry you have to sit down and fasten your seatbelt.
    We’re sorry you have to put your seat up for landing.
    We’re sorry we don’t know when we’re going to land.
    We’re sorry we don’t know whether your plane to (substitute any city in the world) will be waiting for you when we land.
    We’re sorry we’ve been diverted because we ran out of gas waiting to land.

    We’re sorry for these 20 and so many other things that we have absolutely no control over but which we are held accountable for EVERY SINGLE DAY.

    Please understand. Flight attendants are not the enemy. We share your space. More than anyone – we want to have a nice, pleasant travel experience.. There is a reason behind everything we ask you to do. It may be a FAA Directive. It may be security related. It may be a company procedure. We don’t frickin just make this stuff up. We don’t spend 8 weeks at the flight academy learning how to pour a Pepsi. There are many things that flight attendants are watching for constantly on every flight FOR YOUR SAFETY. It’s not because we’re bored or so controlling that we just enjoy telling people what to do. I for one would like to have one flight where I didn’t have to repeatedly tell people to put their seats up for landing. Seriously. Can’t you just do what we ask sometimes? Without the glares, eye rolling and disdain? For the record – putting your seat up for landing may not seem that important to your personal safety. However, it is very important for the person sitting BEHIND YOU. If you have ever tried to get out of a row where someone has their seat back you know it can be a challenge. Try grabbing your ankles (emergency brace position) or getting out that row quickly with smoke in the cabin. Understand a little better now?

    Many of the things we ask passengers to comply with are FAA directives. Like carry-on bag stowage and exit row requirements. When we can serve drinks (in the air) and when we can’t (after the aircraft door is closed or on an active taxi-way). We are only allowed to move about the cabin during taxi out for safety related duties. We can’t get you blankets then, or hang coats, or get you drinks. It’s not because we don’t want to. It’s because we are held personally responsible if we fail to comply with FAA directives. Meaning that the FAA can fine us personally up to $10,000 if we fail to comply or enforce an FAA Directive. Like no bags at the bulkhead. No children in the exit row. No one moving around the cabin during taxi. Perhaps now you know why flight attendants get a little testy when people move about the cabin when they’re not supposed to. It’s not the company that gets in trouble for that. It’s us.

    Personally I wish the airlines would show worst case scenario safety videos. Like what happens if you walk through the cabin during turbulence. There could be a guy who has just fallen and smacked his face on the metal armrest and now has a bloody, gushing broken nose. Or an elderly lady who now has a broken arm because someone walking to the bathroom fell on her. Maybe a passenger with a broken neck because somebody opened an overhead bin during turbulence and a suitcase fell out and onto the person sitting beneath it. These things can easily happen in a fast moving, unstable air environment.

    Please just trust that we are looking out for your best interest and stop fighting with us about everything we ask you to do. It is exhausting.

    Finally, please, please direct your hostility and frustrations in the direction where they will be most effective: The customer service department. They are the ones equipped to handle your complaint and implement procedures for CHANGE. Think about it. Complaining to the flight crew about all your negative travel experiences is about the same as complaining to the office janitor because your computer isn’t working. It may make you feel better to vent about it – but it really won’t fix anything. More than anybody we are already aware of the lack of amenities, food, service and comfort on the aircraft. Please share your concerns with the people in the cubi cles at corporate who need that information to make better decisions for the flying public. .

    It’s frustrating that so many people are in denial about what the travel industry is about now. The glory days of pillows, blankets, magazines and a hot meal for everyone are long gone. Our job is to get you from point A to point B safely and at the cheapest possible cost to you and the company. So be prepared. If you are hungry – get a sandwich before you get on the plane. If it’s a 3 hour flight, anticipate that you may get hungry and bring some snacks. If you are cold natured – bring a wrap. Think for yourself and think ahead. Otherwise, don’t complain when you have to pay $3.00 for a can of Pringles and are left with a crusty blanket to keep you warm.

    We hear often that the service just isn’t what is used to be. Well the SERVICE we provide now isn’t what it used to be. When I was hired, my job was to serve drinks , meals, ensure that safety requirements were met and tend to in-flight medical issues. Since 9/11 my primary job is to ensure that my airplane will not be compromised by a terrorist. 9/11 may be a distant memory now to many, but be assured that EVER DAY a flight attendant reports to work he or she is constantly thinking about 9/11. We feel a personal responsibility to ensure that something like that never happens again. We can never relax. We can never not be suspicious about someone’s intentions. It is difficult to be vigilant and gregarious at the same time. Especially when most of us are working 12 hour days after layovers that only allow 5-6 hours of sleep. Not because we were out partying and having a grand time on the layover – but because the delays that you experience as a passe nger also affect us as a crew, so that what was a 10 hour layover is now 8 hours which doesn’t leave a lot of time to recover from what has become an increasingly stressful occupation.

    Despite everything I still enjoy being a flight attendant. I am writing this letter because I do still care about my profession and about the public perception of flight attendants. In the increasingly challenging travel wor ld it is becoming more imperative than ever for people to just be decent to each other. I can go through an entire day without one person saying anything remotely civil. I will stand at the aircraft door and say hello to everyone who enters and maybe 50% will even look at me and even less will say hello back. I will try to serve someone a meal who can’t be bothered to take their headsets off long enough for me to ask them what they want. Most of the time the only conversation a passenger has with me is when they are complaining. Is it any wonder why flight attendants have shut down a bit? After suffering the disdain of hundreds of passengers a day it’s difficult sometimes to even smile, much less interact. We are human and many working at 40% pay cut thanks to bankrupcy. We appreciate the same respect and courtesy that passengers do.

    The next time you fly, try treating the flight attendants the way you would like to be treated. You may be surprised how friendly your flight crew is when they are treated like people. Ok thanks I feel better now.
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    ALPA Member
    If it's not your fault - why to be sorry?
    People are not stupid, they understand.
    If they don't like something - they complain to the airline or just stop flying certain airline altogether.


    Такая-сякая )))
    An interesting blog :)

    Some people don`t think about it and don`t want to understand anything. They regard flight attendants as the personification of the aircompany+airplane and sometimes as the reason of everything, what happens or not happens on the board.

    Some people understand and they are such a dear.

    And some of the passengers understand everything but wanna quarrel with somebody. And when something happens or they find a reason to show their displeasure and poor flight attendant say something like «Sorry, it is not my fault or I can suggest you only fish or chicken, but not beef…» - they just wait for these words to express their indignation because flight crew is formally guilty in everything for them even if they know the real state of affairs.

    For the people from the first category flight attendant should smile sad smile - poor people, but they are such as they are.
    For the second category - smile a happy smile and say something – and they will smile farewell and remember only good.
    For the last category - smile again – even through your's tears – it is not your`s, but their weak point.

    And everything will change for the better :p


    ALPA Member
    Do you think the passengers really do care who's fault is it?

    Some do, some don't.
    I guess it depends on the price of tickets and the kind of passenger an airline attracts :)

    Also it depends on where people grew up and whether or not they want to find the cause of the problem.
    People from socialistic societies typically apathetic and if they see the problem they just whisper among each other, in the kitchens or anonymously on the forums instead of letting the very top of the company know of their wants through a simple link on the website.
    People who have to work and who are not waiting for the government to take care of them - are doers. They let the top of the company know .. and the problem is fixed. :)
    I see it very clearly flying worldwide.

    Point is why to apologize if you are not responsible for the problem? A FA is there to make the most out of what tools are given.
    If the board of directors makes a decision to stop giving the pillows and blankets or cut their quantity in a half per flight, or stop feeding people on long flights or charge for water or even bathroom use - how is it FA's fault and why to apology?

    I guess it very much depends on management’s psychological warfare towards employees. At some companies people are so brainwashed that they feel the company they work for is almost their second Mother. That’s how people work harder for less pay and feel that everything is their fault.

    I’ve been very blessed to work where I am treated as professional because of the maturity of the company and Union representation. I feel sympathetic with the passengers if something is not right and do all I can to help out.
    But I am not sorry if it is not my fault.

    Why should others be?


    Такая-сякая )))
    Patriot сказал(а):
    But I am not sorry if it is not my fault.
    Why should others be?

    Depends on the country. In US you can do so and things will settle one way or another cause the passengers observe the law and are afraid to suffer a punishment of bad behaviour. And in Russia can happen something like this and frequently one word «Sorry» can save the situation ;)


    ALPA Member

    We still have a lot of things offered in our service on her/his "we are sorry" list.

    But that's beside the point. The point is - maturity is important and slavery ended long time ago :)

    People shouldn't be sorry or feel somehow responsible for other's decisions and mistakes.
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    ALPA Member

    "I am sorry" in the example with the fight in the cabin is appropriate. The cabin crew lost control of the situation. The flight crew should have diverted immediately and gotten the law enforcement involved.

    "I am sorry we don't have pillows" - is totally different.


    Дилетант широкого профиля
    Oh, please. This could have been written by a restaraunt waiter, floor salesmen or a bartender. Flight attenders are a part of the service industry, and people they see on the planes are no different from those going shops or pubs. Difference is you don't hear bartenders moaning about how unfair it is that they have to say "sorry" when bar runs out of beer. I am sorry, but if you abosolutely hate to say "sorry", go find another job.


    Такая-сякая )))
    Patriot сказал(а):
    "I am sorry we don't have pillows" - is totally different.

    I mean that if somebody`ll fly into a rage only because his neighbour on the left got the last pillow and he did`t have any? Why he, not me??? Words «Sorry, we have no more pillows, but I `ll bring you plaid which you can use as a headrest and your flight `ll be more comfortable» could stop him from indignation or from fighting with his lucky neighbour. «Sorry» means to that man that damned aircompany is guilty of it, but not a passenger, who took the last pillow. And he will calm down.


    737-3,5,7,8,9,900ER CA
    I am aint an English major but there is a difference between "I am sorry" and "sorry we don't offer this anymore".

    To be sorry is to feel guilty for something one has done wrong.
    If the CEO comes up with the brilliant plan to save 50 cents and stop giving pillows - it is not the flight attendant fault and there shoul not be "I am sorry" or "we are sorry".

    The CEO could come and face the passenger and say "I am sorry for screwing your traveling experience".

    Patriot is right. There is pressure, espesially at LCC's, to work like a slave and feel guilty for crap manegement does. Let them feel sorry, employees shouldn't. We are just doing our jobs and yes we are good enough to find other jobs once we had enough. :)


    ORD watcher
    "We’re sorry ..." is pretty much formal expression that mostly used by air company's "front line" officials like FAs, agents, etc.

    As I understood, the main point of the topic starting article is ... sort of "Dear passenger, give us a brake ... our resources in airplane are limited... we are 30,000 feet above the ground, and sometimes FAs cannot get you what you want right now and right away... take it easy..."

    Oh, please. This could have been written by a restaraunt waiter, floor salesmen or a bartender. Flight attenders are a part of the service industry, and people they see on the planes are no different from those going shops or pubs. Difference is you don't hear bartenders moaning about how unfair it is that they have to say "sorry" when bar runs out of beer. I am sorry, but if you abosolutely hate to say "sorry", go find another job.
    It seems to me you have little knowledge of the FAs' duties and nature of their job...
    I won't be surprise to find out that you also think the air line pilot job is no much different than the bus driver job...

    BTW, how many bartenders or waiters do you know that are specially trained for instance to give medical assistance, conduct safety and security procedures, simple to safe peoples' lives?

    Here is something to help you to understand better who the Flight Attendants are …

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    Дилетант широкого профиля
    ex-fa, this is an arrogant position some of us just love to take - 'cuz I am so freaking well trained, I am not in a position to say sorry or whatever to anyone, 'cuz I know better.
    You miss one point - FAs are paid (and normally paid slightly better than bartenders or waiters) to look after people who in fact pay their salaries, i.e. passengers. If you believe they are too good to do just that, than you probably are missing the whole point of air service. It is not about pilots and FAs excersising their wonderful skills for the sake of it but rather a SERVICE. And I would expect people providing me with the service I have paid for to show courtesy to their customers; including saying "sorry" when customer is not satisfied.


    Дилетант широкого профиля
    pro&con, Aha, and restaraunts are in the food industry. No wonder Russian airlines are notoriously known for their poor service when you people feel they rather are a law enfocement agency, than a company providing transportation services.

    And, yes, you will probably find it difficult to believe, but police, army are also services provided by the government to their taxpayer. They are not quite in the industry, for the obvious reason - thy are not commercial organizations, unlike air carriers.

    Offtopic note: When mentioning "Service Industry" I refer to the classic division of economies into three sectors of activity (i.e. extraction, manufacturing and services).
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    No wonder Russian airlines are notoriously known for their poor service when you people feel they rather are a law enfocement agency, than a company providing transportation services.
    Hard to believe.
    According to SKYTRAX RESEARCH the situation is far different from how you see it.
    For example, Aeroflot has "three Star" rating by "Skytrax" together with Aer Lingus, KLM, Air Malta, American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, US Air, Iberia, Royal Jordanian, ... to name a few of them. Complete list of 3-Star rated airliners is here: http://www.airlinequality.com/StarRanking/3star.htm

    P.S. Morticians are in the "SERVICE" industry too.;)
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    Дилетант широкого профиля
    According to SKYTRAX RESEARCH the situation is far different from how you see it.
    Is it? If you carefully check this rating you will find only 1 of 5 Russian airlines rated by SkyTrack made it to a 3-star standing. Other 4 (namely Transaero, S7, Rossija and Sky Express) got 2 stars only. And, frankly speaking, it is as low as a carrier with at least some customer service may go (the only with a single star is a North Korean Air Koryo). Don't you think it is you who's got a misperception of Russian airlines standing in terms of customer service?
    I used soviet and russian airline service as well as several western airliners for about thirty years already averaging 4-5 flights a year, and never had any bad experience.

    If your air travelling experience was not so good, I'm sorry for you.
    But maybe problem is inside you? Try to be polite and friendly to the service people, pay close attention to the air carrier rules, and I'm sure your air travel experience will improve.