There was a time, when the flight attendants’ job was to take care of passenger’s needs and make your flight as pleasant as possible. As soon as you would push that call button, one of them would rush to your seat and asked you how they could be helpful. They would greed you when you came in, and say good bay when you left the airplane. They used to help you with your carry on luggage, guide you to your seat and a be nice in general. That is the case no more. To my horror, I discovered that flight attendants have become sales people, trying to sell you every thing, from overprices sodas and peanuts to credit card enrollments.
I have flown at least 6 times in the last 3 months with two different airlines. Delta and Spirit Air. It had been a while since my last flight (more than 3 years) so I was in shock to see how much the job of a flight attendant had changed.
I flew Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta, GA on Delta Airlines. The seatbelt sign was still on when one of the flight attendant announced over the PA system that they would begin distributing Master Card applications to all the passengers who wanted to apply for the credit card. She went on to give a long list of “benefits” if you were to apply: from bonus frequent flyers miles to cash rebates. She went on for several minutes, really trying to convince the passengers to complete the application. For a moment I felt like I was attending one of those time share sales presentation.
Several minutes later, all three flight attendants starting walking the aisles asking every single passengers if they wanted to apply for the credit card. During the whole flight they repeated the same sales pitch over the PA at least 3 other times.
Later on, they collected all the applications from those passengers who felt compelled to apply for a credit card 30,000 feet in the air.
During the flight they also announced several times that they had all kind of drinks and other items from the Sky Mall catalog for sale.
I flew twice on Spirit Air. One from Fort Lauderdale to Washington DC and the other Ft. Lauderdale to Las Vegas. In both flight the experience was the same.
Spirist Air had gotten away any thing with the word free attach to it. Gone are the days where a coke and a bag of peanut were given to all the passengers for free. Now you have to pa $8.00 for those things.
Flight attendants also announced several times over the PA the ability to apply for Spirit Air credit card (although the did not pass the application during the flight) They also announced several times that customers could purchase drinks, pillows and all kind of thing. They would walk the aisle with a credit card machine asking passengers if they wanted to buy anything.
At the end of the flight, they asked passenger to pick up all the trash from their seat and bring them to the front of the aircraft where they would collect it. Right before we landed they requested passengers to quickly disembark, so they wouldn’t have to stay at the gate more time than necessary (most likely because airless have to pay for every minute they spend on the airport) They kept repeating that this would help them keep their fares low.
I am not sure if rest of the airlines had taken the same approach. But if they had, pretty soon you would have to list some kind of sales experience in your resume if you want to become a flight attendant.