Never yell “Woohoo! Vegas!” before you board an Allegiant flight By Christopher Elliott | February 26, 2013 It was supposed to be a special birthday celebration for Samantha O’Rourke and ten of her closest friends. They were flying from Appleton, Wisc., to Las Vegas on Allegiant Air. But it ended up being anything but special. “We were treated horribly,” she says. Normally, when people complain about Allegiant, it’s to gripe about the absurd extras, like the “convenience” fee to pay by credit card or lately, its new fee to carry on a bag. But O’Rourke’s case is different, and after her complaint to the airline was ignored, she wants me to get involved. While she and her husband were waiting for their flight, they each had a drink at the airport bar. “My husband and I were last to board and while walking down the terminal, I excitedly yelled “Woohoo! Vegas!’” she remembers. “I had never been there before and was just so happy since it was also my birthday.” That’s when the trouble started. An older flight attendant named Michelle met me at the plane door and told me I was cut off for the rest of the flight. I was next to sober; I could not believe it. I was shocked, but I understood she probably deals with a lot of craziness. So I walked quietly to my seat. The loudspeaker announced two times: “No one appearing to be intoxicated will be served” and Michelle had already informed me I could not drink. But Michelle didn’t think she’d made her point. She walked down the aisle yelling, “Where’s the birthday girl?” until she found O’Rourke. “She insisted on humiliating me and tarnishing my birthday even more with a condescending speech, loud enough for everyone on the plane to hear, about how neither my husband, nor any of my surrounding friends could drink,” she says. “She concluded that the crew had decided to ‘let us’ go to Las Vegas and they were ‘being nice’ letting us stay on the plane.” O’Rourke says she’s never been treated so rudely. “And on my birthday, no less,” she adds. I was miserable the entire flight. We had several airline options and chose Allegiant, which was a huge mistake. I will never get those four hours of my birthday back. Strangers from the flight came up to me and said they couldn’t believe Michelle had done that to me. So O’Rourke sent a polite email to Allegiant, letting it know how unhappy she was with Michelle, the flight attendant. I reviewed the missive, and my only criticism is that it didn’t ask for any specific resolution. Not that I think that would have helped. Here’s the problem: Allegiant fulfilled its contract with O’Rourke, her husband, and 10 friends. It got them safely from Appleton to Vegas. No warranties are made about the manners of the flight attendants. In fact, a careful observer of the airline industry would almost expect characters like Michelle to be employed by Allegiant. This company is about as no-frills as it gets in the airline biz. It seems to want to be the next Ryanair. Of course, we don’t have Michelle’s side of the story here. I think if I had to deal with a large group of rowdy passengers, I might also try to read them the riot act. I don’t know how much they’ve had to drink, and hearing someone boarding my flight with a “Woohoo! Vegas!” might be all the indication I need that these travelers are trouble. Here’s the other issue: Apart from an apology, what could Allegiant do to make this right? I’m not sure if could — or would — do anything different. Should I mediate Samantha O’Rourke's case? Yes. No. View Results Loading ... Christopher ElliottChristopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at email@example.com. Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - LinkedIn - Google PlusFacebookTwitterLinkedInGooglePinterestReddit Related Steve Rabin I don’t see what there is to mediate. What does she want? An apology? Good luck with that. Even if Allegiant does apologize, what good woud that do? I think the OP did what she had to do. The problem is with Allegiant, they enjoy being contrarians–the airline isn’t trying for good customer service–they want to be bad. Allegiant is almost like a parody, sort of like the Heart Attack Grill! Tammy Pong Allegiant just has terrible customer service. I experience that last year. But what can you do? You pay for no frills, and they got you to where you paid for them to fly you. They just don’t care about being nice, or friendly or kind. I will never fly with them again! Guest There’s nothing here to mediate. You already accomplished her goal in embarassing the airline. She was acting like a drunk fool and ended up getting treated like one (even if she wasn’t). I would love to hear the airline’s side of the story but I can imagine what those around her were thinking when she did that smelling like alcohol. I wonder if the FA was responding to complaints from others? nho While my one experience with Allegiant was not less than mediocre it was acceptable for the price I paid. What this person had to endure was & is totally unacceptable. An employee of ANY organization should NEVER treat a customer in the manner described. At the very least she should receive a letter of apology from Allegiant. $16635417 If she was walking down the terminal and yelling “woohoo Vegas!”, how did Michelle see her from the aircraft door? Generally the twists and turns of the jetbridge would not allow someone to be seen from the aircraft, past the jetbridge and gate area into the terminal. As a flight attendant, Michelle would need to stay with the aircraft while boarding. Did Michelle notice something while Samantha was on the jetbridge that is not mentioned here? (When I first read the story, I pictured her walking down the jetbridge yelling the Woohoo Vegas! comment, but in re-reading it I noticed she said “terminal”, so I went with that.) Samantha says she was “next to sober”. What does that mean, slightly drunk? Someone hanging out at the airport bar and then ending up being the last to board sends up a red flag to me. Yes, there are two sides and while it would be nice to hear Michelle’s, I sense this is not worth mediating. backprop I have a feeling we’re not getting all of the story. Some may have been edited for content (how did the FA know it was her birthday?) but much the rest is almost inconceivable if it went exactly as described. backprop Right…I’m quite sure that’s *all* that happened. I am guessing there’s a lot more to the story, perhaps with Sam and her 10 closest sloshed friends hooting and hollering all the way to he plane and onward. Vegas flights can be so intolerable. $16635417 What happens on Allegiant…stays on Allegiant! ;) SoBeSparky Samatha should learn some good manners. Screaming (which it must have been for Michelle to hear) in a public place is usually reserved for sporting events, emergencies or political rallies. I am amazed at the people who feel it is their right to hoot, holler and carry on in normally sedate enclosed space. Passenger terminals are designed with soothing color schemes to calm the customer, not to excite them. Cameras are monitoring your activity. Perhaps she learned her lesson to behave appropriately, respecting the peace and relative quiet expected by others. backprop Except when a loose-lipped band of wasted “next to sober” party girls scream about it on the jet bridge…. $16635417 One of the best onboard experiences for me was on Allegiant. Worst customer service ever experienced onboard for me was an American Airlines flight in the late 90’s. LadySiren I guess I can see both sides here. The airlines don’t need disruptive passengers holding up their carefully crafted, down-to-the-minute schedules. They also don’t want unruly travelers putting the safety of their crew and fellow passengers at risk. So yes, I understand why the crew might be more vigilant with those they consider to be on the edge of doing something that could result in discomfort or harm to anyone on the flight. That being said, when do we travelers stop acting like sheep? Too often, we (myself included here) put our heads down and meekly accept the aggressively authoritarian attitude displayed by the TSA, FAs, and other airport and airline personnel. And when we do run into someone with a virulent Napoleon complex, we passengers today are more likely to stew silently instead of speaking up, for fear of having to do the walk of shame back to the terminal accompanied by armed Gestapo. Unless Samantha was doing a drunken striptease in the jetway, it sounds to me like this was an overreaction by the crew. Yelling “Woohoo!” in the jetway? Big deal. It’s a flight on the way to Sin City, America’s x-rated Disneyland for adults. Seasoned FAs should expect that those on their way to the Strip are going to be a little exuberant. Lastly, interesting to see how many people here immediately sided with Allegiant and assumed that there’s more to the story – Samantha was obviously more intoxicated than she says, she and her rowdy friends were swinging from the light fixtures, etc. ad nauseum. I don’t know whether Samantha’s account is true but I do know I’m not willing to judge either side until we’ve heard from Allegiant. Rush to judgement, y’all? Just sayin’. Edit: mixed up the names of the women involved. Woohoo! :D $16635417 I don’t see this as embarrassing to the airline, I find it more embarrassing for Samantha. $16635417 Story says she yelled Woohoo in the terminal….not the jetbridge. If that was the case, the Flight Attendant probably didn’t even see that. We don’t know what else Michelle witnessed that prompted her action. “Woohoo” may be a red herring. Michelle admits she was “next to sober”. What is that? Slightly drunk? How did the FA know it was her birthday? What exchange would bring that up? Samantha and her husband were the last to board…hanging out in the airport bar…not helping her case. If she quickly downed her last Margarita, and made comments to Michelle about it being her birthday…the smell of fresh alcohol on her may have prompted Michelle to do what she did. Not going to rush to judgment…for either side….that’s why I’m asking the questions and trying to piece together what happened and fill in the missing pieces. Flight attendants serve drinks all the time, unless something prompts them to cut someone off. And then, Chris asks if it’s worth mediating. What should Allegiant do? Send her a few cocktails to make up for being cut off? They got her to Vegas safely, if this incident ruined her vacation, she sure missed out on what Vegas has to offer. ArizonaRoadWarrior I don’t think that there is anything to mediate in this situation. Personally, I don’t think that we are getting the whole story. In today’s digitial society, no video or recording of the conversation. I have flown to Las Vegas several times (50+) and the passengers can be pushing the limits in regards to drinking, behavior, dress (or the lack of clothing), etc. EdB The story says they were the last to board. I’m guessing that even though Michelle could not see them, she could hear them and when they were the last ones to come around a corner, knew it had to be them since there was no one else behind them. EdB How is shouting “woohoo Vegas!” acting drunk? That is acting excited. I have seen lots of kids shouting “woohoo” thing both at the airport and other places. I doubt they were drunk. EdB If you’re going to mediate anything, I think you should mediate the people that were denied service that sat around her that did nothing wrong, other than to be seated near her. Raven_Altosk OH NOES SOMEONE MADE ME FEEL NOT IMPORTANT ON MY BIRTHDAY AND TOLD ME NO BOOZE!!!! Seriously? This a case you’d honestly consider? I want to hear Michelle’s side of the story. I’m sure we’re missing a giant piece of this puzzle involving this “intimate group of 10” being obnoxious and rude to her and others. Kathleen Proud Keyte This is one of those cases where I immediately assume that the OP is only telling about 23% of the story. I side with Allegiant. Raven_Altosk Yeah, no. The airline shouldn’t be embarrassed. The idiot running through the terminal like it was her personal playground and then whining that her birthday was “ruined” should be. BillCCC I have to agree with most posters and say that we do not have the entire story. I am sure that she was able to have a good time in Vegas despite not being able to drink on the aircraft. The FA has enough to do without the potential of having to keep a close eye on a dozen adults. Chris, what exactly did you mean by “characters like Michelle”. Was this an insult or a compliment? Jeff By “last to board”, does mean the plane was waiting for them to that they could finally depart? Especially if the flight was a little late and the crew was trying to make up time. Appleton is a pretty small airport. 6 gates and maybe 20 or so arrivals AND departures daily. Mostly regional planes. It would not be out of the realm for an FA to hear someone yell “Woohoo Vegas” from the jet bridge, Everyone else was on board and odds are all of the other gates were empty. While on the jet bridge,she (or someone else) could have slightly stumbled (who hasn’t on occasion when stepping up/down from the jet bridge onto the plane — especially with carryons.). Not implying that these people were that drunk, but all of these things combined probably led to this outcome. cjr001 Another case where a flight attendant – on par with TSA employees – acts like they are the baron of their own little fiefdom known as Airplane. Do we have the whole story? Maybe, maybe not, but there is no reason whatsoever for a flight attendant to act that way. Just because somebody can actually maybe enjoy a flight doesn’t give a FA a reason to force their crappy life on somebody else. Bill___A Adults who make a big deal about being treated special on their birthday are nothing but trouble generally. There is a 1 in 365 chance of someone having a birthday on any given day. If flight crews were supposed to be especially kind to those who think they should be treated special on their birthday, it means they’d be doing so to people every single day. it is not special for the flight attendant. Yelling “woo hoo Vegas” in an airport or anywhere is a childish act. Save that behavior for once you get to Las Vegas. A case like this is a waste of time. Lex I agree that her behavior was not really the best, but I disagree that you say ‘I don’t know how much they have had to drink’. It is fairly easy to ascertain how impaired someone is in a short conversation. I am unsure how or why this FA was so sure the passenger was drinking, many people are easily excited without the addition of alcohol. Did the airline reply to her? Apologize? They owe her that at the least. There is no reason a FA should publicly humiliate a passenger, and certainly NOT this one. Her continued berating of the passenger is uncalled for. Chris Johnson Both the flight attendant and the passenger may have been acting like total idiots here, but there’s nothing to mediate, really. What could Allegiant give her? Samantha got to where she was going and she’ll likely never see the flight attendant again. Move on, nothing to see here. Michael__K “Story says she yelled Woohoo in the terminal….not the jetbridge.” You don’t “walk down the terminal” (her words). I’ll bet dollars to donuts that she meant “jet-bridge” but that the proper term for it escaped her when she wrote that. Stereoknob I think that it’s be great to meditate if only to stick it to all of the sad sacks on here trying to come down on this woman for having a good time. Everyone is such a stick in the mud that making a declaration of excitement while boarding an aircraft is terms for punishment. That’s absurd. This flight attendant should have a conversation with their manager about not prejudging people. Also Raven_Altosk, it may be a little bold to instantly begin labeling people as “idiots” and “quoting” things at “will”. Michael__K I agree. Yet none of this excuses the FA’s manners one bit if her behavior was described accurately. http://upgrd.com/roadmoretraveled MeanMeosh The great irony here is that I was flipping channels Saturday night, and the old series “Airline” about Southwest was on. One of the situations they dealt with was a woman, apparently inebriated, who was acting in a similar manner to the poster here in the gate area of a flight from Chicago to Vegas. Ms. O’Rourke should count herself lucky; on the show, the passenger was first told she wouldn’t be served any alcoholic beverages, but ended up being booted after a couple of passengers complained about her erratic behavior. Back to this case, I agree with many of the other commenters that we’re not getting the whole story (or should I say, something smells, and it’s not my cat’s litter box). That being said, if the FA was rude in any manner, that is unacceptable. But what does the OP want that you could mediate for? An apology? A $100 voucher for the FA’s rudeness, assuming she’ll ever want to fly Allegiant again? Somehow I suspect the OP isn’t going to be happy with either outcome, so you’d really just be wasting your time. Michael__K Can’t rule that possibility out. Maybe you haven’t seen an FA abuse their authority or been in a position yourself where you were telling the absolute truth about a harm done to you that others refused to believe. Otherwise I suspect you might tread more cautiously. emanon256 I voted no, I mean, come on. If she was so miserable the entire flight because she was not able to drink for 4 hours that she needs a a consumer advocate to make it right, I thinks she has bigger issues. If O’Rourke is telling the 100% honest to g-d trust, then I do think Michelle was totally in the wrong, and very inappropriate. She truly deserves to be reprimanded or fired for the way she treated O’Rourke, and I think O’Rourke is due an apology. But I don’t think she needs a consumer advocate or any sort of compensation either. She still got to Vegas. mytimetotravel No, they weren’t drunk, they were kids, acting like kids. But in public places other than playgrounds they should have been told to be quiet by the adults in charge. If someone is acting like a kid clearly they should be treated like a kid and not served alcohol. http://upgrd.com/roadmoretraveled MeanMeosh “That being said, when do we travelers stop acting like sheep? Too often, we (myself included here) put our heads down and meekly accept the aggressively authoritarian attitude displayed by the TSA, FAs, and other airport and airline personnel.” Funny, Chris has a post about this last week. Militant FAs and gate agents get away with unacceptable behavior towards customers because they know they can. All they have to do is yell “Security threat!” and have you removed from the plane and/or the airport, and possibly arrested for interfering with a flight crew. Maybe that doesn’t intimidate you, but I can understand why being threatened with missing your flight or having an up close and personal visit with law enforcement would make some people uncomfortable, and cause them to just meekly submit. Alan Gore Though this case did not develop into an ejection, there are an increasing number of accounts of airline misuse of their lordly power to throw passengers off flights. The FAA needs to check out some of the more interesting cases. A few whompin’ fines assessed for instances of abuse might do wonders for customer relations in the industry. emanon256 I only fly to Vegas on early morning flights now because all of the later flights seem to have a similar intimate group of 10, who are drunk beyond all belief. They hoot an holler and fall into the aisles, and I always wish they would get kicked off. I was even on a flight to Vegas where a girl went into the bathroom and lit up a cigarette. The male flight attendant must have been intimidated by her beauty and susceptible to her flirting as he told her not to do it again, and nothing else came of the incident. I, personally, reported the incident. Not sure what came of it. Its hard to work or rest with cray drunk people. An aircraft cabin is a shared space and I appreciate the flight attendants trying to keep it comfortable for everyone. Michael__K “ In today’s digitial society, no video or recording of the conversation” Do you routinely record conversations when you board a plane? I’m sure that would go over real well, especially if the crew member you were recording was already stretching the limits of their authority. http://www.elliott.org/blog/grandmother-arrested-after-refusing-to-delete-jetblue-fight-video/ naoma No need to mediate. Sorry about the incident. But “behave yourself” might be a good rule — and forget having a drink before boarding. naoma Absolutely right. I posted “behave yourself.” Joe_D_Messina Yeah, the party of 10 bit got my attention for a couple reasons. First, it’s a large group, and even if they don’t really intend to be, that can lead to sort of a frat/sorority atmosphere. But, I also found it a little odd that while traveling with a group like that the OP would be so clearly the last to board. She says her and hubby had “a” drink at the bar…so why wouldn’t the party all have boarded basically together? (Granted, maybe she was right on the heels of the people in front of her, but I sort of got the vibe from the story they were significantly behind the rest of the passengers.) Erica As a seasoned traveler, I have learned that in today’s world, you follow the rules and etiquette. There is no more flexibility as flight attendants have a lot of say as to who comes on and who stays off. A lot also has to do with “their mood” and feeling of authority. Coming on board tipsy and loud is never a good thing It jeopardizes everyones comfort and safety. I see a lot of immature first time flyers who don’t have a clue as to air travel. This is a big thing in their lives. On a recent international flight , the attendant who was too busy chatting with another attendant did not realize that there was an intoxicated passenger sitting in the emergency row seat all by himself. Everyone noticed it as he came on. Not until we were ready to take off did a few people who were trying to catch her attention stood up and alerted the crew. Took sometime to explain that he can not sit there. They gave him the last row to sleep it off! So where is the logic? The Woohoo girl was warned, etc. and the intoxicated passenger was just removed to another seat. Both should have been removed in my opinion LBLB1955 children should not be served alcohol EdB I was replying to the implication that just shouting “WooHoo” was the act of a drunken fool. You don’t have to be drunk to act that way is the point I was making. Wasn’t commenting on the behavior itself. bodega3 The OP stated that she was ‘next to sober’. Having had the mispleasure of others who have been ‘next to sober’ on a flight, the cabin attendant probably has too and knew she had to take action for the safety of the rest of the passengers. What 4 hours did the OP lose? Sounds like she was planning on partying all the way to LAS. bodega3 Oh lordy. Get real. $16635417 Of course you can walk down a terminal, just like you can walk down an aisle, walk down the street, walk “down the Avenue…5th Avenue”. Down does not have to be the actual direction…like going down a flight of stairs. It can refer to heading the direction you wish to go. It’s possible she meant jetbridge…but that is not what was written. If Chris want’s to contact her and clarify, we can then certainly leave that part out of the equation. $16635417 Glad to see you here. I left the “ruined 4 hours of my birthday” for you to comment on! ;) $16635417 What is “next to sober”…her words? Is that like “almost pregnant”? $16635417 Funny. Made me recall a flight to Vegas where someone lit up in the bathroom and when caught said “C’mon, we’re going to Vegas! Not church!”. I guess the party in Vegas starts when you board…or arrive at the airport bar for your departure! (That person had several Sherrif’s deputies waiting for her upon arrival, BTW.) emanon256 Thanks for the laugh!!! :) emanon256 I was just down the hall. EdB I have no idea. Doesn’t have any bearing to what I was commenting about. I was commenting on the implication that shouting “woohoo” is an indication a person is drunk, which it is not. $16635417 If she was “next to sober” when boarding, I wonder how would she have described her condition after 4 more hours of drinking on the plane, had she not been cut off. emanon256 I need to make and sell a t-shirt with an arrow that says “Next to Sober” or “I’m With Sober”. :) backprop I walked uphill to school…both ways. $16635417 How about that, I was just up the hall. Was that you I passed? $16635417 Re-read your comment above. I guess “I doubt they were drunk.” is referring to kids you’ve seen shouting “woohoo” and not the OP? LadySiren Oh, I totally get it – no argument from me on submitting meekly. I had a cross-country flight last week and yeah…I walked along like a good little sheeple. Kept my head down, followed all the rules, etc. Lord knows you don’t want to be dragged off a flight for daring to stand up for yourself. I’m just wondering when do we as travelers stand up as a group and say “enough is enough”? EdB I gave an example of kids doing the same thing and stated that I didn’t think they (the kids) were drunk. Again, I was referring to the comment that the action was a sign of being drunk. I was not commenting on the state of the OP. bodega3 Sounds like you were a good little ewe and the rest of the flock appreciated it. I often wonder when some passengers will learn to be nice, courteous, bathe before getting on the plane, pay attention to the emergency information, shut up when instructions are being given, be polite and not insist on being the birthday belle, by shouting woo-hoo after drinking alcohol thinking others will find her cute. pldft Absent the full story and the attendant’s testament, just the basic rudeness of the attendant witnessed by other passengers) is sufficient to warrant some sort of acknowledgement and apology from the air carrier… girlygirl The yellers (woo-hoo!) annoy me before, during and after the flight..not to mention in the casinos. I don’t blame the flight attendant for taking action. If the traveler’s yelling was not an indication of intoxication, at the very least it showed a lack of maturity. The traveler needs to have a little more self control. Or not let that “one” drink go to her head. She’s a big baby! In post-911 travel, one should exhibit better judgement (especially a grown woman) in how to act on a plane or in an airport. Next time, maybe she should drive to LV- she can stick her head out the window and yell all she wants. pauletteb That’s a BIG if! Nigel Appleby Not through snow? And in your bare feet? ArizonaRoadWarrior The story was: “The loudspeaker announced two times: “No one appearing to be intoxicated will be served” and Michelle had already informed me I could not drink. But Michelle didn’t think she’d made her point. She walked down the aisle yelling, “Where’s the birthday girl?” until she found O’Rourke.” I would have turn on one of the video apps on my iPhone to record the audio when the Michelle, the flight attendant (FA), started to walk the aisle and begin to YELL “Where’s the birthday girl?”. I am not saying to stand up and hold the phone out to record but having the phone in your lap, coat pocket, etc. to record to the audio since the FA was yelling as well as she was loud enough for EVERYONE on the plane to hear when the FA was humiliating the OP and tarnishing her birthday even more with a condescending speech once the FA found her, davidglass Judging from the way Allegiant treats its customers, I can only imagine how it must treat its employees. I would not be surprised to hear that “Michelle” has giant chips in both shoulders that she takes out on unsuspecting fliers. Typically, flights to Las Vegas are more festive and upbeat than a typical airline flight. People are getting away for a weekend, going to a conference, are upbeat about being entertained in Sin City etc. and are in a good mood, so a “WoHoo, Vegas!” is not like screaming fire in a crowed theater. The ATW-LAS flight is an evening flight as well, so its not like the OP was drinking at 7am. My opinion is that the Allegiant flight attendant was out of line. Michael__K Somehow I don’t think getting thrown off the plane for recording that audio would have made you any more sympathetic to her. You could still say you don’t think you are getting the whole story. AND in that case you could add on the complaint that she was delaying the flight by having electronic equipment on. (Remember, she was the last to board). SoBeSparky I did not comment on Michelle as we only have one side of this story. I think we are missing another perspective. From the “entitled” tone of the complaint, I sense a highly edited story on the part of the Samantha. James Penrose “I was next to sober; I could not believe it.’ Next to sober means drunk, possibly wildly. The judgment of the person who has been drinking is not at all reliable. Allegiant is still a load of ****** and I for one would not fly them but this is not worth your intervention. Linda Gordon She is complaining about four hours of her life?! Six months ago a little boy tripped me at a major theme park. The family left while I was still face down on the ground. I left by ambulance. I suffered a spiral break in my upper right arm. It still hasn’t healed and next week I am having surgery and face three more months of healing. No sympathy for not being happy for four hours. Michael__K Seems like you don’t need another perspective when you have your “sense.” Funny, what is this passenger even asking for (aside from the implied expectation of an apology) that brings you to toss out labels like “entitled?” Whose fault is it that we have only one perspective? What prevents Allegiant from responding to her and providing another perspective? Surely there is no shortage of witnesses they could have spoken to if they care enough to (the FA, other crew members, fellow passengers). Rebecca Jay “I will never get those four hours of my birthday back?” What are you, 6? As a resident of Las Vegas, if I fly anywhere, my flight home is always a “flight to Vegas.” There are always woohoo party people on the plane, and it is usually unpleasant regardless of time or airline. I don’t care who is right or wrong in this case .. it brings a smile to my face that “one of them” was smacked down for it. I would like to see it happen with one of the yeehah cowboys. technomage1 I only have once. I saw an FA scream at a little girl who was trying to use the lavatory. And I do mean scream. This child flinched as if she’d been physically hit. She was with her mother who was just reeling. Yeah, that’s going to far. I not only intervened verbally but also reported the FA when we landed. The mom thanked me for it later. No one else said anything & nothing happened to me. Sorry but I don’t think little girls trying to use the toilet are a terrorist threat. That was my “enough is enough” moment. AUSSIEtraveller thought Allegiant flight attendants were on commission for all the booze they sold ? If that’s correct, they must have been a really rowdy group of 10. A drink at the airport ? Was it a U.S. gallon of long island ice tea ? AUSSIEtraveller this brings up the issue of really old flight attendants. Some United & Qantas International flight attendants are older than my grandmother (she’s dead by the way-died of old age at 80). It’s a seniority thing, I think, that they get onto international long haul. Hires from long ago want to hold onto their jobs as they are earning a zillion dollars a year, but being a flight attendant is not an older persons job, like working in a bar (except in Vegas where have seen 80 yo cocktail waitresses). Some more progressive European airlines hire their flight attendants on short up to 2 year contracts, so at end, they are not fired, just finished their contracts. KaraJones A male flight attendant intimidated by a woman’s beauty? Um..only if the woman was Cher or Judy Garland… : ) KaraJones LOL! emanon256 It was a drunk blonde early 20 something wearing an outfit that would get most women kicked off a WN flight, and a middle aged male flight attendant. So maybe intimidated wasn’t the right word :) More like the flight attendant was thinking with his pants rather than his brain. If it were a Qatarian price, I am sure he would not have let it slide. KaraJones I think the OP said “next to sober” because she had just said that she and her husband had each had a drink at the bar. So, obviously if she had said “sober”, we’d all take issue with that. I think her point was that even though she had finished a drink, she was as close to being sober as one could be with alcohol in their system. That said, I don’t drink and I can’t stand being around people who are drunk or next-to-drunk any time of the day. So I’m not defending someone being a stupid drunk. But my take on this story is that her behavior wasn’t necessarily due to drinking – it was more like she’s just dumb and thought everyone else gave a crap that it was her birthday which gave her (in her mind) permission to act like a school girl and act out. So she’s horrified that someone would have misinterpreted that as being drunk (instead of being dumb). So, this complaint comes down to, “I’m embarrassed. Please vindicate me for my silliness.” So I think it was appropriate for the FA to tell them as they boarded that they would not be allowed to drink. I don’t think the FA should have pressed it further. ……………unless, that is, the OP or her group were continuing to act like dopes after they were seated. And I suspect that was the case. Not everyone acts stupid due to being drunk. Some people just behave stupidly because they’re stupid. I don’t think there is anything to mediate here. Mundane Lustrator What does it matter what year she was flying? This has absolutely nothing to do with 9/11/01. TonyA_says I think the question to ask here is did the OP’s behaviour go anywhere near the level of interfering with the activities of the flight or cabin crew? If the answer was NO, then I think the FA should have left her and her friends alone or should have handled the situation with a little more tact. But then again I was not there, so I am not sure how loud and agressive the parties were. Vegas Traveler I’m having a hard time believing Ms. O’Rourke’s account of this. There’s a lot missing from this story. The pieces don’t seem to fit. Peter There have been many flights lately where the treatment of certain passengers was terrible and at the same time, others treated like special guests. On a recent flight several people were told only one drink service and then proceeded to offer 4 or 5 more drinks to a younger crowd (maybe friends) just in front of them and made sure the refused guest knew they weren’t getting any drinks in some sort of power display. The power given to flight attendance is fine with me, as long as its fair to all the passengers, and I’m not seeing that lately. ArizonaRoadWarrior There are exceptions (i.e. speak a foreign language) but you are correct that seniority determines the flight attendants (FA) who work on the international flights for the US based airlines. I was on an United flight from SFO to ICN in business class(BC). I overheard the BC FAs joking among themselves…they were calling themselves the bifocal team since all of them had bifocal glasses. After they served lunch which was an hour after the takeoff, they went “AWOL” for the rest of the flight (a 10-hr flight)…they just left a basket of snacks (which was not refilled) in the BC gallery. They “reappeared” 30 minutes before landing. Overall, the service on this flight was very poor. It is my preference to fly the Asian-based airlines such as Asiana, Cathay Pacific and Singapore because the service is outstanding on their flights. The FAs “work” the entire flight…they are around every 10 to 15 minutes asking if you need a drink, a snack, etc. They have treated my 6-YO son on these flights like he was a rock star. When he was younger, they carried our carry-on luggage from the gate to the plane and put it the overhead bins so that I could carry his car seat and my wife could carry him if he was sleeping or etc. Most of the Asian-based airlines have an age limit (i.e. 30 YO) for their flight attendants. In other words, it is NOT a long-term career but an “entry level” job in their careerslives. I am guessing that they are FAs to see the world, to learn about other countries, etc. I can see how easy it could be for a FA for an US-based airline to get burnout after 10+ years in putting up with demaning passengers; mergers; losing pension benefits; etc. Dutchess OMG on your birthday no less?!?! Samantha sounds like she was behaving like a spoiled brat. I’m guessing there’s a little more to the story than just one “Woohoo Vegas”. I’m guessing 10 friends on a plane to Vegas = lots of noise and obnoxious behavior. Sorry you were so humiliated we’re adults now, behave like it and you won’t be treated like a spoiled child. SoBeSparky Try this line for entitlement, “I will never get those four hours of my birthday back.” Or this line, “tarnishing my birthday even more with a condescending speech.” This whole birthday gig is too much. Sorry, lady, we are not in on the birthday celebration and could care less. To presume we should somehow all celebrate your day, and treat you like the queen you must be, is just too much entitlement. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1500372044 Elizabeth Peterson This story makes my blood boil. The passenger sounds like a self absorbed, spoiled, stupid girl. If her feelings were hurt by the flight attendant just wait till she reads people’s posts here. This person’s story sounds as if it was blown way out of proportion. Michael__K I agree on just one point — it doesn’t matter whether it was her birthday, she deserved to be treated respectfully regardless. If you think you have thicker skin and would easily brush it off if someone in a position of authority went out of their way to humiliate and intimidate you, then good for you. That has nothing to do with “entitlement” unless you condone the FA’s alleged behavior and believe no one on the receiving end of that should dare to speak up. SoBeSparky Allegiant did not single this woman out for normal and customary behavior. She was drinking, left bar, and on way to gate decided to hoot and yell. Customer obviously smelled of alcohol. She and mate are last to board an MD-80 series aircraft of 130+ seats. Were they paged? Did they delay flight? Possible, but we don’t know. Profile is complete, unusual behavior, leaving bar, smelling of alcohol, and carrying on in a boisterous behavior. What don’t you get about profiling in a secure zone? Many other words were exchanged by passenger and airline employee upon boarding, obviously, of which we have no account. That is my “sense” we have a highly edited story. Sorry, I used wrong word. It is a fact. Just because someone makes an allegation does not require a response. Injured pride for their own immature behavior is something this customer has to live with. Was it appropriate behavior by Allegiant? No. But so what?. Children are taught not to scream and carry on in airports; so too should adults. EdB ” Was it appropriate behavior by Allegiant? No. But so what?” But so what? Are you saying that inappropriate behavior should just be ignored and no action taken? Regardless of what the OP did, any inappropriate behavior of an employee needs to be address by the management. SoBeSparky I completely understand your theoretical objection. Practically speaking, however, civility to customers is rarer these days. Rude and contentious people are in so-called “customer service” positions everywhere. Corporate standards for service are well below what they used to be. Factors include lousy screening and hiring practices, lower pay, inadequate training and discipline of employees. I don’t expect apologies anymore, as when I report objectionable behavior in writing, many times I don’t get them. Other times, I get rote boiler-plate, such as “I am sorry if there were any inconveniences.” Note it is the new standard of conditional apology with the “if…” No one says, “I am sorry. We screwed up.” Isn’t an apology about accepting blame? No one does that any more. Saying someone is sorry “if you were offended” is a vacuous statement. “So what?” clearly connotes my opinion that this has become our expectation in many customer-vendor relationships. We used to have better seats, more leg room, meals, and pride in service on domestic airlines. They were the norm. If you got less, there was an apology. Times have changed. Ride on some of the highly rated foreign carriers and listen to their apologies when expectations are not met. A entire different caliber of customer relations. Michael__K Making stuff up and calling it “profile” or “fact” doesn’t make it so. Randy Culpepper …and I just got my daily dose of gay stereotyping. Thanks for your contribution to the discussion. JewelEyed It seems like an awfully big lie to suggest that this dressing down never actually happened. I don’t think she really needed to go back and rip her with everyone watching just to make an example when they’d already had a conversation. If she had anything else to say to Samantha, she should have had it when they were talking just to each other. I think Samantha deserves a genuine apology. I don’t think she deserves anything additionally, but an apology. Lindabator Perhaps they paid for economy plus seating with more amenities than the other folks. Joe Farrell It’s Allegiant – what did you expect? James Penrose People who drink a lot habitually understate how much they have had to drink. Especially when the bright light from a cop car shineth upon them or they otherwise find themselves in a position of embarassment. Happens all the time. Cops talk to somebody who is so drunk they cannot stand upright and have fallen over an embankment and the person will claim to have only had “one or two beers”.