“I once had a forty-something male passenger who said he was a picky eater and asked me to remove the almonds from his mixed nuts, the shaved Parmesan from his salad and the cilantro from his tabouleh.”
That’s from the mouth of a FA and explains — in a nutshell — why many FAs prefer to serve 100 in economy over 10 in first class.
Think about it. In economy you serve drinks, serve meals, collect meals, serve coffee/tea, then turn the lights out. On a longhaul flight, you’re done for several hours unless you get stuck with making water runs or doing duty free sales.
But in business or first class – especially on a carrier that prides itself in great service or has an on-demand a la carte dining menu – you do not get a break. You need to ensure that glasses are full and that passengers are well looked after.
Of course we are speaking in generalities. We know that crews have mandatory rest time on longhaul flights so it is not like first class attendants are hopping around for an entire 12hr flight. Furthermore, we see crews take turns working in various cabins. While the two FAs serving first class are on break, two from economy might be brought in to fill in.
Still, Premium Cabin Are Hard Work
But the point remains — premium cabin passengers depend to be higher maintenance than economy and thus is it understandable that FAs would prefer to work in the back rather than the front.
I’ve talked to a number of FAs over the years and heard this over and over. And yet, perhaps out of boredom or good work ethic, you still see very veteran FAs (at least on U.S. airlines) in the front rather than the back. On my last FRA-SFO flight one of the FAs must have been pushing 90. No, seriously. But she was great.
It all depends. A friend who works for Emirates tells me he stays away from economy on flights to America because the passengers think they are entitled to first class service.
And many FAs hate working in premium cabins on routes to Los Angeles–
Everyone on the plane to LAX airport is a princess and deserves to be treated like a celebrity – in their own minds.
can relate have seen this…