There is a delicate balance that must be made when one works for an airline. Flight crews all over the world are subject to scrutiny from the media. Cabin crew must be choosey about what they make public and what they keep to themselves otherwise they risk facing consequences from their airline. Don’t misunderstand me. I think it is wise for airlines to be watchful of their employees. The role of cabin crew is to be present. We go to work everyday in a uniform, a piece that makes it clear who we work for, and because airlines are very public, a flight attendant’s life is very public.
Now that passengers have easy access to airlines via social media platforms– email, phone numbers, etc, this makes our jobs highly criticized. We interact with people from all walks of life for the length of the work-day, and with so many different personalities and perceptions of what we do as crew, it’s easier than ever for customers to report airline employees for whatever and whenever.
The explosion of social media in the last decade is one reason why crew members are running into problems nowadays. Personally, I am for the patrolling of social media for appropriateness. The reason I state this opinion is because I am proud to be a crew member and I wear my wings with thankfulness and respect. The wings come with the responsibility of always showing integrity, grace, and poise, because like it or not, how one acts in uniform and out of uniform reflects back to an airline. Don’t make public the actions that should always be kept to yourself. Some material just should NEVER be shared on social media. Have common sense and know that it’s ok in our media driven society to be one of the odd-balls and have a ‘private life.’ There are some who do not share the same ideology and make these feelings known via social media, but the point is this: there is a fine line in regards to social media and airlines.
Cabin crew must be careful. However, if a crew member is not violating any blatant safety or security issues and they are not “bad mouthing” their airline or its customers, is there a problem? I bring this topic to the forefront up due to a photo posted by a flight attendant on her Facebook that became the center of a big discussion just about a week ago. The photo was of the cabin crew in the engine of an Airbus 320 while the plane was parked on the ramp at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The picture of Erika, the Spirit Airlines flight attendant that caused a huge uproar from passengers and media is quite upsetting, and not because she is doing something wrong. It is a rite of passage that every fly girl and guy eventually gets their own engine picture. This picture she posted caused unnecessary commotion. Although there are many details that I would like to know about the situation from the flight attendant’s standpoint as it’s fairly hard to believe some of what the media has claimed as fact, flight attendant’s like taking engine photos.
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It’s something the general population doesn’t get to do and it’s not even something flight attendant’s get to do everyday! This picture itself should not be called into question, the time and place of the photo opportunity is another matter. I have received word from another flight attendant that Erika has not lost her job. I am relieved to hear this. However, I know I speak for all of the flight attendants at the flight attendant life and many other cabin crew members when I say, we support you Erika. You do not deserve to be punished for an innocent picture and this situation could have easily happened to any one of us.
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