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Dale’s Daily Data: Airline Attendants

What’s the number one complaint by airline passengers?  Food?  Cabin noise?  The plane is too cold or hot?  The number one complaint of airline passengers is flight delay.  24% of airline flights are late.  Really not bad when you consider that 76% of flights are on time.  The airline industry considers a flight to be on time if it arrives at the gate within 15 minutes of its scheduled arrival time.  After 15 minutes it’s considered late.  They must have some leeway time worked into the flight time because 8% of flights leave late.  How many times have you been on a flight and you’re looking at your watch sitting on the runway with a dozen planes ahead of you waiting to take off and you’re thinking you’re going to miss your connection and somehow everything all works out?  It happens a lot to me.

The 2000 airlines of the airline industry transports 2 billion passengers worldwide each year – 800 million in the United States in 23 thousand aircraft.  There are 28 million flights each year out of 37 thousand airports.  Major airlines are required by law to employ flight attendants.  Their primary duty is not to serve you a cup of coffee or provide you a pillow.  Their main function is the safety and security of passengers.

And that brings us to Steven Slater – who after 20 years quit his job as an airline attendant in a spectacular way.  He got bopped on the head by some luggage by a passenger who got out of his seat before the plane stopped.  The passenger refused to apologize and actually swore at him.  So Slater used the cabin intercom to announce he’s quitting, grabbed a couple of beers, activated the emergency slide, slid down the chute and drove off in his car parked nearby.  In an update on the Johnny Paycheck song “Take This Job and Shove It” it’s now called the Slater Effect.  Or “you can take this job and Slater it.”

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