Beck on American Airlines

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by KenInEscazu, Sep 4, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Sounds like Glenn Beck had a pretty rough flight home this weekend from NYC. I'm not a great fan of Beck, but I generally agree with his politics. I don't dislike him, but I don't follow him, either.

    I am 100% on his side in this case, however. As a conservative, I listen to liberal comments from customers every day. There is nothing positive to come from revealing my difference of opinion because it would not be professional. They don't get treated any differently than I do any other highly valued customer (which is EVERY customer). When they spend their money here it is as much for outstanding customer service as it is for products.

    In fairness, I believe that what happened to Beck on AA could have happened on any airline. But it didn't. AA needs to stand up to that employee and terminate him. Not for his views, but for his treatment of a paying customer.

    The following is taken from Beck's web site. It is Beck's account of what happened:

    "On the way home I flew American Airlines, a Texas‑based airline. I, unlike all of the other passengers, was not offered the option of courteous service. I don’t know why. Did I have to pay more than I paid for my tickets? Is that something that you have to select now you? My flight attendant nearly ‑‑ merely barked the word “breakfast” when he came to me. When others were politely asked if they cared for anything to eat and given the choices, I was just barked at. When he delivered a soda, he slammed it down so hard, I hesitated to even open the can for fear that it would spray all over other passengers in the cabin. By the way, the other passengers, nobody else had to open their can. He opened it and poured it for them. Never once did he look me in the eye. Never once did he offer a kind or even a neutral word to me. I had service unlike I have never had ever before in my life, and I have had rude service before. I lived in New York City. I have never had service that was specifically designed to make me feel subhuman. Oh, I had it. He put on quite a show as he fawned over the other passengers proudly and loudly performing his life story about being a former Israeli soldier and how he was so proud of the very liberal cities in America.
    I watched him and I wondered: Does this make him feel better somehow? It’s sad because I think it did. As I sat there, I wondered how many things we would actually agree on, how many things did he actually believe about me that aren’t even true. I wondered if he was ever made to feel like a second class citizen before. I wondered if he had any friends and family in the dark years of Europe that made them feel less productive. I wonder if his friends and family ever felt like they were less than a welcome member of society because of their faith or who they were or what they believed.
    I had lots of time to ponder things. I wondered what I had done to this flight attendant from American Airlines that caused him this much pain that he as a grown man felt justified and uplifted by taking his pound of flesh. What had I done to him personally? Did I wrong him personally? Or was he just taking his pound of flesh and acting out for the collective? Would he tell stories later in the day about how he treated me? Would he revel in those stories as he told his friends? Would he laugh ‑‑ would they laugh and jeer with him and tell him how proud they were of his behavior? I wondered. I wondered if a guy like this flight attendant for American Airlines, if he were in a group of like‑minded people and that group of people were in power. I wonder if he and his friends would feel it rational to march me through the streets with a sign around my neck mocking and frightening anyone away who might want to stand with me. I wondered. Surely not. This somehow was different. This was just a small indignity.
    I prayed a lot on the plane. I, as a man, wanted to say something but figured we’d end up landing in a city that I didn’t want to be in. I just wanted to go home. So I didn’t say anything. And then I prayed. I thought about Billy Graham. I thought the leader of my church a lot. I thought about the teachings of Jesus. And gee, none of them really could break through because I was filled with a lot of anger. But I got up and I decided, what is the one thing I can say that will understand, so he can recognize that I recognized his point but also say something true, and kind? And I decided after the weekend that I had had in New York, where nobody really treated my children any differently than they did me, they were acting for the collective on the collective, I realized he was the only man that treated my children differently than me. While he treated me as a subhuman, he treated my children nicely. So as I was deplaning, as he was standing next to the pilot, I said to him, “I want to sincerely thank you for not treating my children the way you treated me.” His response? “It was my pleasure. You deserved it.” The pilot didn’t say anything, nor did the other passengers, but they probably didn’t know what was going on. I remembered yesterday, as I was driving home from the airport, the airlines used to make an announcement at the end of the flight that says, “We know you have a choice in airlines and we’re glad that you chose us.” I wondered if American Airlines was happy that I chose them. Are they happy that other conservatives even fly in their planes? Are they glad to be based in Texas, or is this just an unfortunate stopover on the way to one of those many liberal cities their employees are so proud of? I know yesterday I did have a choice and I chose wrong. I chose to fly with American Airlines. I do have a choice. And my family will never choose American Airlines again. I and my family will choose another carrier. If this is the kind of people that American Airlines likes to hire in the service industry."
     
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  2. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    What I was expecting:

     
  3. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    I figured Beck was not optimistic regarding possible merger with US:
    [/quote]
     
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  4. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    I agree that this could happen to almost anyone at almost anytime.

    But invoking religion and Billy Graham over a breakfast and soda?
     
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  5. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Beck is a man of very strong faith. He was trying to keep his mind on positive things instead of the treatment he was receiving. It was an attempt (successful, I might add) to prevent himself from responding in kind to that treatment. Agree with him or not, that is admirable. And challenging.

    I would like like to think that I would pray in my attempt to avoid such unimaginable contempt being directed toward me. While my faith is different than Beck's, I have found that there is great power through the restraint of the tongue. Whatever it took, he won the battle against the human nature of self-defense to non-physical attack.
     
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  6. jwsky
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    jwsky Silver Member

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    Beck must be so used to preaching to his choir that he is surprised and mad that a lot of people really dislike him. If I were him, I would be more worried about someone doing more than being rude.
    I do agree that everyone in business should treat all customers with respect.

    His rant is interesting. I try to imagine what goes on in his mind.
     
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  7. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    maybe the FA just didn't like him or his rantings?
     
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  8. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Adventures in missing the point. From the article (speaking about the FA):
    It wasn't the breakfast and soda that was the issue. It was the intentional delivery of poor service. Unless you're supporting such practices as acceptable? If so, is that only for airline personnel or for doctors, police, paramedics, firefighters, clergy, teachers, etc. who happen to know your views and disagree with them?
     
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  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Not that I think that AA FAs should deliver bad service, but while I don't think I have ever seen more than a minute of Glenn Beck's shows at a time, he does seem to be a very nice and kind person when speaking to or about others.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...Glenn-Beck-his-most-controversial-quotes.html

    (from a 10 second investment in Google searching, I am sure there are better sources of information about him)
     
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  10. DestinationDavid
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    I can't help but smirk a bit that Mr. Beck seems so put off that he was made to feel almost exactly like so many people he's made a living off of demonizing and promoting others to demonize. I guess the gander doesn't like what was good for the goose.

    Politics aside, if the story is as told (though I admit to believing, like most stories, there's a bit of embellishment here), the FA was clearly out of line and should be reprimanded or removed from his position. Part of providing services is putting aside things such as politics and religion and treating people as, well, people.
     
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  11. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Uh, are we talking about the same guy who called President Obama a racist? The same guy who talked about killing Michael Moore?

    As for the situation, the flight attendant was clearly in the wrong (if the account is accurate). I would have handled it a much different way, through the appropriate channel(s) at American Airlines.
     
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  12. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    My mistake for not reading the entire post... The FA was out of line...hopefully, GB also penned a letter/email to AA. No one should ever be treated that poorly by a company that is providing a paid service...or for that matter, by anyone anytime!

    Thanks for clarifying, Mike
     
  13. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Glen Beck = Howard Stern = Andrew Dice Clay = Rush Limbaugh.

    They're all entertainers... to their respective audiences. But, to other's points, they are also responsible for the public repercussions of their words and actions... when not paying for a given level of service. While AA has the right to refuse service to Glen Beck, the individual employees do not (at least not in terms of their employment with AA).
     
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  14. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Unless I'm mistaken, you don't have a national radio audience through which you can rant. I don't either, but I sure wish I did sometimes. BOY do I wish I did.
     
  15. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    He'd be lucky to get a surly "breakfast" from me, that's for sure.
     
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  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Perhaps he should be grateful he got a sealed (unopened) can of soda.
     
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  17. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Why do people take him so personally?

    He's an entertainer. A shock-jock. If anything, you should be upset at the people who *believe* and *follow* him.
     
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  18. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    As with many things, I care more about the revenue stream. There are plenty of "entertainers" I'd find it difficult to be nice to, but fortunately I get an office with a locking door in a secure building instead of being out there with them. :)
     
  19. DestinationDavid
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    Many thing are entertaining, but not all people are purely entertainers.

    When one actively seeks to influence individuals to make political decisions that have a positive or negative effects on my personal life as a profession, you are no longer someone that I do not take seriously and view on the same level as Clint Eastwood or Lady Gaga. You might be entertaining while you do it, but you are not merely an entertainer.
     
  20. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

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    If it's schtick, and only schtick, it's not harmless. When Howard Stern tries to shock people, no one (but maybe him?) gets death threats made against them. (When Andrew Dice Clay tries to shock, I guess the crickets chirp back. I dunno.) Making them all equivalent and blaming the followers is denying that these public figures have a responsibility over what they say.

    That's all I'm going to say on that. I agree with the OP's point that companies should make sure their employees treat customers fairly and respectfully. A good night to all.
     
  21. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I don't take him personally, since he hasn't said anything about me. But I have a hard time getting upset when he gets a dose of his own medicine. What the FA did, if he did it as described (which with all stories we discuss here is generally debatable as we usually get just one side's view), it certainly was wrong.

    But for Beck to say "I will not apologize for what I believe in or who I am... I'd just like to be treated with a little dignity along the way" is just ... shocking. I didn't even know he knew how to spell "dignity".

    So I guess I really shouldn't believe his story about the AA incident then... ;)

    For what it's worth, I am here just for your (and my) entertainment, so don't take my comments personally, please. :)
     
  22. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    I don't care who you are... now that's funny!
     
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  23. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I listen to a lot of political pundits from both sides. Even though I'm conservative, I make sure to listen to liberals in order to prevent myself from accidentally being "led" down a path by a person or people with an agenda. Some of my best friends are liberals, and I don't dislike them simply because they're wrong. I love them anyway.

    I see comments here that cause me concern for our future. I don't care if you don't agree with me. The number of people who have strong opinions about Beck or any other commentator without listening to them.... THAT concerns me.

    If I were working on a plane and had an opportunity to meet someone who publicly spoke out against my beliefs, I would be excited about the possibility to get to know them. I don't think that I'm much different than the vast majority of my friends who share my views. I don't hate. Period. Disagreement does not need to equal hatred. Hate only divides us and conquers the haters.

    Civil discussion, supported by freedom of speech is one of the many things that make us free. It saddens me to see support here for a person taking it upon himself to punish one with whom he disagrees. Judging Beck for his reputation when one hasn't listened to him isn't American. It's bullying. Particularly when coming from a flight attendant who literally has authority to have a passenger arrested. The FA could treat the passenger like a dog, but if the passenger barked, he could have been in big trouble. Even assuming that he had listened and had strong opposing views... So what? Is that justification for intentional, targeted mistreatment?

    I don't care for Beck's style. As originally stated, I don't follow him, so this is the first I have heard from him lately. But I do hope that those who feel anger at the sound of his name will take a step back and consider what they are afraid of. Beck is a pussycat, and I challenge anyone to substantiate any claim that he has done anything to incite violence. I listened to him a lot in the past, and I have never heard anything more than some sarcasm at worst. Opinionated? Certainly. Dangerous? Not even close.

    At a minimum, he paid for a ticket, and he deserved the same level of attentive, professional service as any other passenger on board that plane. For the record, I would say the same if a conservative FA had mistreated a vocal, well known liberal. Pick one. I'm not going to name one, as I'm not here to pick on anybody except one flight attendant who deserves to be called out on his behavior.
     
  24. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    For what it's worth, I don't listen to the same kinds of people on "my" side of the fence either. I find reading a better medium for rhetoric. It allows me to slow down, make notes for research and questions, and avoid the emotional hooks that lead to lapses in logic.
     
  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Naaa. Life's short, and I have to choose how I spent my time. Don't think Beck's view of the world and the way he goes about expressing it is going to enrich my life. And who says I am American?

    (I did give you a like because your post is overall a good one)
     
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