I arrived unusually early for my shuttle flight this evening and got to spend a few minutes in the gate area. There is an 8-person Aer Lingus cabin crew travelling to dca in uniform. (This surprised me to see.) They are seated near me and are talking quietly amongst themselves or reading. All appear fairly refined and civilized. At the Gate 5 podium there is a delta FA on her mobile phone in a heated argument with her staffing base about getting released. Apparently her schedule will go "illegal" by not getting her home before midnight tonight (apparently she's been working 6 days straight and going over midnight would be 7, which she purports to be a contrat violation. While I don't know if this is a valid grievance or not, what is clearly inappropriate is having this heated debate within a few feet, and within clear earshot, of customers. Even some of the EI crew have glanced up from their books to look at this FA. The two agents at the podium are lamenting (also quite loudly) about getting pulled off an overbooked flight at non-revs. While I think these are outlier situations for DL (perhaps less so at their New York stations), the contrast between the behaviors of the people in the two uniforms is significant. **** It's also worth noting that DL has re-done the lighting in the MAT in the last two weeks and it is much improved!