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SAA / unprofessional service : cabin crew

1 South Africa

I was on the flight back to the UK from JHB via South African Airways Flight: SA 236 ; Class :VY; Date 27 March @ 2020 ; Airline Ref is Y3HLZI on airbus A 340-200.

The fact that SAA advertises personal televisions screens in front of passenger's seatd over the PA when some were pointed to watch a shared screen is another issue that prompts passengers to ask questions, however this unprofessional attitude that the SAA crew members display infront on international passengers needs more attention!

These young hostesses have a beautiful uniform and all look well groomed and look really friendly and professional. There is nothing wrong with this picture depicting a professional and friendly, proudly South African company and gives me personal pride to be a part of this country!

When you hear the first, automated welcome greeting with the phrase " pls note it is an offence to interfere with the cabin crew" a warning light goes up - the phrase is probably shrugged off by most as it is normally an understood behaviour and probably just needed to be reiterated as passengers admittedly can be a nuisance, also.

This is not the case here, as the saying applies: " It takes two to tango"..

My experience on this flight was this:

I place on an isle seat and the aircon was blowing on me during the flight and another lady actually swopped seats with a gent because of this freeze. We both realized that the aircon is not going to be switched off and so I after bearing it to my limit, lit the hostess light.

I did not get attention from any hostess and the one selling duty free goods passed my seat and switched the light of. ok... I let this on slide, seeing that she was busy .

Next, I went up to the cabin crew "kitchen" and found our main service hostess eating her supper there ..I kindly asked for a blanket when she was done with her meal. She politely responded that it would not be a problem and that was the end of her duty on that request as I never received a blanket from her.

So, after some time, I lit the hostess light once again and waited..

A little while thereafter the "duty-free" hostess who was now doing stock count ( or something on a clip-board) walked moaning to my seat and switched the light off again and wanted to walk off without even looking at me.

Now, I waved her sight to me and asked politely if I could please get another blanket as the aircon was blowing cold on me .This hostess smilingly looked at me and told me she would look for me...well she must not have found a blanket as I did not get one from her or did not hear from her again the whole flight.

I now was disappointed and in this state just kept this to myself but observed these hostesses, further. Having this message in my mind.." It is an offence to interfere with the cabin crew..", I was not going to cause a scene and be an offender because the hostesses have obvious issues with doing their required tasks as a norm!

Our main server had already moaned, quite audibly, next to the kitchen ( without drawing the curtains) about a customer being full of herself, etc!

The whole trip from then on was very uncomfortable for me and I felt like the hostesses are there for fullfill their power needs over the passengers instead of doing their job.

Both hostesses would walk passed passengers and bump into them, whenever I looked up, without excusing themselves. ( No manners?!)

The one hostess dropped a piece of rubbish on a lady in front of me, realized this and walked off. The lady shook her head and removed the paper from her lap and put it to the side. The hostess then returns and searched for this dropped item but just walks off when she cannot find it on the lady. ( Cat got her tongue, or is the hostess too good to be polite and excuse herself ?)

Apart from trying to be assertive the main server was really rude and both had an angry personality on them - even when the main server served our meals she was making the guy next to me uncomfortable by serving me and forgetting him and then returning to offer him the same also. ( other sublte power plays this girl used on us I am not going to mention here and now..)

I also am a customer service rep and could not believe what I was seeing and experiencing!! Are these young people trained to be rude and unprofessional and create a cruel atmosphere on a 10 hr flight? Have they even been trained to stay friendly and have the attitude of mutual respect between customer and client (hostess and passenger in this case)? If they have been trained, send them back to training as clearly they have not grasped the concept of customer service !!

No other airline does that ! It has been nothing but a pleasure to fly KLM, Ryan Air, BMI and actually all other airlines !! Their hostess are friendly and accommodating and make you feel welcome to be on board with them!!

I must admit, I was happy to relax in the next BMI flight and vouched to avoid SAA in future!!


Never mind me, but there is still the World Cup coming up ...so if I were SAA management, I would look into getting the hostesses at a professional level!!

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