Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Before the Administrator
Federal Aviation Administration

Michael Huerta
Federal Aviation Administration
800 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20591

Petition for Rulemaking:
Limitation of Seat Size Reductions

Submitted by:

August 26, 2015

Pursuant to § 553(e) of the Administrative Procedure Act and 49 U.S.C. § 106, and the undersigned hereby petition the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to create a regulation mandating minimum seat width and seat pitch for commercial airlines.  A corollary of the right to petition in § 553(e) is the right to receive reasons if the petition is denied. The Supreme Court recently reaffirmed limited judicial review for the denial of a rulemaking petition and for the adequacy of the reasons given.  Until these standards are established, we request a moratorium on seat size reductions in commercial aircraft.  Additionally, under 14 C.F.R. 11.91, the FAA must provide notice concerning its decision on this petition, regardless of the outcome.  

  1. Background & Petition Summary is the largest nonprofit airline passenger organization with over 50,000 members and supporters nationwide. It was the principal advocate of the 2009 Three Hour Rule ending tarmac confinements, for truth in scheduling regulations by the Department of Transportation, and for the 2012 inclusion of airline passenger rights provisions in the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. It publishes a weekly online newsletter, operates a toll free hotline for airline passengers, and advocates for their rights and interests. FlyersRights was founded by Kate Hanni in 2007 after she, along with thousands of others, was stranded on the tarmac for over 9 hours.  
Paul Hudson has been president of since 2013, a member of the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee representing the Aviation Consumer Action Project and the Public Citizen since 1993, and a national advocate for air safety and security for over 25 years.
In 1958, Congress enacted the Federal Aviation Act creating the Federal Aviation Administration and continuing the Civil Aeronautics Board while redefining their responsibilities. Congress fully deregulated the domestic airline industry through the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (ADA).  The ADA impacted the airline industry by deregulating ticket fares, flight schedules, and routes.  Additionally, the ADA preempted state laws that would economically impact airlines.  The FAA’s role also shifted with the deregulation of airlines from regulating airlines to regulating safety, including Air Traffic Control.  As air travel has expanded, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created to carry the role of controlling security.  These two agencies, along with the Department of Transportation (DOT) ensure safe, secure, and efficient air travel.
Since the enactment of the ADA, the FAA has passed regulations regarding various aspects of commercial flight in order to maintain safety and efficiency.  Included in these regulations are a variety of regulations for seats in aircraft, including regulations on safety belts, headrests, fire retardation, and the maximum number of seats abreast in an airliner.  Additionally, seats are also required to support a weight of at least 175 pounds.  So far, the only limitation placed on airlines by the FAA regarding seat space is limiting the number of seats in an aircraft based on the number and size of emergency exists.  Though airlines would not enjoy this regulation, in 2013, Airbus called for an industry standard minimum seat width of 18 inches, which Boeing vehemently argued against.
Because of limited regulations on seats, airlines have decreased seat pitch and seat width in order to fit more passengers on each plane.  In some instances, galleys have been removed as well.  This decrease in seat size, coupled with the safety, health, and comfort of passengers, is the reason for this rulemaking petition. petitions FAA to
1) Exercise its discretionary rulemaking authority under 49 U.S.C. § 106, to impose within 180 days  reasonable regulations setting maintenance standards and limiting the extent of seat size changes in order to ensure consumer safety, health, and comfort.  
2) Issue an order within the next 45 days placing a moratorium or freeze on any further reductions in seat size, width,  pitch, padding, and aisle width until a final rule is issued.  
3) Appoint an advisory committee or task force to assist and advise the FAA in proposing seat and passenger space rules and standards, with such committee having broad representation of the various interests involved and expertise needed, to include this petitioner and representatives from other airline passenger advocacy organizations, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and including at least one physician, ergonomic engineer, senior citizen, disabled air traveler, overweight person, disabled person, and at least six American air travelers representing a cross section of air travelers by age, height, weight, and gender.    

II. Seat Space in Commercial Airlines
As the number of commercial air passengers has increased, airlines have been putting more seats on their aircraft, reducing the average seat pitch from 35 inches to 31 inches.  Some airlines have seat pitch as low as 28 inches.  This reduction in seat pitch has decreased the amount of leg room in the economy cabins of most, if not all, airlines.  However, another factor to consider is the width of the seats.  The average width of an airline seat ranges from 17 to 18 inches.  This is problematic for the consumer because the average shoulder width of men is the same width.  This means about half of men passengers are larger than the width of a coach seat.
Airline seats have been designed for people who are between 5’9” and 5’10”, and of average build.  Unfortunately, many Americans do not fit into this category.  Though the average height of men and women is 5’10” and 5’4”, respectively, many Americans are not average.  Additionally, height is not the only factor that results in too little leg room and an uncomfortable flight.  Many people have disproportionately long legs, which can cause uncomfortable seating positions.  Likewise, passengers may have knee or hip problems, limiting their mobility and ability to change positions frequently in order to stay comfortable and healthy.  The CDC has provided data showing Americans have been getting taller and heavier since the 1960’s. The average weight of women today is what the average weight of men was in 1960.  
Airlines have routinely responded to this dilemma by saying the passenger can just pay for an upgraded seat.  While airlines regard this as a viable option, the reality of the situation is very different.  Petitioners believe 90% of passengers should be able to fit safely and comfortably in an economy seat, without any special accommodations.  Similarly, for the very tall, forcing them to purchase an upgraded seat with more legroom can be seen as a form of discrimination.  Though it has been stated that passengers are willing to sacrifice seat pitch for a lower price, this does nothing to mitigate the health, safety, and comfort concerns of passengers.  
The other 10% of passengers representing over 70 million passengers annually, also need to be accommodated.  These include passengers over 74 inches in height (about 5% of men), over 250 pounds (about 10%) according to US Census data for 2007-2008.  This could take the form of special rows with larger seats and more pitch.  It is ironic that while airlines and other providers of public accommodations are required by law to provide reasonable accommodations for passengers with physical, medical or even emotional disabilities or conditions, an increasingly larger percentage of healthy, nondisabled passengers are not.  
III.   Health Implications of Reduced Seat Space
Being in a cramped space for any period of time can cause stiffness and soreness in joints and muscles.  Sitting in economy class of an airplane while on a commercial flight is no exception.  Apart from jet lag, altitude sickness, and an increased risk to catching contagious illnesses, flying can cause potentially life threatening blood clots from lack of movement and cramped spaces.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), also known as “economy-class syndrome,” occurs when leg clots develop in deep veins.  This happens when one’s legs are not moving and the muscles are not contracting.  Medical professionals suggest moving about the cabin or performing different leg exercises while seated.  The issue with this suggestion is many people do not have the room to move in their seat or get up to move about the cabin.  Reducing the seat space even more would only expand the issue and cause greater health, safety, and comfort concerns.
Additionally, the tightness of the seats prevents the passengers from easily getting out of their seats in order to go to the restroom or move enough in order to keep blood flow circulating and muscles contracting in order to prevent DVT, soreness, stiffness, or other joint and muscles problems associated with remaining seated for hours.  
IV. Safety Implications of Seat Space Reduction
Airlines are required by the FAA to test their emergency evacuation plans.  These tests have realistic scenarios; from baggage thrown throughout the cabin and infant dummies that need to be carried, to exits being randomly blocked and reduced lighting.  If the test is failed, it can be retaken without any record of why the test was initially failed.  These tests have not been run in aircraft with seat pitches under 31 inches, even though aircraft are operating with seat pitches as low as 28 inches.  Cynthia Corbertt, a human factors researcher with the FAA, has stated that the FAA has not considered testing the emergency evacuation plans with other seat pitches.  These tests also have volunteers to fill the aircraft with the maximum envisioned number of passengers, but aircraft can legally carry more passengers than the maximum envisioned number.  For example a Boeing 777-300 generally seats 458 passengers, but can legally carry up to 550 passengers.  Therefore, these emergency evacuation tests do not fully test for the true practicality of an in-flight emergency because seat pitch under 31 inches is not tested and airplanes carrying the maximum legal amount of passengers are not tested.   
Additionally, these FAA required emergency evacuation tests to not factor in human panic, such as older passengers, passengers with children, or passengers with disabilities who may need more time to evacuate.  A decreased amount of space between seats would likely increase this panic, and cause delays in evacuations during an emergency, when time is of the essence.  Charlie Leocha, from Travelers United, put it best when he said, “[i]n a world where animals have more rights to space and food than humans, it is time that the DOT and FAA take a stand for humane treatment of passengers.”
Though there are requirements on how many seats can be on an airplane based on the number of emergency exists, this does not necessarily mean every emergency evacuation will be successful.  This is shown by the necessity of allowing emergency procedure tests to be retaken.  Increasing the seat pitch and seat width will allow easier access to the aisles, more room for passengers who may be injured, and more room to move towards emergency exits.  In order to maintain profitability, airlines have added emergency exists so they can still be within FAA regulations and squeeze more seats into the cabin of the aircraft.  
V. Passenger Comfort
Passenger comfort is generally not a concern for airlines because airlines believe passengers can either upgrade or would rather sacrifice comfort for a lower price.  However, the consumer should not have to choose between paying less for a flight and having sufficient legroom or enough room to move about the cabin in order to prevent potential health risks.  
Because of how little space there is, many taller passengers are forced to purchase expensive, upgraded seats in order to be comfortable, or else simply sit in extreme discomfort for the duration of the flight.  Additionally, many older passengers do not have ease of mobility, and being crammed into the economy class of an airplane can cause them severe health problems.
Another comfort issue that arises is the proximity of neighboring passengers.  For example, even if someone has enough legroom, the seat pitch has been reduced to the point that if the passenger sitting directly in front of him or her reclines his or her chair, there is little to no space to move.  This issue is uncomfortable not only for the passenger behind the reclined seat, but also for the other passengers who need to move from the seats to the aisles.  The tight space leads to people falling, grabbing the headrest of the closest seat, and disrupting other passengers.  
A lack of space has led to the invention of the knee defender device, designed to prevent seats from reclining in order to protect the passenger’s limited knee and leg room in airlines.  There has been backlash from both airlines and passengers concerning this device, created to provide comfort for one passenger but can cause discomfort for another.  Because of passenger complaints regarding the knee defender, most major airlines banned its use shortly after its invention.
Additionally, there are many Americans who are of a weight that they either must use seatbelt extensions in order to safely fly, or are forced to purchase a second seat.  The FAA does not regulate when an additional seat needs to be purchased, so airlines have created their own policies.  Travelers often have difficulty finding these policies, so websites have compiled lists of major airline policies regarding purchasing a second seat.  Even if a passenger is not required to purchase a second ticket due to their size, they can still cause discomfort to their neighbors.  If seat width was increased, there would fewer issues concerning overweight passengers and whether a second ticket needs to be purchased.  Canada ruled forcing overweight passengers to purchase a second ticket was discriminatory, and thus illegal on domestic flights.
Planes are also very overcrowded, which has led to ever higher load factors as planes today fly at over 86 percent capacity. Flights were 69 percent full on average in 2003 and 56 percent full in 1991. Between 2007 and 2013, U.S. airlines eliminated about 1.2 million flights. This significant level of overcrowding leads to fights between passengers and often flight attendants.  Overcrowded planes cause more than just fights and headaches; overweight passengers need to use seat belt extensions or purchase a second ticket, parents are unable to use car seats for their young children, and the tall are being charged extra just so their knees do not touch the seat in front of them.  
Kathleen Robinette, researcher for the Air Force, said, “[o]ne of the most important things about a comfortable seat is the ability to move in it.”  Her research found that airline seats are on average five inches too narrow.  However, that was using data from the 1960s; with the increase in the size of passengers since then, the width of airlines seats is far too narrow for true comfort to be achieved.  Airlines argue they listen to consumers because airlines provide low fares, but passengers still need to be provided with some base level of comfort.
VI. Moratorium Request
Because of the safety, health, and comfort implications of allowing airlines to continue to reduce the amount of space in airline seats, requests that FAA place a moratorium on the reduction of seat size. This moratorium would go into effect immediately upon the granting of this petition and would last until the FAA establishes appropriate seat standards. also requests that the FAA Advisory Rulemaking Committee establish a working group on seat standards under the Occupant Safety Subcommittee.  The working group’s findings and work will then be used to establish and refine appropriate seat standards.  
VII. Conclusion
FAA has the statutory authority to regulate safety onboard aircraft, including the number of seats. While FAA has regulated extensively in analogous areas it has yet to promulgate rules concerning seat pitch and seat width. The shrinkage of seats and passenger space by airlines to generate higher profits while the size of passengers has substantially increased has created an intolerable crisis situation. It is threatening the health, safety and comfort of all passengers.  The FAA needs to rectify this situation of unreasonably small seats by imposing a moratorium on the reduction of seat sizes and promulgating minimum seat and passenger space standards. Accordingly, for the reasons stated herein, the FAA should grant this petition forthwith.

Due to the continuing actions and threats by airlines to reduce passenger seat space even further in the next few months this petition is time sensitive.  Accordingly it must be presumed that the FAA has effectively denied the petition if it is not acted upon in the next 45 days.

Respectfully submitted by:
218 D St SE
Washington, DC 20003
Fax: (240) 391-1923

Paul Hudson
(800) 662-1859

Richard Baxley
Staff Attorney

Andriana VanderGriend
Legislative Analyst

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

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August 25, 2015

The airline business is in dire need of a shakeup. 

Any industry that demands full payment months in advance, and then can resell your seat to another passenger, reeks of collusion and monopoly.

Combine that with the petty baggage fees, sardine seating, and food service that would embarrass McDonald's, and you have an industry run on greed that has been allowed to use their monopolistic powers in the worst of ways.

FlyersRights is encouraged by the Justice Department 's collusion investigation into the US airline industry, but has little faith in a bureaucracy that allows political parties and the airline industry to have significant power.

History Will Not Be Kind To This Industry

Let's start with the whole "charge for baggage" which was set up when airlines faced surging fuel costs.  Doing so added revenue to offset higher prices, by making passengers pay for the extra weight.  Even with $40/barrel oil, there's no going back with all that extra money flowing in.

Costs have dropped sharply for airlines, pushing profits higher. But today their stocks are in a slump as airlines face labor problems, competition probes and jittery investors.

A recent small decline in ticket prices has cut the airlines' unit revenue - which measures the amount of money taken in for each passenger flown a mile. Investors are fixated on that metric. 

This metric effectively says that even if you are making record profits, that's irrelevant. What's important is that your customers are paying more per mile every year.

In short, Rome could be burning but if the airlines aren't somehow making record profits, they're doing something wrong. Where is this money supposed to come from? The employees they're underpaying?

In other words, what's important to investors is that you offer less value to your customers every year than you did the year before.

Are The Airlines Really Giving Passengers "What They Want?"

On a weekly basis we get naysayers telling FlyersRights: It's a great state of affairs! What part of "Free Enterprise" don't we understand? Businesses charge only what the market will bear in such a system! Customers always want their cake and eat it too.

Yet we find it hard to disagree with the notion that flyers want the cheapest possible fares.  Who doesn't want the lowest cost for anything?  
But we also find it hard to disagree with the astounding decline in the quality of the seat, customer service, cleanliness, etc. We now get less than we pay for.

The airlines insist low airline prices are encouraged by the use of cafeteria-style pricing plans for luggage size and weight, onboard meals, drinks and seat sizes. Cafeteria pricing plans also encourage passengers to reduce the weight of onboard luggage which reduces fuel usage for the planes while paying only for those amenities they really want or need.

FlyersRights understands "free enterprise," having been founded by a successful entrepreneur, Kate Hanni. But the part of "free enterprise" that the airlines don't seem to understand is that there's such a thing as unequal bargaining power, where one party controls the conditions of the transaction - and the customers, who have very little bargaining power, have to accept the terms on a "take it or leave it basis." 

As air travelers, we can't just "leave it," and airline consolidation now has created an oligopoly market where airlines can cooperate through winks and nods without violating antitrust law. 

Under such conditions, profits of the oligopoly are maximized, not the efficient pricing that would exist in a truly competitive market with more equal bargaining power among the parties. If most air travelers agree thatflying is a miserable experience, then something needs to change.

What do you think? Should government intervene?
Write your representatives  in Congress about the health and safety issues that currently exist in the airline industry. Tell them about your last baggage problem. Count up the responses and send them to FlyersRights at

Is there an effective way to change airline policy? We think so. It's time for an updated Passenger Bill of Rights

Double Dipping!
Is a "NO show" just an excuse to sell the same seat twice?
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Why do do we need to check in? 

It should be possible to assign a seat directly after booking.

When airlines are selling tickets for $100 and charging $500 to change them, no one wastes their time trying to change the ticket or inform the airline they're not showing up.
The "NO-show" has become an excuse used by the airlines to sell the same seat twice. Yet the airlines could save more money by eliminating the whole check-in process, even when you factor in the additional revenue they can potentially generate by overselling. 

Overselling flights might have been useful when load factors were in the mid 60%, but today when 90% of planes are departing 98% full, it's hard to rationize overselling planes. 

The airlines like to cry that airfares would rise because No-Shows cost them money in unsold seats. Their preferred term is a "spoilable product". That's also the rationale why fully-flexible fares are so high, as it costs the airlines too much money when passengers don't show up. And those seats could've been resold otherwise.

We're still waiting for the explanation of how airlines lose money on No-Show passengers when the seats have already been paid for, other than it gives an opportunity to gain additional revenue. 

And, there is no factual evidence that revenue generated by overbooking is passed down to passengers in the form of lower fares. 

In the US most tickets and vacation packages are sold as non-refundable and non transferable. The airline keeps the revenue for the seat if you don't show up. 
Your Letters:!
In response to last week's newsletter: That's What Friends Are For

Dear Flyers Rights.
I want to thank you for your newsletter, the last one brought a wave of nostalgia on me.
Reading the list was impressive, how wonderful flying used to be.
I fly frequently, mostly in Europe, Middle East, Africa.  I have been doing this for the past 25 years.
What I can say is that there has been a steady errosion of service and comfort. 
Flights are more late than on time. Even if you are 1st class one gets caught up in the
tardiness and cancellations.
Regardless of where I fly or when I fly, the flights are always overbooked.
The security is hassle, I guess there is a universal training camp that everyone in
the world is sent to, they are 99% of the time, rude and bullying.  The USA and UK
are the worse (I am a US Citizen).
I am struck by how unprofessional, angry, and rude the US Customs and Border Protection
personel are.  I have never been treated by German Security the way my own country treats me.
They are courteous and professional
You can imagine how this goes over with visitors to the USA.
The last 2 times I was in the USA my flights across the country were cancelled. The staffs (UNITED AIRLINES!)
were ignorant und not helpful.
When I visit the USA in the future I will make time to drive or take a train.
Thanks again for your efforts.

Munich, Germany
Dear FlyersRights:

Well that certainly brought back some old memories of the days when
flying was actually a civilized mode of transportation. I remember
flying to Europe on the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. Pan Am was so proud
of this plane they made a 24 minute promo film of it, here:

It included a spiral staircase down to a full bar on the lower level,
complete with comfortable sofas and a piano.

I also remember many trips to Europe on the DC-7C when I was little.
First class was in the back of the plane and included Pullman style
berths with comfy sheets, blankets and pillows where you could stretch
out, draw the curtain and sleep comfortably. I also got invited up to
the flight deck regularly where I could spend as long as I wanted,
marveling at the sight of the pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer,
navigator, and radio man all doing their jobs as we rumbled through the
night across the Atlantic. And there may not have been inflight movies
or wi-fi, but there was always an ample supply of newspapers and
magazines from many countries. There were also complimentary
pocket-sized board games you could keep. I still have little sets of
checkers and chess, courtesy of Swissair. And of course, the airlines
used to hand out complimentary carry-on bags with their logos on them.

My dad was a good customer of Swissair, back in the days before the term
"frequent flyer program" existed. Swissair gave him his own personal
agent who would arrange all our travel plans. She made sure the tickets
were always ready and waiting to be picked up at his convenience. Even
pre-boarding was done differently. Instead of a blaring loudspeaker
call for families with children, the gate agent would approach us in the
lounge and whisper that our flight was ready to board. No one had to
remove any part of their clothing, get x-rayed, or stick their arms up
like a street thug getting frisked by the cops. You just walked on and
sat down.

Some time ago I just started boycotting the airlines entirely. For
short trips, I drive. For longer trips I fly my own plane. For trips
to Europe, well I just don't go anymore. Sadly, I don't think the
current situation is going to change until enough people get fed up and
stop buying the crappy product provided by today's airlines. There's
always Etihad, but then you have to fly to Abu Dhabi. You can't win.


Dear FlyersRights:
Laughed out loud.   Brought back the memory of one of my first flights.  It was the late '60's, I was 18, newly enlisted in the Navy and was going to Submarine School in Groton, Connecticut.   Flew National to Kennedy and then Pilgrim Airline on to Groton---airline 'cause they had just one plane, a DC-3.   In uniform several of us went to a bar. The barmaid promptly said "Hope you squids ain't flyin' Pilgrim.  They crashed last week, killed everybody." 
She was kidding....we ordered doubles.
Dear FlyersRights:

Enjoyed reading Dan Prall and Matt Hesser's reminiscences of what flying USED to be.
How about another perspective, that from a former flight attendant?

I was a flight attendant from 1972 to 1982 (son was born that year and I decided not to go back) for American Airlines so I officially quit in '83.    At the time I was hired I was one of the 'oldest' in the class
at 25 years old!  I got one of the first  base choices but Dallas/Ft. Worth was not available so I chose LGA (LaGuardia).  I lived in a small building in Queens, three apartments, which were full of grads from my class.  In my own apartment it was another woman and a guy for our two-bedroom apartment.  If you walked down the street, you'd be greeted often with 'Hi

I had a number of flights that were on the 747 and the DC-10 which both at that time had 'piano lounges.'  Late night flights were particularly sparse with passengers.  The same year I was hired, Bonnie Tiburzi was hired as the first female pilot for a major airline (that was also American Airlines).    As I recall, she was featured (for one) in Glamour Magazine.

In coach, even on a short flight like one of NY's airports to Chicago, we would serve a choice of THREE entrees in coach for breakfast, lunch AND dinner.    I recall it  often included either  chicken kiev or lasagne for two of the choices for either lunch or dinner.    Before the flight began, we would hand out pillows, blankets and a selection of magazines.
I personally tried to greet EVERY person who walked on the airplane whether in first class or coach.  Names were mandatory in first class and if there weren't too many people, we would jot down names in coach, too.
If a flight were delayed in any way, often the Captain would usually  declare 'free drinks' for the entire plane!

At first, pilots had their own single rooms but flight attendants had to share (two to a room).    Later, our union got us  our own rooms for layovers.  Often in those days the crew would go out together to eat and some layovers were quite lengthy and wonderful.

During those years I saw the piano lounges eliminated, and they gradually added more and more seats to each plane's configuration.  I ended up mostly flying 707's and 727's in those years.    As a flight attendant, we were regularly observed
by flight attendant supervisors, , sometimes we knew they were on board, sometimes we did not.   But we always got the critiques and ratings later and they were quite lengthy.
Some friends regularly got 'weight checks' because they were deemed 'overweight.'

  We were never allowed to sit down except for takeoff, landing and occasional bad weather.  We always had to be out in the aisle talking to people, seeing if people needed anything and just generally being pleasant and available.  We were never allowed to read a book or a paper (except perhaps in the galley on the sly).  We certainly couldn't do needlework or sit and talk to another flight attendant as most do now.    I turned from a fairly shy young woman to one who was quite articulate with virtually any type of passenger.

I was able finally to transfer to Dallas/Ft. Worth (I had grown up in Oklahoma City so that
was better for me) where I was quickly 'laid off' (would have been safe had I stayed in NY).
I had secretarial skills and ended up working for the AA employment director for a time
till I was called back.  That was fun because we were interviewing pilots in those days.

American continued to add more and more seats but even on very short flights there were peanuts and drinks even if the plane hadn't leveled off and we were out in the aisles with those heavy carts.   A flight of more than an hour commanded a meal.   We never picked up garage with bags, it was always via carts or carried back to the galleys.  After meals and close to landings, we might have 5 or more trays we were carrying back and stuffing in the galleys.

Before I left, American had adopted a 'two-tier' pay scale so new hires were paid much less than I was.  When I was working, a flight attendant definitely made more than a secretary and TDY added a lot to your pay.  We paid for our own uniforms and though I wore comfortable shoes on flights, I always wore heels in the airports and I preferred to 
wear dresses.  You also had to wear hose with heels and your hair and makeup had to be perfectly groomed and nice.

I am appalled when I hear flight attendants (once sitting in back of my seat in empty seats) talking poorly about passengers, talking about how 'hard' their job is and generally
not being a symbol of their  airlines in a positive way.  The horrible seating, the lack of 
food of any kind on many flights, the 'cattle car' atmosphere is a long, long way from
the glamorous days when I was a flight attendant.


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