The New York Times published an article today in the Business section about funny flight attendants. The article – For Some Flight Attendants, Schtick Comes With the Safety Spiel – focuses on a few funny flight attendants who tell jokes and dress up as Elvis at Southwest Airlines, and a singing flight attendant at Spirit Airlines.
The article points out the two totally different perspectives on the topic:
That flight attendants showing their personalities keep flyers entertained and engaged:
A spokeswoman for Southwest also said that the company considered its crew to be its in-flight entertainment and that it hired flight attendants primarily because of their attitude.
That flight attendants should stick to the script:
Not all airlines are so enamored of such displays of personality. Delta and American (which declined to make Mr. Howell available for comment) said in statements that the airline appreciated it when flight attendants humanized their interactions, but that flight attendants are reminded that less is more when it comes to in-flight announcements.
I would like to think of flight attendants working my flight as safety professionals rather than entertainers, but then again, sometimes a couple of unexpected funny touches help to lighten up the mood of my flight. After reading the article, what do you think? How should flight attendants and airlines handle the dilemma of keeping it funny or playing it straight?