Flight attendants have seen and heard some strange things on flights. People just need to learn how to be normal and have respect on their airline travels.
Keep Your Personal-Hygiene Chores At Home
“I’ve been a flight attendant for 20 years. My number one pet peeve is cutting your nails or toenails on the plane. I can hear that s— from back in the galley…even if you’re in row 2… Sorry but that’s the most disgusting f—ing thing in the world to do on a plane. The other one is trying to get your mile high club wings. People don’t know how disgusting that bathroom is when people pee all over everything in there. In turbulence that wetness on the floor is not from the sink…trust me…”
Bad Odor And Bad Kids
“Something that disgusts me, as a flight attendant, is bad body odor. Some people have been flying all day or they don’t know how they smell. The smell impregnates everything around it. There’s nothing written on how to handle this.
Also, kids flying with parents bother me a lot. When we ask them to fasten the kid’s seat belt, the parents give this look as if it was the most horrible thing to ask their kids to do. The parents let their kids dictate if it’s okay to wear the seatbelt or not. It’s for safety, not our whim when we ask their kids to wear seatbelts. If the kids throw a tantrum, just be a parent and do not let the kids do whatever they want.”
No One Likes A Loud Snitch
“I have been working as a flight attendant for a year now….
I can’t stand it when first class passengers shove their jackets at me as soon as they step through the doorway, especially when I already have an armful. Or when someone is yelling at me that since they are sitting in the front part of Economy, that they should be able to use the first class lavatory. This is a security violation and we can’t have people in line by the flight deck.
What’s very frustrating are the people who will point out from three rows away, that such and such person needs to pull their seat back up. Meanwhile, I’m trying to get people right in front of me to do it first…trust me, we will get to that row and tell them ourselves, and no one likes a tattle tale!”
Please Keep Your Shirt On, Sir
“A friend of mine is a stewardess and one of her biggest pet peeves is when grown a– men take their shirts off on the plane. I was so shocked that I didn’t even believe her. I did believe her when she posted a pic of a hairy, shirtless fat man sleeping on the plane. I was like are you kidding me. That’s just creepy and weird…”
Apparently It’s Too Complicated To Show Respect
“I am a flight attendant for the past two years, and my boyfriend has been doing it for over a decade. Here are some of our pet peeves:
1) People that complain about things that are out of our immediate control.
2) People that insist they deserve upgrades for no real reason.
3) Phrases like ‘It wasn’t like this on my last flight’ or ‘They let me do this last time’ …yes it was and no they didn’t.
4) People that are super loud during safety demo/announcements.
5) We know just as much about unexpected delays as you do. We aren’t getting paid more for them either.
6) Passengers who completely ignore us when we say hello. I am far more likely to give a nice person a free drink just for being nice. Sometimes a genuine hello makes my day.
7) I could do without creepy borderline sexual harassment style ‘compliments’ for sure.
8) When people bring on bags that are too heavy for them to put in the overhead bin and expect me to do it. I won’t do it. If you are physically incapable of doing it, don’t bring it. Too many flight attendants injure themselves trying to be helpful.”
The Definition Of A Petty Passenger
“I’m a flight attendant. It really bothers me when I tell someone something simple, for example, ‘I need you to stow your purse underneath the seat in front of you,’ and they argue as if it’s my personal preference. I always very sweetly explain that it’s a federal aviation regulation, and sometimes even then, people argue. Why? They want to know. And that’s fair. So I tell them, ‘If we need to evacuate the aircraft, your purse could get caught on an armrest and slow not only you down but all of the people behind you.’
Usually, at this point, people comply. But I had one lady continue past that point, telling me how expensive, and handmade, and Italian her purse was. Which is neat, good for her, but all I could think was: ‘Wow. You are seriously implying that a bag you carry crap in is more valuable than the lives of those around you… The balls you must have, ma’am.’ But I can’t say that. I can only think it. I had to put it to her in selfish terms and in a mental space that she appeared to be in. ‘Is your purse more important than you being on this flight?’ I asked her. She asked me if I was serious. I started walking towards the open cockpit (we were still parked at the gate getting ready for the taxi) to tell my captains we had someone unwilling to comply, and she yelled. ‘I did it. Are you happy now.’ I wasn’t, but we were able to taxi at that point. That was extreme, but yes, I hated her. Still, do.
But what annoys me most, on average, is how many people I have to give the ‘dems-da-rulez’ talk, and then they b—- about not taking off on time. WE WOULD HAVE TAKEN OFF ON TIME IF YOU WOULD JUST LISTEN TO THE ANNOUNCEMENTS AND FIX WHAT YOU NEED TO FIX, YOU A–HATS!
That being said, I seriously love my job and love people. I love being helpful and kindly explaining things fully so they know I’m not just some power hungry turd. My job is literally to keep people safe and comfortable, but above all to be able to evacuate a plane in under ninety seconds with only half our exits being usable. I pass the time, on the flight, serving sodas and reviewing life-saving procedures in the event of the worst. So just trust me. You’ll live without your laptop for twenty minutes. But you might not if we stop suddenly and it’s hurled through your skull.”
And Then God Smiled Down
“One time, I took a flight to Atlanta via Seattle once from Portland, OR. It’s about a 45-minute flight to Seattle, so it’s not that terrible. This young guy across the aisle was drunk and kept yelling, complaining and harassing the flight attendants. By the time we got to Seattle, everyone on the plane hated him. Unfortunately, he stayed on the plane upon landing, meaning we would have him for the next 6 hours to Atlanta…
Then, God smiled…and 3 very serious guys entered the plane. Two of them went to talk to him and one to me. Yes, he was swearing, belligerent and harassing the flight attendants. Do you need a written statement? Do I need to testify? He was escorted off the plane. Yesss.”
Real Difficulties With Airplane Bathrooms
“FLUSH THE TOILET. It’s not difficult, you simply press the button where it says FLUSH with a picture of a toilet flushing.
Also, opening the restroom door is simple. Does it look like a regular door? Yes? Then it will open just like a regular door- by twisting and pulling the door handle!! Does it look like a bi-fold door that hinges in the middle? Yes? Press PUSH exactly where the sign says on the door. Hint: you will need more than one finger to push and open the door.
Are you not sure if the bathroom is occupied? Take a look up- there is an illuminated sign that either says occupied/not occupied or is red/green.
And please, LOCK THE BATHROOM DOOR. I have seen so many grannies pulling up their giant panties after someone mistakenly barges in on them.”
The Nightmare Man And The 16-Hour Flight
“So I went on a flight recently and this guy needed to get SLAPPED IN THE FACE, especially due to the way he treated the flight attendant.
This guy was sitting directly in front of us. First, when the man beside him was sleeping, he tapped him and said ‘Wakey wakey’ and started laughing. He then started pumping foreign music and after the people beside him told him to turn it off, after a few complaints, this flight attendant told him to please either turn the music off or turn it down. The man turned it down a tad…but after a few more complaints, he was told to turn it off, as it was irritating a lot of other people. He responded with, ‘Who?! Tell me who it is irritating!’ Mind you, this was a 16-hour flight. He started shouting and complaining about how the earphones would not fit his phone, the manager of the flight then gave him his own earphones.
Later for breakfast, the dish he wanted was not available hence he refused to eat, and the flight attendant said it was his choice. Then later at lunch, he demanded two dishes as he had not eaten breakfast, the flight attendant reminded him it was his decision. This made his blood boil more, so he started shouting and cursing at her. The man beside him then told him that he was out of line, and then the person who made all of this trouble actually threatened to chuck his food on him. The other man kept telling him that again it was his decision and finally, the rowdy man threw the food on the man beside him, and started swearing at him and shouting at him, telling him no one told him to speak. After the manager returned and shouted at him to stop, the man calmed down and was quiet for the rest of the flight.
If I were a flight attendant, I have no idea how I would keep my cool when someone is an a–hole like that. There were people crying, people scared s—less, hands down the worst experience I have had on a plane. Hats off to all flight attendants, immense respect for you and your jobs.
Also, there were no empty seats for the people next to him to sit at…”
On-Flight Medical Emergency
“I am not an attendant, but I fly a lot. One flight we had a medical emergency on board. They called for any medical professionals to identify themselves, he went to see the guy, sat with him the whole flight.
At the end of the flight, when there is a medical problem on board they have to have EMS take the person out before anyone can get off the plane. So they called and told us to stay seated and wait and to NOT get anything out of the overheads. Of course…there is always going to be at least one d—–. Some guy in first class got up as soon as we landed and got his s— out of the overhead. The person I was traveling with leaned over and said, loud enough for all to hear, ‘That guy is a d—head!’ I was so happy she said it. Everyone around agreed. If there is a medical emergency and you are asked to stay in your seat, stay the f— in your seat!”
Customer Service Probably Had A Field Day
“I’m not a flight attendant but I am a frequent flyer, for work. A brief story on being an a–hole to the flight attendants. My two biggest pet peeves are just being rude (to FAs and other people), and not understanding the whole overhead-luggage thing.
I was on a flight where a middle-aged gentleman wound up sitting next to me. Obviously on a business trip from his attire. He was late getting to the Southwest flight, and he had a roller carry-on (in addition to his laptop bag). He started trying to shove it, forcefully, into an overhead bin.
He did it in a way that shows a complete disregard for the other items already in the bin. Just trying to smash it against everything to get it in.
The flight attendant came up and politely said: ‘Sir, I don’t think it’s going to fit, and the flight is rather full, I think I will need to check your bag.’ The businessman gave him a snooty response, the flight attendant repeated. This went on for about 5 minutes, with the businessman insisting that his bag goes into the overhead bin.
The business guy was getting more agitated. The FA finally appeared to relent, and said ‘Okay, how about you let me try?’ The guy handed him the bag, and as soon as he has it in hand, immediately began walking away saying ‘I’m sorry sir, we’re going to have to check this.’ The businessman had a hissy fit but took his seat next to me.
I noticed him immediately take out his laptop and get into his email, and start typing an email to SW customer service, complaining about the rude and abusive behavior of the flight attendant, by name (he’d read his name tag) and about how he had been ‘publicly embarrassed.’
Seeing this happen, and already having my laptop out, I also immediately drafted an email to SW Customer Service. The guy put his full name in his email, so I had his name. So I sent an email to customer service, saying: ‘I’m watching my seatmate, >insert name< currently sending a very nasty email about >flight attendant<.’ I made sure to comment on how polite and professional the flight attendant was, and that >insert name< was far too old to be throwing a hissy fit when we’re trying to get people in the seats to pull back from the gate.
I still feel good about it.”
Don’t Mess With This Flight Attendant
“As a flight attendant, I HAVE to ask you about sitting in an exit row, don’t be a d—, listen to me for 15 seconds. There are RULES I HAVE to attempt to enforce, that being said, if you don’t know what silent is on your phone you deserve to be publicly shamed.
I actually appreciate passengers, because most days I love my job and passengers ensure I get money for passing out beverages and snacks. But you don’t get to snap your fingers at me, you don’t get to throw your coat at me, and I am not your bar wench.
Also, come on a plane hygienically sound. Don’t do anything bodily on board (scratch a–/balls, remove nail polish, brush teeth and leave toothpaste everywhere). And leave peacefully, without yelling at me about a damn thunderstorm that made you miss your connection. I’m not Storm. I wish I was…”
I’m Not Just Your “Air Waitress”
“I was a flight attendant for a long time.
We don’t get paid when the main cabin door is open. So delays hurt us too. Plus, I just want to get to the overnight and have a beer. I don’t want to get stuck with you either.
Hitting the call button 87 times while we’re boarding a single-aisle plane isn’t going to get me to you any faster. Chill. The light stays on, I’ll get to you.
If I’m out of something, don’t blame me. Airlines are cheap. It’s not my main concern whether we have enough coke zero on the flight. Water, yes. Diet caffeine free gluten free whatever, no I don’t care, the flight is 40 minutes I think you’ll survive. Wow, you paid $300 for your ticket? Well someone at the top is reaping the benefits of a prosperous airline, but my pay raises are fixed and my bonuses minimal.
My main concern is your safety. Remember that that’s what my first priority is, not to be your servant.
Don’t hit the call button upon landing. I’m not going to get up. Duh.
DO NOT get out of your seat while we’re taxiing out to the runway. If you get up to use the lav, we have to stop the plane. This causes us to lose our place in line, making that 15-minute wait become 30.
I’m aware that the airline will let you book a 30-minute connection. DO NOT DO IT. If you do this you’re stupid and I’m not going to sit there and listen to you b—- about how the airline sucks. I know the airline sucks, they sign my paycheck.
Delays are not my fault. Even if you’re going to visit your dying mother, there’s nothing I can do to make the maintenance men work faster or make the snow stop falling. Stop yelling at me for s—.
Verbally assaulting a crew member will get you kicked off the flight. No questions asked.
The pilots fly the plane. They don’t fix it. That’s a whole other 4+ years of schooling to learn that. Also, most of the pilots aren’t going to call ahead in flight to see if your flight is on time. What do you think they’re doing up there?? You’re not special so don’t ask. They get annoyed if I ask for you. If there’s wifi look it up, if not then don’t make a short connection.
Days are long. Pay sucks. Passengers b—- about everything. And at the end of the day, people still say we’re impolite and that we’re air waitresses. Most of the people I worked with were highly educated and dedicated to their career. So have some respect, eh? My last year as a flight attendant, I made less than 20K.
I loved the job but the a–hole people wore me down. I smiled and greeted everyone and no one ever knew, but I quit because of everyone’s lack of respect for each other. It’s a shame because flight attendants used to be nice and flying used to be a luxury.”
Hello, Please Treat Us Like A Human
“I hate when passengers don’t say hello. I was a flight attendant for 5 years and I spent every boarding standing at the front saying hello to every single person that walked on. Less than 30% would say hello back. Have some decency, treat your flight attendant like a human and say hello. We aren’t happy the plane is small, late, etc either. But if you’re an a–hole you’re going to get the bare minimum in service. People that would chat with me while pouring drinks and such usually got free liquor and snacks from me.
Also, parents that can’t comprehend that yes, if your child wants to use something with sound, they need to have headphones on.”
I Can Make Your Life Hell
“I am a frequent flyer and I just have to say: Give the poor flight attendants a break!
Snow ain’t their fault. The screaming kid ain’t their fault. The fact that myself or another very frequent flyer got upgraded over you…definitely ain’t their fault.
As a word to other passengers. If you have a child who is of an age where they are capable of taking directions and controlling their behavior and you still decide NOT to control them, I have numerous ways of making your life HELL. I’m not referring to a crying baby – lord knows, it sucks but it can’t be helped.
A general rule, don’t forget your manners.”
Ma’am, Don’t Drag Your Son Into This
“As someone who travels quite often, I have seen a lot of strange incidents occur.
The best story I have is from when I was in Miami. During a long taxi and wait for a gate in Miami Airport, a mom sitting with her kids in my row wanted to take her son to the bathroom. FAA regulations state that you cannot get up. She argued with the flight attendant and finally told the flight attendant that she was going to let her son pee on the floor. That flight attendant quickly rushed to grab a cup and this 4-year-old peed in a cup right next to me.”
I Thought Poking Was Just For Facebook
“In no particular order, my list of pet peeves:
1) Taking off your shoes and putting your feet on the walls or armrest. Especially if your feet are unkempt and smell like sewage.
2) Poking me to get my attention. My butt is usually what happens to be at finger level. I don’t like being poked in the butt. Ever.
3) Repeatedly pushing the call button, unless it is a true emergency. If someone is dying or the wing is on fire, by all means, mash the living daylights out of that button. Do whatever it takes to get my attention! Except poking me…
4) Leaving headphones on your ears while trying to communicate with me. I don’t care if they’re turned off. It’s rude and disrespectful.
5) It doesn’t matter how old you are, when you whine about the seat in front of you being reclined it’s hard for me to take you seriously.
6) People that ask for 3 or more drinks on an hour flight. I can understanding wanting a coffee and a water. Or a coffee and an orange juice. Or a ginger ale and orange juice. But asking for a coke, Kahlua, water, coffee, and orange juice all at once is going to irk me just a bit.
7) Act like you’re the only person on a private jet and that I’m in your way. Especially if I’m trying to do my job. True story, had a guy hit me in the face while putting his coat on. While my eyes were watering (cause he hit me pretty hard across my eyes) he started yelling at me for being in his way and had I just been elsewhere I wouldn’t have gotten hit.
For the most part, though, those are only things that annoy me. Not enough there to make me outright hate a passenger.”
Your Entitlement Is Invalid On This Flight
“I worked as an airline reservation agent. My biggest pet peeve was people who couldn’t put it together, that if you tell the agent that you are incapable or disabled, you will NOT be given an exit seat for ‘leg room.’ In the event of an emergency, the other 120 passengers on the plane don’t want to have a full minute less to avoid dying. Please don’t make an airline attendant spell that out for you.
Also, those people who yelled at me that their so-and-so boyfriend/son/uncle Peter was in the military, so they should automatically qualify for a 99% discounted rate. Airline agents don’t set the price of the ticket. Don’t accuse them of being greedy corporate jerks because they can’t issue a $2 ticket to a man in uniform.
Also, frankly, anyone from Boston or New York during a weather emergency. Never in my life had I heard the words, ‘Don’t you know who I AM?!’ before telling a business class passenger flying from Logan to JFK that the reason his flight was canceled was because ALL flights were canceled. Additionally to that, almost all public transportation and basically anything that relied on electricity. Self-entitled f—-!”
Human Blockades Against The Food Cart
“When we are doing meal service and passengers insist on going through the aisle to go to the lavatory. This forces me to have to pull the food cart all the way back to where I started, and then back to where I left off. Then when they are finished with their business, I have to move again for them. People have to realize that those food carts are really heavy and making us pull the cart back and forth is really hard on us!”