Photo: Dmitry Birin/Shutterstock

What Flight Attendants Really Think of Your Behavior

by Kara Mulder Jan 4, 2015
You needy people asking for free upgrades

When I smile sweetly and tell you that I will have to check if there is space in Premium or First, what I am really thinking is, “Have fun in Coach, bissssh.” I know this is a telltale sign of a needy person, and the LAST thing any cabin crew ever wants to do is create more work for themselves, or their coworkers. It is actually against the policy of many airlines to upgrade passengers for free. As always though, the inflight team leader has jurisdiction after the aircraft doors close. So, it can happen, but upgrades will never happen if requested as a complimentary addition.

You yoga stretchers in the galley

Ok, the ONE space on the ENTIRE aircraft intended for my use, you just took up with a downward dog. I do have more than a few ounces of sympathy for you, as I know what it is like to sit crammed in a middle-middle seat on an 11-hour and 20-minute flight. It’s quite uncomfortable, and I myself have been quite uncomfortable on flights before. But I also know I didn’t make my way to any galley and plant myself Vinyasa style in everyone’s way, forcing all to watch my meditation practice. Fuck. I’m going to be the bigger person and walk away. I need to check the lavs.

You overhead bin lurkers

You board the aircraft, block everyone else from finding their seats, take an ungodly amount of time to place your bag in the overhead bin, then you sit down for a minute, and upon sitting, realize that you forgot your book in your bag, that’s back up in that overhead bin. You stand, blocking all passengers once again. Then you sit. Then you stand. You stand because, well hell, I don’t really know the reason why, but you are standing again, and now we are in flight, and I am trying to pull a cart through a very small aisle.

If I had the power as a flight attendant to lock the overhead bins, I would.

You dorks flirting with us flight attendants

Oh great, another asshole who thinks he is going to get somewhere by asking how many people join the “Mile High Club.” Chatting with passengers is nice, but when asked inappropriate or awkward questions, there aren’t many places for me to run and hide. Be professional. Assholes don’t stand out in this industry, and what I am really hoping to find is that one traveler that is kind and respectful. Then maybe, I will appreciate your advances and stop thinking that you are an idiot like all the rest.

You people going to the lavatory barefoot — no shoes OR socks

I will try to keep the cringe away from my poker-face-plastered smile, but I can’t think of one good reason why you wouldn’t take two and a half minutes to slip your shoes back on those toes. But sure, by all means, if you want to be disgusting and slip barefooted on pee splatters, I’ll roll my eyes and continue to think you need some serious counseling.

You, yes YOU, walking around the cabin during turbulence when the seatbelt sign is illuminated

Apparently, it’s really hard for you to follow important and yet simple rules. I don’t understand why you think that the seatbelt sign does not apply to you, and you are immune to the effects of turbulence. This is not only stupidity on your part, but a complete lack of care for the safety of yourself and everyone around you. I want to say I don’t care if you get hurt, but I do, even though you do deserve to get knocked flat on your ass.

You parents changing your baby’s diaper on the tray table.

What I’m really thinking when I say, “Umm, there are two baby changing tables on this aircraft; one in this lav and one over there,” is that you are stupidly selfish, and disgustingly oblivious. At your house, right before dinner, with food on the table, and people ready to enjoy a meal, do you whip out your cute little baby’s bottom, letting all sorts of smells blend with what was once deliciousness? I would hope to God not. That tray-table you are now utilizing as a changing table is technically part of “my house,” and I don’t appreciate what is happening at the moment. By the simple fact that you do not even realize that what you are doing with that baby, the diaper, and those wipes right there is NOT ok, has me thinking that you should be kicked off of the plane, not for the diaper changing, but for a complete lack of common sense.

You folks excessively requesting special dietary options

You knew you were vegan way longer than I knew you existed: take care of your own travel needs and don’t expect anyone else to pick up your slack. I understand we all forget things sometimes, but if you are vegan or gluten-free, and you yell at me for not having food on this aircraft that you can eat, I am not going to be sensitive to your sensitive dietary needs.

You worldly “I travel all of the time so I know everything” passengers

Wasn’t that a fun fact? Am I supposed to think more highly of you or something? I travel all the time too, and I have yet to receive a medal for it. I feel sorry for you, because this air travel life is a shit show. So, I’m really glad we are in this fun together. Oh, by the way, just because you apparently know EVERYTHING about air travel, doesn’t mean you are above the rules.

You people wearing “onesies”

This trend with Onesies needs to stop. It’s not cute when you are not at home, and I know I practically live on an airplane, but you shouldn’t be moving in anytime soon. If you can live a normal life, do it. Living in a Onesie is NOT normal, but I’m a flight attendant, so I didn’t exactly expect you to be normal.

You guys ringing the flight attendant call button continuously during the flight

That button is not to be used to summon me as your personal maid for the purpose of taking trash at your demand. Or should I have to play the role of Siri, telling you what we are flying over right now. And don’t get mad at me when I don’t know — just check your inflight entertainment screen. I’m the flight attendant! I’ll get you soda or cup of water.

You ingrates putting your feet on the tray table.

You have no concept of what ‘shared’ or ‘respect’ means. No, it is not a great idea to put your smelly, yucky, airport trodden tootsies right where people eat. Just like that baby’s bottom, I am sure the passenger in seat 23A on the flight immediately following yours would be thrilled to know about your inflight table dancing. For the love of air travel, have a little decency, use your brain, and be respectful of the shared space.

You people creeping two inches behind the flight attendant while she/he is trying to serve food and beverages

When I bend down to reach for a food tray and accidentally and awkwardly butt-check you somewhere in the lower portion of your body, this is not the type of action that I was hoping to score this evening. If it wasn’t obvious that my colleague and I are in the aisle for a purpose, to serve you and the likes of you, let me tell you that that is exactly what we are doing. And right now, you are making our task more difficult than it needs to be. I realize that there is somewhere that you want to go, but you can wait. And ESPECIALLY while working. You need to leave, and I will make sure that you know you need to do just that with the very directive instructions of “Go sit down now!”

You people putting your garbage on the galley counter

Trash goes in a bin. Not on a counter. Not on the floor. Not in a seat-back pocket. In a bin, with the its trash friends. Where do you put trash when you are at your house? On the table? On the bathroom counter? On top of the TV? I would hope not, but from the way that you act on this airplane, I think so. Trash goes in the bin, and if you don’t put it there, or let me put it there for you, my opinion of you is that you are a manner-less slob.

You people drinking your own alcohol on board.

You know that when you fly, you cannot consume your own alcohol on board the aircraft. I know you don’t listen well, but it was announced three times, and now you are playing dumb when I caught you drinking. I know you are actually dumb, but I am not, and I don’t appreciate your sneaky behavior.

You hippies sleeping on the floor

Your ticket purchase did not include “flatbed floor sleeping space,” you are not five years old, and I don’t appreciate you making my gracefulness so transparent. When you decide to sleep on the floor, and I trip over you, I will fall. And, I will be furious. You just cannot sleep there. Stand-up or sit-down, but whatever you do, travel like a man (and it’s mostly men I see sleeping on the floor of an airplane).

You entitled folks boarding and immediately needing everything from a blanket to a foot massage

Whoa, honey! If you want to pay me extra to be your personal assistant, maybe we can negotiate. Actually, we probably can’t come to any agreements. I know your type, and you can’t pay me enough to want to spend time with you. My colleagues and I will be forever wary of your requests, advances, and neediness, as we clock watch, counting the minutes until we can watch you walk your pretty little ass off of our flight. We will smile and sing-song, “Have a good day, those words actually translating in flight attendant-speak to, “Good riddance!”

You people asking the flight attendant to carry or lift your bags.

If you knew that you could not lift, pull, push, wrestle, or tussle your things along without assistance, you should have packed less or hired an assistant. You think that’s where I step in as the flight attendant? Absolutely not. You pack it in, you pack it out.

You parents with spoiled kids

This is the one situation where I have a little bit more sympathy, but the child that says to you, “I don’t like that woman right there” — and this child is obviously referring to me — doesn’t have my condolences. This kid then continues with, “This food is terrrrrible,” while I am left wondering what happened to make him such a little devil. I feel sorry for you, but also question your parenting capabilities. No one asked him for his little smart-ass opinions, and I can only imagine the adult that he will turn into.

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