Every day is different for flight attendants, but we do hear some of the same comments and questions on a regular basis… some of which could really go away:
1. “Can I just sit anywhere?”
Of course! The airline just likes to put that letter-number combination on your boarding pass to pretty it up. Take your assigned seat, please. We don’t need extra mayhem on today’s flight.
2. “How do you stand to work for such a terrible company?”
Despite whatever negative experience you personally had with an airline, that is not indicative of the company as a whole — nor does it make the airline awful to work for.
3. “Which one of you is dating the pilot?”
The flight attendant and pilot relationship is a fun stereotype — and heck, you might even be right — but really, can’t you strive to be a tad bit more original or creative than that?
4. “Why was the gate agent so rude to me?”
I’m sorry that happened to you, but my terrain is the plane.
5. “Since we were delayed, can I get free stuff?”
Flight attendants aren’t authorized to give that much away, but we’re probably more likely to do it if you don’t moan and groan about it.
6. “You’re probably happy we’re delayed because you’re getting paid.”
We’re not. Wheels up to wheels down, buddy. Flight attendants only get their hourly wage when they’re actually flying. That chaos during boarding doesn’t even count.
7. “What happens if I don’t turn my phone on airplane mode?”
The plane will explode. No. Really, you’ll just drain your phone’s battery while it searches for a signal. Just do it. While the risk your phone poses to the pilots’ communication is muddy at best, why not just switch it off anyway? Disconnect. Airplane mode is good for you.
8. “Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend everywhere you stay?”
Well, I don’t, but what if one of us does? It’s not all that much different from casually dating several people in the one place you live and usually stay. Everybody’s at different points in their dating game, flight attendant or not.
9. “Why are you reading a book on the job?”
Hm. Well. We’re in the air, we finished service, everything is cleaned up, no call bells are going off, I just walked the aisle with trash. Should I just flip the switch on my shoulder to shut down until someone needs me? I’ll be getting back to my psychological thriller now, friend.
10. “Why are you all standing around chatting on the job?”
11. “You don’t have to give me the spiel about the exit row; I’ve already heard it.”
Oh, have you? Well, you’re going to hear it once more because it’s an important part of my job and you should take sitting in that seat seriously.
12. “Don’t you ever get sick of slinging Diet Cokes for a living?”
Only to people like you.
13. “I’m never flying your airline again.”
These are the comments that keep me up at night. Just kidding. Good.
14. “I hurt my leg. Can I sit in the exit row so I can stretch out?”
As much as I truly do wish I could offer you a more comfortable seating arrangement, the whole point of having people in the exit row and briefing them is to ensure they are willing and physically able to assist with operating that exit in an emergency situation. Any kind of injury that would hinder your ability will disqualify you from sitting there.
15. “Can I get off the plane before everyone else?”
Even in cases where we’re aware of a connecting flight that departs shortly after we land, all we can do is make an announcement requesting that the rest of the passengers stay put until you deplane. There’s no guaranteeing your fellow travelers will comply. So yeah, you can ask this — just know that it could very well be a losing battle.
16. “If no one sits in that upgraded seat, can I sit there for free?”
Gotta have the money, honey.
17. “Your airline really doesn’t offer Wi-Fi?”
Yes, really. And personally, I think it’s great. Being on a plane and away from your online world for a few hours can do wonders for your well-being and even your general outlook on life. To this type of question, I usually like to say, “No, but you can talk to your neighbor for free!” Take a break and make a real connection.
18. “I CAN’T BELIEVE the prices you charge for food and drink on this airplane.”
You know how it costs more to eat at super popular tourist destinations where there’s not a lot of variety? Well, this is exactly the same. We’re 30,000 feet in the air and you have no other options. You really think the airlines would pride themselves on snack affordability at that point? If it matters that much to you, bring your own stuff from home or buy slightly less overpriced airport food.
19. “Can I get a buddy pass?”
I don’t know — are we buddies?
20. *Any comment that resembles sexual harassment.*
We’ll shut it down real quick.
21. “So you’re basically just a waitress in the sky.”
We are, but with our core responsibility being everyone’s safety — your lives are basically in our hands. Primarily, we’re there for your safety, not your comfort.
22. “What hotel are you going to?”
The one where you’re not going to be.