Traveling the world on the company’s dime may be the biggest draw for working as a flight attendant, but there are a number of other benefits that make a career above the clouds an attractive one. From flexible work schedules to generous family discounts, it’s no surprise that many people flock at the chance to become part of a cabin crew. However, just like any job, there are grievances that can plague the profession, and sometimes it’s the passengers who are at fault.
Anyone who has worked in a customer service role knows that people can be unruly and the taxingnature of traveling can truly bring out the worst of them. We contacted a few flight attendants to find out what passengers regularly do that make their job a nightmare in the sky.
Here are 24 things flight attendants wish their passengers would stop doing. Take some notes before your next voyage!
1. Passengers Taking Their Shoes Off
Foot swelling is a common problem for a lot of passengers while flying, which makes it understandable that some feel the need to take off their shoes. However, many flight attendants admit that passengers walking around barefoot without socks is something that drives them nuts. Not only is it rude to other passengers, it’s also pretty unsanitary considering airplane carpets are vacuumed regularly, but rarely washed.
Words are all you need to get a flight attendant’s attention, but many stewardesses complain that passengers will grab their sleeve or coat when they want something. Raise your hand or be vocal but there is no need to touch a flight attendant when they are passing by.
3. Lingering In The Galley
Flight attendants don’t mind if you need something and save them the trip by coming to the galley, but don’t just hang around there. The galley tends to be the only space the cabin crew has to themselves and they need a break too yet still, many state that passengers will come back there to waste time.
4. Misdirected Anger
Flights get delayed all of the time and the cabin crew has absolutely nothing to do with that. However, many passengers tend to project their frustrations on the attendants, which is like getting angry at a server for not liking your meal. There’s nothing wrong with asking if a flight attendant has any further information or who they can contact to complain, but there’s no point of directing your anger at them when it’s something they can’t control.
5. Ignoring The Rules
The rules are there for a reason, and it’s not to inconvenience anyone but to keep them safe. Still, many flight attendants find that passengers will simply ignore the rules, which only makes things needlessly difficult for everyone else. If every passenger follows the rules, the flight will be a much more pleasant experience.
6. Ordering Hot Drinks On Short Flights
Tea and hot chocolate are popular choices when flying, but if you’re on a flight less than an hour, it’s not worth it for you or the flight attendant. Service starts 15 minutes after takeoff and the cabin crew must remove all of the drinks and service items 15 minutes before landing. This doesn’t leave much time in between to make a hot drink or drink one on a short flight. Due to this, many flight attendants say they end up collecting these drinks full.
7. Touching The Trolley
Many passengers feel like they can either grab things from the trolley or put things into it when it’s passing by their seat. The trolleys are organized in a specific way to ensure optimal work efficiency for the flight attendant so perturbing this only results in inconvenience.
8. Legs In The Aisles
While stretching your legs is fine when you’re on a long flight, leaving them extended into the aisle is not. Flight attendants have to regularly go up and down the aisle and having to repeatedly tell a passenger to move their leg isn’t fun for anyone.
9. Misinterpreting The Landing Announcement
When a flight attendant makes the landing announcement, it’s not a last minute bathroom use warning — it’s a landing warning. Still, many passengers will still storm to the lavatory once the announcement has been made even though they had an entire flight to do so.
10. Personal Grooming
There’s a specific time and place to do things like cut your finger or toenails and an airplane is not one of them. However, apparently, a lot of passengers don’t know that because many flight attendants have witnessed passengers shamelessly clipping away mid-flight while on the job.
11. Passing Off Parental Responsibilities
Flying with kids isn’t easy but just because the cabin crew is around doesn’t mean you get to rid yourself of that responsibility. Multiple flight attendants have admitted that parents will ask them to tell their kid to behave and fasten their seat belts for them. This is not part of the job description.
12. Boarding The Plane Thirsty Or Hungry
It’s fair to want a drink or snack during your flight, but many flight attendants find it irritating when passengers board the plane already thirsty or hungry. There are always a number of food and drink options in the airport so why wait until you board where the options will be inevitably less choice-friendly.
13. Discourteous Aromas
Aircrafts are enclosed spaces which is why you should avoid using things that have heavy scents out of respect for your fellow passengers. However, flight attendants have experienced everything from passengers using nail polish to spraying perfume on the plane, which isn’t a pleasant experience for anyone in the surrounding area.
14. Traveling Unprepared
There are always going to be first-time flyers and flight attendants are more than happy to show those people the ropes, but many passengers seem to still board the plane completely unprepared. The cabin crew recommends
that everyone travel with a refillable water bottle, a few snacks, and a pen.
15. Having To Use The Bathroom Immediately After Boarding
There can be a lot of downtime when waiting for a flight which means that there’s really no excuse to have to use the bathroom as soon as you enter the aircraft. There’s nothing luxurious about the lavatory and passengers would be much better off using the much more spacious airport facilities.
16. Passengers Not Checking Their Bags When They Really Should
Carry-on bags are fine but some passengers can make things needlessly complicated when they decide to lug more than they can possibly carry or fit on the aircraft. There’s a certain point where you should check your bags to make everyone’s life, including yours, much easier.
17. Talking With Headphones Still In
Most people naturally take their headphones off when conversing with someone else, but many flight attendants have found themselves having to repeat themselves after a passenger asks a question because they just keep their headphones on. Not only is this rude, it’s wasting everyone’s time.
18. Wasting Time While Ordering
Flight attendants can tend to each and every passenger in a timely fashion if the orders are relayed properly. However, many find that passengers will ask questions that could be easily answered if they opened the menu in front of them or they won’t specify how they take their coffee when ordering.
19. Expecting Flight Attendants To Know Everything The Captain Does
Sure, flight attendants will have a better idea of what’s going on in a lot of situations compared to the passenger given their experience flying. However, they don’t ever have all the information the captain does and shouldn’t be expected to be able to answer all the questions coming from curious passengers.
20. Passengers That Bring Their Own Booze
There’s nothing wrong with having a drink on the plane, but flight attendants need to know how much passengers have had so that they don’t over-serve them. Many passengers bring their own airplane bottles on the plane from a local liquor store and think the cabin crew doesn’t know.
21. Making Demands Right After Boarding
There are a lot of rules flight attendants have to follow during the boarding process to ensure safety, which can be the most hectic part of the journey. Yet many passengers will make demands immediately after boarding when most of these things could be solved in the airport before getting on the plane.
22. Ringing The Call Button For Trivial Needs
The call button is there for a reason and flight attendants are happy to oblige to any passenger’s needs, but many take advantage of truly unnecessary reasons. This is especially frustrating when someone uses the button after the announcement has been made that the cabin crew has to be seated.
23. Not Listening To The Safety Presentation
Even if flying has become second nature to you, it’s respectful to pay attention to the cabin crew who are just trying to do their job and ensure everyone’s safety. For some passengers, this is new information so don’t actively ignore the safety presentation just because you’ve heard it before.
24. Getting Too Comfortable
There isn’t a flight that goes by without at least one passenger feeling a little too at home in their seat. Be respectful to the people around you, there’s no need to have your feet up on someone else’s headrest. Flight attendants shouldn’t have to tell you how to behave in public.
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