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6 Things Flight Attendants Absolutely Hate

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“I understand this is frustrating…” are words I so often use to passengers. Traveling these days is stressful, but let us not forget the fine people who chose this as their career. We see day in and day out every annoyance that comes with flying. Here are just six things passengers do that give us flight attendants a tick.

1) We are not trash receptacles

You would be amazed by the items people have – or at least attempted to – hand me. Dirty diapers, vomit bags, bloody tissues, to name a few. Timing is also of the essence here. When we are serving drinks, when we are conducting safety checks, when we are serving food…these are not acceptable times to hand us your trash. People act as if their garbage was on fire. Please, if you can, just wait until the correct time when you see a trash bag/cart, and we are wearing proper gloves. Also fun fact: one time someone managed to defecate into an air sick bag, and left it under their seat. Not sure how they managed to do this on a full flight, (under a blanket maybe?) So again, please dispose of everything in the right receptacle.

2) We aren’t IT

The Golden Age of WIFI on planes has arrived. Unfortunately the system has flaws. If on a particular flight the WIFI is not working, flight attendants can call the cockpit to try to reboot the system, and that’s about it. Of course certain things come into play, especially loss of satellite over certain areas. We want it to work as much as you do, entertainment is important, so we don’t have to become your entertainment, see number 3. Also, see Louie CK’s very funny bit about this (start at the 2 min mark):

3) The galley is our space

We love our passengers, we love our jobs, but we also love our little time to relax in flight. The galley is a place for us, not a place for you to stretch, or do yoga with your backside so intimately close to my face. Here also lies the location where we are asked the same questions on every flight. “Is this your regular route?” “Where are you based?” We understand that it could be a long flight, and you’re bored, but sometimes we are really tired, and like most celebrities we aren’t always “on,” and feeling up to entertain. It also states in most airline’s announcements to avoid congregating in the galleys.

4) We don’t know you, so we don’t know how you take your coffee

This may sound petty, but I’ve been flying for almost ten years, and to this day when people simply ask for coffee, I have to take a breath. You would think this means black, but this could mean anything. I’ve also experienced someone asking for “coffee black,” then turning away, only to turn back and add, “cream, and sugar.” It’s easy for us flight attendants to ask, “how do you take it?” Even that is too confusing for some people, and they look at me like I have two heads. Then I will say, “cream, and sugar?” They now understand. Imagine this scenario every other row on a plane. Maddening isn’t it? So please, if you would like a coffee, tell us how you take it, and if you just ordered from us, be prepared for us to hand it to you (i.e. don’t dive back into your movie so we stand there waving it at you for 3 minutes.)

Tired air stewardess

image from HuffPo

5) We are here for your safety first, service second

The large network of the airline industry is complex. What is unknown to many is that all the different departments, are just that, different. Flight attendants are trained to evacuate a plane in an emergency, that is our main job. Missing connecting flights, missing baggage, or any other aspect not relating to the cabin crew, is completely out of our hands. Trust me, we want to get to the destination as much as you do, whether it be your vacation, your business meeting, a wedding, our layover, or both our homes. Traveling can be difficult, and we wish we could answer all your questions, and concerns, but in reality many of the things people ask us, we can’t do much about, and they have to go to a third party like customer service. We get that our job title is left to much interpretation, little things like helping with a passenger’s luggage, is a good example of something we actually are not suppose to do. If a flight attendant injures themselves in a remote city from lifting your heavy bag, and there are no replacement flight attendants, that flight will probably cancel. So on your next flight, just remember we are here to help, we want to help, but our main purpose is to help you get out safe in an emergency.

6) Don’t argue with us.

“I’m never flying this airline again!”
“We will miss you.” She says sarcastically…
I’ve had passengers scream at me over the smallest things. We as employees are now going to put things in perspective for you. “We ran out of beef, not jet fuel sir.”
Whatever the case may be, the crew has seen this before, and you should listen to us, because we are going to tell you how it is, and we are the employees. We now become the face to your complaint, even though we have nothing to do with your predicament. We know the rules, but we did not make them. It seems we need to constantly remind passengers of this. We get that it’s a really tough situation misconnecting, but we didn’t create that thunderstorm that grounded us. So before you want to argue with a flight attendant picture someone walking into your office, in pajamas even (because that’s a thing), screaming at you that it’s your fault, you owe them, because there was traffic, they missed a meeting, they didn’t get chicken for lunch, and they somehow lost their briefcase…all while you just showed up to do your unrelated job. Flying is a time to be an adult everybody, and if we can do that, it’ll be a smooth flight for us all.

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Mya Hiclub

Mya Hiclub

I've been a flight attendant for about 10 years. I've seen some things...