The things you do that secretly annoy flight attendants
Oh yeah, we were ordering our coffee all wrong...
This article was originally published December 5, 2018.
A plane ticket is expensive. Traveling 35,000 feet in the air can cost hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars. So when you get on board, it's understandable that you want to be treated like a king (or queen) in exchange for the pretty penny you just dropped. Unfortunately, some people take this idea too far and do not treat airline staff with the respect they deserve. Believe it or not, they are not there to take your snotty tissues or babysit your children. They are there to keep us safe, comfortable and full of single serving pretzel packages.
I recently reached out to a few cabin crew and asked them to vent to me about their jobs (anonymously, of course). I got so much material, I'm thinking about writing a textbook — but in the meantime, and in the interest of being our best selves up in the skies, here are some things we can all do to make their jobs a little bit easier.
How to order a coffee
"You're on board, settled in and you're about to get a free coffee. Every passenger gets one. Every single time. Yet, you wouldn't believe how many people just [stop me and] ask for "a coffee" and never tell me what they'd like in it. Unfortunately my psychic abilities don't work that high in the sky, so when you order your coffee, please train yourself to say "with milk and sugar" or "just black is fine". It's easy! And it'll save me LOTS of time."
- Signed, The Bothered Barista
I need to see your boarding pass
"So you get to the airport and you show your boarding pass at check-in, then security, then customs and then the gate. So, WHY would you have to show it AGAIN on the plane? I get it. It seems redundant, but believe it or not, it's a requirement. I need to make sure, just one final time, that you're in the right spot. Pushing past me to get to your seat, or pretending you didn't hear me ask to see your pass is rude. Oddly enough, the passengers who always end up in someone else's seats are usually the ones who tried to ignore me. I'm just trying to do my job, and this procedure isn't going away - so please do us the favor of having your boarding pass ready when you enter the plane."
- Signed, The Stressed Stewardess
Use your manners, not your hands
"Never poke a flight attendant to get their attention! You wouldn't believe how common this is. It's uncomfortable, rude and unnecessary. Before take off, we introduce ourselves to everyone when we give our safety instructions. So take note of my name then and use it if you need something. Weren't paying attention? A polite "excuse me" works every time."
- Signed, The Hands-Free Hostess
Keep your socks on
"I can completely understand wanting to be as comfortable as possible while flying. But taking off your socks and shoes and putting your bare feet up on the seat in front of you is... gross. You don't go to public places like coffee shops, movie theatres and basketball courts in bare feet — so why would you sit on an airplane in bare feet? "
- Signed, The Foot Patrol
"I always found it funny how passengers are able to remember to pack their laptops, earbuds, cell phones, and e-readers, but can never remember to bring a pen. If you're traveling to another country, you're going to need to fill out travel documents on the plane. Flight attendants can't give pens to every single passenger, so please bring your own."
- Signed, The Only Child
My sacred space
"Flight attendants get one sacred place to themselves on a plane and that's the galley. It's not a place for you to stretch your legs, or play with your three-year-old. It's the place I go to prepare the food I'm about to serve you. It's where I go to take a breather. So please respect my space. I'm already eating my lunch next to the bathroom, can you at least let me do it in peace?"
- Signed, The Saddened Space Saver
"As a flight attendant, you're basically a walking garbage disposal. At least that's how some passengers see you. I don't like to say no to people, so I'll always take your garbage with a smile. People love to hand me large piles of garbage while I'm serving food, or refilling drinks.There are dedicated "garbage walks" that are specifically meant for disposing of your trash. You can tell it's time because I'll be holding a garbage bag and wearing plastic gloves."
- Signed, The Concerned Custodian