Why Your Flight Attendant Hates You

Ever wonder what could drive a flight attendant to curse passengers out, pop open the emergency slide and go for a ride? Well, even if you hadn’t, the good people at Reader’s Digest asked a bunch of flight attendants what sort of behaviors really get under their skin.

As a companion to its piece on pilot confessions, the Digest has posted 13 Things Your Flight Attendant Won’t Tell You.

Among the irksome things passengers do:

* “No, it’s not OK to come back into the galley to stretch and bend over with your rear end in my face while I’m in my jump seat during my only break, trying to eat a meal.”

* “Just in case you hadn’t noticed, there are other people on the airplane besides you. So don’t clip your toenails, snore with wild abandon, or do any type of personal business under a blanket!”

* “Passengers are always coming up to me and tattling on each other. ‘Can you tell him to put his seat up?’ ‘She won’t share the armrest.’ What am I, a preschool teacher?”

* “We don’t have a boyfriend in every city. And our median age these days is 44.”

* “Yes, passengers are incredibly rude, but stealing a beer, cursing out passengers, and jumping out of a plane the way Steven Slater did is not the way to handle it. You disarm an unruly passenger by introducing yourself, asking his name, and saying something like ‘I’ve been incredibly nice to you for three hours. Why are you treating me like this?’ Generally that gets the other passengers on your side–and sometimes they’ll even applaud.”

13 Things Your Flight Attendant Won’t Tell You [RD.com]

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  1. Alvis says:

    Just stick to trimming fingernails, got it.

  2. SerenityDan says:

    Snore with wild abandon? Really? Grow up and do your job.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Snoring isn’t exactly something you can control if you’re not aware of it, and people who don’t usually snore can start snoring if they’re congested or have the cold. And even if you were aware of it, what can you do on a plane?

      • mattarse says:

        I don’t normally snore, except when sitting and sleeping I sometimes do. I know this from the guy sitting across me in the office kicking me sometimes.

    • hattrick says:

      Yeah, it’s a little ridiculous to be mad at someone because they are snoring. I mean, it’s not like they’re doing it on purpose to annoy you. They’re ASLEEP!

    • Eyeheartpie says:

      That one really made me lol.

      I don’t know about anyone else, but my dad has a sleep apnea issue which causes him to snore when he sleeps. Basically, this flight attendant is saying “don’t sleep on planes if you know you snore”. Why not take it one step farther? If you’re disabled, don’t fly, since it makes my work harder. If you’re deaf, don’t fly since it makes me have to do more. Snoring is a part of sleep, and anywhere people sleep, they will snore. Get used to it. Besides, the ambient noise is loud enough that you can’t really hear someone snoring from more than a row or 2 away.

      • PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

        I was thinking the same thing. I had sleep apnea all my life and would snore so loudly that no one around me could sleep, plus, I’d stop breathing about 45 times an hour (no, not night, but hour). Most people couldn’t sleep around me, and when I used to fly, I didn’t sleep.

        Thankfully, all my problems were physical obstructions and I underwent surgeries about three years back. I don’t know if that’d help your dad, Eyeheartpie, but it changed my life completely.

        But, back on topic – my apnea, and thus snoring, was a medical condition. Any flight attendant that takes the above attitude gets downgraded back to “Stewardess” in my book.

        • JBTX says:

          Would you mind sharing the medical procedures? I have been trying for years to find some thing that will work, All the Dr’s I have been to want to just stick me with a cpap.

          • PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

            Not really much to share; they had me try a CPAP overnight at a study and even had its lowest setting, it felt like my chest was going to burst.

            As I said, mine was all physical obstructions; everything was too big in my body, more or less. I ended up having my tonsils and adenoids removed, part of my soft pallette and sinuses removed, my uvula shaved down and part of my septum removed. I decided to all all the procedures done at once and I was down for a few weeks. It took me about 6 to 12 months to sleep “normally.” No more snoring, no more loss-of-breathing and I can even sleep on back now. Honestly, I can’t believe I waited until my mid-30s to have it all done.

            • RvLeshrac says:

              NOT taking care of it can be the difference between waking up in the morning and choking to death/suffocating in your sleep.

              • PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

                Indeed. I didn’t realize how bad I was; I figured I put up with it al my life, how bad could it be? I only went to have it checked out at Mrs Plume’s urging.

    • Boven says:

      That was the only one I really took any issue with. People who snore generally can’t help it. Heck, I snore if I sleep on my back or sitting up. Unfortunately, there’s not much of an option to sleep on one’s side on an airplane.

    • dreamfish says:

      I would be surprised if the sound of snoring exceeded the ambient noise levels on an aircraft in flight (or, alternatively, could be heard over the sound of the ubiquitous screaming baby)

      • Pax says:

        To be honest … my snores probably do. :(

        Some of us sound louder than a pair of chainsaws competing to see how many Sequiopa’s each can cut down …

    • davidc says:

      How do you consciously “Snore with wild abandon”?

      Oh wait … this person things that instead of “counting sheep” to help fall asleep, instead this person mentally chants to themselves: Snore Loudly … Snore Loudly .. Snore Loudly.

    • Navillus says:

      Yeah… I snore sitting on the bus on my way to work every morning. I know it because I wake myself up… Good thing there aren’t Bus Attendants!

    • Kavatar says:

      Obviously, they know that people can’t control snoring. It doesn’t stop it from being annoying though.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        Actually, you *CAN* control snoring, for just a few $ at the drugstore, you can buy any number of products that reduce or eliminate it.

        • pz says:

          Seriously? Can another person confirm that these mysterious miracle cures you pick up OTC are actually working, or do you just think they do? :P

    • Brian Cooks says:

      what about drooling?……..i tend to drool on myself when I’m asleep but only on airplanes for some reason…..maybe it’s the dry recirculated air?

    • OSAM says:

      My bigger concern is how one snores with “wild abandon”.

    • nocturnaljames says:

      Your job being, to bitch-slap the person snoring for the rest of passengers’ sanity.

  3. jdmba says:

    I am sorry they hate their job so much … but unlike every other type of industry, your customers are TRAPPED. They cannot go get their own refill, they cannot purchase anything, they cannot correct any problems … this ALL revolves around the flight attendant. If you are not ready to handle 100% of the issues which arise, in this non-self-help environment, then perhaps you should get a different job.

    • Zen says:

      A-freaking-men.

    • johnva says:

      I’d be willing to bet that 99% of the people who are annoying asshats towards the flight attendants also piss off their fellow passengers. Just like with driving, movie theaters, or anything else, it’s a group of maybe 5-10% of people who are antisocial jerks with no manners or regard for anyone else. And you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat service personnel.

    • Damocles57 says:

      The article was not about how flight attendants hate their jobs. As the above intro mentioned, “…the good people at Reader’s Digest asked a bunch of flight attendants what sort of behaviors really get under their skin.”

      I don’t know how you might answer a question of this type regarding your job, but the list would seem to lean a little toward the things that “get under your skin”. While you may or may not hate your job, none of the examples listed in the RD article seem to come close to flight attendants who hate their jobs.

    • emax4 says:

      It’s an airplane. There are safety rules. Of course they’re gonna feel trapped. if they can’t accept this, they shouldn’t fly. They’ll have to take a car instead. Oh wait, they’ll feel trapped there asd well since they can’t stand up and stretch. Oh well, travel by bike I guess. Hmm ,can’t do that either otherwise they’ll fall off and lose balance when they go to get up…

      • johnva says:

        Not to mention that “feeling trapped” does not give you an excuse to behave like an asshat. Yes, flying coach sucks and can be an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience for everyone involved (if you’re short, count yourself lucky!). But everyone has to endure the same discomfort….it’s just part of the deal. If you can’t deal with a less than perfect situation without being a jerk towards the service personnel and your fellow passengers (who like I said, are also probably annoyed by your rude behavior, even if they don’t say anything to you) then don’t put yourself in that situation.

        Have I gotten bad service from flight attendants before? Yes. Are other passengers worse almost all the time? Absolutely.

    • regis-s says:

      Did you miss the part where they were asked by a magazine what passengers do to get under their skin? Any job has its irritants. Naming a few when asked doesn’t mean they hate their job or people in general.

      I just don’t understand why some people take it so personally whenever this subject comes up.

    • Dieflatermous says:

      Do you honestly think that every single flight attendant hates their job based on an article asked a few about things they disliked most about their job?

      Is your reading comprehension seriously that awful?

    • Sylar Darko says:

      AMEN!

    • pyrobryan says:

      So you think you should get to treat them like dirt because you can’t get your own refill? They’re still people and they still deserve your respect until they do something to the contrary. The same goes for any service profession like waiters, retail clerks, etc. They are there to serve you, they get paid to do that, not to be your doormat. The customer is not always right, so get that idea right out of your head.

  4. roguemarvel says:

    That was probably one of the better why you _____ hates you.

    It came of less whiny then the others and more, “please be adults” and less “Customers make my job suck”

    • SerenityDan says:

      Except for the don’t snore and do you really need to use the bathroom now instead of waiting 90 seconds. Well anyone with a bladder problem will tell you 90 seconds is the difference between you getting the cart out of my way and you mopping up my piss, so take your pick which is more trouble to you.

      • slappysquirrel says:

        My guess is the words “I’m terribly sorry, I have a medical condition” would make all the difference.

    • Platypi {Redacted} says:

      Agreed. I think that with a couple of exceptions, it is much less whiny/personal than the food service ones. The bathroom/cart thing is a little off, since if you get on the wrong side of the cart, it can be 25 minutes, not 90 seconds, but still.

  5. pop top says:

    So all these articles can basically be summed up as: People who work in the service industry hate selfish assholes.

  6. ThunderRoad says:

    People can’t help if they snore.

    • regis-s says:

      I’m sure they realize that people can’t help if they snore just as well as you do. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t get on one’s nerves after listening to it for hours on end. Day after day.

    • dizzy says:

      But unless that flight is 16+ hours or they have narcolepsy, they can avoid falling asleep if they know they snore at a disturbingly loud volume.

    • Brink006 says:

      There are steps one can take to prevent or reduce snoring; those who don’t and expect others to just “deal with it” are assholes.

  7. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I complain to you about the guy’s headrest because you have the authority to place them under the no-fly list. The only authority I have is to get angry and have MYSELF put on the no-fly list.

    • Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

      Yep

    • zibby says:

      Excellent point.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      But there’s a difference between going to the FA and saying “He won’t move his arm! Make him move his arm!”
      and turning to your fellow passenger and saying “Excuse me, do you mind sharing the armrest with me?”

      Now if you’ve asked and received a pissant response, THEN you can go to the FA.

      • Conformist138 says:

        So true. I think the point is that passengers suck when they act as though the FA is their mommy and the seatmate is their little brother. First, settle the problem amongst yourselves. Second, if the issue isn’t really that big a deal, just be the bigger person and let it go (after all, there are a lot of things the crew needs to do and a lot of people to deal with- if your problem is just a tiny minor annoyance, you’ll probably live). If it’s really a problem (they won’t move and you’re getting a cramp, that sort of thing), then take it to the FA. Let them only deal with actual problems and duties since there’s no shortage of those.

  8. teke367 says:

    Some of these are oddly specific complaints. As said, snoring is not a willful act, and its a little silly to expect somebody not to fall asleep during a long flight because they snore.

    “Other personal business under a blanket” sounds illegal. I can’t imagine that happens too much.

    And for the “We don’t have a boyfriend in every city. And our median age these days is 44.”, so one of the reasons they hate me is because they are old and lonely?

    • pop top says:

      I think they are tired of the stereotype that they’re all young and available and have boyfriends in every city they travel with and are sick of people bringing that up.

      • teke367 says:

        Yeah, I get that. I just have a hard time seeing how that plays out on a flight? Is a passenger hitting on them? Are just making smalltalk? Who cares about the median age? If you are talking to a 30 year old, it doesn’t matter if the median age is 44, you are talking to a 44 year old. Do you they get a lot of comments like “you look too old and unsexed (or whatever word one would use) to be a flight attendant”?

    • wsupfoo says:

      What does the being 44 and not having a boyfriend in every city complaint mean? They don’t like passengers hitting on them? Or that they’re lonely and wish they did?

    • alSeen says:

      I used to work for a regional airline that was part of the Delta/NW merger.

      At our station the last plane of the night is the first plane in the morning. After the flight came in, we would have to do a security sweep of the plane and clean up. Arrange the seatbelts nicely, grab garbage out of the seat pockets, fold blankets, etc. Most of the time it wasn’t too bad. Sometimes someone would leave a banana peal or a diaper on the floor. Only one time in three years did I feel the need to soak my hands in bleach though.

      I was fixing the seat belt in the very last row when I ran my hand along it and encountered something cold, sticky and whiteish in color. That’s right, some guy felt the need to pleasure himself during the flight.

  9. Beave says:

    If Airlines would stop charging to check bags and enforcing their own rules about carry-on bag sizes life would be much easier for both flight attendants and passengers. Anyone who travels much has learned that you have to rush to the front of the line to board your plane in order to make sure there’s room for your carry-on bag in the overhead. Almost every flight I’m on recently the last 1/4-1/3 of passengers are forced to gate check bags. Why? Because half of the bags won’t fit in the little box at the gate. They’re too big, have wheels sticking out the sides, etc. Many of the bags made to fit in those dimensions have expansion zippers to add a few inches. It all means people have to put them in the bin sideways instead of front to end. It’s incredibly frustrating. And then on top of that I see more and more people with 3 or even 4 bags lately and no one is counting but other passengers watching them stick all those in the overhead bins that are then too full.

    • 44 in a Row says:

      I flew AA out of JFK (I think) fairly recently, and before security there was an airline representative standing with a size-tester-thing, making sure everyone’s bags fit before they could proceed to the gate. It was fantastic.

  10. UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

    “The lavatory door is not rocket science. Just push.”

    I gotta admit. This one always mystifies me. I’ve seen some really strange interactions with the lavatory doors. I see some people just standing there and wondering F*&^ING LAVATORY DOORS HOW DO THEY WORK?

    • RandomHookup says:

      Because most of the doors resist a little, people are really afraid of nailing the dude who forgot to latch (or of breaking the damn thing).

    • lemur says:

      Extra bonus points to those who do NOT know how to lock the damn door. This makes for hilarious situations.

  11. SuperNinjaâ„¢ says:

    I would hate that job.

  12. Liam Kinkaid says:

    “We don’t have a boyfriend in every city.”

    So, not *every* city, right Passaround Sally?

  13. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    “Do you really have to go to the bathroom right now, while we’re wrestling a 250-pound food cart down the aisle? You can’t wait 90 seconds for us to pass?”

    No (I would have said on my last flight), I can’t. I am fighting a urinary tract infection and my bladder is irritable. I drank a liter of water before I got on board and probably another half liter a little while ago when you finally passed with the drink cart, because my doctor told me to. I couldn’t wait even if you REALLY only took 90 seconds to pass me, which you don’t, because you park the cart right next to my seat and lock it down there for 10 minutes while you go back and forth passing out a half cabin’s worth of meals. After that, you roll it a little father down the cabin, but still between me and the only accessible restrooms in Coach, because I’m not allowed to use the elite restrooms in First.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      And I don’t owe the cabin waitress a full explanation and a doctor’s note, either. She needs to let me the hell by so I can pee. Period.

      If I bothered to try to explain, just to be nice about the whole thing, I bet Miss Passenger Hater would label me a whiner or even a liar.

      • Beave says:

        Maybe if you have bladder issues you shouldn’t be flying or you should be wearing an adult diaper. Air Travel isn’t a right. It’s pretty common on flights to be stuck in your seat for 30+ minutes due to turbulence or while taxiing around the runway waiting to take off. One of my annoyances as a frequent traveler is people who seem to think that they’re more important than the rest of us who so it’s acceptable to ignore the seatbelt light and go to the restroom. If your control over your bladder is so limited that you may not be able to hold it then that’s really your issue.

        • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

          Sure, I can just sort of avoid traveling for work, asshole. Go away and don’t come back until you become human.

          • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

            And adult diapers? OK, this is a troll. After all, the plane is equipped with bathrooms that are designed and intended to be used when people need to eliminate. Blocking access to them for ten minutes at a time is little better than cutting off the cabin air for ten minutes because they need to park a drink cart over the outlet. Even condemned criminals on death row get to pee, for Christ’s sake.

      • jeff_the_snake says:

        “excuse me, i hate to ask but could you move the cart for one second? i have a medical condition and i need to use the restroom”

        i bet that would get the flight attendant to accommodate you.

      • regis-s says:

        So what do you do when you climb over the flight attendant to get to the washroom and there’s already someone in there reading a copy of War And Peace while they curl one out?

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i have a variety of health things going on that end up with various medical needs that i don’t want to bother explaining because it gets tedious.
        i find that “it’s medical…. and personal” makes most people back off. they don’t really want details of why i am rushing to the bathroom.

    • outlulz says:

      Medical conditions are more rare but hey, sometimes you just have to go. Something you ate in the terminal disagrees with you, you’re getting airsick…who knows. Bathrooms are one of those things that no one should complain about you having to use because it’s not always under your control.

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        Well, I guess it’s all of a piece with not letting kids go to the bathroom in school because of zero-tolerance policies. After all, you’re alone in the airplane bathroom… who knows what you could be up to in there.

    • theduckay says:

      I’m sorry but you seriously couldn’t wait NINETY SECONDS to go pee? Thats barely any time at all. The flight attendant isn’t strapping you to your chair saying that you can’t go to the bathroom for the duration of the flight. Its just a minute or two. If you honestly can’t hold it in for that short amount of time then you must run into some real problems throughout your life where a bathroom isn’t 100% accessible at all times. What if someone is in the bathroom? Are you going to bust down the door? I agree that the bathroom needs to and should be accessible, but I don’t think asking someone to wait just one minute is anywhere near unreasonable.

    • jenjenjen says:

      The last long flight I was on was pretty choppy. I can generally get through a 3-4 hour flight, but not 5. By the time they FINALLY turned off the seatbelt sign so I could go pee, guess what, the cart was blocking me in. It was 15 more minutes til it got past the back lavatories and yes, when I was finally in it, the turbulence returned and the sign came back on and everyone in line had to go back to their seats. I was one of two people who got to pee legally without being yelled at that the sign is on. They really need to let people go forward to the 1st class lavs if the cart is blocking them from the back ones.

  14. Macgyver says:

    With the bathroom. When you got to go, you got to go. You can only hold it in for so lone.

    And if people bring a kid on board, make sure s/he is behaved, if they aren’t, maybe they shouldn’t be on the plane in the first place. Or else get the A-Team, they will keep them quiet for the whole flight.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      a friend of mine had to fly home last night on a plane with 8 kids in her immediate vicinity. she said when one of them started crying, they all went off within a few minutes. like screaming dominoes.
      i don’t know how many adults per kid or if they were all together or what, but i can imagine even 8 individual parents/sets of parents having trouble getting them all to calm down without setting off the cycle again.
      this might explain why the last thing i remember about most of my very young flights was taking a benadryl

      • anduin says:

        my biggest nightmare on a plane is being surrounded by kids which happened on the way to Jamaica, effing kids jumping around on the seats like monkeys, constantly showing their parents some inane thing, making commentary during the movie…argh I wanted to crush them.

  15. BigHeadEd says:

    Hey, at least when I’m sleeping (and according to my wife probably snoring) you don’t have to serve me a complimentary beverage or otherwise deal with any request I might have that pisses you off. And honestly, my snoring is just payback for endless 150dB announcements that all begin with “At this time….”. For crying out loud, I think we all know that to release the seatbelt we just have to “lift up on the metal buckle”.

    • LandruBek says:

      I was once on an international flight in which the older lady next to me did *not* know how a seatbelt worked: she had managed to click it shut and was struggling to get it open, having missed the safety demonstration. I demonstrated for her how to lift up the metal tab to get free.

      It’s quite possible she had never used a seatbelt before: in many countries people don’t like to use them, and don’t.

  16. SugarMag says:

    My issue with some attendants – is that they are unprovoked (by me) yet they are very rude. I go out of my way to be pleasant and polite to them – yet I have been cursed at and had a coffee dumped on me deliberately BY THEM. (I’ve had some very nice ones too of course)

    • RandomHookup says:

      The downhill effect. It’s like the cashier who gets upset at the 10th person who asks for change for the meter. You get the crap that should have been shared with the other 9.

    • Karita says:

      I think it’s got something to do with the airline. My experiences on Finnair have been great – in all my fights, I can’t say I ever had a complaint about the check-in staff, the flight attendants, the food, the plane, the bathrooms etc. Lufthansa was not so great, to the point where I refuse to fly with them ever again. The corporate culture must have some effect on the attitudes of the flight attendants.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i’ve worked in customer service for several companies and i find that when the employers treat employees badly then it gets passed on down the chain. bad ceo passes it on to the VPs who pass it to the managers and so on down. the only people the front line employees can take it out on is the customer.

    • colorisnteverything says:

      This is like what happened to me on a delta flight.

      She asked me if I would like tea or coffee. I said coffee and she said, “Good, you’ll have tea.”

      It turns out she only brewed tea. I don’t drink tea. Period. She says, “well, I am not brewing tea.”

      I go, “That’s okay. Can I just have a pop?”

      She laughs at me.and then says, “Pop?”

      I ignore her and ask politely again and she says, “You’ll have to pay.”

      No matter that I have NEVER paid before.

      She came back and SLAMMED the little thing of pop down and walked off.

      • AstroPig7 says:

        I need to start doing this to my customers.

        “Do you want to troubleshoot this over the phone or have someone come out there?”

        “I want someone to come out here.”

        “Good, then we’ll troubleshoot this over the phone.”

  17. Scribblenerd says:

    I’ve found a way to make the day brighter for flight attendants. I bring along a couple of New Yorker magazines for a flight, and always pass them to the flight attendants when I’m done. Costs me nothing, puts a smile on their faces.

    • nybiker says:

      Do you work for the New Yorker magazine folks and bring a bunch from the office? Or is it that you have a subscription and hand out the issues after you’re done reading them?
      Either way, it’s good karma.

  18. Hoss says:

    The average age is 44? So for every 24 year old, there’s a 64 year old? or haven’t they hired in 20 years?

  19. B* says:

    Oh god, not another one. NO ONE CARES. STOP WHINING.

    • Kavatar says:

      Actually, judging from the comments these posts always get, a lot of people care. And no, they’re not all “stop whining” posts. So how about YOU stop whining?

  20. s0s has a chewy nougat center says:

    One of my good friends is a flight attendant, and while he doesn’t have a boyfriend in every town… he does have one in quite a few.

    Honestly, flights would be a lot more pleasant if the flight attendants were more pleasant. And if they didn’t do shit like wake me up to serve me my complimentary little cup of ice and a couple drops of the beverage of my choice. I’m not sure whether it’s the passengers who make the attendants cranky or vice versa, but I’m usually in a much fouler mood by the time I get off of a plane than I was when I got on, and it’s usually the result of some waspish air-waitress.

    Also, I snore. Bite me. My snoring is a lot quieter than my screaming would be, given that I am terrified of flying but do not have the luxury of time that would enable me to drive or, more preferably, take the train when I have to go somewhere. See the “waking up” issue. DO NOT destroy the relative peace that the massive dose of Benadryl has wrought!

    • Powerlurker says:

      Some of us prefer it when the attendant wakes us up for beverage service as opposed to just walking by.

      • s0s has a chewy nougat center says:

        And some of us really, really do not. Wake me up for the important things, not Coke and a tiny packet of pretzels that have been around since the dawn of man.

        I’m not really certain how you can sleep and give a crap about being given a gulp or two of soda, at the same time. But how about we compromise? They can shake you awake, so long as they start leaving the people who are obviously unconscious, with a pillow, blanket, and noise-canceling headphones on, alone.

        You can also always ask for a beverage if they skip you because you were asleep. Unfortunately, I can’t ask for my peace of mind back. Of course, I’m guessing the winner(s) who compiled that list would probably have something to say about you inconveniencing them by asking them to do their job.

        • Clumber says:

          How about scribble on the airsickness bag or random scrap of paper, “Please let me sleep : Frightened Flyer. No drink, thanks.” or something and fold it so it sits on your armrest? I mean if it is a common problem for you, and it sort of sounds like it?

          I usually want them to wake me for the 2 oz of flat Pepsi and bag of 3 stale almonds. I also love flying no matter how the TSA tries to beat that love out of me. YOU WILL NOT WIN DAMMIT! I LOVE FLYING! YOU HEAR ME TSA! YOUR “always put on random search list” TACTIC HAS NO EFFECT! HAH! so I know I am some sort of sicko sociopath. But if it is a common annoyance for you, maybe something simple like a scribbled note, or even telling them when you first get on the plane? They usually have to do a walk through before push-back checking off occupied seats, so that would be a time to mention it. All the FAs I used to work with at Boeing would MUCH prefer a snoring contentedly benedryled flyer to a nervous one and would have been delighted to leave you alone. *shrug* worth a mention maybe. Maybe not.

        • Powerlurker says:

          When I sleep on a plane, I’m usually thirsty when I wake up.

  21. evnmorlo says:

    The sexy “Think of her as your mother” ad is really to blame for all of this…

  22. shepd says:

    And we are supposed to get the person reclining their seat while supper is being served to move it up without bugging you (after they’ve already refused)… how? If I shove it forward, I might get charged with assault.

    If you want to make it legal for me to shove their seat up, I’ll go ahead and take care of my own problems, of course.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      Kick the seat.

      No, seriously, kick the seat. Do it calmly and methodically and with a smile, because you’re an adult. And when they complain, calmly and politely say you were trying to get their attention, because the airline requires seats to be up when meals are served.

      • Powerlurker says:

        I’ve never heard an airline tell me this, and I typically put my seat back as soon as the plane is off the ground and leave it that way until final approach since I usually sleep for most of the flight.

        • Big Mama Pain says:

          And the person sitting behind you the whole time hates your guts. Seriously, they need to do away with reclining seats.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Couldn’t you just ask them to move it forward?

    • theduckay says:

      If they refuse when you ask them, then it IS time to get a flight attendant involved, which I think is what this is referring to. They are complaining about people who immediately get the flight attendant to resolve situations without asking the person first, not the situation you described. If someone is stubborn enough to not un-recline their seat so you can eat after you politely ask, than thats someone the attendant should be dealing with anyway.

  23. valthun says:

    There is actually a problem with the lav comment, not all lav doors are the same, some pull out with a handle, some push in. So because of these design changes there can be confusion from one flight to the next. However there are generally instructions on the door on how to open it and lock it.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      Nope, no instructions on the door in any flight I’ve been in in the past three years. Though it is true there are airlines I do not fly because of corporate (or personal) policy.

    • IThinkThereforeIAm says:

      Also, as opposed to flight attendants who fly probably 200+ times a year, some people are actually on an airplane the first time (or just infrequent fliers).
      And, surprisingly, not many homes have lav doors that work quite the same way as on an airplane. So get with the program, you ARE there to help.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      the only time i saw instructions on an airplane lavatory door was on an international flight. fortunately for language barriers, it was in pictures.

    • OSAM says:

      Im sorry, but it’s still a FUCKING DOOR.

  24. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    “12. ‘I hate working flights to destinations like Vail and West Palm Beach. The passengers all think they’re in first class even if they’re not. They don’t do what we ask. And the overhead bins are full of their mink coats.’”

    Yes and yes. I used to work there, there is an amazing air of entitlement. Must be something in the water.

    • DarthCoven says:

      You know what, I fly into PBI all the time to visit my grandfather. Not once have I ever seen a mink coat.

      Who the frak wears mink coats in south Florida anyway? My grandmother had 2, and gave them both away before they moved down from NY.

      The sense of entitlement on the other hand…I think it has to do with the older crowd being used to the old days of aviation, when you actually got a meal and, you know, service with a smile.

  25. Jfielder says:

    I’m getting tired of these “My job is tough, so you should be really be nicer to me” posts… Go get another job if you don’t like it.

    • Beave says:

      Having worked in customer service for years putting myself through high school and college, I can say that it’s a small percentage of customers (

      In the case of Air travel I think it’s worse because you get a lot of people who travel a lot. They know the unwritten rules and expected behaviors and there are most certainly frequent fliers who abuse the system because they know which rules aren’t enforced. On top of that you have people who seldom fly, and to them a few hundred bucks for a ticket is a lot of money, so they act entitled and rude. Put all that in an extremely tight and confined space, and it’s a recipe for rude and unreasonable customers.

    • ceriphim says:

      Have you watched any news in the past couple years? Maybe seen anything related to unemployment and underemployment being at record highs?

      I like being snarky as much as the next guy but get off your high horse with your “go get a better job” bs. MOST people CAN’T go get a better job right now – that’s if they have one to start with.

      • Jfielder says:

        Haha, so go be unemployed! I don’t care… Someone who won’t constantly bitch about what a bad customer I am will likely fill that position.

    • IThinkThereforeIAm says:

      Blame Readers’ Digest.
      They have one of these in every issue.

      And, while some of the items in each are legit, most of them are compiled for maximum impact – that is, to rile people up so they remember how cutting edge information is coming from RD.

      • richcreamerybutter says:

        Ha! I didn’t even know Readers Digest had a web presence. I think of it as an old-timey periodical your grandparents chuckle over during afternoon tea.

        They seem to be following the same Readers Digesty style guide, with usage of such terms as “rear end.” REAR END. “Fanny,” and “hindquarters” would also be acceptable substitutes. It’s even somewhat adorable that they’re unaware of straight male and lesbian flight attendants (should we tell them?).

        Also, mink coats! As far as “personal business,” I’m almost positive this doesn’t mean what you think…I imagine, scratching or perhaps adjusting your junk (sorry, “private parts”).

        Are we sure RD didn’t just dig this out of their archive from 30 years ago and attempt to update it slightly?

  26. Caveat Emptor! says:

    Flying used to be fun. It used to be exciting. Now its akin to going to the dentist. Unfortunately, we’re the cause of this change. The consumer demanded ever cheaper flights, and the industry accommodated us. It just came at the expense of our convenience.

    We get the level of service (and government) that we’re willing to put up with.

  27. Caveat Emptor! says:

    Flying used to be fun. It used to be exciting. Now its akin to going to the dentist. Unfortunately, we’re the cause of this change. The consumer demanded ever cheaper flights, and the industry accommodated us. It just came at the expense of our convenience.

    We get the level of service (and government) that we’re willing to put up with.

  28. MB17 says:

    We get it. Service jobs are terrible. I wouldn’t want to be a waiter/flight attendant/bar tender/etc. either.

    That said, the only you’ll be happy, Service Employee Dejour, is if we do your job for you while you sit on your duff, paid for doing nothing.

    Jobs aren’t fun. Get over it.

  29. Pax says:

    * “Just in case you hadn’t noticed, there are other people on the airplane besides you. So don’t clip your toenails, snore with wild abandon, or do any type of personal business under a blanket!”

    Flying on an airplane has become an uncomfortable, all-around unpleasant experience. There really isn’t even room for me to read a book with any degree of comfort whatsoever.

    So, I do my level best to render myself unconscious during the flight – which means, I go to sleep. Once asleep, I’m sorry but I cannot not snore.

    If you want me not to snore? Make my seat not so small and cramped that it’s torture to sit in it.

    * “Passengers are always coming up to me and tattling on each other. ‘Can you tell him to put his seat up?’ ‘She won’t share the armrest.’ What am I, a preschool teacher?”

    See above.

    Perhaps if the airlines gave us enough room that the person ahead of us could recline their seat, without forcing us to chew on a mouthful of upholstery, we wouldn’t complain about someone refusing to put their seat up.

    Perhaps if the airlines gave us each our OWN armrests, rather than making us share one-inch pretend armrests, there would be no disputes over them.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i don’t even think of them as armrests anymore, just seat separators. it’s really just a skinny bar to remind people which seat is theirs.
      now if they’d go all the way up so i don’t end up with someone falling into me while they sleep

    • Pax says:

      Adding some more, now that I’ve had time to read the linked article:

      5. “An all-too-common scenario: I hand you a cup of coffee and say, ‘Cream and sugar?’ You say, ‘What?’ I say, ‘Cream and sugar?’ You say, ‘What?’ Come on, people. What do you think we’re going to ask after we’ve handed you coffee? Your favorite color?”

      And, you know … some of us can’t actually HEAR one bloody word you’re saying, between the white noise of the jets, and maybe wearing air-pressure-regulating earplugs (like these: http://www.amazon.com/EarPlanes-Pressure-Regulating-Earplugs-Pairs/dp/B001HTWL8C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1288120574&sr=8-1 ). Indeed, if I don’t use those plugs, I get “maybe I should go to the emergency room”-severe earaches throughout the flight, and for hours after landing. $2.50 before the flight for the Earplanes, or $25 during and after the flight, for a near-overdose of pain medicines. Guess which one I’m choosing?

  30. FrugalFreak says:

    Who cares what they think. DO YOUR JOB.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      Pffft! Who cares about civility and treating people like human beings instead of robots? Just do what we tell you!

  31. sybann says:

    Don’t make me call Paul Westerberg.

  32. dr_drift says:

    5. “An all-too-common scenario: I hand you a cup of coffee and say, ‘Cream and sugar?’ You say, ‘What?’ I say, ‘Cream and sugar?’ You say, ‘What?’ Come on, people. What do you think we’re going to ask after we’ve handed you coffee? Your favorite color?”

    Wait, are you demanding that people understand you? Can you do that? I don’t normally share this secret with many people, but I’m willing to make a small exception. When someone doesn’t understand what I’m saying, I don’t just keep repeating the exact same phrase over and over again… I usually (shhhh…don’t tell anyone) rephrase it.

    So let’s give it another shot:
    “Cream and sugar?”
    “What?”
    “Would you like some cream and sugar for your coffee?”
    “Oh, no thank you.”

    It works better than:
    “Cream and sugar?”
    “What?”
    “Cream and sugar?”
    “What?”
    “I said CREAM and SUGAR.”
    “I’m sorry, I don-”
    “CREAM AND SUGAR! CREAM AND SUGAR! CREAM AND SUGAR GODDAMN IT!”

  33. SG-Cleve says:

    Get rid of flight attendants. Bring back stewardesses who would hand out decks of cards and take the kids up front to meet the pilot and pin on a set of souvenir pilot wings.

  34. jimmyhl says:

    To hell with this woman! The airlines have virtually scared the daylights out of their passengers with FAA regs so much that we’re afraid to say boo for fear of getting grabbed up and black-listed. As for the more specific objections she raises: it is her job to referee disputes between passengers over arm rests and similar issues. If the passenger tries to work it out and things get hot, who’s going to get branded as unruly passenger? As for passengers who say “huh” Guess what? They can’t freaking hear you because of the plane. No one’s trying to mess with you. As for in-flight refuse in the seat pocket, no problem—I’ll just leave it there if it’s such a hassle for you to deal with. I see her point about dim bulbs who travel with babies and no diapers. As for borrowing pens–screw you–if I spend a zillion dollars on your airline to fly to an international destination you can let me borrow a pen for two minutes….or you can jump out of the freaking plane and keep your pen.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      Right, because a large part of that money is going to the flight attendant. You’re angry with the wrong person.

  35. FrugalFreak says:

    5. “An all-too-common scenario: I hand you a cup of coffee and say, ‘Cream and sugar?’ You say, ‘What?’ I say, ‘Cream and sugar?’ You say, ‘What?’ Come on, people. What do you think we’re going to ask after we’ve handed you coffee? Your favorite color?”

    Uh they could be Hard-of-hearing!

  36. El_Fez says:

    Christ, someone call the Whaaaaabulance.

    “Passengers are always coming up to me and tattling on each other. ‘Can you tell him to put his seat up?’ ‘She won’t share the armrest.’ What am I, a preschool teacher?”

    No, but much like an usher in a movie theater you ARE the person in authority to tell people to knock it off. If I have a problem with another patron – a reasonable request – it’s your god damned job to deal with the situation. So buck up and do your fucking job.

    Damn these things piss me off to no end. Stop whining!

  37. TheGreySpectre says:

    The food cart is not a 90s thing, it is more like 20-30 minutes as it moves slow and blocks the entire isle so even when it is not sitting directly infront of your set you can’t get around it to go to the bathroom.

  38. dizzy says:

    I’m one of those people that has to pee about five times per flight. I have a small bladder, and even not drinking anything for hours beforehand is still probably gonna leave me having to use the restroom at LEAST once. On a cross-country flight, more.

    I do realize how obnoxious this is, so I always ask for an aisle seat and I try to be aware of when they’re about to start food/drink service and go before. There’s not much else I can do about this, so when I get those super annoyed flight attendants it makes me feel awful and embarrassed.

  39. El_Fez says:

    “An all-too-common scenario: I hand you a cup of coffee and say, ‘Cream and sugar?’ You say, ‘What?’ I say, ‘Cream and sugar?’ You say, ‘What?’ Come on, people. What do you think we’re going to ask after we’ve handed you coffee? Your favorite color?”

    Dude, perhaps you haven’t noticed but planes are *L*O*U*D*! Why they hell are you getting angry at people who cant hear what you are saying when there’s a goddamned jet engine 30 feet away from their heads?!?

  40. Danielle74 says:

    I guess I am a minority here but I think these are perfectly reasonable requests.

    I fly frequently, with a variety of airlines and I find the staff to be quite pleasant. It’s the passengers around me that I have a problem with. There seems to be a lot of rude poeple who refuse to listen to instructions and won’t sit down and put thier seatbelt on so we can take off. In fact, the last flight I was on, a woman got up out of her seat while we were actually on the runway to get a sandwich out of her bag in the overhead bin.

    The attendants I’ve seen lately have an incredible amount of patience.

  41. sweaterhogans says:

    I was on a short flight on US Airways Express and there was a lunatic flight attendant. She stopped several people (including me) before we even boarded and had us remove our backpacks from our back and carry them in our hands in front of us (mine was a very small camelback btw). Then she actually yelled at some passenger over the intercom because his shoelace was in the aisle, “compromising everyone’s safety.” She said we could not take off until the guy tied his shoe. During flight she said “if you don not have your trays open I will assume you do not want anything to drink and pass you by.” WTF.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i’ve seen the backpack thing and i’ve seen why they request it. if your backpack is in your hands in front of you in the narrow aisle you can quickly and easily stow it and sit down. if it’s not, you have to take it off on the plane. sometimes people are already sitting down near you and i’ve seen someone trying to remove a backpack in a cramped aisle elbow someone in the head. also, it takes longer, holds up boarding.
      not to say i am disputing her lunacy, i wasn’t there. but i think that’s probably why she did the backpack thing

  42. veeink says:

    I feel the same way about snorers and crying babies – part sympathy, part annoyance – and don’t really see a difference in why I should have less tolerance for one vs. the other. Not trying to turn this into a babies on the plane thread, but its interesting to me how tolerance for snorers seems to be a given (and how many snorers are raising their hands, smirking, saying “That’s me!!”), while crying babies would be banned to the cargo section if most folks had their way.

    At the core of it, the reason for both noises is the same – “They can’t help it”. Why isn’t a snorer’s husband or wife responsible for keeping the snorer quiet? Why isn’t the snorer expected to stay off of a plane? Or pick a flight time when their snoring would be least likely to disturb others? Or maybe there should be snoring sections? Or maybe those snorers had better have a damn good reason for being on a flight in the first place?

    One of the most annoying sounds on a flight is when people use the riffle technique to shuffle a deck of cards. Tttthhhhhwack. Ugh.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      doesn’t matter what time of day it is, some people get sleepy on airplanes. maybe it’s like taking a baby for a car ride- the vibrations and motion trigger it?
      i’ve flown at all times of day and many people fall asleep each time.
      some people fly alone so there may not be a husband or wife to elbow them when they snore

  43. Bagumpity says:

    Whinery tours start every hour on the hour. Meet under the sign shaped like sour grapes.

  44. Geekybiker says:

    Can we have an article on why we hate our flight attendants now? I get it. All people in customer service positions hate the people they have to serve.

  45. MacBenah says:

    Unbelievable,,, What a whiny bitch. When she’s not on a flight, her second job must be Customer Service for a cellphone company.

  46. llsee says:

    Wow…based on the comments here, sure sounds like the FA is right on the money! They couldn’t pay me enough to be a babysitter to 100+ whiny, inconsiderate, profane louts, like the creatures that seem to inhabit the comments section here!

  47. jp7570-1 says:

    I agree snoring is annoying, but I have yet to meet anybody that can control it while they sleep.

  48. daemonaquila says:

    It’s all good except the “tattling” part. If someone is being an asshole and isn’t going to cut it out with a nice request, I’m the one who’ll be arrested if I wind up punching him. The flight attendant, however, can tell him he’s going to be arrested or put on the no-fly list if he doesn’t cut it out.

  49. bdgbill says:

    I can’t believe they didn’t mention the crazy salmon people. This is what I call the idiot that seems to be on every plane who is seated in row 8 but for some reason walks back to row 40 during boarding. Now he has to fight his way upstream against the rest of the passengers with his wheeled luggage and his pillow from his bed at home.

    People who can’t find their seat, put their crap away and sit down in a timely manner should be booted off the plane and put on the do not fly list until they can pass a “flying for idiots” training course.

  50. BanzaiBrittany says:

    So many replies to these kinds of posts just reek of “How dare you not worship the ground I walk on?”

    You’re gonna get on people’s nerves. Deal with it. Conversely, workers rarely take out frustration on customers/clients, they just deal with it (cue tons of people giving anecdotes about “This time on a plane…” blah blah) cause getting a paycheck is nice.

  51. tooluser says:

    How much should you tip your stewardess?

  52. Chaosium says:

    “Passengers are always coming up to me and tattling on each other. ‘Can you tell him to put his seat up?’ ‘She won’t share the armrest.’ What am I, a preschool teacher?”

    Other passengers are obnoxious. This is heightened while you’re in the air, they just get worse. IT IS YOUR JOB to keep people from annoying the feck out of others.

  53. Mambru says:

    I wonder when stewardess became a bad thing to call people just like secretary they are now admin assistants?

    On the other hand I lived in West Palm Beach for about 10 years and never ever seen someone stuffing a mink coat on the overhead compartment, newsflash It’s Florida and its hot and humid. Do people have some sense of entiltement ? yeah some of the old people d believe they are bettern that the rest but hey what old guy is not a pain in the ass?

  54. minjche says:

    I don’t always understand these “I’m in X industry and I hate Y people” articles.

    In situations like flying, dining at a restaurant, shopping at a clothing store, etc., I just treat people like people. I’m polite and usually they’re polite back.

    Everyone likes a good vent, but perhaps telling friends or family is a better outlet, instead of broadcasting it on the internet for so many people to read and probably take out of context (leaving the person in X industry looking like a lazy, entitled jerk).

  55. Airlinepilot says:

    My favorite of these.

    A good cue for the traveling public is a “mini-me” designation attached to the airline name: Lite, Express, Eagle, or cutesy moniker designed by marketers. Employees at these are the proverbial mine-sniffing dogs of the industry: grueling days, Greyhound bus passengers, little pay.

    Passengers have demanded Aeroflot prices, don’t be surprised at Aeroflot service and safety.

  56. nocturnaljames says:

    I find it interesting how people get mad at people, and do not blame the company. Pay is terrible for the job, especially for a hazardous work environment. Airlines push people to the bring with fees, and pushing people to bring all their luggage in the cabin. They squeeze every last penny they can out of customers and employees, sacrificing as much quality of service as they can get away with.

  57. Tokarev_Makarov says:

    I’m a bit disappointed in my fellow Consumerist readers… again.
    These aren’t sissy rants by someone that hates their job.
    If you think for a moment about what she’s saying, almost all of these annoying behaviors
    don’t just make the attendants’ job harder, *they create safety and annoyance issues
    for other passengers*
    It’s one thing to disagree with waiter that complains about patrons rearranging chairs and tables, but obstructing aisles and overfilling overhead bins not only slows everyone down, but causes safety issues
    Again, I think people have a “bubble” around them – they aren’t necessarily aware of how their habits affect others. I’m grateful for stuff like this – classy, civilized people don’t just expect the good service and pleasant experience they’re entitled to – they have at least some awareness of the other folks they’re sharing close personal space with, and take that into consideration, whether they’re employees or fellow passengers.

  58. PortlandBeavers says:

    I definitely have it figured out that they don’t have a boyfriend in every city. Most of the ones I see these days look like they started out with Wilbur and Orville.

  59. ElBobulo says:

    7. Don’t ask us if it’s okay to use the lavatories on the ground. The answer is always yes. Do you think what goes into the toilet just dumps out onto the tarmac?

    No, we think there is probably some dumb rule against using them on the ground, so we ask first.

  60. consumedchick says:

    my old roomie used to fart in aisles as she would go up n back near rude ppl. the silent bomb she would say. She was the ‘bf in every city” type, we would have more stubby soda in our fridge than anyone could imagine.
    disgusting stories