Flight attendants reveal their worst passengers

I was not interviewed for this News.com.au article, by Kate Schneider, but the quotes from me were taken from my GALLEY GOSSIP flight attendant pet peeve posts….

If you’ve left the door open while peeing, if you listen to music while they try to talk to you or if you’ve tried to grab a seat in the crew rest area – then flight attendants hate you.

Flight attendants from around the world have broken their silence to reveal the things that passengers do that really gets under their skin.
While Kevin Rudd’s alleged angry outburst at a flight attendant and Naomi Campbell’s infamous cabin catfight have hit the headlines, it’s these everyday annoyances that really get their goat.

You leave the door wide open when you pee.

“One of the most annoying things passengers do is not closing the lavatory door,” celebrity flight attendant David Holmes from Southwest Airlines said.

You double order your drinks.“Asking one flight attendant for a drink and before they get back with it, asking another flight attendant for the same drink, is bad news,” Bethany Burke, a flight attendant from Florida, US, said.

You tap flight attendants on the shoulder to get their attention.

“Passengers tap me to get my attention but then don’t give me eye contact when talking to me,” Mr Holmes said.

“Passengers wouldn’t take off their headsets when I asked them if they wanted food or drink,” ex-hostie Susan, who worked for Qantas for over 20 years, said.

“When I ask passengers if they’d like something to drink, three times out of five the response will be ‘Wha?’ And that’s a ‘wha’ without the ‘T’,” Heather Poole, flight attendant for a major US carrier, said.

“‘Something to drink?’ I’ll ask again, and while I ask this question I find myself wondering why you haven’t taken off the iPod or those giant Bose noise cancellation headsets covering your ears when you see me standing at your row.”

You stuff your bag to breaking point and then ask for help to stow it away.

“The worst is when people bring a heavy bag onboard, then tell me that they can’t lift it overhead because of a bad back,” Mrs Burke said.

“Lifting your bag into the overhead bin is not, nor has it ever been, part of my job description. Honestly, I don’t know what bothers me more, the fact that a passenger will come on-board and expect me to lift their bag, or the fact that they actually get upset when I won’t lift the bag,” Mrs Poole said.




  1. I admire your courage on being a flight attendant. Everytime a plane hits turbulence, I want to hug a an attendant and ask them to make me feel better! I'm a traveller / travel blogger with a recently-developed flying anxiety (i'm a late bloomer).
    In light of the Air France crash, do you ever get worried about crashes? Do they teach you stats in flight school so to ease your mind (questions) about the perils of flying? Sorry…I'm really traumatized by this Air France incident!

  2. Very interesting entry! And I am also interested in Jen Laceda's questions, I ask myself the same.

  3. I also hate it when, coming through with the meal cart, the question I ask is, "Would you like ham or turkey?" which eventually gets whittled down to "ham or turkey" and passengers reply (without even looking at you) "Yes" (OK, which one?) or "diet coke" (since I clearly am stocked with cups if they would bother to look up from their iPods). I want to yank the earbuds out of their ears and make them smile back at me.

  4. Does it also happen that when you ask passengers about something they just ignore and don't reply?

    One of my comments on a previous entry still awaits your attention madame.

  5. Ironic that the picture they (news.com.au) chose shows an Air Francce flight attendant. Wonder if they have noticed that?

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