Five things a flight attendant DOESN’T want to hear!

This post originally appeared on the Barnes and Noble website 

Five Things Flight Attendants Don’t Want to Hear:

1. ON MY LAST FLIGHT…  The moment I smile and say I’m a flight attendant, I find myself holding my breath.  Without fail, there’s a two second pause, followed by those four little words: “On my last flight…” 90% of the time the story that follows is about a flight from hell. Let’s just stop and think about this for a minute. Upon meeting a doctor, would you tell him about the worst hospital stay you’ve ever had? Or would you tell a car salesman about the time you got sold a lemon? It’s never a good idea to start a conversation disparaging your new friend’s chosen profession.

2. ARE THERE ANY FIRST CLASS SEATS AVAILABLE? It’s okay to ask, but it’s probably not going to get you very far. What’s guaranteed to  get you nowhere, though, is demanding an upgrade because your reading light doesn’t work (this actually happened, on an afternoon flight, no less). One passenger demanded to be moved up front because his wife just had knee surgery and he had the X-rays to prove it! Just so we’re clear: Flight attendants do not upgrade passengers. Gate agents are the only ones with that power. But keep in mind there’s a standby list for those oh-so-precious premium seats, and each and every passenger on that list knows exactly how close to the top his or her  name is. Don’t believe me? Ask the top tier frequent fliers who didn’t score an upgrade and who are now seated in the most sought after coach seats; first row of coach or the exit row. Their names are all next on the list, and they know it.

3. CAN YOU HELP ME GET MY BAG IN THE OVERHEAD BIN? Unless you’re an unaccompanied minor, elderly or handicapped and your bag is not too heavy, I will not put your bag in the bin. One of the most common misconceptions about flight attendants is that it’s our job to lift heavy passenger bags into the bin. We have no problem finding a space for your bag. We may even assist in lifting the bag.  But for the most part, you pack it, you lift it.




  1. Why not follow up with “Things a flight attendant DOES want to hear!”

    1: I’d like to take my seat in coach that I paid for, I really have no interest in trying to upgrade to first class.

    2: Excuse me Miss? Is it alright if I turn off my electronic device and keep it off until we reach a safe cruising altitude?

    3: Why are the overhead bins so large? With us all using regulation size carry on’s, there’s PLENTY of room left in them!

    4: I actually brought on board a delicious turkey dinner, with fresh veggetables, a cheese cake desert and some after dinner chocolates. Do you think you could share them with the other FA’s? I’d much rather have the inflight meal!

    5: Oh dear, a delay? Oh well, that can’t be helped. Perhaps in our spare time we can start cleaning out the seat back pockets and ensure our trays are cleaned off?

    6: On my last flight…….. the FA’s did a wonderful, fantastic job and yet somehow you’ve managed to best them! Well done!

    7: I’m actually the owner of the airline, I was flying undercover to see how you did your job, and I’m so impressed, I’m giving all the staff on board a pay raise!

    8: I’m actually the owner of the airline, I was flying undercover to see how you did your job, and I’m so impressed, we’re picking up the tab for a luxary hotel stay! No more Crash pads for you! Oh and I don’t want to see you in the air again for at least another 24 hours! You need a rest!

    9: Please, don’t worry if you don’t have the meal or drink I want onboard, I’m more than happy to sit here quietly and read my magazine!

    10: Hi, I’m [insert celeb name here], and I’d like to profusely apologize for my behaviour and subsequent comments about FA’s, I’m very sorry indeed. If there’s anything at all I can do to make up for it, please, let me know. Now I’m off to play some word games with my friends…..

  2. Im not a flight attendant myself, but these 3 always get on my nerves. People just cant seem to learn. We even see proper and improper airplane behavior in movies and STILL we cant seem to learn the DOs and DONTs.

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