The one power I wish to have at my command is the ability to just land up at the destination of my choice by just snapping my fingers. However, since that was a bit farfetched for a mortal like me, I had no choice but to do the next best thing – become a flight attendant wearing high heels and carrying drinks to serve passengers on the airline.
I have been asked the most common questions many a time. Have you ever had to deal with a passenger who was too drunk to realize it? Which is your favorite destination? Is there any flight that you could slot as the worst ever? Have you had the chance to date the pilot? Many such questions that people always come up with and I am getting tired answering them.
Strangely, I have not come across anybody who should have asked me the most logical question and that is “How do passengers behave and what do they do that irritates a flight attendant”?
Well, let me go ahead and present below the ten most irritating habits that can upset and annoy any flight attendant in no particular order:
10) Perennially frowning
9) Gross misuse of the overhead cabins
Some of the passengers try to take advantage of the fact that they are the first to board the aircraft and try to put everything including their jacket into the overhead compartment. Such people should understand that they must keep what is possible under their seat and leave room for the people who board after them to put their stuff as well. Monopolizing the overhead compartment space is most annoying and having to tell them to take back some of the stuff is definitely not something I look forward to on each flight.
8) Obstructing the aisle
Aisles are narrow and it is extremely frustrating when passengers obstruct this space by either positioning themselves or any of their luggages. They must understand that as it is we are facing a tough task moving the two hundred pound galley trolley and need free space to move it smoothly without hitting body parts. It would thus be proper to let us pass and then make any adjustments or relocations of objects.
7) Showing impatience when I am unable to help you load your luggage into the overhead cabin
Passengers must appreciate that we could hurt ourselves in trying to shift heavy luggage to the overhead cabin. That would put us out of work for a long time and when we do refuse to help you shift your luggage, we expect you to understand and not show your irritation by rolling your eyes. That will definitely not help and we would have no sympathy for you.
6) Showing disinterest while my briefing is on
This is also a very annoying aspect of passenger behavior. Speaking to co passengers or just chatting away on the phone while I am in the midst of my briefing about safety and cabin etiquette is very exasperating. I am aware that you must have heard this kind of a briefing many times before on each of your flights, but it surely does not hurt you to accord your attention just one more time and show interest so that I feel I am doing my job well enough.
5) Ordering or talking to me while still having your headphones on
I can surely do without having to repeat everything I am saying just because you have not taken the trouble to switch off your music or whatever you are hearing on the headphones for a moment, while engaged in a conversation with me. All you need to do is just press the pause button, say what you have to say and then go back to your listening pleasure. It makes my job so much easier.
4) Advising me about my job or being rude to me
Just because I am around to carry the drinks, make simple conversation and serve you on flight do not give you the authority or privilege to be rude to me or advise me on how I should go about my job. I am there to basically handle emergencies on board and am being paid to make sure that no passenger is put to any inconvenience because of an emergency or a health problem suddenly raising its head.
3) Being a greedy hog, wanting more food of better quality or a different menu
If you have a problem with the quality of food or its quantity, then the best thing to do is to lodge your complaint through the feedback mechanism we have or by writing to the airline management. All of us are aware of how airlines which served a lot of free meals and gave away many freebies have folded up and how many airlines are cutting costs to merely survive. Quantity of food and the menu that is being offered is something out of my jurisdiction and I will not be able to help you if you complain about it. Yes, I will listen to you with empathy but will not be able to offer any solution then and there.
We know airlines used to serve free, hot meals in main cabin. We also know many airlines have gone bankrupt in the past 10 years. They have had to make cuts — from no meals to fewer flights to outrageous bag-check fees — which suck all around. But I have no control over that, so please keep your comments to yourself — or write a letter.
2) Asking me to take care of dirty and soiled diapers
You as a passenger must make use of the lavatory in the airplane and not expect me to dispose off any soiled diapers for you. I do not think I need to say more on this subject.
1) Touching and making body contact with me
It is obviously a violation of my privacy when many passengers in their considered wisdom decide to grope or brush against me. It is rude, borders on molestation and is just not civilized behavior. Again, there is no need to mention anything much more on this subject.
Finally we would like to offer a tip for all passengers ready to take the next flight. You would do well to carry along chocolates or candies for us and can rest assured that you will be remembered and given the best of attention from us. After all, everybody likes gifts and attention and we are no exception.