In the midst of all this stress, flight attendants give new meaning to the term “grace under pressure.” Even when dealing with irritable, anxious and downright volatile passengers, they know how to keep their cool and make sure that our flying experience is as safe and enjoyable as possible.
With that in mind, here are eight things passengers do that flight attendants hate, even though they’ll probably never show it.
1. Not Making Eye Contact Or Saying ‘Hi’
Most of us would never ignore a pleasant hello from a hostess at a restaurant, or fail to make eye contact and say “thank you” when paying a cashier. But for some reason, when we are in the air, we sometimes overlook this common courtesy.
It’s hurtful and rude to walk by a flight attendant who is greeting you with a smile, so don’t assume it’s just a robot behind that grin. Or better yet, be the one to smile and say “hello” first. It sets a pleasant tone for the flight… and may even snag you a extra bag of cookies.
2. Ordering Diet Coke
When it’s time for drink service, do your FA a favor and don’t order a Diet Coke. Why? Because the drink fizzes up more than other drinks, which causes major stress for a rushed airline attendant. American Airlines attendant Heather Poole attested to this, saying, “Of all the drinks we serve, Diet Coke takes the most time to pour—the fizz takes forever to settle at 35,000 feet. In the time it takes me to pour a single cup of Diet Coke, I can serve three passengers a different beverage.”
Hmm, good to know!
3. Leaving Trash In The Seat Pockets
Flight attendants don’t walk by asking for trash for no reason. They really, really don’t want us to take our bag of pretzels and stuff it in the seat pocket. You wouldn’t leave trash behind in other shared spaces, would you? So why do so many of us not think twice about cramming our garbage into the seat pocket on a plane?
4. Not Knowing Your Order
Want to wet your whistle? Great. But don’t spend give minutes hemming and hawing over your options. Know your order and deliver it promptly… AND take off your headphones when you do so. No one wants to be yelled at because you can’t hear due to your episode of “30 Rock.”
5. Getting touchy-feely
Again, most of us would not grab a restaurant server or forcefully tug on their sleeve when they passed our table. But on a plane, this is a common problem that many flight attendants have to face. As one flight attendant told Business Insider, “I have been poked, prodded, and tugged on too many times to remember.” Not cool, air travelers. Let’s keep it simple: Hands off!
6. Taking Over The Overhead Bins
Airline attendants don’t want to make people gate-check their bags, but if greedy travelers hog the bin space, they don’t have a choice. Make sure that your bags are the appropriate size, and put your smaller bags under the seat in front of you.
7. Walking Around Barefoot
Listen, flight attendants don’t show up at your office and walk around without shoes. The floor is far from clean, not to mention, no one wants to smell your feet when they are stuck in a giant flying tube with poor air circulation.
8. Complaining About Your Connection
Everyone has places to be, and the flight attendants can’t do anything to speed up the plane. If you booked a super-tight connection, take ownership of that fact and don’t dump your stress on the people trying to help you get there. They are doing everything they can to make sure everyone gets to their destination on time. Getting fussy with them only makes everyone’s trip more unpleasant.
What about you? What’s the worst flight etiquette you have ever seen?