15 Things Flight Attendants Hate About You

Flight attendants are not the passengers' servants. They are there to help travelers, but their job description is much longer than this one task. Crew members can take a lot from passengers but there are just certain things that may drive your flight attendant crazy. These are some examples as told by flight attendants with over 14+ years of experience.

Galley yoga

"We realize that the standard airplane seat is definitely not designed for comfort, as you are extremely cramped in these tiny airplane seats for hours, but we do ask this: Please do not invade our space in the galley to do stretches/exercises or what we call 'Galley Yoga' when you need to get up and stretch your legs," Lia Volpe, flight attendant and owner of Flight Attendant Prep Academy, says. "We are trying our very best to complete the beverage service for 100-plus passengers or more on the flight. Don't do the Downward Dog pose on the kitchen area floor. I have had actual passengers stretch on the airplane floor with their head touching the filthy surface. If you knew what was on the airplane floors, you would never do a yoga pose on the plane again."

Not a “hookup” spot

"Compliments are nice, and who doesn't like a nice compliment here or there, but getting picked up on while you are working is neither flattering nor going to help upgrade you to First Class," Volpe says. "I once had a passenger put his business card on my beverage cart as I was passing by so that I would be able to contact him when we landed. We probably have worked 4 to 5 flights that day and have been on our feet for hours. We are exhausted and tired. All we are looking for at the end of the day is a nice shower and comfortable hotel bed — not a date."

"It’s your job!"

Kindness can go a long way, so flight attendants always notice when you come on board and are mean to the crew members. For example, there may be a full flight where the overhead bins will fill up rather quickly, and that forces the later boarding passengers to check their bags. "However, coming on board and demanding us to find a place for your bag, shoving it towards us stating 'it's your job' will not sit well with your flight attendant," Volpe says. "Little did you know that we could have gate checked your bag to be picked up plane side, but instead we are going to check it to your final destination and bring you a tag."

May I have your attention please?

Flight attendants realize that you have important people to talk to, but when they tell you to turn off all electronics, discontinue your phone calls and put your cell phone on airplane mode, you should do it. "We can see you hiding it from us as we pass through the cabin with our final compliance check." This is especially targeted for the exit row passengers; the plane cannot take off until the exit row is briefed, Volpe says. "I once had to wait for a passenger to finish his 5-minute conversation on the phone before I could start my exit row briefing announcement. This announcement is required before the main cabin door can be closed and performed on every flight." Have some respect.

This is not a trash can

Flight attendants come down the aisle more than a few times asking for trash. "So when we find trash in the seat pockets, it frustrates us more than anything," Volpe says. Leaving parting gifts such as chewing gum, banana peels, wet tissues, and things that do not belong in the seat pocket is always irritating." Take these items out of your seat pocket in front of you and kindly throw it in the trash bag as crew members pass through the cabin.

The hokey pokey

"We do not appreciate getting poked or touched while we are walking down the aisle when you need our attention," Volpe says. "We have pretty good hearing and if you call us, we will be able to assist you with your request. Everyone has personal space issues and we understand that we are in tight quarters, so use your words, not your hands."

Do not touch that button

Please reserve the urge to push the flight attendant call button unless it pertains to immediate assistance or safety related issues. Questions such as "When do we land?"; "What's the weather like?"; "How much longer?"; or "Am I going to make my connection?" are not appropriate reasons to press that button, Volpe says.

The guessing game

They only have a limited amount of time to serve over 100 passengers on a flight, so when they come and ask you for your drink order, please do not ask them what they have, Volpe says. Everything is listed on your inflight brochure which is located in the seat pocket in front of you. "We will gladly tell you a few drinks on the list, but be proactive and review your options, which will make every flight enjoyable."

The blame game

"We are extremely sorry that we are on a current delay or that you are not going to make your connecting flight, but please do not take it out on us," Volpe says. "We have no control over the weather or mechanical delays, so being rude to us or taking your anger out on us will not help the situation overall."

Did you take a bath today?

Passengers need to remember that they and the crew are in a confined space with circulated air for hours. "So when you have been sweating and smell of body odor, we can tell immediately in the cabin," Volpe says. Flight attendants are taught to always make sure their hygiene is taken care of and to always look, smell and be their best. Why can't you do the same? "I once had a passenger smell so bad that you could overhear other passengers starting to complain, plug their nose and ask if they could be moved to a different part of the airplane," Volpe says.

The tortoise

Everybody has had a tight connecting flight but be courteous and show some urgency if you are one of the last to board the flight. "If you know that the flight is waiting on you, please show haste as dawdling makes everyone upset and the easiest targets to pass off pent-up frustrations fall on your friendly flight attendants," Dominic Brisson, an American Eagle flight attendant with over 14 years up in the air and a Flight Attendant Prep Academy instructor, says.

Upgrade me?

"I hate when they ask us to upgrade them to First Class after they board the plane," Brisson says. Many don't realize there is a strict airline policy against giving a first class seat away unless it's under the discretion of the gate agent or the pilot in command for weight and balance purposes. It's unfair to passengers who have paid extra to sit there and then complain to the airline company about giving it away for free, he adds. "We can get into a lot trouble for upgrading passengers if not approved. Only customer service agents are qualified to upgrade passengers."

Extra closet space

Brisson says that he hates when passengers come onboard asking "Is there a closet where you can put my bag?" Most airlines, especially regional express carriers, don't contain closets for passenger bags. The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits passenger luggage in a designated space for crew members. "That's why we have overhead compartments for storage, or underneath the seat in front of you. Per FAA, it is illegal to leave baggage lying around and not stored safely."

Bending the rules

"Many passengers we come across don't realize that we have strict policies and procedures to follow on every flight," Brisson says. "As crew members, we don't make our own rules, we just enforce them." For example, items such as pillows, blankets, first class snacks and fresh meals, by strict company policy, are for first class passengers only. "Passengers are always testing us to see if we can break the rules for them but it might end up costing us our job."

Snapping for their attention

Flight attendants are not your personal servers; you're on a plane, and they are there to make sure you have a comfortable flight, not wait on you hand and foot. Don't be rude and snap your fingers to get their attention. Simply wait for them to come through the aisle and politely address any questions or concerns.