More Things Your Flight Attendant Won’t Tell You
Flight attendants reveal their pet peeves and share travel etiquette tips.
1. Do not poke or grab me.
I mean it. No one likes to be poked, but it’s even worse on the plane because you’re sitting down and we’re not, so it’s usually in a very personal area. You would never grab a waitress if you wanted ketchup or a fork, would you?
2. We’re not just being lazy.
Our rules really say we aren’t allowed to lift your luggage into the overhead bin for you, though we can “assist.”
3. Is it that difficult to say hello and goodbye?
We say it 300 times on every flight, and only about 40 people respond.
4. I don’t care if you want to be in the mile-high club, keep your clothes on.
Who decided the mile-high club was something that everyone wants to do anyway? It’s cramped and dirty in those bathrooms.
5. If you hear us paging for a doctor or see us running around with oxygen, defibrillators and first aid kits, that’s not the right time to ask for a blanket or a Diet Coke.
6. The only place you are allowed to pee on the airplane is in the lavatory. Period.
7. Don’t ask us if it’s okay to use the lavatories on the ground.
The answer is always yes. Do you think what goes into the toilet just dumps out onto the tarmac?
8. You really expect me to take your soggy Kleenex?
Or your kid’s fully loaded diaper? I’ll be right back with gloves. Flight attendants always pack these essentials in the winter.
9. Sure, I don’t mind waiting while you scour the seatback pocket and the floor for candy wrappers and other garbage, then place them in my bag one by one. I only have 150 other passengers to serve.
10. I’m sorry it’s taking forever to get you a wheelchair, but that’s one thing you can’t blame the airline for. The wheelchair service is subcontracted to the cities we fly into, and it’s obviously not a top priority for many of them.
–Additional reporting by John Clark
Sources: Longtime flight attendant, Los Angeles; John Safkow, a San Francisco–based flight attendant and creator of marthastewardess.com; and flight attendant Betty Thesky, author of Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase.