Flight Attendants Share The Absolute Worst Things Passengers Do

Flying can be enjoyable as you watch the world below shrink as you ascend above the clouds. It can also be difficult and a fair test of one's patience. If this writer has any flight advice it would be one—even though it looks appetizing don't eat the airport sushi during a layover.

Two—please keep your shoes on—the rest of us, including the attendants, can indeed feel our noses burning. They have to deal with enough during the flights, let's not add olfactory assault to the list. But seriously... leave the sushi alone, grab a nice-made pretzel instead.


“Flight Attendants and/or Pilots of Reddit, what are some things passengers do that get on your nerves?

Flight attendants jumped on this question ready to dish on their biggest pet peeves and worst experiences.


Leaving a ridiculous amount of garbage behind. Last week I had a grown a** couple spit huge globs of gum onto the floor and then step on it to try to rub it in. Like seriously? Why? And getting up to use the bathroom when we're already descending."


Keep it in your pants ya’ll...

Flying Las Vegas GIF by IFCGiphy

As a former FA—Don't try to join the mile high club. Just, stop."

“Don't have sex in the bathrooms y'all. No, you aren't being very quiet and yes we will know and depending on the airline policy we'll also have to politely ask you to knock it off and keep it in your pants."

“Not to mention the obvious - airplane lavs are ridiculously tiny, to the point where once on one long haul we had to make an emergency landing because a large couple couldn't get out of the lav they had shoved themselves into once they were done."

“I'll add that this is THE grossest place to possibly want to do the deed, as lavs NEVER GET DEEP-CLEANED, EVER (between same-day legs)"

“I know what your hand motions mean and I will have to come over and shut it down, especially because in most cases there are families with kids sitting behind or near you."


15 years in...

“Former flight attendant here... 15 years I've seen it all! (and sorry for the formatting, on mobile)

  1. Walking throughout the aircraft barefoot. Especially into the toilets... Those floors are not as clean as you think they are!
  2. People who talk to us and treat us like scum. And yes, we'll provide better service to the ones who are nice or think of them first when a whole row is free and they need to lie down and sleep during an 11hr flight.
  3. Parents that don't watch their kids during the flight. The aircraft isn't childproof and there's a surprising amount of things they can injure themselves on.
  4. Passengers who do aircraft yoga during the service. By all means, if lights are off and it's quiet go ahead, but if there's a buzz of activity near the galley then maybe wait a while.
  5. Speaking of which, assuming the galley is free for all. Sometimes we don't get provided crew food for work and bring our own. If we're busy attending to a call bell and can't finish out snack or whatever... It's not for you to just grab and eat... At least ask first!
  6. Complaining about how rough the flight was. I've had some cuss out the flight deck about their abilities because the aircraft hit wake turbulence... If you can magically see wake turbulence on a tiny monitor and think you can do a better job then join a flight academy, pay several thousand dollars for the training and certification and do it yourself..."

"I left Aviation in August (because of you-know-what) but that's just what I can recall from the top of my head..."

"If you'd love to really show appreciation for your flight crew, particularly when many are so close to redundancy, a complement really makes a difference. A 15 min email to the Service Delivery department of the airline you flew with praising the crew who went above or beyond on your flight can do wonders for their career progression. I do it for service staff all the time at restaurants and the hotels we stayed at, and having them remember you after months or years due to your comments is simply priceless."


*screams in sarcasm*

baggage claim kramer GIF by HULUGiphy

Did you know that the closer you stand to the baggage claim carousel, the faster your bag arrives? It's science. Look it up.

Warp speed for the ones that let their kids on the carousel!"


​You’re going to want a buffer.

​“If you are booking a connecting flight and the connection times are 30min or 2 hours. Pick the 2 hour connection. I can't stand passengers who get all upset when they miss their connecting flight because they booked themselves a 30min connection."

“Your stressful travel day will be a little less stressful knowing you have a buffer. If you happen to land on time or even early, sit down at a restaurant, go for a walk, people watch, find your next flight's gate and watch a movie there, etc."


People Explain The Worst Thing That's Ever Happened To Them On Their Birthday

​Repeat after me: Keep your hands to yourself!

Poking or grabbing at me to get my attention!! And it's usually on my @ss as it's eye level with most people haha. But for real DON'T poke people! Especially if I am speaking to another passenger."

“I can see you waving at me I'm not going to interrupt my assisting someone else because you want me to take your trash, just give me a second and I'll come to you next. I promise can hear you if you say 'excuse me!' Or 'Miss!' Or even wave a little in my direction. There's just no need to touch people or grab at them."

“Once I was so irritated at someone's incessant poking, I turned, looked them in the eye and poke poke poked them right back and said, 'what do you need.'"

~ Dazey_chain

“Slip me a twenty instead...”

Turn Up Money GIF by Joel ByarsGiphy

“Stop expecting free alcohol because you handed me a three dollar bag of candy you bought in the airport. I'm a grown *ss man. You didn't make my day by giving me a Hershey's kiss. Slip me a twenty instead. I'll give you an open bar the rest of the flight.“


“If you are nice I am happy to walk the extra mile for you.”

​“Gosh where to start. I'd say one of the most irritating and annoying thing is when people ignore or fight our instructions concerning safety regulations. I do not enjoy telling you that you can't have your bag in an exit row, that you need to put your important laptop away for takeoff and landing and that you should stay seated when the seatbelt sign is on. And no it is not negotiable. No reason to get insulting or treat us like sh*t."

Drunken behaviour. When you start getting aggressive for not getting anymore booze, we know it's the right call. It is neither fun for us or the people sitting in your vicinity. From harassment, cussing, aggressive behavior, throwing up, or loud terrible singing/howling on a long-haul night flight. Same for medications taken with alcohol."

"If you are nice I am happy to walk the extra mile for you. Having a free seat next to you, a drink I don't have in my cart atm, extra snacks, etc. But being an @ss for things I can't change won't help anyone. Yes, I do see you are flying with an infant and I would love to give you a whole seat row but the flight is fully booked."

"You have a certain allergy and can't eat any of the foods offered and have not ordered a special meal before flight? We have only the foods onboard which were loaded and I can't create or order any mid-flight."

"The bar carts are heavy and the airplane has basically always an incline angle. Please move out of the way and go use the restroom before we are blocking your way."

"Feet in the isles during night flights. The cabin lights are dimmed and i do understand your need for stretching your legs but it is a trip hazard for us. There have been colleagues which broke bones for tripping over feet and legs in the dark."

The list doesn’t end there...

Parents which let their kids do whatever they want. I almost had to cancel a takeoff once because a toddler was crawling in the isle just because mom said he won't sit still shortly before takeoff. Disregarding that on takeoff roll he could have gotten severely injured."

And please bring everything you need for your kids. Diapers, food, milk. We have some items to help you out when you run out but not to supply everything for infants for the entire flight. And tray tables and seats are not changing tables. Gross. Please use the ones in the restrooms."

And yes i cringe seeing ppl run around barefoot especially near/in restrooms. I sometimes can't understand what happened in there but its gross. And well I bet in almost every aircraft are restrooms where someone couldn't make it to it in time and vomitted right in front of it."

"You are a guest on board. A very valued guest. But please behave as such. You have passenger bins and your seat area. Don't open other cabinets or lockers. Don't help yourself to anything which isn't obviously on display for you. And if in doubt ask first."

"We had passengers eating the homemade lunch of a colleague in Tupperware. Someone took a bite from a piece of cheese which my colleague already had a bite from and placed it back, etc

"All that said I have had as well super amazing passengers. A lot of laughs, people who forgave me for drenching them with sprite or redwine, offering help to me in certain situations, etc."

"Flying since 2012"


“I am not your grandchild, I am your captain.”

the princess bride cheek pinch GIFGiphy

“After a flight I usually stand by the flight deck and say good bye to the passengers as they exit. I get a lot of people that ask how old I am. That doesn't really bother me (I'll probably be sad when it stops), but please don't touch me as you are saying it. Seriously, strangers trying to pinch cheeks and pat my head. Lady, I'm not your grandchild, I'm your captain."


General advice? Listen to and be respectful to your flight attendants...and seriously stay out of the bathroom unless you need it—don't be the couple that needs to be peeled out of the loo.

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