Flying isn't particularly fun for anyone. Yes, it's super cool being above the clouds, the idea of flying itself is awesome, but the reality of being on a plane is less than stellar.
However, that doesn't give anyone the right to act like an entitled brat; everyone else is dealing with the same crappy situation.
Reddit user glittercorpse asked:
Not As Sneaky As You Thought
Every so often we get the odd straggler who boards last who finds a vacant seat in first or business thinking that we won't know that they are from coach.
>excuse me sir may I see your boarding pass.... sorry your seat is 58A not 1A
>but i'm so tall, I need the leg room.
Don't Be This Guy
Former flight attendant here.
I remember flying into SFO and going through the final walkthrough-asking everyone to wake up, buckle up, headrests forward, tray tables up, and collect trash. Halfway through, the pilot said "Flight attendants, be seated immediately" which indicates a lot of upcoming turbulence. So I quickly started to trot through with my trash bag bag to my jump seat when an man yelled "HEY!" I was a few rows past him and he had hit cup and wetnap in his hand. I quickly said "I have to sit down" and turned back towards the back galley.
I then felt something hit me. I looked back and he had thrown his trash at me and was staring at me. I heard a few people gasp and everyone in the last eight rows or so was tuned in to the drama. I pick up the trash, walked over to his row, and said "I am sorry, I cannot take trash right now. The pilot has indicated that I need to sit down." and tossed the trash back on his lap.
He just kind of stared at me with a defiant look in his face and held out the trash again as if I was going to take it. I turned and left and I heard him yell a few more times but he didn't throw anything.
Pay For What You Want
Not one specific passenger but a type of behavior I've unfortunately seen too much of: Couple will book separate seats, the man in a premium economy seat with extra leg room, the woman in a normal economy seat. The woman will then play the sad sack and ask another passenger to give up their comfy seat so they can sit together. If the other passenger refuses (usually because they paid extra and literally don't fit in a regular seat), some will even complain to the crew to make them move the other passenger. And all this to save a few bucks on the second Premium seat.
EDIT: seeing as a lot people asked: no, crew don't move passengers because they're sitting next to someone else's spouse. And certainly not from a Premium Economy seat.
I once watched a very well-dressed businessman have an epic toddler-level tantrum at a check-in counter when he was advised his flight was delayed due to fog. He literally screamed and jumped up and down, and demanded that the the airline "better do something about it or ELSE!" The guy working behind the counter just smirked and suggested that business guy was welcome to go outside and try and flap the fog away with his arms. Entire queue burst out laughing.
There's A Good Reason
Flight Attendant: "Can you please open your blind all the way? It's regulation for landing."
Passenger: "No, I want it closed."
This goes on for a minute.
P is using his tone to assert that he refuses to open it.
FA speed-walks to the handset and her voice comes on over the PA
"Hello, ladies and gentlemen. We're going to play some trivia today! The question is, why do we keep the blinds open during takeoff and landing?"
And without letting anyone answer she jumps right into, "It's so we can all keep an eye on the outside of the plane for safety! \click\
This Is Why We Have Rules
I was on a plane where half the plane were ignoring the rules and stuff. When we touched down these people immediately got up walking around and started taking their bags out of the overheads.
Mind you, the plane hasn't parked it's just literally touched the floor of the landing strip so its still moving and it's dangerous for half the people on the plane to be f*cking around and even worse taking all their heavy bags down above every one else's heads.
The flight attendants are now desperately trying to get these people to sit down until the plane stops moving and some people were waving their hands at them dismissively.
I think the captain heard the commotion and the flight attendants half yelling because all of a sudden the plane did a VERY abrupt stop which knocked over all the people standing up and then continued to park. The flight attendant then said "This is EXACTLY why we have rules" lol
You Were Really Doing Her A Favor
I had someone have a meltdown because I had to have them properly stow their wedding dress. The thing was massive and spilling into the aisle, blocking seats of the entire row. They may have had to pay the hotel to get the wrinkles out but I likely saved them from shoe prints and beverage cart rollers going back and forth over it. Still she was in tears and I was not going to risk others safety including my own.
You Probably Want To Use That Again Later
My mom was a flight attendant in her 20s. Asked her for a story.
Her first week flying, there was a group of drunk men on the flight. At one point when returning to quiet them down again, one of the fellows had his wang out on full display for her in all its flaccid glory. She says to him very politely and a bit taken aback, "Why don't you put that away now?" and this drunken man flat out says to her, "Why don't you put it away for me?" with the most revolting smug smile on his face. My mom says (in her exact words), "I'd be happy to do that for you, but you'd never be able to use it again."
Seems like an r/thathappened, but my mom has always had the most ridiculous stories that always turn out to be true. I'll take her word for the story.
What's The Difference?
Currently on an airplane, and saw a man berate the flight attendant because they let employees of the airline board before the customers. He was so angry because he "paid for business select! They didn't pay for sh!t so why are they boarding before me!?"
Flight attendant responded with it's company policy, many are actually working and just need to get to the airport they'll be leaving from. And there's also only three on the flight so what's the big deal anyway? He continued to whine and complain to her for another 10 minutes or so. All because now there were only 140 seats to choose from instead of 143. Boohoo :-(
That's What Headphones Are For
I'm currently a flight attendant and on my very first flight I had a passenger complain to me that the man behind him was snoring too loudly.
Putting on my best customer service smile I offered to move the complainer, who very aggressively told me that he'd paid for his seat and he wasn't moving, yelling loudly enough that he woke the snoring guy in the process. I wish I'd had a first class seat available to move the snoring guy just to spite the a**hole complainer but there were only other economy seats available so I just told the complainer that he could continue yelling at me or he could accept my offer of a different seat, but that was all I could do for him.
I ended up giving the snorer free drinks for the rest of the flight.
late to the game here, but I am a flight attendant for a major airline, have been with current airline for 7 years. I gotta say - over those years, my "weirdo" radar has gotten considerably more lenient.
you get a lot of run of the mill odd balls, or just people from different cultures who have different ways of doing things.
there is one person who sticks out in my mind as being absolutely a nutball. she was traveling with her ~8 year old daughter. to this woman everything was the end of the world. out of a certain drink? oh god how will I go on! the straw that broke the camels back was when our wifi was down momentarily and she got in my face screaming at me (we had two hours left until landing, and it was an overnight flight so she was definitely disturbing other passengers who were just trying to sleep) about how her life was ruined and it was all my fault the wifi was down.
her daughter started crying because the mom was being obviously psycho and the moms response was to slap her daughter, turn to me and threaten to have me fired. while she was screaming that I was going to "never have a job again" she started poking my shoulder. if there's one thing you don't do on an airplane, it's touch the flight attendant especially in an aggressive manner. from then on we straight up ignored her, and told her only to ring her call button if there was a medical emergency.
we got to our destination, had the cops meet her just to escort her out of the airport so she didn't stick around to yell at us any more. she decided not to go quietly. SHE SLAPPED THE COP ACROSS HIS FACE and from then on it was out of my hands.
mostly I just felt bad for the daughter.
There was an elderly couple on board and the flight was completely full. They were sitting next to each other and the wife demanded another seat because when her husband falls asleep he will put his head against her shoulder. Since this was an intercontinental flight this was unacceptable. Nobody was willing to change seats and eventually the couple got so verbally agressive they had to be taken of the aircraft by the Dutch military police.
Those demanding upgrades to a higher-than-originally-ticketed cabin because "I know so-and-so"
I don't pull this crap and my mom is a current airline employee. You can actually get the employee in a ton of trouble and even cause them to be fired by acting out like this and name dropping.
To be fair, once that plane pushes back I'm on the phone getting us to the front of the line and once we're airborne we're getting a hell of a shortcut. Everybody wins.
Edit: I can also remove most delays :)
That's Just Part Of The Experience
Not a flight attendant but on my most recent flight, a lady across from me complained to the flight attendant because the flight was taking too long...
My girlfriend's mom is a flight attendant. One time a woman got quite angry because her daughter spilled apple juice all over and there was not a clothes dryer on the plane for her daughters sweater.
Not an attendant but was on a flight with really bad turbulence. It went on for about 10 minutes then the old lady next to me reaches up and presses her button. Attendant walks over to see if the woman is okay, the woman begins to yell at the attendant for the rough flight and that she's been flying her whole life and clearly the pilot has no idea what he's doing. The stewardess just walked away.
Not a flight attendant, but I have a story about a pair of super entitled passengers.
My husband has cerebral palsy and uses crutches to walk. We'd had a miserable trip, filled with people who harassed us or made clumsy, painful attempts to "help" (including a guy who saw my husband sitting on the beach, screamed "Be a man, get up!" and tried to haul him up by his armpits). We were tired and just beaten down. We boarded our flight home and my husband stashed his crutches in the overhead bin.
Two minutes later, a flight attendant screeches, "Excuse me, what are you doing?!" We hadn't noticed, but the couple in the seat behind us had stolen his crutches and were hiding them behind their seats! The woman replied that she needed more room for her bags and didn't want them touching "those disgusting things that touched the ground."
I swear, that flight attendant looked like she was going to murder them. We watched, silent and wide-eyed, as this motherf*cking angel of the metal tube in the sky advanced upon the crutch thieves like a bird of prey diving for a rabbit. They were saying things like, they shouldn't have to sit next to us, it's not their fault my husband needs crutches, the airplane will be responsible if their luggage is dirtied by our crutches...
And I'm sure they continued to complain on their next flight, because they were kicked off! :)
That's How You Do It
Not an attendant but once got stranded at Newark for 22 hours(!) after our flight had an unfixable fault and was cancelled late at night. We got put up in a hotel but understandably by the time the new flight rolled around (earliest they could fit in a new flight) everyone was quite tired and agitated.
As we are waiting to board the new flight the flight attendant announces they would be boarding people with additional needs and families with young children first, followed by first class, then premium economy etc etc. All pretty standard stuff, obviously it can take a bit longer for people in wheelchairs to board so makes sense for them to go on first - it's common on most airlines I believe.
Anyway this business dude races to the front of the crowd and starts yelling at the attendant, saying it was already DISGUSTING that he had lost a day due to their INCOMPETENCE and now he had to WAIT even longer despite being a first class passenger and paying $$ every year to fly with them!!
The worst part is he's looking at others in the crowd to back him up, like it's perfectly reasonable to scream at this woman who like us had also been stranded and had most likely had very little sleep, and was doing her best to do her job in this difficult situation.
But she was awesome, without missing a beat she smiled and nodded and said ok sir, then made a big point of leaning into her mic and telling the waiting line of people in wheelchairs and mothers with babies that this gentleman needed to board before them and could they please wait.
Literally every single person at the gate is looking at this guy with disgust as he tries to backtrack and say he doesn't mind waiting for the first group, but the attendant says no no you made yourself quite clear - let's get you boarded, the others will have to wait. He is humiliated as he sheepishly walks by. She handled it perfectly.
What Part Of "Engine Failure" Did You Not Understand?
I was a kid flying out to Utah to start my teen tour. About halfway through the flight (departing out of NY) the captain got on the speaker to announce an engine had failed and we needed to make an emergency landing in Chicago. Needless to say, we got a little concerned.
Except for one passenger, who stormed up to the flight attendant and explained she was a nanny and needed to get to Utah to attend to the children she took care of. I'm not exactly sure what she was hoping, that the pilot, upon hearing that a babysitter was on board would risk the lives of everyone to fly us all through, or that the flight attendant would be so moved by this story that she would climb out on the wing and repair the engine mid-flight.
Alas, there was no emergency jet pack to give this passenger to blast away from the plane to get to Utah on time, and she was told to sit down.
Sometimes People Suck
Was on a Vegas to Boston flight when a passenger passed away in his sleep. The whole situation was heartbreaking and the flight attendants were clearly shaken. We stopped in NY for emergency personnel to attend to him. The whole process was very quick and and the pilot and staff handled it like champs. Just as we were about to take off a guy in the front row asks the attendant if we would all get free drinks due to the inconvenience. I've never wanted to yell at a stranger so much in my life.
The next day I get an email from the airline with a fifty dollar voucher to apologize. I didn't want it nor expect it and wondered if it happened because some jackass complained about the diversion. I did tweet the airline to compliment the staff (didn't say what the situation was - just the flight number - i figured they'd figure it out) on their handling of the situation - they deserved it.