What Do Airline Flight Attendants Really Think of Passengers? A blog discussing how flight attendants feel about passengers and their behavior.


On the heels of the “Dress Code for Passengers” article published in the Shanghai Daily (see earlier post), another story was published on what airline flight attendants really feel about passengers.

I’m not sure why articles like these are fueled by a need to vent. While some of these points may be valid, others are exaggerated and generalized. Even though I am considered an expert on flight attendants, I would never attempt to speak for all of them.

Every single day, there are hundreds of thousands of airline employees who do their job with a smile and professionalism. That includes the flight attendants and other crew members you encounter in-flight. But don’t mistake their smiles as false or phony. It comes with the territory when you are working in the service industry. What they really want to say is probably not what they will tell you because it would be downright rude and unprofessional.

It reminds me of when I was a flight attendant and my friend who worked for Continental Airlines gave me a copy of “Welcome Aboard: Confessions of a Flight Attendant” written by a former Continental employee named Mark Jordon. It was one of those books that made me laugh out loud but at the same time made me cringe because

There is one question that I get asked nearly every time I speak to someone about my job as a flight attendant.

“What do you think about passengers?”

It’s usually not stated so bluntly, but that is the question everyone asks. “Passengers” generally means, “Passengers who are rude or mean.” The truth is, I spend very little of my day thinking about passengers, and when I do it is usually for positive reasons. However, when I do think about passengers in a negative way, here are some common questions that I wonder:

How many times have you heard the phrase, “I hope they don’t serve peanuts on this flight?” For those who cannot eat peanuts due to allergies or just don’t like them, this is an innocent and even funny comment. But it really makes me wonder how many people actually think of the food as a punishment? Do people really think we are serving them food because we want to torture them? Or that we purposely chose to serve something they don’t like?

I’ve had more than one passenger ask me what the point of pre-boarding is if the plane isn’t going anywhere. Some people seem to think that they are being cheated out of flying if they have to sit at the gate for ten

The flight attendant was very nice and even thanked me for my politeness. She then proceeded to tell me that she’d been a flight attendant for over 10 years and had never seen someone with so much carry-on luggage. When I asked her why it mattered as long as I got it in the overhead, she paused and said, “I’ve just never seen it before. It’s like you’re a smuggler or something.”

As someone who travels about once a month, I see plenty of passengers trying to make the most of their bags. In fact, on my last flight down to Orlando I watched as three people tried to cram their bags into the same bin space, but they still managed to fit them in…barely.

Then there are those who sit in your row and ask if they can put their bag in the overhead right above you before they even say hello. It’s always followed by me saying yes because I know how bad it is when you have to gate check your bag and I don’t want that headache either.

When it comes to carry-on luggage whether it be one or two bags, we all want the same thing: to fit our stuff overhead

Wow, where do I start? So many things that annoy me about passengers. It’s one thing to be a first-time flyer, but it’s another to act like you’ve never been on an airplane before. For example, how you open the overhead bin or close the window shade. There are signs and safety demonstrations for a reason.

I’d rather they be honest than ask “Is this your first time flying?” and I say yes, then they look at me like I’m less than dirt. The condescending tone is what really gets to me.

My favorite part of my job is taking care of children who are flying alone and making their travel experience comfortable. The most annoying passenger for me is the one who doesn’t understand the concept of personal space on an airplane.

It’s not hard, I do it everyday. It’s all about attitude. I think the most important thing is to have a sense of humor and try to keep things in perspective. Nothing ever goes as planned and you have to be able to roll with the punches.

If you have a bad day, remember that it’s just a job and this is only temporary. When you are having a really bad day, go home and hug your kids. And never take your frustrations out on your coworkers.

The hardest part is dealing with people who play dirty (like spitting food at you, farting on you, yelling at you, etc.). It’s even harder when you’re flying with an inexperienced crew or when everyone on board is in a bad mood. Then there are times when the plane has a mechanical problem and we’re stuck somewhere for hours or even days. You just have to keep smiling and stay calm.

I’ve been in the air for 24 hours, and already I’m writing a blog post. So I’m pretty much over the moon (no pun intended) to be flying internationally again! The last time I flew internationally was back in March when I took a trip to Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand. Since then, I’ve only flown domestically because of my limited vacation time and the cost of flying internationally. But now that summer is here and I have 10 days off work, I decided to fly to Moscow, Russia.

I haven’t flown Aeroflot before, but from what I’ve read about them online, they’re a very good airline. They were rated


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.