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The Traveller's Magazine
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What are the most annoying things a passenger could do during a flight? Being a flight attendant is a hard job, you’ve got to wear a smile, make the best of every situation and care for the needs of hundreds of passengers… 10,000 metres in the air. Like any job there are good days and bad days. One airline stewardess describes a good day like a 5-star hotel in Bangkok or winning at Black Jack in Las Vegas. A bad day means emergency landings, 12 hour-long delays and endlessly annoying passengers. What is it that really drives flight attendants up the wall? These are without a doubt the most intolerable things a passenger could do. Tip: if you don’t want your drink stirred with a high heel… pay attention!

1. Complaining

Just because you paid for your airline ticket doesn’t give you the right to complain about every single thing possible. Of course airline stewardesses have witty and sarcastic come-backs to all of these complaints, but they are masters in restraint and keep smiling and move along. Some prime examples include:

  • ‘My seat is too small.’
  • ‘The tea tastes weird.’
  • ‘The flight is delayed.’
  • ‘The aeroplane interior is ugly.’

2. Paging excessively

You know that small button on your armrest that magically summons a smiling flight attendant, ready to meet your every need? It is to be used moderately, not like some video game controller. On most flights there is a 1/50 ratio, meaning for every fifty passengers, there is one flight attendant. Instead of treating the luxury like room service, get up and head to the galley to ask for what you need. Stretch your legs, it’s good for you!

3. “This is not a restaurant and I am not your waitress”

airline catering

Some passengers fail to realise that they are not in a restaurant when the flight attendants come around with piping hot trays of mass-produced food that looks like something out of a high school cafeteria. When the stewardess asks you, “beef or chicken” and you really want fish, forget it. There is no fish option and there is no magic kitchen behind the curtain. If you’d like a special meal, request it. Airlines usually require 48-72 hours notice before departure.

4. In-flight phone calls, a “no-no”

You know when all passengers are asked to turn off their mobile phones for the duration of the flight, that means you too. Somehow there is always one or two passengers that think they are above this rule and have to make one last call after the plane has left the gate. When it’s time to take off, believe it or not, pilots aren’t chit chatting about the last film they saw. They’re trying to hear what the control tower is telling them and when to go ahead. Mobile phone signals make it harder than it already is to hear the “all clear.”

5. Bring your kid? Be a parent

Flight attendants are not babysitters. Some parents take advantage of the opportunity ofDon’t just leave your kids to run rampant while you catch some shut eye or watch a film. Stewardesses already have 50 adults to babysit, let alone a dozen kids. Parents, if you plan to travel with your infants and small children, bring the appropriate supplies to care for them. Did you know that the liquid law is more flexible for mothers and that enough baby formula for the flight is acceptable to bring in your carry-on luggage.

6. Heavy luggage

If you can drag your bag from your bedroom, down the stairs to your car or taxi and then through the airport and to the gate, chances are you can also put it up in the overhead compartment. Flight attendants are not required to help passengers load their bags as they are not compensated for injuries which may be cause as a result of these extra tasks that fall out of their job description. Solution? Pack lighter and check at home that you can lift your back on your own above your head.

What’s the most annoying thing you’ve seen a passenger doing? Flight attendants aren’t the only ones annoyed on planes, check out the 10 most annoying things people do on planes.

Imgs: Barbie: mauren / food: fukagawa / phone: ewige, Flickr cc.

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