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Crew members are not passengers’ servants. Flight attendants know a lot more about the plane, the flight and what’s going on in the air in general than you can imagine. They are there to help travelers, sure, but that's not their only task.
Flight attendants have a tremendous amount of information on how you may be able to avoid baggage fees and likely have some tips on how you can be treated like a celebrity. But you won’t benefit from any of that information if you engage in certain behaviors.
Stewards and stewardesses are there to make sure you have a comfortable experience, not to wait on you hand and foot, so stop giving them a hard time. If you purchased a ticket in coach, stop trying to sneak into business class; don’t argue with them, and yes, you must turn off your phone during takeoff and landing.
Most importantly, you should just simply quit being rude. Also would it kill you to look up from your phone and pay attention during the safety demonstration?
Crew members can take a lot from passengers but there are just certain things that may drive your flight attendant crazy. These are just some examples as told by flight attendants with over 14 years of experience.
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1. Galley yoga
“We realize that the standard airplane seat is definitely not designed for comfort, as you are extremely cramped in these tiny airplane seats for hours, but we do ask this: Please do not invade our space in the galley to do stretches/exercises or what we call ‘Galley Yoga’ when you need to get up and stretch your legs,” Lia Volpe, flight attendant and owner of Flight Attendant Prep Academy, says.
“We are trying our very best to complete the beverage service for 100-plus passengers or more on the flight. Don’t do the Downward Dog pose on the kitchen area floor. I have had actual passengers stretch on the airplane floor with their head touching the filthy surface. If you knew what was on the airplane floors, you would never do a yoga pose on the plane again.”
2. Not a “hookup” spot
“Compliments are nice, and who doesn’t like a nice compliment here or there, but getting picked up on while you are working is neither flattering nor going to help upgrade you to First Class,” Volpe says. “I once had a passenger put his business card on my beverage cart as I was passing by so that I would be able to contact him when we landed. We probably have worked four to five flights that day and have been on our feet for hours. We are exhausted and tired. All we are looking for at the end of the day is a nice shower and comfortable hotel bed — not a date.”
3. "It’s your job!"
Kindness can go a long way, so flight attendants always notice when passengers come onboard and immediately seem to have an attitude. For example, there may be a full flight where the overhead bins will fill up rather quickly, forcing the later boarding passengers to check their bags.
“However, coming on board and demanding us to find a place for your bag, shoving it towards us stating ‘it’s your job’ will not sit well with your flight attendant,” Volpe says. “Little did you know that we could have gate checked your bag to be picked up plane side, but instead we are going to check it to your final destination and bring you a tag.”
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4. May I have your attention please?
Flight attendants realize you may have important people to talk to, but when they tell you to turn off all electronics, discontinue phone calls and put your cell phone on airplane mode, you should do it.
“We can see you hiding it from us as we pass through the cabin with our final compliance check.” This is especially targeted for the exit row passengers as the plane cannot take off until the exit row is briefed, Volpe says. “I once had to wait for a passenger to finish his five minute conversation on the phone before I could start my exit row briefing announcement. This announcement is required before the main cabin door can be closed and performed on every flight.”
5. This is not a trash can
Flight attendants come down the aisle more than a few times asking for trash. “So when we find trash in the seat pockets, it frustrates us more than anything,” Volpe says.
Leaving parting gifts such as chewing gum, banana peels, wet tissues and things that do not belong in the seat pocket is always irritating.” Take these items out of your seat pocket in front of you and kindly throw it in the trash bag as crew members pass through the cabin.