What Annoys Flight Attendants Most… – Live and Let’s Fly

What Annoys Flight Attendants Most... - Live and Let's Fly

As the face of the airline, flight attendants can make or break a flight and can greatly influence the way an airline is viewed. One bad apple can lead a passenger to discard the entire airline. But while so much emphasis is put on evaluating flight attendant service, let’s explore the issue of onboard interaction from the other side today. What annoys flight attendants most about their passengers?

What Annoys Flight Attendants Most

Jay Roberts is a flight attendant for Emirates and runs a Facebook page called A Fly Guy’s Crew Network. He posed the question to flight attendants and received hundreds of responses. Roberts began the discussion by offering his own take:

“The main thing that a passenger can do to start out on the wrong foot is avoid eye contact or ignoring a basic greeting when I say hello to them. Besides being rude, it disrespects the crew’s role as safety professionals. If that plane is on fire and needs to be evacuated, I’m going to risk my life and stay behind to make sure you get off safely. Or if you get sick I’m going be by your side, doing everything I can to save your life, and you can’t even acknowledge I’m standing here saying hello to you?”

Ok. I passed the first test. I always look flight attendants in the eye and greet them with a smile as I board. How about you? (and let me add here that on many occasions, flight attendants cannot be bothered to smile at the door or hand out wipes without looking away from their galley conversation).

There’s more. Other gripes include:

“When someone changes their kids diaper on the tray table then hands me the dirty diapers.”

Yep, that’s nasty.

“When you’re collecting blankets, headphones etc and they start piling huge bags of rubbish on top they’ve collected during the flight and had 15 hours to dispose of themselves, like seriously my hands aren’t full enough for you.”

Maybe you lobby your airline not to make you collect the headphones and blankets? Are people really that bad that if you don’t collect them they will collect them in thier bags and take them home?

“Passengers watching you serve an entire cabin before deciding the best time to go to the toilet is when you reach them!”

Sometimes nature calls at the worst possible time.

“Not telling me how they drink their coffee, but at Starbucks they tell them what kind of cow milk they want!”

I totally agree with this. When I order coffee on a plane, it is always specific. Why do so many people just say coffee and make then the flight attendant ask how they take it?

“Opening the overhead bin during the flight to take out something, and not closing it.”

Agree…but come on, give me a moment. I was on a KLM flight recently and opened the overhead bin to get out my charging cord. Before I could even put the bag back a flight attendant came running over and shut the bin, scolding me for leaving it open. Give it a rest…

“Ask for pens for landing cards! Yes sir, I do have a pen, and no you may not borrow it.”

Lol. Landing cards are so last century. I wish we could just jettison them all.

“When they tap or touch me to get my attention!”

I don’t touch people unless invited.

“Come on the plane on the phone on speaker. Or a video chat. NO ONE wants to hear your conversation.”

Indeed. This one unifies flight attendants and other passengers and would be my top gripe as well.

And of course my personal favorite:

“Bringing a half-dead, blind-in-one-eye Chihuahua and slapping a ‘Service Dog’ vest on it and looking at me like “I dare you to say something.’”

I wish more flight attendants would speak up…but they cannot. Time to close the loophole (again).


I like this list. I think flight attendants can be so annoying sometimes by just listlessly going through the motions, but we don’t always appreciate what they have to go through on a daily basis, sometimes several times per day. So let’s do our part to not only hold flight attendants to high standards, but reciprocate with kind and courteous behavior ourselves.

image: Etihad

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