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Cultural Nuances Of The U.S. & Italy

Things That Annoy a Flight Attendant

Trained on how to interact with passengers professionally

Flight attendants are a critical component of the aircrew. They are at the center of interactions with passengers, making them part of the airline’s frontline employees. Their interactions with the passengers impact customer perceptions regarding the company. Therefore, flight attendants do all they can to represent their organization in the best way possible. Flight attendants are trained on how to interact with passengers professionally. However, they often encounter passengers with different demeanors, which might affect their relations. This article is based on the interview with some Delta and United Airlines flight attendants, where we asked them about the most annoying things passengers do on planes.

Much more to the job than providing an in-flight service

Firstly, the flight attendants highlighted that there is much more to the job than providing an in-flight service. They noted that they are, first and foremost, safety professionals trained to handle emergencies that may occur during a flight. So, they are the first responders when something happens a thousand feet above the ground.

Things that annoy the flight attendants

The flight attendants noted what annoyed them the most about the passengers on the plane. They noted that some passengers ask for something or use the lavatory immediately upon boarding. Some passengers need assistance with a bag that is too heavy, yet this is not part of the duties of flight attendants. While passengers have the right to request assistance when a need arises, it was noted that some constantly press the call bell. Flight attendants also encounter passengers who demand items not provided on a plane. Such items include chopsticks, diapers for kids, and other items not stocked on the plane.

Inflight meals

Observation of mealtime is also an area of concern, with the flight attendants complaining that some passengers demand a meal after service is complete. This is the case with demanding coffee or tea, with some passengers asking for sugar or cream after being served. The cabin has limited space with some common areas for all in the plane. Concerning this, the attendants said they found stretching or doing Yoga in the galley or the middle of the aisle annoying.

A passenger’s failure to make a decision when requested is also an area of concern. For instance, when we ask: Chicken or Pasta? And passenger comes up with a “what do you have?” or “what do you recommend?” annoys them. Some passengers’ behavior also hinders communication. For instance, they do not take their earphones off when talking to them. Some passengers would also demand a gluten-free meal onboard instead of selecting a special meal ahead of time. Flight attendants list the juices available to aid passengers’ decisions. However, they were concerned that sometimes they list the juices they have, but passengers demand just for a non-mentioned one that is missing. Flight attendants are usually not interested in the passengers’ personal life.


However, some reveal too much when making a request. For example, when passengers ask for water for pills to intake, there is no need to explain why. They should just ask for water. While comfort is essential, the attendants found it annoying when passengers placed their feet on the wall or in front seats. They are also annoyed with passengers touching them to get their attention or snapping fingers to call them.

Lastly, some passengers stand up and get ready to get off while the plane is still taxing.


Respect and kindness to the flight attendants

After noting the things passengers do that annoy them, the flight attendants also stated that if shown a little respect, they will be happy to go the extra mile and make passengers’ flights as enjoyable as possible. They added that they are people, too. So, the next time passengers’ travels are delayed or do not go as planned, they should come to talk to the flight attendants. They probably have been in a similar situation and can try to help the best they can. A little kindness can go a long way. The attendants concluded by noting the importance of being courteous. According to them, “please” and “thank you” are much appreciated.

The current summary of the interview with the flight attendants does not mention their names, only to protect their privacy.

-Severino Ricci

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