5 Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Flight Attendant 

Don't tell this to a flight attendant

Passengers will say the cringiest things to flight attendants and think it’s cute or something. It isn’t. In fact, some of the thing’s passengers say can be really insensitive and rude but they don’t even realize it.

Even though I could fill a book with the dumb stuff passengers have said to me. Here is a list of the top five insane, hurtful, and just downright annoying things that have come out of passenger’s mouths in my presence.

If you want to stay on our good sides, you really shouldn’t ask or tell flight attendants, ever.

#5: “The flight attendant on my last flight let me…”

Grown adults whining, “the flight attendant on my last flight let me [insert stupid thing here],” is one of the most annoying things a passenger can say to a flight attendant.

Especially since passengers claim other flight attendants have let them get away with the wildest things. For example this one mom who looked me dead in the eyes and said, “The flight attendant on our last flight let our son urinate into an empty water bottle in the galley because he’s afraid of the lavatories, can he do that now too?”

Um… that’s going to be a “no” from me lady!

Look, I don’t care what you got away with on your last flight, or any other flight for that matter, I don’t want to get fired for letting you violate an FAA regulation.

#4: “The gate agent said…”

If I had a penny for every time a passenger lied about something a “gate agent said,” I wouldn’t have to work another day in my life.

I’ve heard it all:

  • “The gate agent said I could have a free cocktail.”
  • “The gate agent said you’d move people so me and my five adult children can sit together.”
  • “The gate agent said I could sit in this open seat in first class.”
  • “The gate agent said I don’t actually have to stow my Channel bag.”

Y’all do realize we talk to the gate agents, right? So we know they don’t say these things to passengers.

Not only that, but gate agents are cross-trained with flight attendants to follow certain procedures around upgrades, seat re-arrangements, and bag management. In other words, if the gate agents have something to say to us, they will communicate directly with us and not through passengers.

Saying this to a flight attendant is a good way to end up on their naughty list for the rest of the flight. Just say “hi” instead and let us sort things out with the gate agents.

#3: “I can’t believe they’re making you work on this holiday!”

It’s the unironic audacity of this one for me.

“I can’t believe they’re making you work on New Year’s Day! Wouldn’t you rather be with your family?”

You don’t say! Why did you book a ticket to fly today then, hmm?

If you are tempted to say this to a flight attendant working on a holiday, try this instead.

“Thank you for sacrificing time at home with your family so we could travel today. It means a lot.”

#2: “I fly more than you.”

You don’t. I promise.

Unless you fly almost every-single-day, multiple times a day, you do not come even close to flying as much as flight attendants do.

99% of the time we hear this from business class passengers who want to impress us, manipulate us, or insinuate they know our jobs better than we do.

Saying this to a flight attendant is just a rude from of one-upmanship and it’ll probably get you dismissed. Conversation over. No longer interested in anything else you have to say.

#1: “You’re just a sky waitress.”

This one makes me see red because it is so clearly classist.

Let’s be absolutely clear about one thing. Flight attendants are never “just” sky waitresses, we are highly trained safety professionals. But some of us also have more social capital than our passengers.

Flight attendants come from all kinds of financial backgrounds. Some of us are doctors, lawyers, or professors, who just fly on the side for the thrill of it.

Not that it matters though, because we all deserve basic respect regardless of our backgrounds. So be respectful and don’t say something like this to your flight attendants.

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