5 Things Passengers Do That Secretly Annoy Flight Attendants


(Image credit: Who What Wear)

There are more than a few hard-and-fast rules to abide by while soaring 40,000 feet above sea level in an airplane. But there's also an unspoken code of conduct that all passengers are expected to honour both in the air and on the ground—it's the same code that keeps you from commandeering a subway pole or scarfing down a bacon egg and cheese on a packed 8 a.m train. While one could simply call this "human decency," one flight attendant's account of what can really go down on a plane will surprise you. Susan Brown, a flight attendant with experience flying Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad, aired her grievances with passenger behavior on a recent Quora thread. According to Brown, this is exactly what annoys the airplane crew, as originally reported by Business Insider.

Dining With Your Chair Reclined

"I've lost count how many times I had to tell passengers to put their seat up when being served their meals. It's such rude behaviour to do this when it is meal time. Imagine the person sitting behind you trying to eat their meal having the tray table literally on their [stomach]."

Public Displays of Affection

"Do they not understand they are on an aircraft with 100 to 300 other people? Some even make noises, and we have to go and tell them kindly to keep the noise down because they are disturbing other passengers."

Not Putting on Shoes to Go to the Bathroom

"At least put some socks on. On many flights, we give complimentary amenity kits that include socks. Do they know how dirty/disgusting the aircraft floors are? Obviously not."

Asking For Too Many Freebies

"When I give soda can number five to a passenger and he/she keeps asking for more. All this during a four-hour flight. How many cans of soda can a person drink during such a short flight?"

Disturbing Crew Members During Mealtime

"When we finally have [a] few moments to ourselves to eat something back in the [kitchen] and a passenger comes and ask for 100 things. If you see a crew eating, please just say, 'Sorry to disturb you. I will come back later.' If it isn't anything urgent, let the crew have five minutes to themselves."

Freelance Contributor

Kelsey Clark is a freelance writer and content strategist based in Detroit. She got her start in editorial in New York City as MyDomaine's lifestyle editor and has since gone full-time freelance. She now contributes to Who What Wear, THE/THIRTY, Domino, Glamour, The Zoe Report, Apartment Therapy, and more, in addition to working with brands such as Bloomscape and EyeSwoon on content strategy and copywriting. She's written about fashion, interior design, health and wellness, pop culture, food, travel, politics, and professional development, but she'd consider the first three verticals her main "beats." She's also incredibly passionate about mental health awareness and hopes to help eradicate the social stigma through storytelling and education. When she's not writing, you can find her scouring thrift stores for Levi's 501s, picking up a new vintage piece for her apartment, or exploring new restaurants and bars across Detroit.