10 things not to do mid-flight to make the crew’s job easier

Flight attendants’ work is disrupted by the behavior of several passengers (Shutterstock)

Traveling by plane can be a rewarding experience, but at the same time it can also become a bit stressful between so many canceled or delayed flights, and as a consequence of the long lines to board the plane. But despite the stress that passengers often show, there are many people who work against the clock so that they can have a pleasant trip. These are the members of the crew, who fly hundreds of flights a year and must deal with countless situations in various cities around the world.

In an article published this Sunday, the travel medium Travel + Leisure shared a list of 10 things not to do or ask flight attendants mid-flight.

“The work is much more than providing a service on board. We are, first and foremost, security professionals and we are trained to handle emergency situations that can occur at any time during a flight”, explained Andy, current member of the crew of a major airline, to that medium. “When something happens 36,000 feet (10,900 meters) above the ground, we are the first to respond.”

“At the end of the day, it all comes down to the golden rule. If you show me a little respect, I’ll be more than happy to go the extra mile for you and make your flight as enjoyable as possible.”

Next, 10 tips on what not to do on a flight.

TOUCHING A CREW MEMBER WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT

As it is “law” not to touch a person without their consent on earth, the same is true when one is in heaven.

“Don’t touch us. Stop touching us. Don’t touch me or touch or move your fingers on my arm. I have a tag with my name on it. ‘Ma’am’ and ‘excuse me’ also work very well”, explained a flight attendant.

“At the end of the day, it all comes down to the golden rule.  If you show me a little respect, I'll be more than happy to go the extra mile for you and make your flight as enjoyable as possible.
“At the end of the day, it all comes down to the golden rule. If you show me a little respect, I’ll be more than happy to go the extra mile for you and make your flight as enjoyable as possible.” REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

“We appreciate when people use their words, and shoving and shaking objects like trash in our faces is beyond annoying and rude,” added another.

ASK FOR WATER IMMEDIATELY AFTER BOARDING

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to travel, boarding is known to be chaotic for both passengers and aircraft crew. Make sure that everything is ready before takeoff, accommodate everyone in their seats and provide security measures.

“Ask for water to take a pill during boarding,” shared one crew member as their biggest pet peeve. “Why didn’t you take the pill while you were waiting in the gate area? There are abundant water fountains and bottled water for sale at the airport.”

While another added: “If you need to take medication, be prepared and get a bottle or drink water before you get on board. People don’t realize that we only have a few minutes for everyone to sit down and buckle up so we can close boarding.”

USING THE BATHROOM AT AN WRONG TIME

All crew staff urge passengers not to use the bathroom at the time they board the plane.

Flight attendants are people too and should be treated with respect.
Flight attendants are people too and should be treated with respect.

“I can’t stand it when passengers get up to go to the bathroom as soon as we’re handing out drinks,” added a flight attendant. “It’s hard to carry the tray as it is, let alone balance it on someone’s head as they try to squeeze past me to get back to their seat.”

PRESS THE CALL BELL EVERY 2 MINUTES

Buttons to ask for assistance, use them sparingly.

“If we’ve just taken off and the seatbelt sign is still on, we’ll take off [pronto]. wait five minutes”, said a member of the crew. “And if we’ve just finished serving, or if you can see we’re serving a few rows behind you, just wait a minute.”

ASK A CREW MEMBER TO BE YOUR PERSONAL CONNECT CONCIERGE

Making sure you make it to a connecting flight is certainly an important task, but don’t expect the crew to know all the details of every flight arriving and departing from the airport.

“Finding out that the flight is delayed and immediately expecting [los asistentes de vuelo] know about your connection,” a crew member shared about the passenger behavior that bothers them the most. “We find out about the delay when the passengers do and we can’t control the connections.”

“When I’m moving through the aisles doing my job and a passenger is standing there to use the facilities or stretch their legs, don’t act like I’m bothering you when I ask to go through,” said a flight attendant. “I am doing my work in my workspace.” (Getty Images)

DEMAND A MEAL AFTER SERVICE IS COMPLETE

If you slept through your meal time or didn’t feel like eating at that particular time, it should be noted that you may not be able to get your food later. “We have about 300 passengers here. Why not behave like everyone else?” asked a flight attendant.

NEED HELP WITH THE BAG THAT IS CLEARLY TOO HEAVY

“We don’t get paid, so if we’re injured on the job, we don’t get workers’ compensation because technically we’re not working yet,” one crew member noted. “In addition, many [asistentes de vuelo] rotator cuff tears and other problems from repeated heavy lifting.”

STRETCH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HALLWAY

Try not to stretch in the hallway. Some flights are long and some people feel the need to stretch. Keep in mind that flight attendants need that space to provide them with good service.

“When I’m moving through the aisles doing my job and a passenger is standing there to use the facilities or stretch their legs, don’t act like I’m bothering you when I ask to go through,” said a flight attendant. “I am doing my work in my workspace.”

FILING THE NAILS

This one applies to flight attendants as well as to all other passengers: “Cutting or filing your fingernails and toenails is on the list of passenger annoyances.”

Stewardesses help passengers during the flight.  REUTERS/Erol Dogrudogan
Stewardesses help passengers during the flight. REUTERS/Erol Dogrudogan

DO NOT SAY THANKS

The next time you step off a plane, salute the crew for their service and say a simple “thank you.” “Thanking the pilot as he disembarked and ignoring me or not even looking at me, what an insult,” shared a flight attendant.

Another crew member added: “Without acknowledging or looking each other in the eye, without saying please and thank you. We are people too. Please treat us with respect.”

KEEP READING:

Twenty years at 9,000 meters: a flight attendant answers readers’ questions
Goodbye to skirts and high heels: a Ukrainian airline announced that its stewardesses will wear comfortable pants and sneakers

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