Do People Really Say These Things You Should Never Say to a Flight Attendant?

et me start off by saying that I have the utmost respect and admiration for flight attendants. I do not treat them like they are merely waitresses in the sky. I am polite and courteous to them. Through weeks of intense training and refresher sessions, they are required to be knowledgeable about many aspects of commercial airline travel — including but not limited to safety protocols for passengers as well as members of the flight crew, policies imposed by government regulations, rules imposed by the airline, and customer service.

There are some flight attendants who seem to have lost their passion for the job. Perhaps they are “burned out.” Maybe they had a rough day with a passenger. Could it be that they are not compensated enough? Who knows? Certainly not me, as I am not a flight attendant — nor have I ever pretended to be one, even though I have a fledgling acting career on the side…

…but this article — as a response to this article titled Things You Should Never Say to a Flight Attendant (Unless You Want to Make Her Mad) written by Jordanna Lippe of Yahoo! Travel — is for those flight attendants who seem to have less of a desire that their colleagues to do whatever they can to help the passengers better enjoy what should be a pleasant flight.

Without further ado, the subheads were written by Jordanna Lippe; but the commentary is mine:

“They let me do it on the last flight.”

I personally would never say this to you as a flight attendant; but if that statement was indeed true, then there may be a consistency problem amongst the flight attendants which should be addressed and resolved.

Do what on the last flight, by the way — join the mile-high club? Speaking of which…

“Want to join the mile high club?”

How as a flight attendant could you refuse such an offer? Don’t you dream about having spontaneous sex with a passenger in a cramped compartment of the airplane where there are many components which passengers would not want to touch with their bare skin — such as the urine-puddled floor, the exposed toilet with blue liquid, the clogged sink filled with water which is not potable, the counter lined with used tissues and paper towels as the spout from the liquid soap presses into your back, and that inexplicable smear of slimy yellow something on the mirror? Extra points for you if you are fortunate enough to attract an aroused passenger with a beer gut, extreme halitosis, unbrushed teeth, body odor, scaly feet, uncontrollable flatulence and hair all over his — or worse, her — body. Oooh, baby babeh!!!

“Smile!”

After imagining the aforementioned mile-high club scenario, I do not see how you can smile.

Seriously: smiles are infectious and free of charge. It will not hurt you to do so — unless you have some seriously scary dental problems…

“I need to use the restroom before we take off.”

Although it is not often, I have been known to use the lavatory during boarding — especially when I have not been able to use a toilet in several hours. You know the deal — the line to the lavatory is long for the duration of the previous flight and still has three people waiting when the fasten seat belt indicator is illuminated before sitting in a holding pattern for at least an hour prior to descent and landing; and then slowly touring the entire airport until the aircraft is finally assigned an open gate. Next comes mad rush time, as there are only two minutes to get from Gate 1 in Concourse A to Gate 473 in Concourse Y, which is 17 miles from each other. Yeah — when I finally get on the airplane, I just might need to use the lavatory — especially when I am sitting in a window seat and my seat mates have not boarded yet, as I attempt to not disturb them.

By the way, I am pretty good at timing the lull in the boarding of passengers; and I have never knowingly caused a delay of the boarding process.

Now, I can control myself and wait if necessary; but some of the people mentioned in this article apparently cannot. If you encounter one of those people, which would you rather have: him or her use the lavatory during boarding — or a disgusting mess to clean up?

I know which I would choose if I were a flight attendant…

“I can make it fit.”

Are we talking about the mile high club yet again?

Actually, I have had a few encounters with flight attendants pertaining to my bag which I always carry aboard an airplane over the years during which I have been traveling; and it always fits — yes, even in the smallest overhead bins on regional jet aircraft — and all of these encounters were before airlines started charging a fee for the first bag to be checked.

Now, as to those passengers who think that they can just shove their hard trunks which can fit three elephants in them under the seat in front of them…

“Can you watch my baby?”

I cannot blame you on this question rattling you, as you are not a babysitter. Never during my stints of Road Warrior training at the world headquarters of Delta Air Lines did I once hear any instructions pertaining to watching a baby. Getting passengers out of the airplane in case of an emergency: yes. Serving a meal to passengers the proper way: yes. Watching a baby: no. Wah.

“Is that your natural hair color?”

I can understand why this question would cause you to flip your wig. Too bad you cannot ask the passenger if that question is indicative of his or her intelligence quotient without having your employment terminated.

By the way: how old are you?

“Can I give you this dirty diaper?”

It would be more than enough of an embarrassment if I were so incontinent that I needed to wear a diaper — let alone give it to you after I have used it.

“I have Ebola.”

Hey! Let me go! You did not let me finish my sentence! I was going to say that “I have a bowl of fresh fruit to give to you” as a present to help you smile; but you interrupted me at “I have a bowl o—” and called the police on me.

Besides — would you rather I give you a fresh bowl of fruit than a dirty diaper?

Summary

I know that you have a tough job as a flight attendant — one where you can have inconvenient schedules after enduring weeks of intensive training and where you are required to know and remember the equivalent of an encyclopedia full of information; and the pay may not be all that great — but it is the profession you chose; and as with any profession, you are inevitably going to encounter people who will try your patience and probably should not be traveling in the first place. We as passengers can be just as impatient with them as you. You also probably hear some of the stupidest questions you have ever heard. I get that…

…but there are many colleagues of yours who smile through the entire ordeal and treat the other customers with courtesy and respect while remaining professional. If they can do it, you can do it as well. After all, you know those passengers will eventually exit the airplane after several hours.

Also — not that this is an excuse by any means whatsoever — but there is also the possibility that the customer is in a foul mood because of a fellow flight attendant…

…but if it helps, know that there are passengers like me who appreciate the hard work you perform every working day — and hopefully knowing that we are thankful for what you do for us will at least be enough to put a smile on your face…

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