i am always in awe of people who work in customer service jobs. The public can be so darned awkward and I am amazed how customer facing people put up with us. i certainly don't envy flight attendants who can be locked in a confined space with jane public for hours on end. The next time you fly, please remember the flight attendants are there to help your flight as comfortable and as pleasant as can be. Now, thanks to tips shared by real flight attendants to seventeen.com, here's how you can help them to help you:
There's limited space on an airplane, and if your bag doesn't fit, we will do our best to find a space for it. Getting upset with us when everyone is trying to find a space for their bag isn't going to make the process go any faster.
You make it awkward for everyone if you see an open seat in first class and think it's OK to sit there. We're going to have to ask you to move, and everyone is going to watch as it happens, and you will have to walk back to your actual seat in shame.
Don't make us come to your seat and fight with you to put your laptop away. It's the rules that you have to put away large electronics. We're not there to interrupt your work, especially because you were told in advance that you need to put that away.
We're not telling you what to do in case of an emergency for the fun of it. Our job is to make sure that if something does happen, we can get everyone to safety as quickly as possible. Give us that respect and take your headphones out — for less than five minutes — to hear what we have to say.
Boarding is an extremely chaotic time. We're trying to get everyone in their correct seats, find space in overhead bins, and then close all of the overhead bins, so we can close the airplane door and leave the gate. We also don't start getting paid until the aircraft door is shut, so we would appreciate if you bring a water bottle or wait until things get settled to ask us.
We will refill your drink or answer your question, but there's no need to be rude or to invade our personal space. If you think we skipped your row when taking drink orders, we didn't. We bring the cart a few rows past you to take more orders at once.
Do not come on the plane and expect us to have a fully-stocked bar and five types of coffee. If you come on a plane asking for two shots of Patron or a double macchiato, you're probably going to be disappointed. And if you are, please don't flip out on us.
It can get really annoying when you have a row of three people, and each one says, "What?" when you ask them for their drink order because they still had on their headphones.
We will try to accommodate dietary restrictions like being gluten- or dairy-free, but we might not have everything you need. Sometimes food runs out, or the plane is switched out last minute and your special food isn't on put on the plane. It's always best to bring something with you that you can eat, just in case we don't have something for you. And if you didn't request a special meal in advance, don't expect us to have your vegan or gluten-free option – we're not a Whole Foods.
We know how often they clean the bathroom floor, which is close to never. That liquid you see on the ground? It's not water. Please wear your shoes into the bathroom.
The tray tables are rarely cleaned, if ever. People eat, sleep, and work on those tables, and changing your baby's diaper on it is extremely unsanitary, especially for everyone who uses the table after you. We get that it can be easier to do it there but please use the provided changing tables.
We don't want to touch your or your child's bodily functions. Throw it out when we come around with a trash bag.
We totally understand the need to take medication, but mixing it with alcohol can have really intense side effects. You might do some things you normally wouldn't, like fight with other passengers, take off your clothes, or wander around the plane like a zombie.
You don't want to be that person who gets stopped at the gate or kicked off the plane before takeoff because you're too drunk to fly. This also goes for when the plane is in the air. Oxygen levels are lower during a flight than on the ground, which can make it more difficult to metabolize those few glasses of wine. You might know your limits with alcohol at the bar but the conditions are different in the air.
You're not allowed to smoke on planes, but some people think it's OK to take a puff of their electronic cigarette once the plane has landed and we're taxiing back to the gate, despite the fact that e-cigs are also prohibited on airplanes. If we see smoke in the cabin, we have to prepare for the fact that it's dangerous, inform the captain, and possibly prepare to evacuate as soon as possible. So save everyone the panic and keep your e-cig in your pocket.
You'd be surprised at how often we see this. We get that it's your "right" to watch or read what you want, but it's really inappropriate to be looking at that when anyone, especially children, could walk past and see it. Have a little respect for your seatmate and those around you.
Our main goal is to keep you safe. We're not just here to serve drinks and throw away your trash. We're trained in how to evacuate the plane, how to respond in a medical emergency, how to de-escalate situations; we're not trying to make your life harder by telling you to put away your laptop or keep your seatbelt on. We're there to keep everyone safe and make sure you have comfortable flight, and we hope passengers can respect that.
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