Saying These Things Will Annoy Your Flight Attendant. Stop It Now.

“Where are we now?”

“So, what’s the delay all about?”

“How long is this flight going to take?”

Has it ever occurred to you that maybe your repeated questions are like squeaks of a crow to flight attendants?

Asking obvious questions that you can easily answer yourself is only the tip of the iceberg. There are innumerable other things that annoy flight attendants. And it all stems from rude and entitled passengers.

If our initial examples don’t seem too bad, there is much more where that came from. Here are 15 of the least appropriate questions and comments the cabin crew receives frequently. Avoid saying these to be a respectful, pleasant passenger.

1. “Free for a date later?”

Being free or not isn’t the issue; your audacity is. Asking out a stranger during and because of their job is problematic, to say the least. It is simply inappropriate to ask someone out on a date when they are doing their job.  

In fact, any kind of personal questions to flight attendants, including their relationship status, phone number, and so on, are off-limits. It can be perceived as harassment. So, cut it out unless you want to be reported or blacklisted.

2. “Help me get my bag up, will you?”

This is not a part of the cabin crew’s job description. Storing your bags under your seat is a better idea if you’re unable to heft it from the overhead bin yourself. 

If you can’t carry it, it’s not a “carryon”. So, pay the fee and check your bag in. And if you want to haul it up yourself, learn to pack lighter.

3. “On my last flight…”

Flight attendants know this trick like the back of their hands. It’s the same old ruse of pitting dad against mom.

The sentence usually goes like, “…they let me change seats”, “…my bags fit in the overhead bin”, “…they gave me free stuff”, “…I was allowed to smoke in the toilet”. The list continues.

If they treated you so well last time, why not get off this plane and fly over to that one? Not possible? Well, then you’ll have to put up with this flight’s rigorous rules as long as you’re onboard.

4. “Watch my kids, please”

Whether your young one is throwing a temper tantrum, or piercing everyone’s eardrums with their shrieks, it’s your responsibility to quiet them down. And you’ll get an earful from your fellow passengers if you don’t.

Flight attendants are not babysitters. Under no circumstance are you supposed to engage them in child management. This is among the top things that annoy flight attendants.

If you are unable to handle your baby on a flight or have no one to take care of them while you hit the loo, don’t fly with a baby at all. Every single person on the airplane will be grateful for it.

5. “So, what’s on the menu?”

This is not a restaurant. There are no chef’s specials. Flight attendants are not going to waste precious time rattling off the same list to anyone who asks.

All the food and drinks available onboard are listed in that nifty card in your seatback pocket. It’s called a menu card. Check it out before you ask this question. If a variety of menu options are a priority, you may want to spend the money on a first class ticket.

6. “Do you have something else I can eat?”

Whatever options the flight attendants tell you they have is all there is. Airplanes have a limited amount of space to carry snacks.

If you tend to be picky about your food, pack a meal before you board the flight.

7. “You there, fetch me…”

Yup, that’s what your repeated chiming of the call bell sounds like to flight attendants. They are not your personal butlers. Your wish is not their command.

If you need a bottle of water or want to ask another trivial question, walk up to the galley and ask them. They’ll be much happier to serve you if you come to them. Always do so politely, and with a smile.  

8. “Air hostess/stewardess”

These are archaic terms for flight cabin crewmembers that are no longer in use today. They are not appropriate to use, and could be construed as insulting.

Use gender-neutral terms like flight attendant or cabin crew. Or better yet, learn their names!

9. “Just one more minute, please”

Nope. Your texting and chatting can wait, airplane safety protocols cannot.

So, if your flight attendant asks you to put your phone on airplane mode, pay attention to the safety instructions, scoot back to your seat instead of hogging the aisle, or buckle your seatbelt, do it immediately. No questions or excuses.

10. “Clean this up”

If you make a mess on a plane, it’s your job to pick up after yourself. The cabin crew will do their best to give you opportunities to dispose of trash, but it is never their job to clean up your crumbs, spilled drink, dirty diaper, or airsickness bag.

11. “Why is this drink so expensive?”

Because drinking alcohol in the stratosphere is a luxury.

You’re not merely paying for the price of a drink. The bill factors in the fuel burnt to transport that drink across the Atlantic, energy consumed to keep it cool, and service charge of the person you’re ordering from, aka the flight attendant.

So yes, your alcohol is expensive, and you should keep that in mind before you order. Drinking water is an excellent alternative though, and it doesn’t come with the downsides of drinking on flights.

12. “Can you upgrade me to first class for free?”

Not happening. If all other passengers in first class have paid big bucks to get a seat up there, you are no exception.

Besides, requesting expensive stuff for free is one of the things that annoy flight attendants, and just about everyone else. If you can get a free upgrade to first class, why can’t the person sitting next to you get it as well? Ponder upon that.

13. “What if I miss my connection?”

What exactly do you expect the cabin crew to tell you in response to this question? No one can predict if you’ll miss your connection, and the flight attendant (who most likely has another flight to get to) won’t be able to offer any solutions.

Your best bet is to have travel insurance in place before your trip begins. A travel insurance policy can provide financial protection in cases of flight cancellations, flight delays, baggage loss, and a host of other benefits.

14. “May I have a massage?”

The price of your ticket buys you a seat on the aircraft, not the right to belittle others for personal favors. Asking anything even remotely resembling this is insulting at the least, and borders on harassment. Treat the cabin crew with respect, and you will receive respect in return.

15. “You look tired. Try to smile more.”

Would you appreciate if someone came to your place of work and said something like this? No? Neither do flight attendants. Remember, these are professionals doing their jobs. They may indeed be tired, or coming to the end of a long shift or trip. Regardless, keep personal comments such as this to yourself.

Be Respectful at All Times

Treating others with respect and decency is the only way to ensure it reverts to you. You might think that making obnoxious requests and spewing offensive remarks is alright since flight attendants are obligated to be polite, but you’re sorely mistaken.

The side-eyes and disgusted looks aside, there might be a world of difference in the behavior the rudest and most polite passenger receives on a flight. And you have to be on the polite side of the spectrum to experience that.

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