Flight attendants are supposed to be polite and courteous but that doesn’t stop some from being rude or out of pocket. These frequent fliers share the messed-up things they’ve heard from a flight attendant.
Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover
What Airline Does This?
‘She said it to me. I was on a 90-minute flight and near the back of the plane when a service cart began its run also from the back. I had just finished a big project and was in the mood for a drink.
I ordered a Bloody Mary from the FA and she said that will be $8. I pulled out my card and she started telling me in a voice you may talk to a 4-year-old with: ‘We don’t take cards. Only big planes take cards. This is a small plane (a Boeing 737?) we only take cash.’
The conversation went a little like this:
Me: ‘Um, okay mommy. Here is a 10. That’s all I have’.
Her: ‘I don’t carry change’.
‘Really?’ I said ‘You can bring me change later when you are done ‘.
Her: ‘No. I can’t take the chance I will not have change and I will have to pay for your drink!’
Me: You personally?’
Me: ‘I don’t really believe that. It must get pretty expensive for you in first class’.
Her: ‘I’m not buying your drink’.
Me: ‘Sorry you work for such a bad airline (PSA) that will not allow you to carry change and makes you pay for drinks’.
Her: ‘This is a wonderful airline. I love my job’.
Me: ‘Yeah sounds like it. Alright, just forget the drink’.
40 minutes later she comes back after serving everyone and says to me (4 years old I am again)
Her: ‘I have change now if you want your drink’.
Me: ‘I guess you couldn’t just come back when you first got $2 change but the flight is almost over now and the moment for me is passed. I don’t want to get into an argument with you and get arrested as I’m sure you would but I think you are rude and unprofessional and do a disservice to your airline,’ I reply.
She prances off. After leaving, three other passengers came to me and said good I told her off and they never have seen someone as rude as her.
She wasn’t upfront to be seen when the captain and crew were saying their goodbyes or I would have more to say. I just left. So several days later my company books me another flight. Same airline. Thank God she wasn’t aboard I was way in the back near the smelly toilets and FA there smells them too. He apologized for the smell and handed me two airplane bottles. Free! Not another word was spoken. And I noticed he had a big wad of change when he started his run!”
Dying In Polyester
“My entire immediate family was in first class on a DC10 flying from San Francisco to NYC. My dad was the captain of the plane. It was his retirement flight. Back then airline pilots had to retire at 60 and the airline let them take whichever trip they wanted (within reason) and bring their family.
Immediately after take-off we started hearing very loud bangs and feeling the effect of those bangs under the nose of the plane. A long series of events took place, pretty scary, culminating in my dad announcing that we would be returning to San Francisco and making an emergency landing. Everyone braced themselves and the flight attendants strapped into the jump seats on the bulkhead.
At the final approach, as we saw the fire and emergency trucks rushing alongside us, one flight attendant screamed, ‘I don’t want to die in polyester!’ It was actually kind of funny and broke the tension, although she was terrified and deadly serious.
My dad expertly landed the plane with no incident. We looked in amazement at the plane; the nose gear was twisted around to a 90-degree angle. No idea how the plane didn’t spin out of control and end up in a fiery ball upon landing. We got on another plane and flew home. No details of the incident were ever made public.
And the flight attendant didn’t die in polyester.”
Patience is a Virtue!
“In 1964, after a week of partying and sightseeing in Oahu on my transfer back to the states, it was time to catch my next flight, which turned out to be a civilian contract Douglas DC-8 operated by Trans Caribbean Airways, which would take me to San Francisco International, and I would then get over to Travis AFB for a military hop home. Since it was a contract civilian airline booking, it was a huge step up from the C-121 I had been on from Japan to Wake Island to Hawaii. I’m sure the C-121 was the slowest plane in existence.
I had to travel in dress uniform, and I was the only military man aboard the flight, so I was assigned the center seat in the last row on the starboard side. I really needed to hit the head before we left, but I arrived so late that I had to board immediately, and there was no time before departure. I figured I would just wait till we were at cruising altitude, and go to the bathroom then. Well, a stewardess who was deadheading home to San Francisco plopped down in the aisle seat next to me, stretched out her legs, and was fast asleep in about 60 seconds.
I didn’t want to disturb the deadheading stewardess, because I had overheard her telling the other stews how exhausted she was from a long overseas trip, so I figured I’d let her sleep for a while, and go when she woke up. It was the first civilian jetliner I had ever been on, and it was great having a nice seat, dinner service, etc. But the deadheading stewardess didn’t even wake up during dinner! There was no way I could get out without waking her, so I waited and waited, but she didn’t wake up until we began our approach into San Francisco. When she woke up I leaped out of my seat, stepped over her legs, and went to the head, even though we were now supposed to remain seated.
When I came back and sat down, she turned to me and said, ‘You had to go all that time didn’t you?’ I admitted I did, and she asked, ‘Why didn’t you just wake me up?’ I told her I had overheard her telling the other stewardesses how tired she was when we first boarded, so I just toughed it out rather than wake her. She said that was the nicest thing a passenger had ever done for her and wanted to know if I had plans in San Francisco. I told her no, that I was just going to get over to Travis AFB and catch a hop from their home to L.A., as I had a delay en route to Offutt AFB, Nebraska, and didn’t have to be there for a couple of weeks.
When we arrived in San Francisco, the stewardess insisted on taking me to dinner, then home to her five-bedroom apartment that she shared with four other stewardesses. She introduced me around and made a big deal out of my consideration for her during the flight. They all insisted I stay a few days there, as there was always an empty bedroom because at any given time at least one of them was on a trip.
They said they would show me around town and take me over to Travis AFB when I was ready to leave. They were all very nice girls and treated me like a king. It was a wonderful welcome back to the states, and it lasted four or five days, until I felt it was time to go back to the real world before I wore out my welcome. They took me to Travis AFB so I could catch a hop home, and said I would always be welcome at their place. All because I crossed my legs for four or five hours during the flight from Honolulu!”
This Is How You DON’T Treat A Passenger
“It was an American Airlines flight out of a regional airport which provides service to a major international airport. The aircraft was small, about 30 passengers, three seats per row with five seats across the back row. Seats are selected by passengers when tickets are purchased, so you know where you’re going to sit (front, back, window, aisle.) Except, not exactly. Once you board and sit down, the flight attendant (there’s just one) starts moving people around, I guess based on size(?) but I’m not sure. It’s an hour-long flight into DFW, you go up, then down a few minutes later; the flight itself is faster than it takes to taxi to the gate upon landing.
Anyway, one passenger boarded with a plaster cast from his toes to his hip. He was on crutches, not in a wheelchair. Poor guy had actually climbed steps to board because the jet bridge wasn’t working. He hobbled to the center seat in the back row and sat down, holding his crutches (which will not fit in the overhead ‘glovebox.’ ) This was the only seat that would accommodate a full cast since his leg was totally immobilized. No one else was seated on that row.
Our ‘lovely’ flight attendant started railing on him about his crutches and that he could have to check them, and then took them from him. She then set about rearranging all of us. She decided he needed to switch seats with a passenger in a single-seat mid-cabin. With no crutches, it was understandably difficult for him to maneuver to the seat, but not fast enough for the flight attendant.
Once he sat down, she then told him he would need to get his leg out of the aisle. When he couldn’t comply with that request, she grudgingly (with attitude) ‘reassigned’ him to the back row, but not in the middle. She simply could not understand that he couldn’t bend his leg. The flight wasn’t full, and another passenger on the back row said she would move to the next seat and he could sit where he was ordered and put his leg up across the other empty seats. People were starting to grumble, the plane began to back away so I guess the cranky attendant gave up.
I don’t know what her problem was, but it was a bad one, she was determined to take it out on that poor guy! Once we were in the air, it was announced there would be no beverage service due to turbulence (the usual type) so we didn’t have to deal with her the rest of the flight. Once we did land and deplaned, I saw a wheelchair on the jet bridge. I hope he got his crutches back from that crazy woman.”
Robin The Witch
“In 1989 I flew with this girl who was an evil witch. It was on a flight that had been very bumpy with mild turbulence. This was from PIT to LAX (guess the airline). The pilots kept the seatbelt sign-on. Several passengers were ignoring the seatbelt signs and using the bathrooms. As flight attendants we cannot force passengers to obey the signs….but we are required by law to remind them. But Robin went further! She was yelling at passengers calling them foolish and risky! Finally, she grabbed the PA mic and made this announcement. (Swear to God this is true),
‘Ladies and Gentlemen, federal law requires all passengers to observe all lighted passenger signs and crew member instructions. Federal law provides for a personal fine of up to $2,000 for disobeying a flight attendant’s instructions. So, the captain has the seatbelt sign-on, and for those of you who insist on coming back here to use the lavatory had better bring YOUR CHECKBOOK!’
I gasped as did half the plane. I dove for Robins’s hand and tore that mic from her witchy fingers and told her to shut up and stay off the PA the rest of the trip.
About 30 minutes later, a pregnant woman I had been talking to during boarding had her face to the window and was shaking. I reached over touching her shoulder. ‘Ma’am, are you okay?’ She just shook her head. ‘Ma’am, would you look at me and tell me what’s wrong?’
She turned, makeup running down her face, sobbing. I was surprised and asked what was wrong. She looked at me and cried out, ‘I am pregnant and my bladder hurts so bad…I have to pee’
‘Oh my God ma’am let me help you up,’ I said. ‘Why haven’t you gone?’
I helped her out of her row. She looked at Robin standing in the aft galley, pointed at her, and sobbed, ‘SHE WON’T LET ME!’ Robin had her arms crossed in defiance, ‘She said if I took my seatbelt off I would kill my baby’
I looked at Robin, and that’s when I decided that some people are truly evil. I waited for the passenger and when she came out of the lavatory, I walked her back to her seat.
Robin was the devil!”
The FA Tried To Get Them Kicked Off The Flight For That?
“Many years ago, I was flying home from Seattle to San Jose, California with my son, who, at the time was about 4, maybe 5 years old. For reasons I do not recall, he had thrown a tantrum while in the airport and cried for a good solid 20 minutes or so.
I was a frequent flyer at the time and so we had gotten upgraded to first class. He took the window seat and I had the aisle. This was on Alaska Airlines. We were still in the boarding phase at this point when the flight attendant came by.
She saw his red eyes and she immediately became rude.
‘He has pink eye,’ she said.
‘No,’ I said, he was just crying, that’s all.’
She gave me a dismissive grunt.
‘I have a little boy and pink eye was going around in his preschool. I don’t think you should be on this plane. I’m going to have to talk to the pilot.’
‘No,’ I said, ‘it’s really not. He really was just crying.’
Of course, my son was listening to the whole conversation and trying to shrink in his seat to avoid any more scrutiny.
‘Well,’ said the attendant, ‘I’m not going to be able to serve you, then.’
Now, as I noted, I was a frequent flyer. And one thing I learned over the years was that you do not want to engage in an argument with a flight attendant or any member of the flight staff for that matter. And, given my son was still upset over whatever he had been crying about and was now embarrassed, and that she had threatened to throw us off the flight, I saw no reasons to make his situation any worse.
And so I negotiated, as politely as I could, to have her serve his drink and snacks (this was just a two-hour flight) to my tray table and that I would hand it to him.
We got off the flight and I took her name and immediately filed a complaint with Alaska Air. Not sure if it did any good, but I had to try.”
“You Smoked In The Toilet!”
“This happened in 1994, on my first ever trip to the US. It was very high pressure, 5-day official trip; I was returning to India from Buffalo, NY.
I was booked on a small turbo-prop plane flying into JFK, New York, where I was to catch an international flight to India. It is the smallest plane I ever flew in; just one seat on one side of the aisle, and two on the other. Probably only 30 seats in all. We had a lone cabin attendant, a tall pretty white girl. I don’t remember the name of the airline.
I was clearly the most down-at-heel passenger on the plane with my shabby jacket & cheap hand luggage. This was probably why I got what I got.
As I recall, the attendant served a snack & drink soon after our plane took off. I didn’t get any! When I tried to get her attention, she just ignored me. I chickened out after a couple of attempts.
About an hour into the flight I realized that my bladder was uncomfortably full. I made my way to the only (of course) toilet & opened the door.
I was shocked to see that the toilet was chock full of all manner of stuff, dumped every which way! There was a lot of stuff piled on the toilet itself. It was clear that the toilet was being used as a (very unkempt) storeroom. But given the urgency of my need, I couldn’t just give up; I tried to shift the stuff on the toilet, but quickly realized the impossibility of it. I sheepishly returned to my seat after a few minutes.
As soon as I sat down, the attendant came, half-kneeled so that her head was level with mine, stared into my eyes sternly, and said loudly:
‘You smoked in the toilet.’
Nearly half the passengers were now looking at us. I was shocked, but replied ‘No.’
She held the stare, raised her voice, and repeated:
‘You smoked in the toilet!’
By now everyone was looking at us. I instinctively realized that unless I held my ground, this may not end well for me. So I also raised my voice a little & replied, ‘No!’
She was not done yet. She raised her voice further, now almost shouting :
‘You smoked in the toilet!’
I replied in the same tone, ‘No I didn’t!’
She stood up and stormed off into the cockpit, slamming the door behind her.
I was by now pretty shaken. I was almost certain they would detain me. I knew I would be in a big soup if that happened. My cheap return ticket was valid only for the airline & the flight. I had maybe 50 USD on me.
I looked around the cabin and realized that everyone was avoiding eye contact – they didn’t want to get involved. Only the Chinese-looking guy across the aisle met my eyes – and he looked pretty dubious! It was clear that my innocence would be pretty difficult to prove!
Soon the cockpit door opened & the attendant marched out.
She went straight to the back & remained out of sight for the rest of the flight.
I gradually began to relax. The enemy seemed to have lost the battle!
Surely enough, when the flight landed at JFK there was no welcoming party with handcuffs. I was one of the first passengers to get off the plane!
Much later, I was told that people never used the toilets on small planes on short-haul flights in the US by convention, as toilets were used as storerooms on these flights because of lack of space. If this was/is true then it explains the attendant’s suspicion!”
“Well That Was Nasty.”
“On a flight from Stuttgart to Budapest on the now-defunct MALEV (the Hungarian national airline), a flight attendant re-seated me from the cabin-door seat I was in to an aisle seat so that a man with a full-leg cast could sit there. I did not mind that one bit. When she came back, she noticed I still had my carry-on bag in my lap, and said, ‘Put your bag away. Now.’
I asked, ‘I will, but I was wondering if I could move to one of the empty window seats once we are in the air?’
She turned red and glared, then said, ‘No, you cannot do that, you must sit where I have seated you,’ she said. ‘This is Hungarian economy class, not first-class USA. Now shut up and put your bag away, we will be taking off soon.’
The woman next to me commented, ‘Well, that was nasty.’
I put my bag away and said to my neighbor, ‘I would bet she is on the last leg of what must have been a rotten week of flights, so… whatever. We all have bad days.’
About 20 minutes later, I got up to use the restroom and found the FA in the rear cabin, crying and holding her face. I knew it was probably not the best idea, but I asked if she was okay (in Hungarian).
‘No,’ she said. ‘I am not okay.’
She apologized and, in Hungarian, explained that her father had passed and the airline had insisted she show up for work on the day of his funeral. She had been on duty for three days since then, was relatively junior and given standby in Munich on top of that, and would be landing in Budapest then immediately returning to Germany.
On top of all of that, she had a married supervisor who was constantly harassing her via schedule and work conditions for not sleeping with him. This latest was, in her view, his way of upping the pressure.
All of that just poured out of her while I listened. I instantly forgave her rude tone from before. But that was the only time I have had truly rude treatment.”
Denise Has Stories Alright
“She was good at her job and I liked her, but one instance I will never forget. Let’s just call her Denise which was not her real name.
Our flight crew had all shared a long and difficult day with weather delays and passenger problems. We finally landed late, nearing midnight in Moline, IL. Our layover hotel was across the Mississippi River over in Davenport IA, so it was a longer van ride than usual to the hotel.
Being tired after a long and tiring day, our van conversation was unusually sparse…until Denise spoke up wondering which we thought of her two boyfriends she should favor. The rest of us could hardly care and did not reply.
With no answers, Denise started to describe in graphic detail how each of these two men performed in bed, and what she loved, liked, and didn’t like between them. And I mean, in very graphic detail
The rest of our crew barely listened to her erotic exploits, and I could not believe she was sharing all this with us… although I admit one or two of her bits did get my attention. Then, I looked up at our van driver.
The van driver was young, perhaps in his early to mid-20s. I noticed that he was listening intently, and hanging on to every word Denise was saying. He was wearing a stocking cap and glasses that reminded me of the Radar character from the Mash TV series.
As Denise continued with her highly descriptive sexploits, I could see Radar listening ever more intently. He started to hunch over and I could see him grabbing the steering wheel as hard as he could. What was going through his mind, I could not know. However, the next thing I knew, he drove off the Interstate highway and into a ditch! Thankfully, no one was hurt and we were able to back the van out of the ditch and continue to our hotel.
Over the years I would see Denise every once in a while, but I never flew with her again. However, I will never forget the night her steamy stories that drove us all into a ditch!”
“A Spirit flight attendant asked me where to pick up dudes!
She was pretty, petite, and very talkative. Kept going on and on to her partner that the only reason she became a flight attendant was to use Tinder in new cities. To put it bluntly, this girl was trying to get some. I couldn’t help but laugh a little bit.
The flight attendant spun around and looked at me for what felt like a full minute. Suddenly she was in my face, asking you live in Seattle right? You’re cute, can you tell me where to meet some guys?
I started laughing and rattled off some places—summer was in full swing, so Cal Anderson Park was a viable option—and she cuts me off to go grab her phone. I’d never seen a flight attendant use her phone in full view of passengers!
As I’m drawing her a map of downtown and Capitol Hill on a napkin, the gal begins to tell me about her exploits; I can hear her partner snickering in the back. And across the aisle a woman actually removes her headphones to snap at us.
Uh, excuse YOU? The flight attendant snaps before she turns and leans on my seat, effectively shoving her rear in this woman’s face.
She then proceeds to talk mad shit on this lady, within full earshot (even if she did have headphones) I was downplaying my role in this as best I could. Finally I handed her the napkin, wished her good luck, and reached for the book I’d been reading.
As the flight attendant starts back down the aisle, she stops, looks at me, and says, you know what! You’re a cool girl! Do you want a drink?
If you’ve ever flown Spirit you’re probably thinking, for free?! On Spirit you’re charged for the compressed air you breathe! Well at this point other passengers were straight-up staring so I just asked for a Diet Coke. Didn’t want to push my luck. My friend comes back with five cans.
She probably didn’t hold that job, but I hope she at least got laid.”