Please don't hand a flight attendant your kid's dirty diaper. 👇😬
If you love to travel and are close to embarking on a new journey, there are some things you may want to be aware of before boarding your next flight.
Narcity spoke to Anna*— a flight attendant of nearly 15 years who works for a major Canadian airline — and she was not afraid to let us know what some of the most common don'ts of onboard behaviour are.
So listen up and take these in before your next trip!
Don't take off your mask
This first piece of advice, which is key nowadays to having a smooth flight, is one that is currently federally regulated.
Once onboard it is mandated that your face mask (and no, a bandana does not count) must stay on for the entire flight.
"As flight crew, we're so exhausted about having to remind people," Anna said. She noted that they understand that it's easy to forget to put your mask back on after eating, but they often receive a lot of eye-rolls when asking passengers to put it back in place.
"Know that if it escalates, if we have to ask you so many times [...] it's now considered willful non-compliance," Anna explained. "It's like any situation where a flight attendant has asked you repeatedly, for safety."
Specifically, when it comes to masks, Anna said Transport Canada would get involved and noted that they have banned people from flying for six months to a year.
Don't sneak your own alcohol onboard
This one may seem obvious, but Anna explained that especially on flights heading to destinations like Mexico or Las Vegas, many people try to sneak on a drink or two.
"I mean, I get it, you're ready to party, but we are still responsible for you in the air," she said. "If you are drinking your own alcohol we will confiscate it."
She also noted that often it's the other passengers around those sneaking a drink that will let flight attendants know, simply by their facial expressions. "Other people around you know that you're drinking your own alcohol when you're sneaking it in. And we'll find it."
This scenario can either end with a warning or, if things escalate, local authorities may just be there to greet you when you get off the plane.
Do not poke a flight attendant
You may have wondered what exactly is the best way to get a flight attendant's attention while onboard and we can tell you that poking them is definitely not the way forward.
"One that flight attendants really don't like is we don't like to be poked. We get poked a lot," Anna said.
Anna explained that she understands that people are simply trying to get their attention but noted that it's still not the proper way to go about it.
"If I've gone right behind you and you've tried to get my attention and I can't see you, just ring that call button. I am so in tune because as soon as I hear that I look up."
Apparently, the location of armrests on plane seats means that passengers accidentally poke flight attendants in the butt pretty often, too. Yikes!
Don't forget about those around you
Anna admitted that while it doesn't happen as often, passengers should be aware of what they are watching and who is around them at all times.
She explained that while the content shown on airlines is generally family-friendly, passengers' ability to download anything they want via streaming services means there have been instances where she has spotted shows that contain nudity, for example.
"You might not have even realized, but there is actually a 5-year-old two rows ahead of you who's actually been asking his mom what that means," Anna said.
Generally speaking, Anna said if she notices a child watching something inappropriate she may suggest that the parents switch seats with their child and then she would likely give the passenger watching the show a heads up that a child is watching their content.
Don't hand your flight attendant a dirty diaper
Flying with kids can be tough, but there is still some etiquette that should be followed when it comes to your little one's bodily functions.
"When they have small children who require diaper changing, we go and talk to them if they're an infant, and we have to give a safety briefing. And a lot of us mention in that briefing that there is a changing table in the washrooms and to change the baby in there," Anna said.
While most parents do use the washroom, there are apparently some that will change the diaper right there on the seat.
"It's a very small washroom, there's not a lot of room [...] I get it. It's very confined in there," she admitted. "But changing the diaper on the seat, that's not OK."
She said that the worst part is when flight attendants go around to collect garbage and are handed a diaper, which parents say contains "just pee." Eek.
Don't wait to use the bathroom
Anna told Narcity that when asking her colleagues about their passenger horror stories, one of them shared an anecdote that involved someone waiting just a little too long to go to the toilet.
Her friend said that there was a line-up for the bathroom and she was working away in the galley at the time. At one point she had turned around, and a man was apparently peeing in the corner of the galley.
"He's like 'I had to go,'" Anna said.
So needless to say you may want to use the bathroom as soon as you have to go, as you never know how long the bathroom line-up is going to get.
*Name has been changed to maintain confidentiality. Narcity has verified her identity.
Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.
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