Flights Attendants Shared 5 Annoying Passenger Habits & Here's What Not To Do On A Flight

Delays are just as frustrating for your flight attendants!

A flight attendant on an airplane.

A flight attendant on an airplane.

While being a flight attendant might seem like an easy and glamorous career, the reality is really anything but. It can be a frustrating job with long hours and as a result, there are some really common things passengers can do to just make the process all the more annoying.

Narcity spoke to a former and a current flight attendant to find out about some of their biggest pet peeves and what you can do on a plane that will immediately get you in your flight attendant's bad books. Remember, you're likely going to be stuck together for a long time.

If you don't want to annoy your flight attendant from the get-go, here are some really easy things you can avoid doing that'll make their jobs all the easier.

Immediately trying to order alcohol

Travelling can be a stressful experience and a lot of people look forward to getting a drink once their safely on board and in vacation mode. However, if you try to order a drink the second you board the plane before take-off, this is actually an immediate red flag for flight attendants.

According to the current flight attendant, trying to order alcohol or asking when the alcohol will be served as soon as you arrive is a "huge red flag" and one that might mean your flight attendants keep a closer eye on you.

"Especially if you’re seated by an emergency exit, don’t do that. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to drink once you get to your vacation spot," they said.

It's not even just alcohol that's an issue here. Before take-off is just a bad time to be asking your flight attendant for anything including snacks and drinks.

"It’s a hassle to get everyone in their seats and make sure the plane and passengers are secured and safe for takeoff," the former flight attendant said.

"The last thing a flight attendant wants to be doing at this time is getting you food or drinks, so it’s best to wait until the plane is in the air and service has begun."

It might be a wait so if you're keen to get settled, bring some snacks and drinks with you instead.

Not paying attention to safety demonstrations

Whether you've never travelled on a plane or you've travelled hundreds of times, a surefire way to get on your flight attendant's nerves is to very obviously not pay attention during your flight safety demonstration.

"When you’re talking through the demo at a loud volume, not only is it disruptive to those around you, but it’s distracting to the flight attendant who is trying to listen for the cues to do the demonstration," the current flight attendant said.

"You may know everything when coming onto the plane, but there could be others around you who are flying for the first time, Please be respectful so that everyone else can listen too," they added.

Trying to use the bathroom during meal service

Planes are notoriously cramped so even something as simple as trying to use the bathroom at the wrong time can be a complete headache for flight attendants.

While you can't always control when you, or especially kids, need to use the bathroom – and that's completely understandable – try to avoid meal times where possible.

"It's disruptive as the flight attendants will have to move the carts back into the galley in order to let you pass and doing this multiple times during a service can cause delays and get annoying," the former flight attendant said.

"If you can wait to use the bathroom between meal services, your flight attendants will appreciate it."

Not only is this not the time to use the bathroom, but mealtime is also basically the worst time to try and get rid of your garbage.

"So many passengers see meal service as an opportunity to get rid of kleenexes and napkins but it’s just plain unhygienic," the former flight attendant said.

Instead, wait until you see your flight attendant coming around armed with garbage bags and gloves because they'll be able to take away all your garbage and get rid of it properly.

Coming into the galley

Whenever you get on and off a plane, you're usually going to be walking through the galley, the space where flight attendants can prepare meal and drink services. This area isn't just for meal services, it also acts like an office.

If your flight attendants are in the galley, especially if the curtain is closed, you probably shouldn't be trying to get in there.

"When you’re at work, do people come into your closed-door office to stand up, move around and make small talk with you?" the current flight attendant said.

There's an expectation that if the curtain is closed, the galley is a no-go zone, so unless you want to be on your flight attendant's bad side, avoid it.
"The galley space is where flight attendants can take their breaks and eat their meals. It's not the most ideal space but it’s all we have on a plane so we value it immensely," they added.

Flight attendants need privacy too, people!

Complaining about delays

Getting delayed on your flight is a frustrating scenario to be in. Whether you're excited to get on your vacation as soon as possible, or waiting to get home, it's not fun. We get it. However, please don't rant to your flight attendants about delays because it's not in their control.
"Delays can certainly be frustrating but there’s no one it’s more frustrating for than flight attendants," the former flight attendant said.
Not only will your flight attendants have been working long days on little sleep, but if the plane doors are open, they're also not actually getting paid so if you're annoyed at the delay, your flight attendant will be just as annoyed.
"There’s nothing the crew can do about the delay so there’s no sense complaining to them about it," they added.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Charlie Hart
Charlie Hart was a Travel Creator for Narcity Media focused on Canadian and global travel and is based in Calgary, Alberta.