Here are five sure-ways to annoy flight attendants.  Try any one of these on your next flight, or to be truly unforgettable, try all five.  You will easily make a flight attendant’s personal no fly list, and also be the conversation topic in the galley, which usually begins with, “Oh my goodness!!! There is this passenger in row…”

5 Ways To Irritate A Flight Attendant

1Ring the flight attendant call button for trash.

  • The flight attendant button was designed so that you can get a flight attendant’s attention for something pressing, like a medical emergency, a puking child, or maybe a spill.  Opposed to popular belief, that button was not intended for you to hand a disgusting wad of garbage, to an FA, five minutes after he or she just walked through the cabin sing-songing, “Garbage? Garbage?”

Extra annoying points:  Ring the FA button IMMEDIATELY after a flight attendant has just walked through the cabin, and is now sitting down, or busy with another task.  Hand the flight attendant your empty soda can and wait for the reaction.

Inflight Tip:  Simply be aware of the flow of flight.  Along with a flight attendant’s tasks related to safety, there’s service, trash pick-up, service, and trash pick-up. Can you guess what would be next in the sequence?  Not rocket science.

2.  Place your bag in the overhead bin so that the bag is protruding, there is obviously no way the bin will close, and leave it there.

  • I know that  I have “blonde moments”, so I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but practically every day that I work, I question the intelligence of humanity.  If your bag does not fit in the overhead bin, don’t leave it there thinking that your flight attendant obtained some magic Mary Poppins purse skills during training and can fit your oversized, and way too heavy carry-on, in the bin space, when you, obviously, could not.  Flight attendants are amazing, yes, but we sincerely appreciate it when passengers can handle there own baggage.

Extra Stupidity points:  Passenger:  “There is no room for my bag in this bin.”  FA:  “The bin across from that one is empty. And both bins to either side have space.” Interesting concept:  All bins, in an airplane, arrive at the same destination.

3.  Demanding to move to a row that is marked reserved.

  • If you do not need extra assistance, have any sort of disability, or for some other reason need to sit in a reserved row, do not demand to sit in one.  Simply thinking you are a pretty big deal is not a valid reason.

True Story:  A flight attendant was accosted by a passenger to sit in the row marked reserved, which, on this airline, is generally the first row of seats.  The passenger disregarded the flight attendant when told to find another available seat, and proceeded to sit down in one of the reserved seats.  Because the first row is a bulkhead, all of the bags had to go into the overhead.  The flight attendant, annoyed, but clever, graciously, and politely stowed the passenger’s luggage…in row 37.  That would be 36 rows away from where Mr. Passenger uninvitedly chose to sit.  Poor kid had to wait until all the other travelers deplaned to retrieve his bag.  bwahahahaha….

4.  When boarding, act like you are the only person in the world that needs to be on the flight, taking your sweet time finding your seat.  Stand in the aisle for an extra couple of minutes while stowing your bag. Maybe even apply some lip gloss and take off your coat for good measure.

  • You want to know why your flight is delayed?  It’s not always the airlines fault, I swear! I’ve boarded and deplaned enough flights filled with turtles to know that no amount of cajoling seems to instill in passengers any sense of urgency.  Most days I can only shake my head and laugh.  It’s my coping mechanism.  And, in the event of an emergency, the flight attendants are supposed to get all passengers off the airplane in 90 seconds or less.  We’ve been trained for it, but can someone please train the passengers to move their…?

5.  Almost immediately after take-off, or upon descent, while the flight attendants are already in their jumpseats, get up to use the lav. 

  • This is not only annoying, but at times, even dangerous.  I’ve had a passenger stand up at approximately 1500 feet, which is about 2 minutes from actual touchdown.  I just don’t get it!  You see the flight attendants seated, so what makes you think you can stand up and parade around the cabin? And, on top of that, there should be little need to use the facilities after only five minutes in-flight.  If you haven’t heard, airports are well equipped with his and her potties.

This post was initially 10 Ways To Irritate a Flight Attendant, but I’m tired of bitching about inflight annoyances.  I deal with them enough at work, and I’m currently on a mini-vacay.

Happy St. Patty’s Day Y’all!


  • Belinda McKenny

    Love it. Thanks for the tips.

    March 17th, 2012 23:16
  • what is happiness

    I love looking through an article that can make men and women think.
    Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!

    June 7th, 2012 16:08
  • Danielle Woods

    My airline has the front row with extra leg room that of course is the first place they have to sit.
    They are told upon sitting that ALL bags including purses must be stowed in OHB. They say the know and leave it on the floor. Again they are told to stow before bins fill up, they say ok.
    That is when I take the bag (after bins are full and they are frustrated because there is no room to stow them) all the way to the last OHB.

    June 19th, 2012 10:09
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    September 22nd, 2013 13:58
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