Galley FM News

How To Be The Perfect Airline Passenger

Ladies and Gentleman a very warm welcome onboard. Do you ever wonder why cabin crew give you dirty looks? Why the trolley always seems to bang into your elbows or knees as it passes? Why every time the crew get to your seat there’s no ice for your overpriced G&T and only the veggie option left?

Being a glamorous international Trolley Dolly is no easy feat; neither is dealing with you – our ‘guests’. Here, we give you some useful hints and tips on how to avoid p*ssing off your crew, the people who may one day save your life.

So sit back and relax as we teach you ‘How To Be The Perfect Airline Passenger’.

Before The Flight

Remember those glorious days when flying used to be all about the glamour? When people used to dress up and make an effort to travel? I don’t care if you’re flying first class or slumming it in economy, remember the good old days and make a bloody effort.

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“What are you travelling in?” This is not an acceptable outfit for onboard my aircraft!

Manners, I’ve always been taught, don’t cost anything. Nowadays we’re lucky to get so much as a thank you if we pull your arse off a burning Boeing. A grunt and dirty look is NOT a sufficient response when I ask if you want anything from the trolley. Manners – don’t leave home without them.

At The Airport

Airports can be a magical place, they see more sincere kisses than wedding halls. People jetting off on well-earned holidays, travelling to see loved ones or heading off to clinch that all important business deal. It can also turn the most patient of people into quivering wrecks.

Let’s start at the beginning – Check In. Don’t act like an idiot and above all don’t be thinking your funny by mentioning the word ‘bomb’ or you’ll be whisked off to have a gloved hand up your backside quicker than you can say Concorde. You do NOT want to get on the wrong side of the check in staff. If you do, be prepared to pay a hefty fine for ‘over-weight’ luggage. A few notes on the computer under your booking and you may just end up stranded at your destination, no luggage and your return flight cancelled.

Security. Airport security is a pain in the arse, believe us, we know. As crew we pass through everyday and are subjected to the same, often humiliating checks as everyone else. Sadly those crazy terrorists are still hell-bent on causing mayhem so security is a necessary evil. Take your belt off, empty your pockets, take off your shoes, take your liquids out of the bag and for f*cks sake make sure they’re under 100ml. There’s nothing worse than a smug security officer taking away your brand new Eau De Parfum.

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You’ve checked-in and passed through security in one piece, now it’s time to relax a while before boarding. Bars, restaurants and endless shops, airports have it all. Try not to spend all of your holiday money before you fly. Firstly, the stuff is often cheaper on board and your helpful, friendly cabin crew often get paid commission on what you buy, so feel free to spend away once your on the plane. And this way, you avoid being judged when you board with hundreds of duty-free bags, ten mins after we should have taken off.

Fancy a drink? Just remember, everything in moderation. Please don’t get too drunk before your flight or we WILL refuse you boarding.


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Always keep your eyes on the screen. Don’t be late!

“Patience is a virtue”

Your flight has just been called, but there’s really no need for you to all run up to the gate at once. You won’t get on any quicker. Sit back down, relax and wait for your seat number or zone to be called. When it is, take everything with you. We will not be running back up to the gate for a deserted jacket, iPad or child.

Have your ID and boarding cards ready, passports open on the photo page. Don’t be the idiot that puts it all away and then has to go rummaging through their bags holding everyone else up. And keep your boarding cards handy. Some airlines will want to see it, not to annoy you, because we have to.

So you’ve made it on to the plane, time now to find your seat. If you’re lucky enough to be flying First or Business, you’ll be greeted with a smile and asked to turn left, before being personally escorted to your individual suite, complete with lay-flat bed and complimentary champagne. If you’re economy, turn right and find your own bloody seat.

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This is your seat. We suggest you stay in it for the duration of the flight.

Hand luggage should be kept to a minimum. A small designer handbag for the ladies, a stylish man bag for the gents that fits nicely under the seat in-front of you is just perfect; not a case that looks big enough to fit in your whole wardrobe. By the way I hope you can lift whatever you’ve brought with you because I will not be putting it up for you. Sorry, but will you be paying my wages while I’m off with a damaged back? No I didn’t think so.

‘You pack it, you stack it!’ ‘You bring it, you sling it’ ‘You tow it, you stow it!’ – You get the gist.

Safety Demo

It’s time for the obligatory safety demo. We just love standing in front of you all, waving our arms around, pointing out the exits and messing up our hair as we show you how to put on a life jacket. But you know what’s really funny? When our delightful passengers mock and imitate us. Yep, its hilarious and completely original – you copying us pointing out the exits. No seriously, we’ve never seen anyone do it before, keep it up…..Idiots!

All we ask is a couple of minutes of your undivided attention, surely that’s not too much to ask? Oh you’d rather read your newspaper? Fair enough, but good luck finding your life jacket and nearest exit if we ditch in to the Atlantic.

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During The Flight

We’re now trapped together at 35,000 feet, locked in a big metal tube hurtling through the air at over 500 mph, what could possibly go wrong?

It’s our job to feed and water you. Keep your arms and legs out of the aisle, stay sat down and please control your kids. Free amputations are available for passengers daft enough to leave any protruding limbs. Remember, you paid for a seat, not the aisle.

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Some airlines  may provide you with a ‘delicious’ complimentary meal. You might (depending on how the crew are feeling) get a choice, usually beef or chicken. It’s not a difficult question. I’m not asking you to choose between life and death, just pick one.

“You want chicken? Sorry we’ve only got beef left”.

Call bells are for emergencies only. If you press it and you’re not having a heart attack and the wing isn’t on fire, then you’re going to have to have a damn good reason why your finger connected with it in the first place. Also, it’s not a toy, so if your child keeps pressing it we will be popping the little cherub into the overhead locker for the remainder of the flight. Please also note that your reading light can be turned on by pressing the button marked with a light bulb. Pressing the crew call bell will NOT turn on your cabin crew.

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The aeroplane toilet. We’ll begin with the door. For some this is a complex piece of equipment and many struggle to use it correctly. It may surprise you but it works just like every other door and no the ashtray on the front is not the handle. The door also has a lock, please use it. The button marked ‘flush’ is there for a reason, feel free to press it.

We would also REALLY appreciate it if you could leave your seating area in a similar state to the way you found it not, I repeat NOT full of used nappies, newspapers, torn up inflight magazines, used cups, pillows, blankets and your delicious airline meal all over the floor and up the cabin walls. Why should anyone, no matter how much they get paid, have to clean up after you!

And one other thing, the galley is for crew use only. It is not, I repeat NOT a child’s playground, your personal stretching space or somewhere you should linger for longer than a minute whilst waiting for the loo. Please don’t oggle us whilst we’re eating our dinner. Yes it is lovely and no you can’t have any.

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Congratulations, you’ve managed to survive the whole flight without having to be restrained, or the aircraft diverted and you offloaded. We’ve finally began our descent and the captain has just switched on the seat-belt sign. Now is NOT the time for you to get up and use the toilet, you’ve had ten hours!

Please pop away your tray table, turn off your iPad and for god’s sake pick up all that rubbish you’ve accumulated around you. Please note that all airlines have different rules regarding the use of electronic equipment. If your crew ask you to turn off your iPads, games etc and take out your earphones just do it. Oh and for the Kindle owners amongst you, it’s still is a piece of electronic equipment so no it’s not exempt from me asking you to switch it off. Next time bring a good old paper-back.


Unless you fancy your chances stood up as we hurtle towards the ground at 180+mph, then i’d take our advice, sit down and buckle up. You may think we’re joking, but the First Officer is on youth training and it really is his first attempt.

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“Ladies and gentleman if you didn’t notice, we have just landed. Once the tire smoke has cleared, the warning bells have been silenced and we have gathered all the pieces of the aircraft , we will taxi you to the gate. Please remain seated until the seat-belt sign has been switched off, you won’t get off any quicker standing up now while we’re still a mile from the terminal”.

Oh and FYI DO NOT CLAP when we land. Do not be that passenger. Clapping is not cool.


Don’t forget to take everything with you. Leave anything on board, especially after we’ve reminded you a million times to take all your personal belongings and you’ll be buying it back off eBay a week later.

Please don’t faff. Get your sh!t and get off. We’ve all got places to be and we’ve put up with you for long enough.

Good-bye and thank you for flying with us today.

And no you can’t go in the cockpit and meet the captain.

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© by Dan Air

About Confessions of a Trolley Dolly (80 Articles) brought to you by International Gay Trolley Dolly, Dan Air ! Come & join us onboard as we take a peek behind the galley curtain with all your cabin crew & aviation news, galley gossip, glamour & humerous tales of life at 39,000 feet!

34 Comments on How To Be The Perfect Airline Passenger

  1. Un passager qui dort est un passager en or!

  2. Too bad it makes you look like the arrogant obnoxious f/a you precisely don’t want to look like…

  3. Hahahaha too funny!! As a passenger on a recent flight – this has explained an awful lot of things! Keep up the good work – look forward to the next installment!

  4. This is brilliant and so true haha !!!

  5. Liz Mullins // 09/09/2012 at 11:07 PM // Reply

    This made me smile

  6. Brilliant 🙂 Seems I am _almost_ an ideal passenger (I even dress up nicely). But I’m afraid I do leave in unplugged earphones. Why? Cos I don’t want to listen to the snoring/grunting/screeching/inanely babbling fellow passengers and any block is welcome…Sorry about that :/

    • Johanna10 // 03/01/2013 at 6:11 PM // Reply

      That´s understandable but then its only for few minutes for take-off and landing so you can hear us when its emergency … simple as that

    • The reason you MUST, by law, REMOVE those “unplugged” headphones, is that take off and landing are critical stages of flight and you must have your ears unencumbered to hear any safety information in an emergency. Removing those headphones could save your life. Therefore, as Nike would say, Just Do It!

  7. beamarnell // 03/01/2013 at 11:02 AM // Reply

    some people buy an air plane ticket and then act as if they have bought the air line company i bet you have had fingers snapped at you and a less than immediate response from the staff is sarcasticaly commented on. just treat them like the idiots they are.

  8. Johanna10 // 03/01/2013 at 6:13 PM // Reply

    Not a cabin crew any more but always wanted to write all this … thank you

  9. Always find the posts funny, but for once (on the other side of the fence) I got two comments. I tend to try and keep the earphones, unplugged, on as long as i can. It blocks the sound of the engines while allowing you to hear voice quite clearly. Same reason some have earplugs when going clubbing. Depends on the aircraft you’re on of course.

    Second, I use the bells from time to time: when the crew has skipped me while serving (happens very often, half when they don’t see me, half when I’m half asleep), and when the crew can’t see me and I need a drink and I was stupid enough to not bring in my bottle of water. I always smile, apologie for the disturbance and if I pissed any attendant off, they were professional enough to smile, be friendly and have a little chat, be it that i get a glass or a refill of the bottle itself.

    Anyway, being nice and smiling and not using anything in moderation is key to keep everybody happy right?

    • Couldn’t agree more! A smile and some manners always go a long way with any crew member! Thanks for the comments!!!!

    • PrincessConsuela // 19/05/2013 at 11:51 PM // Reply

      Us cabin crew don’t walk around all flight with unplugged earphones in to cancel out engine noise but hear voices………I’m sure you will survive for the ten minutes before landing and 3 or 4 minutes whilst taxying to the terminal? Sorry but until the CAA or FAA approve all headphones for landing I’m only asking you to do what they are instructing me to ensure is done!!!!!

      Another bug bear that wasn’t mentioned in this post but really irritates me…….. People standing too freaking close to me in the aisle when I’m clearing in trays or anything else involving a trolley and bending, all cos u need the toilet, unless you look like David Beckham or are a member of One Direction I do not want you hugging my ass while I try to work, stay back and wait til I’m done or ask me politely, do not hassle me!!!!

  10. Hernameislola // 05/02/2013 at 7:08 AM // Reply

    This is a hilarious piece! I spent five years as ground staff for a major airline and let’s just say, if you are disgusting rude or condescending to us, or don’t get off your cell phone while you check in and instead give us the finger to wait, there’s a ton we could do to make your flight not as pleasant as it could be (would you like to sit in the last row by the toilet in a middle seat?). People who are not in the industry do not realize how truly demanding the job is…especially this day in age when people do not know how to be pleasant to the people trying to help them.

    An incentive to passengers: if you are really, genuinely nice at check-in, don’t be surprised if we give you a free upgrade because we are oversold and you came to mind. We remember who is nice to us and appreciate it.

  11. To be fair there is a flip-side of this argument that is completely ignored:

    1) What am I travelling in: The oldest saggiest mankiest clothes I own. Why? Because for the next however many hours I’m going to be sweating like a fat kid on sports day in an overly warm aircraft with my knees crushing my cheeks due to lack of legroom and these clothes are the attire that come closest to making that experience tolerable.

    2) Why am I not necessarily at my most polite when offered something from the trolley: Because I’ve just been given the opportunity to pay five quid for a can of coke or a sandwich that basically tastes of elastic bands. Or all refreshments sold out before anyone got to my row and despite dying of thirst the best I am been offered is the chance to waste money scratch cards.

    3) Why am I annoyed at showing my boarding pass yet again: Because when I got it I expected to have to show it when boarding (After all, as the article so rightly pointed out it is a ‘boarding pass’) so I folded it neatly and slipped it to my wallet. I then had to get it out and show it along time prior to the expected time of my actual boarding, this time there was a queue behind me and everyone was been hurried along so I just stuffed it in my pocket. This happened countless further times along my progress to actually boarding, each time the repeated retrieval and pocket stuffing getting it more and more crumpled. Now I’m been faced with an attractive stewardess asking to see it so I can actually board and frankly I’m just plain embarrassed by the now tatty scrap of paper I have to present.

    4) Why is my hand luggage the size of a small suitcase: Because I get to keep this with me, so I am far more confident of it arriving in the same place and at the same time as myself. Whereas the rest of my luggage disappeared down a conveyor belt two hours ago and I may or may not see it again. Therefore I don’t think I’m being excessively greedy in taking up the absolute maximum of my hand luggage allowance to keep at least one change of clothes and any valuables I may have packed somewhere close at hand.

    5) Why have I still got my headphones in: Because headphones without music are basically earplugs and the kid behind me is crying, the old guy next to me is snoring and the pikey couple in front of me are arguing about how much money they’ve wasted on scratchcards! So whilst headphones aren’t the perfect solution anything the serves to numb my senses to the outside world is, at this point in time, an absolute blessing.

    6) The safety demonstration is for my benefit why would I mock it: Because much as you’ve seen people imitate it before we’ve seen it done before. Even people that have never flown have almost certainly seen it on TV. And at the end of the day there are only two important parts to it: 1) The exits. I generally assume the same doors we have just walked in through operate in reverse allowing us to leave by them? Failing that I would just look for the nearest passenger without knee imprints on his/her cheeks and assume they were the lucky ones who got the extra exit adjacent leg room, and so follow them. And 2) The lifejacket / oxygen mask locations. No matter how clearly and concisely I’ve had this explained to me I am fairly confident that in the event the plane suddenly falls from the sky it would be instantly forgotten in a moment of pure terror and I’d spend my last few minutes of life wetting my pants and screaming. Even if in the event of every going to plan in a crash, and I use the oxygen mask to survive cabin depressurisation, put on my life jacket, locate the exits, I am pretty sods law dictates I would end up bobbing around in the ocean for hours or even days somewhere in the vicinity of another survivor who insists on repeatedly blowing that fucking whistle they attach to them! Frankly I think after ten minutes I’d envy the dead.

    7) Why is it taking me so long to choose between beef and chicken: I’ve had both before. Neither tastes like or feels like meat. Suddenly the question stops being a simple choice between to regular foodstuffs I am familiar with and could select between in an instant and instead my brain is forced to ponder whether brown polystyrene or grey polystyrene seems least unappetising. This choice is less familiar to me and therefore takes longer.

    8) Why don’t I want my seatbelt on while we land: It’s uncomfortable. I’ve been stuck in the same tiny seat for hours, I want to fidget a bit. If the landing is successful the seatbelt is redundant… Sure a bumpy landing might see me jostled around a bit but this is infinitely preferable to being restrained given my bums already sore and my legs have gone to sleep. If the landing is unsuccessful I’m sat in a 300 tonne metal coffin hurtling towards a concrete ground at over 180mph, at best a nylon strap around my tummy is going to do nothing at worst a split second before I’m flattened against the seat in front it will cut me clean in half.

    When taking a flight I always do as I’m told, I always try to say please and thank-you to the cabin crew… but if I’m not dressed in my finest, or I don’t smile as I board, or I look annoyed when you make me put my seatbelt on please remember this really isn’t fun for me either. This isn’t part of my holiday that only starts when I successfully leave the airport at the other end, I don’t want to be there any more than you do, but at least you’re getting paid to endure this misery I actually had to pay for it . Plus I still have hours of queuing at security followed by hours waiting for luggage (If it ended up in the same place as me anyway) to look forward to.

    So, please give me dirty looks, ram me with your trolley, and serve me the veggie option if it makes you feel better, just don’t expect my demeanor to be anything other than grumpy!

    • Dear passenger,

      My only advise to you, is to stop flying low cost.

      If I may add, we do not request you to tighten up your seatbelts. We ask you to fasten your seatbelt. A seatbelt tensile enough to fit a pregnant lady. If it is not large enough, you’re free to nicely ask for an extension.


    • Another point of view! // 23/02/2014 at 8:59 AM // Reply

      Well aren’t you ” Better than thou”? Who died and made you more important the the rest of us who fly? It’s obvious that you need to listen to the flight crews speech because you got every aspect of it wrong. It’s those who think they know it all like you that will get I’ll of us passengers killed, because the didn’t listen. No, I don’t work, or know anybody who works for any airlines, but I have flown enough times to notice the lengths the airline workers go through to make your flight, tolerable. If you act like a jerk, you’ll be treated like one! I try to go out of my way to be pleasant to them, ant hey GUESS WHAT! I’m one of those passengers that have gotten a free ticket! Yeah, that’s right, I’ve been awarded for being nice to my fellow man/woman! Try it sometime, it might make you feel better!

    • Most of this is fantastic!

  12. Absolutely hilarious!!! Story of my life!!

    All the negative people….pop a happy pill in your face 🙂 thank you.

  13. Crewmember // 02/09/2013 at 11:30 AM // Reply

    This piece of text is not tongue-in-cheek. It’s arrogant and inappropriate to someone who’s job is 99,9% customer service. Off course, like all human beings, some passengers are nicer to you than others, but that is valid for everyone that has interpersonal contact at the workplace. Your professionalism should rise above that, resolve small conflicts instead of making them escalate, and try to give your customers the most comfortable flight possible. A positive attitude from your side (I’m not asking anything excessive here, this is what you were hired for in the first place after all!) will get you a much nicer response from most passengers and improve the atmosphere on board. And yes, off course there will always be the arrogant few. Rise above it and don’t let those ruin your day and mood.

    If the article is representative for your attitude towards your customers, frankly I think you are in the wrong job.

    And before anyone asks: yes, I am crew too.

    • Crewmember apologies if this piece offends you, it’s not meant to offend anyone, just some light hearted fun. Believe it or not I love my job and dealing with passengers (on the whole). What I do disagree with you about is the fact our job is 99.9% customer service. In my eyes out role onboard is and always will be safety first, customer service second. The terrible crash of Asiana flight 214 in SFO only proves this fact. Thanks for reading and commenting though. I hope some of my other posts, such as Angels Of The Sky, show that I’m not all about insulting our passengers.

    • Old Trolley Dolly // 10/07/2014 at 3:55 PM // Reply

      Absolutely, couldn’t agree more. And yes I am Crew too.

  14. This is really good. The bit at the end was funny. “Say good-bye and mean it etc!” But couldn’t the same be said of the crew bidding the passenger farewell as they disembark? I’ve worked in service all of my life, from posh hotels to corporate chauffeur driving. I’m always courteous to people who are in similar professions when its my turn to be the customer, but I do expect the same in return.

  15. whoo hoo! I love you ‘confessions of a trolley dolly’ person….because this makes me chuckle. I think I am a great FA and passengers like me (on the whole), and I like them (in general)….but these situations DO happen and I defend your right to share them and be irreverent about the job…’s only what we would do on board with our fellow crew anyway…well…those who aren’t saints, of course!

  16. Logical request for a smooth uneventful journey maybe even enjoyable thanks for your advice.🙅😊

  17. American FAs are the worst. I’ll just stick to flying with Middle Eastern and Asian airlines where service is impeccable.

  18. The galley is not for passengers who want a stretch? Guess it’s the FAs fault if someone dies from DVT.

  19. Ski charter // 18/09/2016 at 10:00 AM // Reply

    It’s 05:30 and I’m drowsily watching your safety demo… actually I’m giving you marks out of ten, but you won’t know that.

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