Everyday, crew around the world come into contact with hundreds of different people from all walks of life and i’m sure most of us will agree that passengers can either make or break our day.
Here we take a look at the different types of passengers your hard working flight attendants have to deal with. If you are a member of the flying public have a read through and see which category you fall in to.
Arseholes. Many passengers will fall into this category and there will be at least one on every flight. It’s not just on board you’ll find them. They’ll be robbing your parking space in the car park and then moaning on the bus to the terminal. They’ll be in the queue for check-in and again at security kicking up a fuss and you can guarantee that they’ll be sat next to you for that ten-hour trip across the Atlantic. Arseholes, found everywhere.
Abusive. Unfortunately, this type of passenger is becoming a much more frequent flyer. Incidents of ‘air rage’ are on the rise. The latest figures highlight the countless acts of both verbal and even physical violence towards crew. But my colleagues and I will agree that these numbers are wrong. The real figure would be MUCH higher but sadly many incidents go unreported. Ok so air travel has be more stressful nowadays but is there really any need to take it out on us?
Just remember abusive passenger, no matter what shit you’ve been through before you step on to our aircraft, leave it on the stairs! Or we’ll have you offloaded and locked up quicker than you can say jumbo jet.
Business Men. This type of passenger can go one of two ways. Most are regular travellers who know the rules and don’t need asking to do anything twice. Occasionally though, there’s the demanding t*@ts who think that we’re there to be their personal bloody assistant. I don’t think so!
Cabin Crew. Positioning, dead-heading or going away on a well deserved holiday. The majority will be good, keep quiet and not be too demanding. But as the saying goes, ‘There’s always one’. They’ll watch intently as you carry out your procedures and service because most of us just can’t switch off and of course they’ll judge you if they think…..
“We’ll it’s not as good as we do it on [insert airline name here]”
Delayed. They’ll be angry, they’ll be abusive and it will be all our fault. “Certainly sir, I’ll see what I can do about the fog”. Put it this way, if it’s a ‘tech’ delay, I’d much rather they sorted the dodgy engine on terra firma, than have it explode at 39,000 feet, wouldn’t you?
Economy. To be fair, economy is improving around the world. But even so….‘Once more for the cheap seats at the back’. Zero leg room, a crappy see-through blanket, one “meal” every 6 hours, forced to pay for a drink and and IFE screen that doesn’t work, “Certainly madam I’ll just go and reset the system”….I won’t. I guess you get what you pay for. It’s the smell that hits you first. Rotten feet, fart and sweat all mixed in with a hint of some cheap Britney Spears or Lady GaGa perfume.
Easy Going. Our favourite passenger. Boarding cards ready. Little or no hand luggage, which is then stowed promptly and correctly. Seats taken straight away, seat belt fastened and this is where they remain all flight, apart from the odd toilet break which they get in and out, wearing shoes, and don’t treat it like a day spa . If we’ve run out of something or are delayed, they won’t complain. They ask how our day is going and show a bit of empathy towards us, while everyone else just gives us abuse. If YOU are this passenger – Thank you! You will receive first class treatment in an economy cabin, and if you’re really good maybe, just maybe, we’ll get you an upgrade. This is the passenger everyone should aspire to be.
First Class. Those lucky few who get to turn left on boarding. This is where everyone wants to be sat. Exquisite food, champagne on tap, lie-fat beds and even showers on certain aircraft. The domain of the rich and famous. They will look down their noses at you, their servant for the duration of the flight. Some will be demanding, while others will just wish to be left alone.
Fearful Flyers. If you’re a genuine nervous flyer, we will do our best to be sympathetic. If you are saying it in an attempt to get the extra leg-room seats then think again, we can see right through you. Believe it or not you won’t be the first to have tried this trick and you certainly won’t be the last. I guess they have a point really. Locked in a pressurised metal tube, full of flammable liquid, hurtling through the air at 500 mph, five miles up – terrifying. They will have fear in their eyes from the moment they board, screaming at the slightest bit of turbulence or change in engine noise. My advice, pop a Valium and have a few drinks to calm your nerves.
Grumpy. The chronic complainer, moaning at every opportunity. They will want to know who they can direct their frustrations at when they land, or ask for a feedback form during the flight which we will promptly tear up. They won’t like the food, or the wine and will repeatedly press the call bell with something else to moan about. Constantly sighing and rolling their eyes, they’ll put up a fight at every opportunity and make a complete idiot of themselves in front of the other passengers. They’ll end an argument with “I will never fly with this airline again!”. If I had a pound for every passenger that has ever said that to me, I wouldn’t be listening to idiots like you anymore. See you on your return flight.
Hen Parties. Always up for a laugh with the gay boys, sometimes bitchy towards the female crew; probably due to the fact they know they’ll never be as gorgeous or glamorous as our fellow cart tarts. They’ll be drunk before they even get on and usually be wearing a tacky T-Shirt that says ‘Cum Guzzling Claire’ or ‘Cock Teasing Tracey’. Classy!
Ibiza. From the UK, these horrendous passengers need their own category, as most are complete animals. The stories that come back from crew that survive the ‘late night Ibiza’s’ spread round a base quicker than the hot new first officer. Sex in front of other passengers. Snorting god knows what off tray tables or in the toilets. Fights breaking out between girls and boys in the aisles or seats. I’ve known numerous crew who have needed counselling after doing a late night Ibiza flight.
Just married Honeymooners. If they’re back in economy, they will only stop kissing long enough to tell you that they are on their honeymoon in the vain hope we’ll upgrade them or give them some freebies. Watch out for the constant attempts at joining the mile high club. God forbid they end up sat across the aisle from each other. You’ll have to prize their hands apart, as you try to get the trolley past. Personally, I love parking it right between them for a while and flirting with the husband.
Mr Know it all. There’s usually one on every sector. They know exactly how the aircraft works, they know the role of pilot and cabin crew inside and out and they will make sure you, and everyone else on that aircraft knows it. “I’ve probably flown more than you have”. No you haven’t. Dick.
Late passengers. Do you not realise we have homes, or cocktails and a swimming pool to get to. What makes it worse is when they saunter down the air bridge, loaded with bags of duty-free, expecting you to find space in the lockers for it all. Word of warning, we will have very little sympathy for you unless you’re running towards us, sweat dripping from your brow and struggling to breathe as you try to give us a valid excuse.
The Loyalty Card Holder. “I had dinner last week with the Chairman of your airline” “I’m a platinum card holder”. Of course you are sir. You and the thousands of other idiots that think a loyalty card is your free pass to talk to me like a tw@t.
Manner-less. I don’t care who you are, or what cabin you’re sat in, those little words ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’ go a long way while you’re trapped with me at 39,000 feet. Manners cost nothing, something people seem to forget these days.
Mile high clubbers. Unless you’ve got your own suite, or you’re doing it on a private jet then forget it. That see through blanket is not enough to cover your modesty and why anyone would want to have sex in an aeroplane toilet is beyond me? More germs than a doctors waiting room, piss soaked floors and stinky nappies in the bin. Even if you’re practicing safe sex, you still stand a good chance of catching an STI from having your bare bits bobbing up and down on the rotten surfaces. And please, if you are going to do it at least lock the door and dispose of your protection properly.
Naughty Children. Best place for them is in the overhead locker, or better still in a cage in the hold. “Madam if you can’t control your kids you should have kept your legs shut”. And you can piss right off if you think I’m looking after it while you have a few wines, the badge says ‘cabin crew’ not ‘crèche crew’. And don’t even get me started on when the parent asks you to get their spawn of satan to do something “Look Tilly, the man will shout at you if you don’t put your seat belt on”. Actually madam i’ll shout at YOU for having no control over your spoilt brat.
Odour Offender. Smelly feet, fart, B.O., bad breath – an aircraft cabin is a full on assault on the senses, especially on long-haul. And It’s not just the bodily smells. Cheap perfumes and aftershave. Smelly food. Vomit. Please take that hot towel we offer you and freshen up.
PRMs. Passengers with Reduced Mobility, assistance passengers or whatever your airline calls them. This is an awkward one, but I felt they needed their own category. Most are lovely and make zero fuss, but there’s always one of every category isn’t there! Enter the ones who think they’re the only person with a disability and will make damn sure you know about it as they try to make you look small in front of the other passengers, although it’s usually just them who end up looking daft. Then there’s those who make a miraculous recovery during the flight. They board needing every assistance possible, then a few hours in our company and they’re healed, ‘Praise the Lord!’. They jump up, grab their luggage and run up that air-bridge faster than Usain Bolt.
Questioners. Where are we? How high are we? How long is left? Do you fly straight back? How long have you been crew? What’s for dinner? What drinks do you have? Where can I stow my luggage? PLEASE JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP!
Queens. The wannabe dollies. Will give the gay crew evils throughout the flight and think they know all there is to know about flying because some lad they sucked off in the toilets at G-A-Y works for BA.
Restless Passengers. Up as soon as the seat belt sign is off. You have paid for your seat, not the aisle, nor the galley. Find your seat and stay in it. We can’t get the trolley past and it’s very uncomfortable for those sat around you. The galley is not somewhere for you to do your exercises or loiter, so return to your seat now. Don’t faff with your luggage, repeatedly removing it from the locker to take things out and don’t stand right behind us while we’re out with the trolley.
Recliners. There’s very little room in economy as it is, but when the passenger in front decides to recline their seat, it can cause absolute murder. I’ve witnessed grown adults fight over a fully reclined seat. If you wish to do it, which you are of course perfectly entitled too, please just have a little respect for the person sat behind you, especially if they have just been served their meal or a drink.
Stag parties. The Neanderthal ones will try to give the gay crew shit, while others will try to chat up the girls. The stag will usually be pissed and probably dressed as a woman. Great for crew that get paid commission from bar takings, as they consume all the warm beers before moving onto the spirits. That is of course if they haven’t brought their own with them.
Tray Table fiddler. Just as annoying as the recliner or restless passenger for those sat in front. The table fiddler seems to forget that their tray is attached to another persons seat and every little movement can be felt. Up and down more times than a Virgin hosties knickers. Can cause even the sanest person to lose their temper.
Talkers. PLEASE JUST SHUT UP! They attempt to become their fellow passengers or the crews best friend whilst on board. Take the hint, there’s a reason why our galley curtain is closed and the passenger sat next to you has put their headphones on.
Teenagers. Usually on school trips. There’ll be the ring leader, the smart arse that thinks they’re hilarious. That is until the grown ups put them to shame with a quick put down that they probably won’t even understand. Meanwhile, teachers sit oblivious at the other end of the cabin, getting pissed on the cheap wine.
Upgrades. They’ll be in awe of the real glass and actual knives and forks. They’ll thoroughly enjoy the proper food and choice of wines available, instead of the slop and vinegar-esque vino served in economy. They will usually be much friendlier than the regular first or business class guests and won’t complain about a thing.
Virgin Flyers. Those who have never set foot on an aircraft. They’ll ask to see the cockpit. They won’t have their boarding card ready. They’ll need escorting to their seat. They’ll consume everything free placed in front of them and take anything that’s not nailed down as a memento. They’ll make people nervous as they fiddle with the flight deck door, when actually they’re just looking for the toilet. They won’t know how to work the door and when they do manage to get inside and have done their business, they completely ignore the big blue button marked ‘FLUSH’ and press the crew call bell instead.
Weak Bladders. Those who seem to have to visit the lavatory every five minutes. More frustrating for the poor bugger sat on the aisle, if they are located in a window seat. Do they not have toilets in the terminal?
XL Passengers. Another awkward one, but let’s be honest, no one wants to be stuck next to the salad dodger on a long-haul flight. There will be an invasion of your already limited space and they won’t be able to get their arm rest down. But of course there’s the discomfort and embarrassment for the horizontally challenged passenger themselves and with obesity on the rise, it’s becoming more and more of a problem for airlines to deal with.
“You wouldn’t get this on BA”. How many times have we heard this. Actually, i’m sure there has probably been some idiot that has actually said this on a British Airways flight. I love BA but come on, if you don’t like it then why aren’t you flying with them in the first place?
Z-List Celebrities. The worst kind. “Don’t you know who I am?” “Give me a second sir and I’ll just do a PA. ‘Ladies and Gentleman we have a passenger here who doesn’t know who he is. Can anyone help'”. Erm, no I don’t know who you are and I don’t care either. Sit down and shut the fuck up like the rest of them. If you were a real celebrity you’d be flying on your own private jet, bitch.
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