The Oxford English dictionary defines the word ‘Etiquette’ as “the customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group”.
Unfortunately, some of our beloved passengers have completely forgotten ‘the customary code of polite behaviour in society’ and more specifically onboard our aircraft. Here at Confessions Of A Trolley Dolly (with a little help from my gorgeous Facebook followers) we have created a helpful little guide to improve passengers safety and comfort.
Detailing acceptable and unacceptable behaviour onboard aircraft around the globe, the A to Z of Aeroplane ‘Jetiquette’ should be studied just as closely as your safety card. Please take a few moments to read through the list, it could well be a useful tool in your survival onboard.
On behalf of cabin crew everywhere, we wish you a very pleasant flight.
A is for Aisle. You’ve paid for your seat, not this incredibly narrow part of the cabin, up and down which we have to push trollies, mince/strut backwards and forwards to the galley all whilst attempting to look busy. You will lose arms and/or legs, if a stray limb remains while I’m out with the service. Please also note, the aisle is NOT a place for your child to be racing up and down. You have been warned!
B is for baggage. Don’t bring too much of it with you. That locker space above your head isn’t solely for your oversized trolley, which I’m pretty sure is WAY above our cabin limits. Don’t expect me to get a hernia or bad back whilst lifting it for you. Will you be paying my wages while i’m off sick? No, neither will my airline. If you can’t hack it, don’t pack it. I touch it, I tag it. You pack it, you stack it. Get the gist?
B is also for Boarding Pass. Believe us when we say we are not asking to see it again because we want to, it’s because we have to. “I’ve already shown it a million times”, I don’t care. “I’ve put it away now”, I don’t care, take it out. “She took it off me in the terminal”, she didn’t. “I’ve lost it”, well you better bloody find it then hadn’t you? By the way, screaming your seat number at me will not deter me from seeing your boarding pass. Personally I couldn’t care less what seat you’re in. As long as it’s not in my cabin you’ll be fine.
C is for Call Bell. Press it ONLY if there is a REAL emergency and by real emergency I’m talking raging inferno, the engine and/or wing has fallen off, that kind of thing. It should not be pressed if you want me to take your rubbish, right after we’ve just done a clear-in. Nor should it be used if you want another beer to go with the four we’ve just served you literally five minutes ago. “Press it again sir, and I WILL break your fingers”.
C is also for ‘Calm the f*@k down‘…….We’ve ran out of chicken, not fuel!
D is for Disembarking. Please do it quickly. Chances are, you’ve been onboard with us for a good few hours. Therefore you’ve had plenty of time to get your shit together. We have homes to go to you know. And no you can’t visit the flight deck, Captains busy with the new girl. Sorry.
D is also for DO NOT touch, poke or prod me, pull my uniform or click your fingers to get my attention! All you have to do is utter two simple words ‘Excuse me’. How would you like it if I poked or prodded you to get your attention? Clicked my fingers at you when I ask if you would like a drink? Or worst still, pulled on your designer jacket to see if you want the beef or chicken? Oh you wouldn’t like it? Well neither do we.
E is for Electronic Devices. If your crew ask you to turn them off, just switch them off. Once again we’re not asking for the fun of it. Don’t argue with us, or question why you have to, just do it. Yes, some airlines will let you leave it on, mine doesn’t and yet again I’m just doing my job and I really do not have to justify myself to you.
F is for First Class. Ah yes, first class. Home of the rich, famous and ‘Don’t you know who I ams?’ of the world. If you are sat in this sacred part of the cabin, lucky you. Please don’t make faces at the economy scum, sorry passengers as they board, some have been known to bite. If you’re one of the lucky few blessed with an upgrade, then for gods sake act like you belong there.
G is for Galley. This is our space. Our rest area, where we try to grab some peace from our passengers. Where we will tuck in to one of our hideous crew meals and discuss the latest goings on with Galley FM gossip (for more details on Galley FM gossip, click here). If the curtain is closed take this as a sign, FUCK OFF!
H is for Headphones. Take them out. I will not be repeating myself. This is a one time offer ‘Do you want anything from the trolley?’ Don’t wave the end of the cord in my face. Do you know what an idiot you look wearing earphones that aren’t attatched to anything?
I is for Illness. If you do have to travel when you’re poorly, please keep away from us. Wash your hands, use a tissue, cover your mouth and drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Please don’t hand me a snotty hanky or leave it in the seat pocket, flush it. We come in to contact with hundreds of the great unwashed every day, all carrying their own array of germs and bugs. For a new starter in the flight attendant world, being ill becomes a fact of life and in the cut-throat airline industry, our management are often less than sympathetic during cabin crews probation period.
J is for Jet Lag. Never cross a jet lagged dolly. There are numerous ways passengers can combat its effects. But for your hard-working crew who are potentially on minimum rest, working their asses off to please and serve you, whilst (probably) suffering with the hang-over from hell after last nights partying, the effects can really take their toll. If you want to know the secrets to beating the dreaded jet lag, be sure to check out our 9 Natural Ways to Cure Jet Lag.
K is for KEEP YOUR STINKING FEET OFF THE BULKHEADS! Why do people do it? I understand it maybe more comfortable, but no one wants to see your hairy toes, disgusting nails, discoloured socks, or have to endure the stench coming from your size 10’s. Feet should be kept firmly on the floor, preferably in suitable footwear.
L is for lavatory. Clearly, the most confusing thing EVER onboard an aircraft. “Is there anyone in there?”, NO! It says vacant sir, much like the look in your eyes. “How does the door open?”, Much the same as any other door madam. There’s the frequent dilemma of not knowing how to use the flush. The big button marked ‘FLUSH’ is a slight give away. Many struggle with how to wash their hands, or where the bin is located for used hand towels or dirty nappies. Urine soaked floors, STDs growing on the walls, filthy toilet seats, yet people still want to have sex in them. WHY?
M is for Manners. Look, it’s quite simple, they cost NOTHING. A simple please and thank you go a very long way, please use them!
N is for Nappies. Parents, please don’t change your child on the vacant seat next to you, no matter how big the queue is for the toilet. Not only does it stink out the cabin, it’s pretty disgusting as some unsuspecting passenger will have to sit there after you. Use the designated changing facilities in the toilets, it’s so much easier. Then dispose of the nappy in the bin. DO NOT leave it in the seat pocket and PLEASE do not hand it to me when I’m collecting rubbish or even worse eating in the galley.
O is for Offensive Odours. This includes smelly feet, BO, farting and any other smell that will make your crew and fellow passengers gag. I’ve lost count of the amount of ‘guests’ I’ve ordered to put their shoes back on because their feet stink. We all sweat, I understand that and what with the rush and stress of the airport, it’s only natural you might get a little under-arm odour. So come prepared. Bring yourself a little freshen up kit, pop to the loo and do just that, freshen the f@*k up. If a passenger boards smelling of stale BO, like they haven’t washed themselves or their clothes for weeks, we may be forced to off load you. There really is no excuse for poor personal hygiene, especially not in a confined space like an aircraft.
P is for Public Announcement (PA). When I’m speaking, you shouldn’t be, simple. Believe it or not, some inflight announcements can be quite funny and worthwhile listening too. Check out Confessions Of A Trolley Dolly Inflight Manual PA Book for some of the best.
P is also for Patience. If you’re travelling anywhere these days, you’re going to have to have patience by the bucket load. The stress of the airport, security, boarding, delays etc; a little patience will go a long way. Getting frustrated is not going to help and neither will screaming at me. Please be warned that if you do scream at me or one of my colleagues, you’re going to need a lot more patience as you wait for the next flight because believe me, i’ll have already thrown you off this one.
Q is for Queuing. Following on from patience. At any airport or onboard the aircraft you’ll be doing it a lot. You’ll queue to board; you’ll queue to get to your seat; you may have to queue to use the lavatory. You’ll queue as you wait to be served, unless you’re sat up front; you’ll queue to disembark and then you’ll queue at passport control. Refer to letter P for assistance dealing with this.
R is for Reading Light. It’s the button marked with a light bulb. Pressing this will turn on your reading light. The other button is the cabin crew call bell. Pressing this will NOT turn on your cabin crew!
S is for Smile. We’re meant to smile and many of us do, most of the time. So why not try it yourselves and give us a little smile back every now and then. Many of you are going on your holidays, at least try to look like you’re excited about it.
S is also for Socks. For gods sake wear them. DO NOT walk around bare-foot. Aircraft floors and carpets are disgusting, full of germs and disease and PLEASE, for your own safety NEVER, I repeat NEVER, go into an aircraft toilet bare-foot. That’s not water swishing about on the floor.
S can also be for Sunglasses. It’s the middle of the night, the cabin lights are off, yet those ‘too-cool-for-school’ boys and girls still feel the need to wear their fake Ray-Bans. Take them off, you’re just embarrassing yourself now.
T is for Trolley. Keep out of its way. Don’t touch it. Don’t try to place your rubbish on top of it and for gods sake don’t try and squeeze past it when i’m pouring a hot steaming coffee.
T is also for Tray Tables. Yes, the cause of many an argument between grown adults and a nightmare for any passenger sat in front of a darling child that thinks it’s a toy. Please use your common sense and be courteous towards the passenger in front. It should NOT be put up and down more times than a Virgin hosties knickers.
T can also be for Turbulence. Ah yes, the dreaded T word for any nervous flyer out there. Personally I love it. I hear a lot of crew describe it as ‘Just like bumps in the road’. Yeah right! What roads do you know that have a 35,000 feet drop below?
U is for your Undivided Attention, especially during the safety demo. Believe it or not, we’re not waving our arms around and messing up our perfectly coiffed hair, trying to put on the life jacket for the fun of it. Yes, I know you’re a frequent flyer. Yes, I know you’ve seen it a million times before, but it literally takes just a few minutes out of your very busy schedule. Thank you.
U is also for Understanding. Understand that your beautiful, highly trained, highly skilled cabin crew are people too. Please at least try to treat us with a little respect.
V is for Vomit. Please use a sick bag, or go to the toilet. I know it’s not pleasant being poorly locked in a metal tube, bouncing and swaying around at 39,000 feet, but please try your hardest not to get it all over the floor, or up the walls, or on the person sat next to or in front of you. Please don’t expect any sympathy if your vomiting is self-inflicted.
W is for ‘Where are we now? “Sorry madam, my in-built sat nav is on the blink. But to narrow it down we’re somewhere between the ground and the moon”.
W is also for ‘What have you got?” One of the biggest pet-hates for all cabin crew.
X is for X-rated Activities, the mile-high club. If you’re going to do it then, for gods sake be discreet about it. We’re fully aware of what’s going on underneath your see-through blanket. Why not fly with Singapore Airlines? The private suits on their A380 fleet are perfect for some mile-high orgies.
Y is for Yes (and no) Answers? “Tea or coffee”, “Yes”. Well which one? “Milk or sugar?”, “no”. Then 5 seconds after you move the trolley, “excuse me can I have some milk”. “Beef or chicken sir?”, “yes”. Aaaarrrggghhhh.
Z is for ‘ZZZZZZZ’ sleeping. There are a few simple rules. If you snore, we may wake you. No one likes to be sat next to someone who sounds like a freight train for the whole flight. Once again, be courteous to those around you. The lady or gent in the next seat does not want your head on their shoulder. Please be careful of dribbling and for all the gentlemen onboard, please be mindful of your ‘morning glory’.
There we have it, the full run down of the A-Z of Aeroplane ‘Jetiquette’. If you have any comments then please feel free to post them on the comments card below, the crew will dispose of them as necessary.
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