Attitude at altitude: What hosties really think
"Stop pushing the &%$@ call button!"
Flight attendants have grounds to be bitter. For a start, look at all the mean names that people call them, bagging female cabin crew especially. The roll call of insults includes: "sky waiter/waitress", "flying mattress" and "trolley dolly". Then there is "air stupidess", "cart tart", "coffee b----" even (shudder) "hostitute".
Besides the nasty nicknames, cabin crew must handle air rage and all kinds of irritating ploys under cramped conditions. Worse, cabin crew members may be starved and sleep-deprived. So you can't blame them if they feel resentful. Learn what they're really thinking behind the strained smiles and copious layers of lippy.
Galley gossip: what cabin crew really think 15 pet peeves
- 1. I said "hello". Is it really such an effort to say "hi" back when you board the plane? Are you so preoccupied with finding your seat? Don't worry. You'll find it. That's it, well done you go right. Left is the cockpit. And you don't look like you belong in business class.
- 2. That looks heavy. You know after packing your suitcase at home, you should go into your kitchen and lift it on top of your fridge because that's roughly the height of the overhead bins. If you can't get it up there, do me a favour: check it in on arrival at the airport. Why should I do a squat press on your behalf? Ask Mr Shrek in the baseball cap.
- 3. Please turn off your mobile. Yes, I know that you left your cell phone on during a flight once before and the plane still found its way to airport. But I would rather not risk it just in case.
- 4. Oh, you want French fries? Sure, let me see to that. I'll just power-up the fryer at 35,000 feet and be right back. Honestly, some people.
- 5. Please do not hit on me. I've been asked how come I'm so beautiful yet unmarried before. I'm working. I don't want to talk about my private life with a stranger. Especially a married stranger on the prowl for a bit-on-the-side.
- 6. Yes, it's a 200-kilogramme drinks cart. Sorry, we have no in-flight-helicopter that would enable you to fly over the top. Hold your bladder for a few more seconds and I'll be out of the aisle.
- 7. Thanks for barging me aside as you went to the rest room. I really appreciated the nudge that sent my drinks tray flying. Now I'm dripping wet with beer and soda. Of course I didn't expect you to say sorry, but it might have been nice.
- 8. No, I am not glad that the plane is delayed. No, I am not paid overtime. I only get paid peanuts, by the way from when the plane backs away from the gate until it unlocks its doors at the destination. So, waiting sucks for me, too. My layover time just shrank by three hours and I already have serious jetlag.
- 9. Stop pushing the call button just so you can hand us your trash when we have waltzed by with a garbage bag ten times already. Don't push the button just to ask when we land or because you think it releases your chair back or changes the movie channel.
- 10. What's that? You don't have a pen to fill in the arrival/departure form? Well, well. Neither did the last ten passengers I spoke to. Sorry, oddly, I don't have a pen for every single one of the 300 people aboard. If this isn't your first flight you should know to pack one with your bloody passport for heaven's sake.
- 11. So you missed your connection. Sorry, I feel bad. I do. But, weirdly, I can't make the plane you booked come back and act as your personal taxi.
- 12. So you've just given birth. And now here you are with two nappy bags per child plus some strollers, car-seats and a daggy nanny not much older than the kids. I'm really looking forward to later when you and your entourage inevitably take 30 minutes longer than everyone else to 'de-plane'.
- 13. When you finish in the bathroom, please remember to flush. Because the lav is located along the back wall of our jumpseat, trust me we flight attendants know if you flushed.
- 14. Could you please not ask if we have things like magazines that've been unavailable on my airline for years? I know the lack of little luxuries sucks, but I don't need to hear you hark back to the golden age of air travel. I already know I work in a comparative pig sty. And I know how incredible our rivals are. Don't rub it in.
- 15. Stop pushing the &%$@ call button!
Thanks go to the flight attendants who contributed peeves to this story: Bobby Laurie author of the flight blog upupandagay.com; Gailen David, author of The Sky Steward; and Gregg Proteaux, who is responsible for the air travel book Attitudes at every Altitude.
Related: click on the image below to see our list of the 25 worst pitfalls of flying