If you noticed that flight attendants on your last flight seemed a little snippy, please do not take it personally.
They have their own reasons for appearing that way. You may think that it is because most of the major airlines are broke, that employee pensions are being cut, or that employee morale has gone to an all time low. And you’re right, but that’s just a small part of a bigger problem.
Flight workers have to put up with increasingly agitated travellers on board who sometimes resort to some strange habits. A flight was recently diverted because an unruly passenger lit a cigarette and urinated in the aisle while another case involved a passenger who threatened that he had a bomb, then fled the plane only to be shot dead by air marshals.
Such ugly incidents show that it isn’t just what passengers do that upsets the crew, but also what they say. When you aren’t sure where your next paycheck is coming from, and your passengers are bad-mouthing you, it’s enough to test the patience of even the most mild-mannered crew member.
So to keep the peace while on board, here is a list of things that you should never, under any circumstances, say to a working flight employee.
“Hey, what happened to the food?”
Flight attendants are put off by such statements because there is little they can do about it. “Also, don’t bother complaining if the food is lousy, or if there isn’t enough of it,” says Sally Williams, a travel book author. “Or if they are charging for it, that it costs too much.” If you’re on a flight where food is served, you should probably keep cool and be grateful. Most flights are food-free these days.
“No wonder your airline is bankrupt.”
“It is just the kind of thing that a selfish, self-absorbed coach passenger would say when the service isn’t up to snuff, or there isn’t enough airline food,” says a seasoned flight attendant. In fact, most flight attendants can never say anything about their airline’s tricky financial situation with customers. For them, it’s just a no go zone.
“I have a bad feeling about this flight.”
You need to leave such forewarnings in the terminal or you can decide not to travel at all. But if you have to travel, it is prudent that you don’t share such thoughts with the crew. The reality is that many flight attendants have had bad feelings about their flights before, and if they hear you mumbling something about a bad omen, they’re probably going to interpret it in the worst possible way. Maybe you know something they don’t. Maybe the plane is actually going to go down.
“I have a bomb in my bag.”
With the rise in the perception of terrorist threats around the world, flight attendants have become much more aware of the cabin environment. Apart from constantly scanning the cabin during the boarding process as well as the deplaning process at the end of a flight, flight employees pay close attention to comments made by passengers. Therefore your bomb jokes are definitely going to …bomb.
In case you didn’t know, the term “stewardess” and “steward” are considered derogatory, if not archaic. They are especially offensive if they’re used while, at the same time, you repeatedly press the flight attendant “call” button over your seat. Being bona fide crew members who have undergone many hours of safety training, flight attendants love to hate being regarded as airborne waiters.
Since the skies aren’t what they used to be, just watch what you say on your next flight.
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