“Is it me, or are passengers getting ruder?” (Photo: Getty Images)
Sydney Peal is a flight attendant and author of “Diary of a Pissed-Off Flight Attendant.”
When did “please” and “thank you” disappear from air travel? Seeing how people behave toward flight attendants these days, one would think that someone opened the emergency door and concepts such as “basic manners” and “common courtesy” got sucked out into the open sky.
We all know that traveling is a necessary evil and that you have options when choosing your mode of transportation. Without putting excessive miles on your car, paying high gas prices, dealing with an obnoxious spouse and bratty kids for endless hours, or sitting on a smelly Greyhound bus next to Ray-Ray, who just got released from prison, your fastest, most efficient form of transportation will most likely be by air.
We get it: Flying is stressful. Packing multiple roller bags, strollers, and car seats is already enough to give you a nice case of stress-induced hives. As if you weren’t frazzled enough, you now have to deal with the infamously long lines at security and the sometimes not-so-friendly airline personnel. But that doesn’t mean that you should check your manners along with your luggage.
Of course, the lack of manners does not apply to all passengers because for the most part, you guys are fantastic. It’s the other ones — the ones we all roll our eyes at, that get on my last good nerve.
Here are the things that seem to trigger the inner jerks of many of our passengers:
With the scarcity of free snacks being offered by airlines, every packet of pretzels is a gift to be treasured. (Photo: faungg’s photo/Flickr)
With the dawn of the millennium, airlines began cutting costs, and one of the first things to go was complimentary snacks. For those of you who haven’t flown in the past 15 years, you are excused. However, the passengers who fly on a regular basis should be ashamed of themselves for not showing gratitude to the airlines that still continue to provide a free snack.
I know you are angry that we don’t have gluten-free snacks, but be responsible for your own health and bring your own options. Also, I don’t care that you had cookies on “the last flight”; we do not have those on this flight, but the airport is stocked with multiple options.
Show a little gratitude upon receiving your frosty beverage. (Photo: Paul Nicholson/Flickr)
When I hand you a drink, don’t just nod or point at your tray table. I am a human being, and I would like to be acknowledged. If you continue to nod and I set your drink down, it may just slide into your lap, and then you’re going to do what you do best: blame me for all of your travel woes.
If someone is kind enough to swap seats so that you can sit with your bestie, the least you can do is show a little appreciation. (Photo: Denni Van Huis/Stocksy)
The majority of airlines allow you to book your seat in advance, and I know that sometimes you get split up from your family. We try our best to accommodate you when we are able. What is not appropriate is for you to put another passenger on the spot in front of the whole aircraft and fail to thank them for switching seats with you. You could at least buy them a drink.
Assisting with luggage
“Yes, I love lifting heavy things so you don’t have to.” (Photo: Getty Images)
YOU packed your bag and got it into your car, YOU rolled your bag from your car into the airport, YOU lifted your bag onto the conveyor belt at security, YOU managed your bag this entire time, and now YOU need assistance stowing your bag?! I climb on the seats like a monkey to rearrange other bags for YOU, and wow, I don’t even get a thank-you.
“Oh, you wanted two medium-sized ice cubes? Coming right up!” (Photo: c o n d o r i a n o/Flickr)
When I offer you a beverage, I always provide you with ice unless you specify otherwise. What always throws me for a loop is the fact that you just want two ice cubes. Really, only two? I oblige you because I find you comical, but because you didn’t say “Thank you,” the next time, you may get two ice cubes or none at all.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “You can catch more flies with honey?” No? Well, let me put it in layman’s terms for you: Being polite and pleasant to your flight crew will get you a lot more while up in the air than being a thankless diva.