The 11 Strangest Things People Ask for on a Plane


(Illustration: Ryan McCullah)

You think you’ve got it bad when your in-flight entertainment conks out, the Pixie-Stix-addicted kid behind you mistakes the back of your chair for a vertical trampoline, and the plane runs out of “Good Morning Sunshine” cheese boxes? That’s child’s play. Welcome to Confessions of a Fed-Up Flight Attendant, a Yahoo Travel series where “Betty” describes the harrowing, real-life situations she and her comrades in the sky face every day, 35,000 feet away from a foot massage and premium whiskey.

This week Betty tells us the 11 strangest things people have asked her for on a plane. Dear passengers, flight attendant does not equal 7-11.

As a flight attendant I am constantly astounded at essential items passengers fail to bring with them while traveling. I understand that people need certain things. What shocks me is how often they forget those necessities.


Betty is not a doctor. Please stop asking her for drugs. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Here is a curious list of things passengers have asked for on the airplane:

1. Sleeping pills: I’m sorry. I may look like one, but I am not actually a doctor.

2. Diapers: You have a baby but forget to bring diapers?

3. Deodorant: On certain international flights I truly wish we had deodorant to give to passengers.

4. Tweezers: I just had to ask this passenger, “What do you need tweezers for?“ I assumed they had a splinter or something, but the response I got really surprised me. “I fell into a plant before getting on the airplane and need to get the thorns out of my butt.” I actually had my own personal tweezers in my bag that I might have offered for a splinter but definitely not for thorn-in-the-butt removal!


Why is it so hard for people not to be gross on a plane? (Photo: Thinkstock)

5. Toenail clippers: They asked as if we just have one pair that we all share back in the galley.

6. Hemorrhoid cream: I didn’t even want to know.

7. Pen: This would have been fine. We have pens. It wasn’t fine when the passenger said: ”Do you have a pen? I need to clean my ears.”

8. Screwdriver: I obviously don’t have a screwdriver but again, I just had to ask. He replied, “To take the seat apart.” Um … that”s not going to happen! Also, we want you off the plane.

9. Clearasil: They were very specific about the brand.

10. Inhalers: See #1.

11. A cup and lid, a straw, and a knife: For what, you may ask? "I need to make a catheter.”

For more “Confessions,” see Part I and Part II of Betty’s firsthand account of Ambien Zombies on the plane. And follow us on Facebook and Twitter so that we can inspire you every day.