Top 10 Ways to Make Your Flight Attendant Your Friend
Here are the do's and don'ts from crew members for an overall better travel experience.
Every airline passenger knows the challenges of spending hours confined to a seat in a small space, but have you ever stopped to think about what it's like to work in that cramped space, taking care of 200 people?
Think of kindness to the flight crew as your contribution to civility and goodwill in the skies.
1. It's this easy
If there is one wish every flight attendant has, it's this: Be nice. A kind word goes further than most passengers will ever know. You can practice it from the moment you step through the plane's door: Smile and say hello to the cabin crew - it's really that easy.
2. Be ready
Have you been behind that passenger who boards the plane, finds his seat, and then blocks the aisle arranging everything he needs while everyone behind him is waiting to get past? We all have. Don't be that person. Plan ahead. This will help everyone get into their seats quicker, which will make your flight crew very happy.
3. Check that
If you aren't physically capable of lifting your bag into the overhead bag, and you're not traveling with someone who can help you, check your bag in instead. There's a good reason for this: Most airlines have strict rules prohibiting cabin crew from helping with bags because of injuries caused by repeated heavy lifting. So, even if your flight attendant wanted to help you, they aren't allowed to. Also, on-time departures are a huge consideration for airlines, and the No. 1 cause for delay is baggage.
4. Seen but not heard
Flight attendants are happy that so many people keep themselves occupied during a flight but when cabin crew members are coming down the aisle with food or drinks, they ask that you take at least one of your earbuds out, so you can hear them. They get tired of repeating the beverage options over and over to passengers who don't remove their earphones. If you don't want service, at least signal that.
5. Kids will be kids
If you're travelling with young ones, come armed to the teeth with everything you need to keep them happy and occupied - toys, puzzles, videos and even the food they like, which may not be what's available from the airline. Members of the cabin crew are not babysitters, so please don't ask them to hold your baby while you go to the bathroom.
6. Let us help you
If you are a fearful flyer, or are feeling sick, say something. They can help, and they want to help, and they can usually tell by looking at someone what's going on, but it's better if you inform them. By law, attendants aren't allowed to dispense any medications, even aspirin (so make sure you bring your own medication if you need it), but they can help get you more comfortable, and when necessary, help prevent your last meal from ending up in your lap, or your neighbours'.
7. Don't be a space invader
The galley is their haven. They go there to prepare for service, to talk, to gather themselves, to just be. If you want to chat, they are usually OK with that but keep it to 5-10 minutes, 15 at most. Just be mindful. If you need to go to the galley to stretch on a long flight, please ask first, and keep it brief.
8. Police yourselves
There's no excuse for rude or boorish behaviour on a plane, but unfortunately, it happens. When it does, either ignore it or resolve it politely. Neither can flight attendants force people to change seats because you want to sit next your wife/husband/friend. And if the child behind you keeps kicking your feet, ask the parent, without being confrontational, to be aware of where those little legs are hitting because, no, your flight attendant can't get involved in that, either.
9. We want your attention
It's really tempting to tune out when attendants are giving the safety instructions, but the attendants' first job is keeping passengers safe in the air, and they appreciate it when they have your eyes and ears. If you haven't buckled your seatbelt, or your seat is reclining on take-off, that could mean someone's job. There are ghost riders onboard, unknown to them, whose job it is to make sure flight attendants are enforcing the rules.
10. Time to go
Did you know that flight attendants are only paid for the time they work when the doors are locked? That's why they appreciate it when you board quickly and why they'd like you to de-plane as quickly as possible. Have your shoes on, your things gathered, and be ready to get up when it's your turn. You have places to go, and so does your attendant.