Things Passengers Do

A couple of posts ago, I wrote about the things I hear lovely passengers say.  I thought that that post should be appropriately followed up with, Things Passengers Do.  This is a sharing of those moments when my colleagues and I shake our heads in utter amazement, wondering, “Did that person really just do that?!”

Things Passengers Do

Standing too close to the service cart when the flight attendant is doing service

Have you ever heard of personal space

Yoga stretches and other weird exercises in the flight attendant galley.

Said No Flight Attendant Ever

Opening overhead bins during flight and leaving them open.

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You would be surprised at how much this annoys flight attendants

Getting up to use the lavatory when the seatbelt sign is on.

Barefoot in the bathroom.

I made a few inflight friends the other day on a Boise trip.  I chatted with the three couples that were returning from a Maui escape.  The group was collectively celebrating 30th birthdays and a 5 year wedding anniversary.  I mentioned my blog, and Joe said he really wanted to be written about.  I shrugged.  Although all very fun people, I can’t really write a post, “I met three awesome passengers, and now we are friends.  The end.”  Meh.  A little lame.  But, Joe followed up the conversation, by doing something that flight attendants hate to see.  He insisted on using the lavatory, sans shoes.  Beach barefoot.  The first time, I gave him a fair warning.  The second offensive, I begged him to find his footwear, and by the third occurrence, three flight attendants, in total, cringed over his choices.  Yuck.  Joe, you’re cool, but yuck.  I most often see parents letting their children walk into the aircraft bathroom shoeless.  Joe said he could handle gross cause he’s a parent.  So moral of the story is that I have a lot to look forward if I have children??? Or take this gem away with you…wear shoes on an airplane.  Just do it. (But really, Joe, Kim, & Alicia, thank you for making my workday much more fun.  There’s the shout-out.  Hope to see you again soon).

Passenger opens up suitcase, right after stepping onto the aircraft, taking up the main space of boarding.  Other passengers try to squeeze awkwardly between the row of seats and him.   His massively large backpack, is strapped to his person, making the space even smaller for boarding.

Apparently, it was really important for him to unpack his suitcase immediately after stepping  onto the aircraft.  And you know what he was looking for?  Two packages of Goldfish crackers.  I’m sure he had no time when he was waiting at the gate to look through his bag.  Oh passengers, have phenomenal timing don’t they?

Passenger fills up water bottle in lavatory bathroom.


Feet on tray table.

Face on tray table

Food directly on tray table.

Changing baby diaper on tray table

Using the flight attendant jumpseat as a foot rest. 

This is one of my biggest pet peeves as a flight attendant

Passenger opens overhead bin that is placarded for lavatory supplies, and helps herself with flight attendants observing the entire scene.

This really annoyed me, as I was two steps away from the passenger when she did this.  She dropped the airsick bags, and paper towels in the aisle, and on another passenger’s head.  I pointedly said, as if I was talking to a small child (because that’s how adult passengers act sometimes, “Excuse me?! Don’t open the flight attendant supplies and help yourself.  I’m right here.  You need to ask for assistance!”  I also have a terrible poker face.

 Going to the lavatory within the first 10 mins of flight.

Clean, well maintained, and nicely smelling bathrooms are located in airports around the world.  Take advantage of them please.  Flight Attendants and others do not like to smell the aromas of previously digested meals, in the poorly recirculated air.

 Ringing the flight attendant call button for trash.

Flight attendants hate this, and contrary to popular belief trash bell is not what the call button was designed for.  Ring in the event of an emergency.

Putting bags in overhead bins that protrude way beyond the size constraints of the storage space, and leaving the bag there.

This just makes me wonder, “How dumb are you?”


Passenger reaches to place bag in overhead bin.  Pants fall off, exposing the hairiest…[fill in the blank].

I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.  It was shocking…

Flight Attendant Laughing

Photo taken moments after the incident

Passenger leaves ipad, wallet, books…etc

Passenger leaves suitcase on the airplane.

Passenger tries to take my suitcase off of the airplane.

This is not an exhaustive list, and of course passengers do some really great things too.  Feel free to share in the comments section of the things that you have observed passengers doing.

About the Author Kara

Curious. Bubbly. Creative. Curating a life I don't need an escape from and inspiring you to do the same.

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