When it comes to air travel, there are a group of people who are essential to your trip. They can provide you with comfort, refreshment, immediate first aid and reassure you of any concerns. I am of course talking about the flight crew. These people have to deal with hundreds of passengers, many of whom are rude and disrespectful. However you can make their jobs a lot easier once you know how to make your flight attendants like you.
Here are some tips:
17 tips on how to make your flight attendants like you
The little things can mean the most. Giving the gift of a smile relays so many wonderful vibes. If it is not corny, then the flight attendant will quickly warm to you. If nothing else it says that you are happy to be here, you will be the model passenger and not cause any problems for the flight crew who might already be having a stressful day.
2. Say hello back
Nobody likes rude people and being ignored feels very rude. If you clearly hear the flight attendant greet you as you board the aircraft, a respectful acknowledgement lets them know you heard them. Some people just walk on by ignoring any verbal communication. If you behave like this the flight attendant could well wonder why they should bother greeting people at all.
3. Watch and listen to the safety demonstration
People often don’t realise this but the flight crew are there for your safety, not your convenience. The flight safety demonstration is one of the, if not the most important part of their job. Even if you are like myself and have flown literally thousands of times, it doesn’t hurt to spend 2 minutes giving your attention to this necessary procedure.
4. Remove your headphones when they talk to you
I know how appealing it is to just zone out whilst on a long flight. It is quite comforting to listen to your own music or become absorbed in a film. However when a flight attendant is coming over to talk to you it is at the very least respectful to remove your ear plugs or headphones so you can actually hear what he/she has to say. It could be an urgent message, it might be something to do with your connecting flight or a safety notice. One thing is for sure, this flight attendant has better things to do than repeat themselves 3 or 4 times because someone won’t give them their attention.
5. Be specific when ordering drinks and food (state if you want black or white coffee, sugar, ice in your drink etc)
Flight attendants aren’t mind readers so try to be specific. If you let them know how you like your food or drink to be served then let them know. For example I don’t like ice in my cold drinks so I always add “without ice” when I order.
6. Don’t forget your Ps and Qs yes say “Please” and “Thank You”
Politeness costs nothing yet goes a long way. Even if your mother didn’t bring you up with this simple courtesy, it is one you should learn, quick! Nobody likes a rude person and if you don’t show appreciation for what the air crew are doing for you, they won’t be rushing back to serve you first.
7. Load your luggage correctly, wheels at the back for roller bags
Most cabins now have signs to guide you but this is a good habit to develop. If you have a roller bag like mine then slot it into the overhead bin wheels first. Then the bag will not roll around in flight. It is also likely make more space available for other passengers to fit their bags in the bins.
8. Keep the aisles clear
I do like the freedom of more elbow room that comes with an aisle seat. I am also wise to the fact that the aisle is not somewhere to rest my feet. Cabin crew us the aisle as their main work way. They have to go up and down here frequently to attend to passengers, answer calls from the cockpit and most noticeably, wheel trolleys. If your bags, feet or arms are taking up aisle space there is a risk of an accident or at least slowing down the crew.
9. Keep your seatbelt fastened when the seat belt sign is on
Out of all the thousands of flights that I’ve taken, I guess the most annoyed I’ve seen flight crew is when passengers don’t obey instructions. These include switching off electronic devices and fastening your seat belt. In spite of many passengers thinking they know more about airline safety than a trained crew, you should always follow the seat belt instructions. Even if the plane has stopped taxiing on the ground never assume it is safe to unlock your seat belt before the sign is switched off. I’ve seen it with my own eyes; please just keep your seat belt fastened.
10. Notify the airline in advance of any dietary requirements
Like point 5, if the crew know what you want then you are less likely to be disappointed. Admittedly it is rare, but I had a flight with United where my pre-notified dietary requirements were not actioned. This left both my flight attendant and myself quite frustrated as my eating options post surgery were then very limited. Thankfully this type of thing is rare and gave me good grounds for complaint.
The good news is that it is unlikely to be the case if you are prepared. Try to give the airline a few days, if not a few weeks notice of any dietary requirements before taking your flight.
11. Don’t get drunk
We all know the horror stories that hit the papers of unruly, drunken passengers. It is true, they ruin the flight for everyone. Whether it be talking too loudly, arguing, becoming aggressive or just being an overall pain, nobody likes them. Sadly the air crew have to know how to handle these unpredictable and potentially violent characters. All whilst stuck in a confined space. Please, watch what you drink and do so in moderation.
12. Listen to and respect crew requests such as switching off your phones, taking your seat quickly.
Since the cabin crew are focused on safety then any requests they make of you may well have safety in mind even if you don’t realise it. You will make their lives easier and our flight safer if you follow their guidance. Also whilst on the aircraft there are various laws around the world which mean you have to follow their instruction. It sounds like a wise idea because I wouldn’t fancy being met by the police when I land.
13. Don’t blame the cabin crew for delays. It is most likely not to be their fault.
Delays due to technical problems, air traffic control or fog at your destination airport are not the fault of your cabin crew. Don’t give them grief because you are now going to arrive late; we are all going to be late. Also, many cabin crews are paid by the time they are in the air, not on the ground. So all that time delayed on the ground is a frustration for them too. They also have homes to go to.
14. Bring the right size carry on and don’t bring too many carry ons.
Most airlines publish their carry on bag policies on their websites so there is little excuse to not comply. Also, whilst we are all frustrated with checked bag fees, trying to bring more bags on than are allowed will only annoy the crew and fellow passengers.
15. Don’t put your feet on the bulk head wall in front of you.
You are not at home now. Show some respect to everyone else on the plane, and to the cleaners after you.
16. Always be polite.
Remember, you don’t know what is going on in the life of the crew. Remain polite at all times and the crew will appreciate it. On a rare occasion that you think the crew are rude or inattentive remember two things:- 1. Your getting angry, loud and impolite is not going to win them over 2. They might not be on form today for personal reasons that you don’t know about. Maybe their partner has left them, their cat died or their mother is ill. Or more likely they’ve just come from another passenger who were also extremely rude towards them. Remember flight crew are human too. Whilst they have to remain professional at all times, if they slip from this just remember you are unlikely to always know why. Try walking in their shoes.
17. Carry a pen.
If you are taking an international flight chances are you’ll have to complete a Customs or Immigration Form. This can cause a sudden rise in demand for ink pens as passengers look to complete the cards. If you have a pen or two on you as you travel this will reduce the demand for pens. Less demand for pens means more time for the crew to do other important things, like serving food and preparing the plane for landing.
There is my top 17 ways of making the flight attendants like you and how to keep them happy. What can you add to the list?