Flying can be a pretty unpleasant experience but, it turns out, some passengers aren’t exactly making the experience much fun for those tasked with looking after us on the plane either.
Speaking to Yahoo Travel and writing on Quora and other pages, a bunch of flight crew members have revealed just how much holidaymakers appear to switch off to social norms as soon as they board a plane.
And, of course, the cabin crew have to remain professional even in the face of some of most impossible complaints and unsanitary behaviour.
As veteran flight attendant Emily Witkop put it simply to Yahoo:
People don’t have a filter with us. They have that comfort level with us where they’ll say anything.
So here’s just five examples of the strangest behaviour flight attendants have experienced during their time on the job…
1) The engines are too loud
According to one flight attendant who identifies herself only as ‘Betty’ who spoke to Yahoo Travel, one passenger actually complained about how noisy the engines were. Apparently she demanded the crew make that “blasted noise” stop.
The attendant replied: “I think you are referring to the engines, and we better all pray that they don’t stop”.
2) Making food in the toilet
One passenger actually used the water in the toilet to make his cup-a-soup.
Writing on Quora, former flight attendant Heather Wilde helpfully pointed out: “Guys, the water lines haven’t ever been cleaned – ever”.
3) The mid-flight grooming session
It appears there’s nothing some passengers love more as a way to kill time on a long flight than casually biting their nails, breaking wind, picking orifices and popping spots.
As Heather Wilde puts it: “It’s like as soon as they get on the plane they are in a bubble all alone”.
That attitude has manifested itself in some pretty grim ways, with fellow flight attendant Liz Corcoran adding on Quora that one passenger blew their nose on a linen napkin then handed it to her despite the fact she didn’t have a tray and wasn’t wearing gloves.
Another passenger even asked her to wait as she casually ripped some strands of hair from her head, before plonking them down on her tea tray to be cleaned away. This isn’t normal behaviour, guys!
4) Treating the plane like a dump
The Passenger Shaming Instagram and Facebook pages have given people a very vivid insight into just how many inconsiderate passengers treat the inside of a plane like their own rubbish tip.
Images on the pages show food and packaging left strewn across the aisles, bloody bandages stuffed into seats, and all manner of discarded magazines and other items. Lovely…
5) Feet. Feet everywhere
When you’re trapped in an enclosed space for hours at a time, the last thing you want is someone getting their smelly feet out and waving them in your face. Yet that’s precisely what some passengers deem acceptable behaviour.
— Passenger Shaming (@PassengerShame) July 22, 2013
Sure, you probably want to stretch out a little while on a long flight but the Passenger Shaming pages show how this idea has really gotten out of hand. No wonder a recent study revealed tray tables are the dirtiest places on aeroplanes – collecting more bacteria than the lavatory flush button. Grim…