is a a flight attendant, a writer, and a member of the Journeywoman
Network. She has many flight attendant friends each flying with
different airlines. We asked Sharon to canvas her pals and come
up with a list of pet peeves -- passenger behaviours that these
women find difficult to deal with. Here is the end result: their
do's and don'ts of air travel safety and etiquette...
We are your
flight attendants. Observe our composure. See us smiling pleasantly.
What poise we present! Oops. What's that? A briefly furrowed
brow? A momentary look of impatience? Eyes raised toward heaven?
What's caused this temporary lapse in our serenity? Odds are some
passenger unknowingly committed one of the following sins. Now,
these nit-picky annoyances may seem trivial to you. But when repeated
like Chinese water torture every day of our careers they make
us want to weep into our aprons.
It is not social outcasts
who commit these petits faux pas but nice, normal folk who do
not realize their behavior drives us crazy. So, if you see yourself
below, please reform!
who ask their two-year-old what he or she
wants to drink--while we wait and wait and
who put their luggage on top of the pillows
and blankets and then ask us for pillows
who ask us for a pillow, watch us open every
bin to find one and then, when we bring
it, ask us for a blanket.
who watch their neighbour ask us for something
and then, when we bring it, ask us for the
who see us serving meals but make us hold
their tray and wait while they finally clear
their papers or computer off their tray
who order a special meal and then decide
they prefer the regular one.
who paint their nails on the plane--the
smell is overpowering!
who take off their shoes then put their
bare feet up on the wall or seats.
who cough or sneeze without covering their
nose and mouth.
who get up during flight turbulence.
whose elbows, legs, feet and purse straps
in the aisle bruise and trip us.
who won't promptly turn off their electronic
gadgets and computers for landing.
who expect us to lift their luggage overhead
for them. If you can't lift it...
who let their child ring the call-bell,
draw, or place stickers right on the tray
who forget the words Please and Thank you.
who shake their ice at us when they want
a drink refill.
who poke, tap, grab, or tug on our aprons
to get our attention while we are busy serving
People who speak too softly or just mouth
who hang out in our galley. It's the only
refuge we have in which
to restore ourselves for our next daring
venture into the aisles.
who look at us and say, "Smile!"
Note: I'd like to thank Journeywoman
for giving me this opportunity to raise awareness
and hold a mirror to those who fly. I also
thank my fellow flight attendants who contributed
to this list.
Calling all flight attendants! Have a pet
peeve of your own?
Click here to let us know what frustrates
you. We'll include them in an upcoming
issue of Journeywoman.
words on etiquette...
Much of good manners
is about knowing when to pretend that what's happening isn't
--Mrs. Falk Feeley, A Swarm of Wasps
Etiquette is what you
are doing and saying when people are looking and listening.
What you are thinking is your business.
--Virginia Cary Hudson, O Ye Jigs and Juleps
You can't be truly rude
until you understand good manners.
--Rita Mae Brown, Starting from Scratch
Be pretty if you can,
be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you.
--Elsie de Wolfe, in Mrs. Falk Feeley, A Swarm of Wasps
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