FeaturedFlight AttendantsFlying

The Best and Worst Kinds of Airline Passengers

Bonus Video: Craziest airline passenger meltdowns

One would be forgiven for thinking that as a passenger, you just blend into the crowd, lost amongst the hundreds of other people on the plane. Let me tell you, flight attendants have a special way of eyeballing the good, the bad, and the downright nasty amongst the throng.

This story reflects on flight attendant life before the coronavirus pandemic hit the airline industry.

The Best and Worst kinds of airline passengers are easy to spot

terminal, navigating the best and worst airline passengers
Flight attendants never know what passenger personalities will emerge from the terminal for boarding. Photo: From a Boeing 757 cockpit, looking into the terminal while passengers are boarding in the cabin. CaptainJetson.com

Newsflash: we judge you the moment you step aboard. It starts with hello. We have the courtesy to welcome you on board with a smile, regardless of the time of day or the fact that it’s our 3rd sector.

We expect you to respond with a greeting in return. Those passengers who storm past us without an acknowledgment are immediately in our bad books. Make eye contact, however, smile at us and greet us back, and you’re right up there amongst our favorite humans.

The specifics on the Best and Worst Airline Passengers

best and worst airline passengers, cabin
Goodie bag for the flight attendants. Social Media

The Best Passengers On Board

If you follow social media, you might have seen a recent trend where passengers make goodie bags for their flight attendants. Now whereas this is not at all necessary, it does make us love you a whole lot more. Believe me, that little chocolate you’re gifting us can really make our day.

It can even turn into a win/win for you, with a freebie glass of champagne or a better seat.

Personally, my favorite flyers are the ones who get on and settle down with no fuss. Stow your bag without blocking the aisle, sit down and fasten your seatbelt. Really, it’s quite incredible how many passengers wait to be told.

funny plane cabin picture of passenger
Flight Attendants giving out their “Best Passenger Award for 2019”. Social Media.

The Annoying Flyers

It is quite a skill to keep a neutral face when the 20th person asks you for a free upgrade. We don’t give free upgrades. Almost all airlines have a policy in this regard, it’s not up to us.

In any case, customers who received a free upgrade (usually due over-sale of the lower cabin) are often the most annoying on the plane. Suddenly they become entitled snobs, demanding everything from the flight attendants and wanting it immediately.

Now don’t get me wrong, for most people, it’s a treat to be upgraded, and we want you to enjoy the experience. We will give you everything, but be respectful, and remember you’re not the only passenger on the plane.

Navigating The Real Problem Passengers

B737 navigation display screen
A Boeing 737 cockpit navigation display. Photo: CaptainJetson.com

Nothing scares flight attendants more on a plane than disruptive behavior from flyers. Technical faults and turbulence pale in comparison to an unpredictable person on the verge of being out of control.

Often, alcohol is involved. Some people are triggered by unknown mental or emotional traumas or extreme tiredness.

Anger can quickly escalate to violence, and in a confined space with a high density of people, it’s a stressful situation for an FA.

Add to that the apparent need for spectators to make a movie of the incident, and it really becomes our worst nightmare. Friendly reminder folks, it is illegal to record people without their consent in most countries. If you do happen to witness something kicking off, don’t start filming.

See you up there!


Video of the craziest airline passenger meltdowns, according to The Sun. Video: The Sun/YouTube.

Your comments

Our hard-working flight attendants have to be quite skilled in dealing with hundreds of passenger personalities every day. And, did you know that there was such a thing as an unofficial “best and worst airline passengers” in the personal minds of most flight attendants? What passenger personality are you?

As always we love to hear about the reactions to our articles from our readers. Feel free to contact us here.

airplane wings breaking

p.s. Have you read one of our most popular stories, Can the airplane wings break off in strong turbulence?

Featured Image: Unsplash

  • Do You Like What You're Reading?

    Get the latest Airline, Aviation & Travel News from CaptainJetson delivered to your mailbox, 100% free.

  • Your email address will be kept safe and sound with our email provider, MailChimp.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button