Galley Gossip: Flight attendant pet peeve #6 – The run around

My job as a flight attendant is to be there in case of an emergency. Until then, I’ll do whatever I can to make sure your flight runs as smoothly as possible. That’s why I’m there. That’s my job. And while I enjoy my job tremendously, there are a few things that annoy me.

Scott Carmichael touched on one of those things in his recent post, 10 passengers we love to hate: Day 8 – passengers who misuse the flight attendant call button. Whenever someone abuses the call light, I often times wonder if I’m unknowingly on an episode of Punk’d. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind when passengers use their call lights, it’s there for a reason, but there is a limit as to how many times you should use it. Fifteen times on a three hour flight is a bit much, don’t ya think?

Another thing I find a bit much is when passengers can’t seem to get it together, passengers who have a tendency to run me ragged, passengers who treat me like their own personal slave assistant. Here’s an example of what not to do on a flight…

We’ve just finished the service and that’s when I hear it – DING! Immediately I look up at the flight attendant panel and see that a passenger on the right hand side of the aircraft is calling. I step into the aisle, scan the cabin, and when I locate the light, I begin walking toward the single orange glow.

I reach up, push the button, and the light turns off. “Is there something I can get for you?”

“Diet Coke,” you say, and because you’re asking so soon after the service is over, I assume you were asleep when we came through the aisle with our carts.

“Sure, I’ll be right back.” To the rear of the aircraft and into the galley I go. I grab a plastic cup, a can of soda, and a napkin. Then I head back to your seat, placing it all on the tray table in front of you.


Two seconds later I hear it again – DING! It’s you. I walk to your seat and ask if you need something else. You nod. “Is there anything to eat on board?”

“Of course!” I rattle off a list of snacks and the price per each snack.

“I’ll take the sandwich.”

“Good choice.” I make my way to the galley and grab a turkey sandwich, a couple more napkins, and then head to your seat again. “That’s going to be-“

“Do you have any complimentary pretzels or nuts?”

“I’m sorry, but we only have snacks for sale. We do offer a bag of mixed nuts for $3.”

“Can I take a look?” you ask as you unwrap the plastic around your sandwich, drop the bread onto a napkin, wad it up, and hand it over to me.

Okay. With the discarded bread in my hand, I make my way to the back of the aircraft, toss it into the trash, grab a bag of nuts, and two seconds later I’m standing at your row. “Here ya go.”

Slowly but surely the bag is inspected. You shake your head and hand it back. “I’ll just take the sandwich.” You point to the overhead bin. “Can you hand me my bag? My wallet’s inside.”

I pop open the bin and pull down the bag down, but because you’re not ready to take it, I continue to hold it as you rearrange the items on your table. As I’m waiting, waiting, waiting, you ask, “Can I get another blanket?”

“I’ll see if I can find you another one,” I say, emphasizing the word another since you’ve got two already, one of which I gave to you earlier in flight. I’m still holding onto the bag with one hand as I begin to open and close overhead bins with the other. There are no extra blankets to be found and that’s exactly what I tell you. “Sorry,” I add, because I am sorry, sorry I’m always saying sorry.

“Great,” you mumble, rolling your eyes, taking the bag, and dismissing me by placing your headphones back in your ears.

Ten minutes later I’m walking down the aisle. When I get to yourseat, I collect your trash without saying a word. I’m just two rows away when I hear it again – DING! I lean back and ask, “Yes?”

Silently you hand me a single napkin, store your tray table, and without taking your eyes off the movie screen, ask for a glass of water.

“Certainly.” I look at my watch. Just three hours and twenty two minutes to go.