It’s summer and school’s out! Time to take that family vacation you’ve been waiting for all year. What does this mean for flight attendants? Full flights, lots of kids, and a terrible time trying to commute to work. It also means a whole new set of flight attendant pet peeves…..
1. Deodorant – Need I say more?
2. Boarding – Just because you have kids does not entitle you to board first, especially when the ages of those kids fall into the double digits. Oh I know it takes a little longer to get settled in due to the Winnebago sized stroller piled high with who-knows-what, but airlines strive for on-time departures and the fastest way to get the airplane out is to board from back to front. Sit tight and wait for your row to be called.
3. Car seats – There are dozens of different models to choose from each year, so unless your flight attendant has a child that owns the exact same car seat, he/she will be just as clueless as to how to secure the seat properly. Review the installation instructions before you board and make sure you’re not blocking other passengers from the aisle before spending a good fifteen minutes strapping it to the seat.
4. Blankets – It’s hot as a mother out there, but don’t come on board an aircraft half dressed and then get angry at me when I’m unable to find you a blanket. Most domestic flights don’t even offer blankets anymore, and if they do, there are only a handful to pass out. Bring a sweatshirt next time.
5. Snacks – Traveling today is much like being on an episode of Survivor in that you must come prepared for the worst. Sure, you may not be hungry when the snack cart rolls by, but if there’s even the slightest chance you might get the munchies an hour before arrival, buy the snack! Don’t wait until it’s too late. We do run out of food. Or just bring your own snacks next time. I do.
6. Kids – I know it’s a long flight, and yes, your little stinker is adorable, and I really don’t mind that he’s standing in the aisle when the seat belt sign is off, but please, please, please, when you see us trying to get the service done, keep little Johnny in his seat. Do you really want me to fall on top of him? Or accidentally kick him down the aisle?
7. Parents – You’re sitting in first class while the kids are in coach. I get it, you’re worried, makes perfect sense, but don’t keep asking me to move a one-hundred-and-fifty pound beverage cart so you can continuously check up on them. And don’t you dare take first class service items back to coach. If you’re worried that much and you’d like to share your experience, try sitting beside them next time.
8. Call lights – They’re there for a reason, which means it’s okay to use them. But ringing the flight attendant call button fifteen times on a two hour flight is just not acceptable, even if the person ringing that bell is under two feet tall. Lights and sounds are used as a means of communication between crew members, so if the call light is being abused don’t be surprised if a flight attendant arrives at your row holding a fire extinguisher. If you’re a parent, quick – learn how to turn the call light off!
9. Deplaning– The captain makes an announcement to prepare for landing about twenty minutes prior to touch down. How about using this time to get the princess dressed and the toys packed – instead of waiting until everyone has deplaned except for the crew. There’s nothing worse than arriving to a city late at night with only an eight hour layover and while the cleaners wait to board, mommy is just tying the shoes while daddy is checking every seat back in sight.
10. UM’s: There’s been a lot in the news about airlines losing unaccompanied minors, but what about parents who show up 45 minutes late? Or not at all! It’s happened. I, myself, got stuck at baggage claim with a kid who looked to be about 10 years-old. I would have asked him his age, but he didn’t speak English, so we just stood there smiling at each other – for 45 minutes.
Photos courtesy of: (suitcase) Ksfc84, (Monkey) Rob, (Airplane) Woodleywonderworks