While customers are often considered right, there are instances where tensions can rise between passengers and cabin crew, especially in the confined space of an airplane. Marika Mikusova, a cabin crew member, has shared her experiences in her book, Diary of a Flight Attendant, where she reveals the truth about what aviation employees truly think. According to Marika, the one thing that annoys flight attendants the most is when passengers overuse the call bell.
Speaking to the Mirror, Marika said: « Abusing the call bell will definitely lead to you being ignored, so please, don’t. You never know if you will need medical help, and we won’t either as we will deliberately ignore you. »
Another behaviour that frustrates flight attendants is when passengers bicker about situations they can easily resolve amongst themselves.
Marika advises passengers to communicate with each other and find a solution without involving the cabin crew. She said: You are adults, so, come on, just talk to your fellow passenger about that window seat preference you have. And don’t fight over rack above your seat. Of course, the closest one you use, the better. But you can use any. »
Marika has also encountered passengers who have crossed the line from being annoying to being rude and abusive. She recalled an incident where a customer called the crew « b**ches » after not receiving his drink.
She said: « We were even called ‘b**ches’ once when a customer complained he didn’t get his drink.
« Then he tried to ridicule the whole female crew, saying ‘my sister would never work like these b**ches’. It was meant to be a cultural insult. »
While such incidents are rare, they can escalate into physical abuse, which is why flight attendants remain on high alert. Marika noted that alcohol often acts as a trigger in such situations.
Marika also urged passengers to refrain from engaging in casual misogyny or exhibiting rude restaurant behaviour towards the cabin crew.
She said: What we find annoying is calling us ‘hey, you’ or so on as if you were in a medieval dive bar. Or snapping fingers or pulling the hem of our skirt to get our attention.
« Not okay. Press the call bell or even better – come to the galley yourself. »
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