People often times think that the life of a flight attendant is all fun and games. A life of sipping out of coconuts on the beach while we are getting paid to be on a layover. But let me tell you this, it’s not. It’s really f*cking not.
I honestly can’t tell you the number of times that I hear something throughout the day that causes an involuntary eye-roll, so here are a few stories and examples shared from actual flight attendants (all who will be left anonymous) about our life.
- “One time a passenger came on the plane and said we were not allowed to serve artificial sweeteners (i.e. diet beverages or sweeten low/truvia) because they had an ‘airborne allergy’ to artificial sweeteners.” um, no you don’t. First of all thats not a thing, and secondly, you would have already died in the gate area with everyone drinking their diet cokes and coffee’s with Splenda!!
- When you have a delay and passengers are freaking out about their connection, but really you are freaking out too because you are trying to make your commuter flight home instead of having to sleep in the airport because hotels are too expensive.
- Everyday you have at least one passenger who comes onboard with a bag the size of a basketball player and they always try to tell you, “It fit on my last flight!”
- “Once my flight landed 30 minutes early. As we were deplaning I said, ‘Have a great day’ to which a passenger responded, ‘well I have already missed my meeting so I am sure its going to be a really great day!’ as he walked off I was trying to figure out what he would have done if we were actually on time???”
- We get to say “almonds, cookies, pretzels, or granola bar,” 100s of times a day, only for people to answer, “peanuts.”
- We bid for our schedules each month, and no matter what we bid, we often times get schedules that are the complete OPPOSITE of what we asked for. This job might be “flexible” but if you ever want to get something that you want, you need to put in a lot of time working the system.
- “So I was laying over in LGA, get in my room and get dressed because we were going out. I put on my jeans and then smell something odd. Turns out my sister’s cat peed in my suitcase and it was all over everything”
- When passengers try to demand that your job is to put their bags in the overhead bins.
- “I can’t tell you the number of times that I have hushed full grown men for screaming at me because they have their headphone volume too high.”
- “One time I had such a long day, but I came back to my hotel room and tried to look up places to go eat. Next thing I know, I woke up, it’s 3am, all the lights are on, I’m still in my uniform, and my phone is opened to GPS with a list of restaurants nearby.”
- Often during a major storm or system-wide outage the company will lose you and your schedule doesn’t reflect half the time you actually worked. When you try to find out where your money is, you get is:
- “I purposely avoid early morning reports because I don’t want to smell people’s coffee poops the whole plane ride.” Such a glamorous life, I know.
- Flight attendants explaining that they are working 18 days straight, with a mix of all-nighters and 12+ hour day trips, with maybe 3 hours of sleep between each, but can still somehow be “legal” to preform all their safety-related duties.
- When you tell someone you can’t serve them a gin and tonic because you are landing in 2 minutes and they say, “F*ck you!” and proceed to swear at you during the whole deplaning process.
This list could go on and on, but no matter how many awful stories I tell you, it’s clear that we all still love our job and we know everyone else will always envy this whimsical lifestyle of traveling the world that we have!