Air travel is an amazing thing: we can cover vast distances in mere hours by soaring high above the clouds. In spite of this technological marvel, there's always someone on every flight who makes life difficult for everyone by demanding more of their magical gravity-defying experience. Here are some true stories of entitled airline passengers who just made everyone cringe.
I was on a flight where a middle-aged gentlemen wound up sitting next to me. Obviously on a business trip from his attire. He's late getting to the Southwest flight, and he's got a roller carry on (in addition to his laptop bag). He starts trying to shove it, forcefully, in to an overhead bin.
He does it in a way that shows a complete disregard for the other items already in the bin. Just trying to smash it against everything to get it in. The flight attendant comes up, and politely says, sir, I don't think it's going to fit, and the flight is rather full, I think I will need to check your bag.
The business man gives him a snooty response, the flight attendant repeats. This goes on for about 5 minutes, with the business man insisting that his bag goes in to the overhead bin. The business guy is getting more agitated.
The FA finally appears to relent, and says 'Okay, how about you let me try?'. The guy hands him the bag, and as soon as he has it in hand, immediately begins walking away saying 'I'm sorry sir, we're going to have to check this'. The business man has a hissy fit, but takes his seat next to me.
I noticed him immediately take out his laptop and get in to his email, and start typing an email to SW customer service, complaining about the rude and abusive behavior of the flight attendant, by name (he'd read his name tape) and about how he had been 'publicly embarrassed'.
Seeing this happen, and already having my laptop out, I also immediately drafted an email to SW Customer Service. The guy put his full name in his email, so I had his name. So I sent an email to customer service, saying that I'm watching my seatmate, >insert name< currently sending a very nasty email about >flight attendant<.
I made sure to comment on how polite and professional the flight attendant was, and that >insert name< was far too old to be throwing a hissy fit when we're trying to get people in the seats to pull back from the gate. I still feel good about it. Story credit: Reddit / Kinmuan
Im a flight attendant. It really bothers me when I tell someone something simple, for example, "I need you to stow your purse underneath the seat in front of you," and they argue, as if it's my personal preference.
I always very sweetly explain that it's a federal aviation regulation, and sometimes even then, people argue. Why? They want to know. And that's fair. So I tell them, "If we need to evacuate the aircraft, your purse could get caught on an armrest and slow not only you down, but all of the people behind you."
Usually, at this point people comply. But I had one lady continue past that point, telling me how expensive, and handmade, and Italian her purse was. Which is neat, good for her, but all I could think was, "Wow. You are seriously implying that a bag you carry crap in is more valuable than the lives of those around you… The balls you must have, ma'am."
But I can't say that. I can only think it. I had to put it to her in selfish terms and in a mental space that she appeared to be in. "Is your purse more important than you being on this flight?" I asked her. She asked me if I was serious.
I started walking towards the open cockpit (we were still parked at the gate getting ready for taxi) to tell my captains we had someone unwilling to comply, and she yelled. "I did it. Are you happy now." I wasn't, but we were able to taxi at that point. Story credit: Reddit / PickleB
As a young kid (starting at age 6) I flew as an unaccompanied minor every other weekend to go see my mom. I don't remember this, but my mom told me one time she asked how my flight was; "Great! I sat next to this nice man in a fancy suit… I sang him some of my songs, told him some of my jokes…"
I also remember one time I got a harmonica for Christmas one year… you best believe I whipped that bad boy out while we were taxiing the runway… I got an ovation when I stopped lol Story credit: Reddit / Im_Captain_Jack
A Gripping Read
Had a very large woman sit next to me once. She was very well dressed, as was I. I tried to strike up a casual conversation with her, and she just looked at me like I was a pile of dog poop on the sidewalk.
Soooo....I pulled out a book to read...of course it was an airline disaster book. On the cover was a picture of a 747 with a cruise missile going through the side of it. She was not amused. Story credit: Reddit / Griffie
Stick to Your Ticket
Every so often we get the odd straggler who boards last who finds a vacant seat in first or business thinking that we won't know that they are from coach.
"Excuse me sir may I see your boarding pass.... sorry your seat is 58A not 1A." "But I'm so tall, I need the leg room." Awkward silence... Story credit: Reddit / zlinerlabs
This is a Plane, Not a Hotel
My girlfriend’s mom is a flight attendant. One time a woman got quite angry because her daughter spilled apple juice all over and there was not a clothes dryer on the plane for her daughters sweater. Story credit: Reddit / YacYacYac
Pilots Do Not Control the Clouds
I was on a flight with really bad turbulence. It went on for about 10 minutes then the old lady next to me reaches up and presses her button.
Attendant walks over to see if the woman is okay, the woman begins to yell at the attendant for the rough flight and that she’s been flying her whole life and clearly the pilot has no idea what he’s doing. The stewardess just walked away. Story credit: Reddit / NotWeirdThrowaway
I once got stranded at Newark for 22 hours(!) after our flight had an unfixable fault and was cancelled late at night. We got put up in a hotel but understandably by the time the new flight rolled around (earliest they could fit in a new flight) everyone was quite tired and agitated.
As we are waiting to board the new flight the flight attendant announces they would be boarding people with additional needs and families with young children first, followed by first class, then premium economy etc etc. All pretty standard stuff, obviously it can take a bit longer for people in wheelchairs to board so makes sense for them to go on first - it’s common on most airlines I believe.
Anyway this business dude races to the front of the crowd and starts yelling at the attendant, saying it was already DISGUSTING that he had lost a day due to their INCOMPETENCE and now he had to WAIT even longer despite being a first class passenger and paying $$$$ every year to fly with them!!
The worst part is he’s looking at others in the crowd to back him up, like it’s perfectly reasonable to scream at this woman who like us had also been stranded and had most likely had very little sleep, and was doing her best to do her job in this difficult situation.
But she was awesome, without missing a beat she smiled and nodded and said ok sir, then made a big point of leaning into her mic and telling the waiting line of people in wheelchairs and mothers with babies that this gentleman needed to board before them and could they please wait.
Literally every single person at the gate is looking at this guy with disgust as he tries to backtrack and say he doesn’t mind waiting for the first group, but the attendant says no no you made yourself quite clear - let’s get you boarded, the others will have to wait. He is humiliated as he sheepishly walks by. She handled it perfectly. Story credit: Reddit / Kidgorgeoushere
Couple will book separate seats, the man in a premium economy seat with extra leg room, the woman in a normal economy seat. The woman will then play the sad sack and ask another passenger to give up their comfy seat so they can sit together.
If the other passenger refuses (usually because they paid extra and literally don't fit in a regular seat), some will even complain to the crew to make them move the other passenger. And all this to save a few bucks on the second Premium seat.
No, crew don't move passengers because they're sitting next to someone else's spouse. And certainly not from a Premium Economy seat. Story credit: Reddit / ConstableBlimeyChips
Lack of Control
Mid - 90s. There was this kid in customs (Toronto to Houston flight) who was going nuts. He driving people crazy in the departure area. On the flight, he had a full-sized metal Tonka truck that he was running up and down the aisle with. He smacked me on the head and nearly hit my Mom in front of me.
I grabbed it before he could hit my very frail and on blood thinners Mom. I gave it to a crew member who refused to give it back to the family. The family refused to seat him, until it was announced that there would be no food or beverage service until the aisle was cleared.
Another woman grabbed the kid and returned him to his family. They let him run loose again as soon as service was over. Finally, someone from the cockpit had to come back and tell the family we couldn't start the landing approach until the brat was in his seat.
They put him in his seat - screaming bloody murder. As soon as decent started they let him up and he was running up and down the aisle as we landed.
The family was so dense that when the captain ordered everyone to stay in their darn seats and that only families with small children would be allowed to deplane at first - they smirked their way down the aisle. Mom walked with a cane, and the crush getting off was hard for her.
Since we were home we just waited till the aisles were clear. When we got off, you could hear the kid screaming 1/2 way down the jetway. A police officer was holding him and the rest of the family (I'm guessing Mom, Dad, and 2 grandparents) were in handcuffs. Story credit: Reddit / TexasTeacher
Kick Kick Kick
Few years back, I had a 7 hours flight and a kid was sitting behind me who kept kicking the seat. I to decided just wait it, maybe he'll eventually stop. Nope. It went on for about hour until I couldn't take it anymore.
10 years of my regular flying, this was the first time I called and complained to an air hostess. She apologized to me and asked the family behind me up keep it down. They just stared at her and did nothing.
The moment she went away, that little brat started kicking again, and I couldn't take it anymore and turned back and said loudly the family, "could you please make him stop doing that".
The father (I presume) said sorry and still nothing. Kid kept going on, so finally I called the flight attendant and asked her is there any other seat available because I "they are not listening or have any common decency", pointing to the family at back.
She came back after few minutes and proceeded to take me to the first class. My very first experience in the luxury section. The worse thing is, she kept apologizing to me and I kept asking her to stop, that it was not her fault. Story credit: Reddit / Rikuddo
I once watched a very well-dressed businessman have an epic toddler-level tantrum at a check-in counter when he was advised his flight was delayed due to fog. He literally screamed and jumped up and down, and demanded that the the airline "better do something about it or ELSE!"
The guy working behind the counter just smirked and suggested that business guy was welcome to go outside and try and flap the fog away with his arms. Entire queue burst out laughing. Story credit: Reddit / Nonia_Bizness
Adventures in Babysitting
I was a kid flying out to Utah to start my teen tour. About halfway through the flight (departing out of NY) the captain got on the speaker to announce an engine had failed and we needed to make an emergency landing in Chicago. Needless to say, we got a little concerned.
Except for one passenger, who stormed up to the flight attendant and explained she was a nanny and needed to get to Utah to attend to the children she took care of.
I'm not exactly sure what she was hoping, that the pilot, upon hearing that a babysitter was on board would risk the lives of everyone to fly us all through, or that the flight attendant would be so moved by this story that she would climb out on the wing and repair the engine mid-flight.
Alas, there was no emergency jet pack to give this passenger to blast away from the plane to get to Utah on time, and she was told to sit down. Story credit: Reddit / Imalawyerkid
Lack of Respect
Was on a Vegas to Boston flight when a passenger passed away in his sleep. The whole situation was heartbreaking and the flight attendants were clearly shaken. We stopped in NY for emergency personnel to attend to him. The whole process was very quick and and the pilot and staff handled it like champs.
Just as we were about to take off a guy in the front row asks the attendant if we would all get free drinks due to the inconvenience. I've never wanted to yell at a stranger so much in my life. Story credit: Reddit / Betsy514
Flight Attendant: "Can you please open your blind all the way? It's regulation for landing." Passenger: "No, I want it closed." This goes on for a minute. Passenger is using his tone to assert that he refuses to open it.
Flight Attendant speed-walks to the handset and her voice comes on over the PA. "Hello, ladies and gentlemen. We're going to play some trivia today! The question is, why do we keep the blinds open during takeoff and landing?"
And without letting anyone answer she jumps right into, "It's so we can all keep an eye on the outside of the plane for safety! *click*" Story credit: Reddit / qweiuyqwe87y6qweiuy
Rules are There for a Reason
I fly a lot and I was on a plane where half the plane were ignoring the rules and stuff. When we touched down these people immediately got up walking around and started taking their bags out of the overheads.
Mind you, the plane hasn't parked it's just literally touched the floor of the landing strip so its still moving and it's dangerous for half the people on the plane to be messing around and even worse taking all their heavy bags down above every one else's heads.
The flight attendants are now desperately trying to get these people to sit down until the plane stops moving and some people were waving their hands at them dismissively.
I think the captain heard the commotion and the flight attendants half yelling because all of a sudden the plane did a VERY abrupt stop which knocked over all the people standing up and then continued to park. The flight attendant then said "this is EXACTLY why we have rules." Story credit: Reddit / queenguac
I was on a flight from NYC to PDX. Only empty seat was next to me, a middle seat. Bulkhead but the kind where there isn’t a wall, just the first class seats in front of us.
Door is about to close when a large sweaty man comes running onto the plane to claim the empty seat. He was carrying a full size pizza box...
All overhead bins were already closed (and full) but that didn’t stop him from proceeding to open them to find a place to stash his pizza. The stewardess kindly informed him that he couldn’t put his pizza in an overhead bin. “But it’ll get stepped on!” he gruffly informs her.
She proceeded to tell him to take his seat and put the pizza in front of him. He told her that he flies with pizza all the time and has never been treated this way. He persisted but as their argument was getting pretty heated he finally succumbed and put the pizza under the seat in front of him and sat down.
The stewardesses have now started the safety video/demonstration and he pulls out a flip phone and proceeds to make a call. I can tell he’s going through menus, so I’m thinking he’s calling delta to complain. Nope, turns out to be his landline phone company.
He had been late paying his bill and was trying to get them to waive the late fee. They wouldn’t. He is arguing with them. Plane has pushed back from the gate and is headed toward the runway at this point. Stewardess comes over and tells him he needs to put his phone away NOW.
He motions with his hand to say ‘one minute’. “No, sir, it needs to be put away NOW.” He flips it shut dramatically mid-sentence and puts it in his pocket. Stewardess is back to the front of the plane.
He then decides to stretch. I’m pretty much plastered to the wall trying to stay out of his way as he extends his arms up, and then to the side, etc. and then twists in his seat back and forth, clearly agitated.
He then extends his arms up, stretches out his fingers and proceeds to crack his knuckles very expressively one at a time, sorta like a primary school bully would do on the playground before they were gonna kick your butt.
In that whole knuckle cracking process he flips a middle finger toward the flight attendant. I didn’t notice her reaction as I was just waiting to get this 6 hour flight underway and over with. Next thing I know, I can tell we’re pulling back into the gate.
“Flight attendants prepare for arrival and cross check” message. Door opens. Cockpit door opens. Captain comes to our row. “Sir, I understand you were harassing my flight attendant. I need you to leave the plane now.”
The pizza man attempted to argue and even ask me and the other neighboring passenger if we had witnessed anything. Clearly the pilot wasn’t budging on his decision so the guy got his pizza off the floor and left the plane. Door closed and we departed, empty seat next to me. Story credit: Reddit / shawnmk
I was on a plane at the Burbank airport and a family that was on stand by boarded the plane without being told they'd be on the flight. They proceeded to go passenger to passenger trying to get people to de-board the plane so they can use their stand by tickets.
They argued with the flight attendants. It was at least 45 minutes of us sitting on a plane on a runway listening to this family of idiots argue about how they "need" to be on this flight because they have somewhere to go.
I was on my way home from Vegas, and was hungover, and I don't think I've ever wanted to punch someone more than I did in that moment. Story credit: Reddit / NormalAmerican_
I had someone have a meltdown because I had to have them properly stow their wedding dress. The thing was massive and spilling into the aisle, blocking seats of the entire row.
They may have had to pay the hotel to get the wrinkles out but I likely saved them from shoe prints and beverage cart rollers going back and forth over it. Still she was in tears and I was not going to risk others safety including my own. Story credit: Reddit / Anaxamenes
I once flew from Chicago to Israel (very long flight with a stop in the middle) with a woman who didn't seem to understand that everyone around her was in the same situation she was in.
She dropped a number of passive-aggressive gems over the course of our day together, but the worst one was right when we were being seated for the first leg. The plane was one of those 3X5X3 setups, with aisles on each side of the five-seat section, and this woman was seated in the middle of the five-seat section.
"But you can't seat me in the middle! What if I need to get up and walk around and the people next to me are asleep?! I'll be very uncomfortable for this whole flight!"
....wow, lady! You figured out why flying kind of sucks all by yourself! Now sit down and start pretending you're not here like the rest of us. Story credit: Reddit / clocksailor
Life or Coke Situation
I'm a Flight Attendant. One time we had a medical emergency in first class where a passenger passed out. We had to give him CPR and hook him up to an AED, so two of us were with the man and the other FA was paging a doctor and communicating with the Captain.
While this was going on a passenger in the first row of main cabin, who can clearly see everything going on, kept paging us for a Coke and getting VERY upset that we wouldn’t serve him. Finally a commuting FA stepped in for us and had a word with him. Story credit: Reddit / Sweetpicklebee
A woman who boarded towards the end sitting in row 10A who left her bag in the aisle blocking everyone else trying to get on because she was looking for a place for her bag. She found a spot towards the back and put her hand in the air and started snapping and hollering at me to get her bag for her.
I went up to her and told her to get her bag out of the aisle, she got in my face and demanded that I needed to put it up, which I told her I could not lift her bag for her she threw a fit. Finally a nice gentleman helped her. Anyways after boarding she accused me of stealing her fur scarf, I didn’t. She was removed. Story credit: Reddit / Sweetpicklebee
I had a lady one time get mad at me because I wouldn’t give her my personal food I brought from home and paid for with my own money. She said she was hungry and she needed it. Nope. Story credit: Reddit / Sweetpicklebee
I'm 6' tall, with most of the length in my legs, and I fly a lot. Almost every plane I get in, my knees are already touching the seat in front of me. If the person in front of me reclines, the only way for me to sit is to straighten out my legs and shoot them underneath the seat in front of me.
I was probably 16 (still 6') and the guy in front of me couldn't have been more than 24. He reclines and his seat practically hits me in the chest. I could smell his hair, he was so close. We asked him to put the seat up a bit, but he declined.
The seat was clearly broken, and reclined a good 6 inches past the other seats in his row, so we called over the flight attendant. She also saw the problem and asked him to put his seat up, and told him it was broken. HE SAID NO, AND SHE SAID THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE SHE COULD DO!
Great, thanks. Luckily my mom is the "pack everything you may need on a plane" mom, so I get an idea. I start eating pretzels with my mouth wide open and get crumbs all over his head and shoulders. He doesn't notice until the crumbs are bouncing off his shoulder crumbs and into his lap. It was gross.
He turns around with a look of disgust and asks me to stop. I got great pleasure in tell him no and showing him the rest of the bag of pretzels I had to eat over him. He put the seat up. Story credit: Reddit / Imalawyerkid
It's Not a Race
Currently on an airplane, and saw a man berate the flight attendant because they let employees of the airline board before the customers. He was so angry because he “paid for business select! They didn’t pay so why are they boarding before me!?”
Flight attendant responded with it’s company policy, many are actually working and just need to get to the airport they’ll be leaving from. And there’s also only three on the flight so what’s the big deal anyway?
He continued to whine and complain to her for another 10 minutes or so. All because now there were only 140 seats to choose from instead of 143. Story credit: Reddit / gerbilseverywhere
You know how babies sometimes cry on planes? Well there was a full-grown woman who started crying 3 hours into the flight... loudly. She then started screaming at people for not comforting her, and eventually attacked the guy she was sitting beside. The had to turn around to kick her off, still crying. Story credit: Reddit / jeffsery
Had a passenger a couple of rows in front of me aggressively asking the attendant for alcohol. We were still loading at the time. He was was warned twice. Just as we were pushing back from the gate he was given his final warning by the senior attendant. As she walked away he swore at her.
She turned round and told him we were going back to the gate and he was getting off. And we did. 20mins for his luggage to go and we were off again. I congratulated her at the end and emailed BA to say how well I thought she had handled it. Story credit: Reddit / Going-underground
Just a passenger…..on Southwest with no assigned seats. I just love when a mom and her 4 kids are last to board a full flight and each kid is carrying a bag of McDonald’s. The mom starts shouting that she and her kids need to sit together and people who boarded the plane 20 minutes ago need to move.
I would love to shout back, “no, you needed to pack sandwiches and snacks and have been in line during family boarding.” Story credit: Reddit / Adrift715
Mile-High Punch Up
I was on a flight from the UK to Ibiza with a group of close friends - flying out for a friend’s wedding. We were looking forward to the flight until we took our seats and heard some really over-bearing, clearly inebriated guys taking their seats behind us. They must’ve been in their mid to late twenties.
One of them was actually being carried by two friends and lulling his head. As the plan took off, said dude threw up all over himself and his friends were in hysterics. We were all openly in shock and disgusted that someone that drunk could be allowed on a plane and that he’d literally up chucked all over himself.
It smelt vile. It must’ve been about 10 minutes later when two of the guys (the party totalled like 7/8 and they were all sat in a line) got into a drunken argument and one of them got up and starting strutting to another seat while we were still taking off (seatbelt lights on).
The air stewardess came over to him and explained that he couldn’t move seats and he needed to move back once the seatbelt sign went off. He refused to move but started chatting her up and she went along with it.
The light goes off and then the other friend (argument friend) gets out of his seat and approaches the guy who moved. The next thing you know they’re having a drunken fight (physical) in the aisle, rolling around on the floor and I swear to God you could feel the plane moving slightly with it.
People around were trying to stand up and leave their seats to get away from them. The stewardesses pulled them apart and eventually got them both to sit back down (in separate seats). But I just remember how the stewardesses kept flirting back with them to keep the peace.
I couldn’t believe that the plane didn’t turn around and that we then carried on with these absolute idiots onboard. That they were even allowed to board in the first place. I’ve not flown with Ryanair since. Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]
A Whole Family of Babies
About a year ago on a flight from Sac to Sea, A woman with a service dog came on the plane. She sat in the front row of seats on a Southwest flight. After preboarding, a very drunk man, his wife, and their baby came on the plane.
The man demanded that the woman with the service dog move, because he wanted the front seats for his family. When she told him she would not move, he began grabbing her bags and throwing them in the aisle. The attendants came and told him that he could not move a passengers seat.
He then grabbed the service dog by the harness and began yanking it out into the aisle. The woman was crying at this time, begging for help. The man was told that if he continued, he and his family would have to deboard the plane. The man finally stopped, but put his carry-on in the bin above where the woman was sitting before taking a seat further back.
The entire flight there were complaints that his wife was holding their baby on the tray table, who was pulling the passengers hair in front of them, she was changing diapers in the seat, and disgustingly storing them in the seat pocket in front of them.
When the plane landed, the man and his wife pushed through the isles yelling that they needed their carry on and in the process, shoved a woman with a full leg brace and a cane back into her seat.
They were removed from the plane, though it was too late. The damage had already been done. This was by far the worst set of passengers I have ever encountered on a plane. Story credit: Reddit / AbeLouDog
When on an 8 hour flight to Florida a family of five boarded first and then demanded the attendants rearrange their kids seats to all be together. I get it I’m a mom now too, but they occupied my seat, in fact the entire row while the flight attendant tried to arrange them to all sit together.
I politely asked them to let us sit down and they just ignored us. Asked again and they said no we are waiting for our seats and that I could probably wait at the back of the plane. I just crossed my arms and stared them down, I held up the whole plane and I do feel bad about that but I made it clear it was the entitled family that was the hold up and not me.
They finally moved to go wait at the back of the plane. I can’t stand people that think they are a higher class just because they have kids. Story credit: Reddit / Madammonie
Going Up Swinging
I have pretty bad hearing issues and wear hearing aids. Normally when I fly I leave them in for the safety check. Then pull them and promptly check out. I was on my way back from work related travel and had the cheapest most awful seat on the plane…thanks DTS.
About 30 minutes into the flight this kid next to me, probably 20, starts having an EPIC meltdown. Apparently the WiFi on the plane is too slow for him and he starts pounding and banging the seat in front of him and then knees the tray shooting my hearing aids up and away.
I try to get up to catch them and he gets me right in the face. I’m a 5’3 100 lb girl fresh out of the shower. This guy is like 6 feet tall and pretty big. He sent me hard to the floor. I was told after that someone restrained him and they had to turn the plane back around and had him escorted off the plane.
FA’s were super nice and the other passengers helped me find my hearing aids. I still don’t know what happened entirely. But they let me lay down across two first class seats with an ice pack over my face for most of the cross country flight. Story credit: Reddit / Turinggirl
That's Not a Beverage
I was a passenger on a flight to Egypt and I saw some guy near me try to hand a flight attendant a cup of his son's urine. As you can imagine she was not impressed and refused. Story credit: Reddit / missdechino
A few years ago my wife and I were going down to Mexico for friends wedding. I just remember seeing a young lady getting very flustered at the ticket counter. She was demanding a seat next to her husband. As we started to board the flight an attendant pulled my wife aside to say she had a seat change.
We knew exactly what it was about and just laughed. We are very flexible and just excited for the trip (at max maybe 3 hours). So as I settle into my seat the before mentioned adult child comes and sits next to me.
She started the small talk with how the airlines are so mean and they had the hardest time getting seats next to each other. I just causally mentioned "yea I know, my wife was suppose to be in your seat but someone threw a fit about it." Overall good flight, they kept to themselves. Story credit: Reddit / a_smith55
But I Fly All the Time
FA here, the worst passengers are the “But I fly all the time” kinda people. If you fly all the time I wouldn’t need to tell you to put away your bags from the exit rows.. turn off your cellphone or not to get up from your seat during take off.. Story credit: Reddit / Mraev
19 yrs ago, my grandma had passed away, got the soonest flight back that I could (SFO to the UK), missed the funeral as Jewish, left behind somewhat unresolved love at the airport. So there's me, miserable, eyes constantly leaking, I tilt my seat back so I can try to sleep on this 8hr flight of sadness.
Loudmouthed idiot behind me shoves my seat back up seriously hard, like full on BAM! Starts banging on to his moron mate and their moron wives how "see, I showed them, outrageous trying to shove their seat into my lap, blah blah blah".
Proceeded to shove his knees into the back of my seat so I couldn't put the seat back at all, continues to laugh loudly about how amazing he is for not letting me "encroach on" his space. Then starts dribbling on about how his holiday had been ruined by all the foreigners and getting ripped off and "I'm not tipping no one, why should I".
FA comes over, she'd seen it all go on, leans over to me and apologises that it's a full flight so she can't move me but how about a drink. Passes me the first of many free drinks, gives moron and the moron clan the most epic Hard Stare I've ever seen (moron 1 quiets down) and proceeds to ignore them and their calls the entire flight.
I passed out shortly after from the two free Scotches but honestly Thank You to that FA, she made a truly awful experience manageable. If that Moron is still out there flying, I apologise from my entire country. Story credit: Reddit / theflangereturns
I’m currently a flight attendant and on my very first flight I had a passenger complain to me that the man behind him was snoring too loudly.
Putting on my best customer service smile I offered to move the complainer, who very aggressively told me that he’d paid for his seat and he wasn’t moving, yelling loudly enough that he woke the snoring guy in the process.
I wish I’d had a first class seat available to move the snoring guy just to spite the complainer but there were only other economy seats available so I just told the complainer that he could continue yelling at me or he could accept my offer of a different seat, but that was all I could do for him. I ended up giving the snorer free drinks for the rest of the flight. Story credit: Reddit / UsernameTaken5074
Why Don't You Want to Sit With the Jerk?
My mom and I were flying back to the States after visiting family in DR. I was a kid, like seven or eight? But apparently there was some mixup and they somehow double booked my mom's seat. We were there first, and the other lady who had the seat came by and demanded that my mom moved.
She was traveling alone so you'd think, logically, the person with the small child should stay especially since we were there first and there weren't any other seats right next to each other, but there were single seats, so it would be easier for her to relocate.
But nah she just screamed at my mother until eventually my mom gave up and took me to try finding seats close enough together that we wouldn't be separated. The lady tried stopping her and said I could stay with her, and apparently I went "no, you're mean."
I don't remember saying this though but I do remember being very confused about her offering that. Thankfully someone else moved to let us sit together. But I still have no idea what that lady's problem was since it's not like the flight was 100% full so she literally could have sit anywhere else. The seat wasn't even at the front or anything either. Story credit: Reddit / reabard
I'm a Flight Attendant. I had one passenger threaten to punch me in the face when I wouldn’t let him upgrade to first for free. There were 12 passengers booked on the whole flight. Aircraft capacity was like 106 or something like that. Story credit: Reddit / ShinyCupcake
Mysogyny at 20,000 Feet
Daughter of a captain here: I've heard some pretty interesting stories from my dad (he's been in the field for almost 30 years). One time my father had to make an emergency stop to have a passenger be escorted out of the plane. The man was rude to the crew and passengers around him.
He didn't want to eat the food that was given to him and when the crew told him they didn't have anything else for him he dumped the food on the floor. He was harassing female passengers and even started shouting when a female crew member told him to stop.
My dad had to come out of the cockpit and had to "arrest" him. (I live in the Netherlands and my father told me that when they're in the air he has that kind of power, but as soon as the door of the plane opens that power is given over at the country they landed in. I'm not sure how to properly explain this.)
My father is a tough man but was a little hesitant to do so. The man was over 6 feet tall and pretty buff too. He wasn't happy to be told by my father that he had to leave the plane but as soon as he saw my father (probably because of my father was the first crew member that was a man, my dad assumed) he calmed down significantly and didn't seem too bothered to have to leave the plane.
It almost looked like he didn't want to be there in the first place. They made the stop and he left, in the hands of the authority that was waiting for him there. Story credit: Reddit / yoghurtijs
Friends with Mr. X
A fellow passenger across the aisle pretty much thought he was flying private instead of being on a commercial carrier. Always pressing the overhead button and making demands...no "pleases"...not a "thank you", just a constant barrage of orders.
The end came when he pressed the button and shouted, "Get me a drink now! I want a scotch with a splash of soda and not too much ice!" The FA was very accommodating in spite of this person being a total jerk.
She brings the drink, hands it to him and he bellows, "there is too much ice in this drink make me another!". She was dumbfounded and at this point very flustered. She turned around and headed to the galley at the front of the plane. The lead FA comes back and proceeds to tell this "man" that he needs to behave etc...
Well, that just made him amp it up. Wait for it...."do you know who I am?!?" "I am a very good long time friend of Mr. X...you know him, one of executives at your airline. He's a personal friend whom I've know for years. Give me your name and the name of the idiot who can't make a decent scotch and soda!"
I chime in at this point. "Sir, if Mr. X is a long time personal friend, what is his nickname? His very good friends address him with his nick name, not his surname." He looks perplexed and then tells me to "mind my business". The FA tells me very nicely to not involve myself and she will handle this.
I reached into my wallet and pulled out a picture taken on my wedding day that had me in my suit....the new wife in her wedding dress...and my new in-laws, one of whom is Mr. X. I handed it to the FA and said that I will call the office when we land and let him know that one of his very good friends is dropping his name and treating members of flight crew in a very unprofessional manner.
"Sir, may I have your name so I can tell my father-in-law that you are going to make a formal complaint against members of the cabin crew?" Crickets...nay but a peep.
The lead FA hands me back my picture and tells the guy if he touches the button again or even speaks to any of the FAs, the police will be waiting for him when we land.
I called the father-in-law after we landed to fill him in, just in case. I found out much later that he pulled the passenger manifest and wrote the guy a letter banning him from traveling on the airline. Story credit: Reddit / powerandbulk
I’m not a Flight Attendant but I booked a first class ticket from Hawaii to St. Louis two weeks ago because my Grandmother passed at 104 and I needed to fly back rather quickly and it was the only way I could make my travel needs.
Anyway I get on the flight and to my seat and the guy next to me looks me dead in the face and says “Are you sure you’re in the right seat? You don’t look like you can afford this seat.” Granted I wasn’t dressed the greatest, but I showed him my ticket and told him to shut his mouth. Didn’t hear a word out of him except “excuse me” the rest of the flight. Story credit: Reddit / Fourtires3rims
Bullies Sit at the Back
Back when I was thirteen or so, my family and I were all in business class since we were going on a pleasure trip to the same place as my dad’s work trip. I could be remembering wrong but either way we were all in not-economy.
Anyway, this woman is sitting alone next to me and her husband—a tall, balding, and rather large white dude—comes up to me—a small, thirteen year old asian kid—and asks me directly to switch seats with him (he was like four rows back in economy class) so he can sit with his wife.
I’m very alarmed and actually struck speechless since a) I’d be separated from my entire family and b) dude, I’m like a baby. All I can do is shake my head and he continues to pester me about it, towering over me until my dad notices and starts shouting at him about how I was just a kid, just have your wife move, blah blah blah, and it’s a mess with even other strangers taking our side.
Profanity back and forth until I think a flight attendant stepped in, making both the man and his wife sit in economy with a nice older woman coming up instead, leaning over and apologizing for the other couple’s actions, even though she didn’t know them and obviously had nothing to do with them.
Before they’re even gone everyone in the section starts saying how glad they were that they were moved back. Story credit: Reddit / RaneInSpane
This Ain't Southwest, Lady
Me, my husband and toddler had seats behind the bulkhead (right behind first class, so we had leg room). We’re all settled and this woman comes up and asks my husband if we really need these seats. I didn’t catch the interaction but there was a bit of attitude from her according to him.
He replied that, yes, yes we do. Especially since we paid extra per seat to specifically sit there for our 12 hour flight overseas. With a toddler. This ain’t Southwest, lady. Story credit: Reddit / whateverislovely
PSA: Planes Have Bathrooms
I was working the last flight of the night when a passenger came to the back to tell us the man he was sitting next to had urinated on the floor. To make a long story short. The guy couldn’t be bothered to get up and use a bathroom. Thoroughly disgusting. Story credit: Reddit / Hokulani47
A Lesson in Manners
My favorite incident was one that happened to me about a year ago. I'm working up at the boarding door and toward the end of boarding, just as we're about to close up, we had a high ranking passenger in our loyalty program come on (sitting in first class where there is absolutely NO overhead bin space for his bag.
He walks through, opens one bin (that's full) and drops his bag in the aisle and demands I find a spot for it. Alright. I play the friendly card and I go through opening bins until I finally find one with a space for his luggage. I just stand there in front of the bin.
He hauls his bag back a good 12 rows and sets it down in front of me. I look at him. Look at his bag. Look at the bin. Then look back at him and wait. He then proceeds to speak to our lead flight attendant. Surprise! That's me.
He said, "YOU need to put my bag up!" to which I replied, "Not happening. You tow it, you stow it. Otherwise I'm checking it. Our work will not cover us if we get injured lifting passenger's baggage." he huffed a bit and slammed his suitcase in the overhead bin. Glared at me, and proceeded to march his way up to the front to sit down.
The best part about this was that because he was the last person on board, the agent was right behind him while this whole incident happened. She saw his attitude and said, get up. You're not going on a flight until you learn some manners. And pulled him off. It was sweet, sweet justice. Story credit: Reddit / boozeandarrows
I had a flight a couple months ago. I was booked in the next-to-last row in the window seat. I purposely booked this seat so I could have the window. I don't care what row, I just want a window.
A man & woman are standing in the aisle nearby, along with their small baby. The woman tells me the man is booked in the seat next to me, while she and the baby are in the row behind. Would I switch seats with them, "so my baby can be with his Daddy?"
I'm not averse to switching, but this would now move me to the middle seat in the last row. I don't want a middle seat between 2 strangers. I politely tell her I'm so sorry, if they had a window seat - or even an aisle, I would gladly switch, but I'm just not going to be able to sit in the middle.
She starts huffing & puffing and complaining to the attendant nearby. I ignore her and go about my business. A few moments later, they completely confuse a non-English speaking person so much with asking about switching seats, he just ups & sits wherever they tell him to & they get their wish to be together.
The flight attendant offers the guy free drinks & snacks since he was "the only one who offered to do that for them" with a backwards glance at me. Story credit: Reddit / 12visionsdancing
I accidentally hit the call button instead of the light during taxiing because I am a moron and it wouldn’t stop dinging. The FA came over and actually punched it. Everyone was turning their heads to look at the moron. Story credit: Reddit
Not Taking it Lying Down
On a 6:30 am flight, and the plane is mostly full. The row behind me has 3 seats and only 1 passenger. After take-off, I lean my chair back about half way and begin to fall asleep. I felt jostling on my seat, but didn't think anything of it.
A few seconds later, the man in the row behind me smacks my chair 3-4 times, hard. When I turned around to ask if there was a problem, he began scolding me: Him: "Lean your chair back up! I can't sleep with your chair in my face!"
Me: "What?" Him: "You have to lean your chair up. I'm trying to sleep!" He was laying across the three seats, with his head at the window (I had a window seat). Apparently, leaning my chair back was not allowed because it was too close to his face.
He refused to lay the other way because the beverage cart would wake him up. He was aggressively committed to his cause and on the cusp of creating an even bigger scene, so I didn't fight him on the issue. Story credit: Reddit / Blue_Irish
A man in his 60s kicked me and my son (at the time 6 months) out of our bulkhead seat with a bassinet out of our seats because he was an "elderly" man and "deserved" our seats. Please, I paid for my seat.
Thankfully the stewardess on Korean Air saw what he did and moved us up to first class for free. Private little "capsule" that turned into a "bed" so it gave me more privacy to breastfeed my son and sleep. Story credit: Reddit / ANerdMomHatesYou