How to annoy cabin crew

Former BA stewardess Yasmine Gibson lists her top 10 pet hates


ASK FOR AN UPGRADE

ASK FOR AN UPGRADE

The only people besides the check-in staff who have the authority to upgrade are senior crew members. They won't do it just because you ask, unless you happen to be the captain's spouse.

SNEAK INTO THE BUSINESS OR FIRST-CLASS CABINS

There are some people who just won't take no for an answer and when no one is looking, they see a spare seat and hope that they will not be noticed. But the crew have a passenger list which, as well as giving them passenger details, tells them exactly which seats should be occupied. Culprits will be spotted and hauled humiliatingly back into "cattle" class.

ASK FOR HELP WITH YOUR BAG

You carried it on board, you can hoist it into the overhead locker.

DISRUPT THE SAFETY DEMONSTRATION

Agreed: some people travel a lot and already know the safety demonstration by heart. If they want to ignore the briefing that is their decision. But they should just sit quietly reading, rather than talk, laugh or try to mimic the crew. Don't bother - you'll get a tongue-lashing from any cabin crew member worth their salt.

DISOBEY THE FASTEN SEATBELTS SIGNS

The captain illuminates the signs for a reason: either the weather is turbulent or the plane is still ascending or descending.

COMPLAIN ABOUT THE FOOD

The meals are usually catered by a completely different company so it isn't the cabin crew's fault if you don't like your chicken chasseur. There is also not much that can be done at 30,000ft in the air if they run out of beef. However, if you graciously explain you cannot eat/are allergic to the choice that is left, the cabin crew might be able to find you a spare meal from another cabin.

PILE LOT OF RUBBISH ON TOP OF YOUR MEAL TRAYS

It is difficult to fit them all back in to the trolley anyway.

DEMAND A DRINK JUST AFTER THE MEALS HAVE BEEN CLEARED AWAY

After serving countless meals to passengers and being on their feet for hours with no rest, the crew finally get a chance to eat something. This happens when they have cleared all the rubbish in from the passenger meal service. If you value your life, wait 15 minutes or so after this is done before you hit the call button. If you are desperate then go along to the galley; this is slightly less maddening, but still annoying.

ASK THEM TO CLEAN THE LAVATORIES

This doesn't really come under the job specification of cabin crew. On a full long-haul Boeing 747 flight there are only marginally less than 50 passengers per toilet. It is a horrible job.

PROD MEMBERS OF CABIN CREW

There is something about uniforms that makes people think the people in them are public property. Cabin crew hate going on the Tube in uniform as it is impossible to travel incognito - people always stare or start conversations by asking where they are off to. Something about air hostesses makes certain passengers think it is all right to grab a skirt or prod a shoulder to get attention. They would never do this with other uniformed staff, such as police officers, bus conductors or soldiers. It's irritating. Please stop it.

AND FIVE WAYS TO INGRATIATE YOURSELF

1 Before they arrive to collect your meal tray, arrange it as it was when it was given to you, minus the food. As you pass it back to the crew, smile and say: "I just wanted to make it easy for you."

2 Take off your headset when a member of crew is trying to talk to you. It saves time and shouting.

3 Empathise with them. Remember if they are short-haul crew this might be their fifth flight of the day.

4 OK, you can read their badges and know what the crew are called, but try to avoid using their first names - they don't know yours and it seems overfamiliar.

5 Buy lots of duty-free goods: the crew get commission.

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