The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Impossible complaints, grooming, and dangling feet: Flight attendants' strangest experiences

“It’s like as soon as they get on the plane they are in a bubble all alone,”

Flight attendants
Flight attendants

When passengers board aeroplanes and the aircraft takes to the skies, social norms go out of the window and anything goes – or at least that’s what flight attendants' eye-opening accounts suggest.

From impossible complaints to unsanitary behaviour, flight attendants largely have to grit their teeth and remain professional regardless of what they're faced with.

“People don’t have a filter with us,” veteran flight attendant Emily Witkop told Yahoo Travel.

“They have that comfort level with us where they’ll say anything.”

Here are some of the strangest things that those who work on-board commercial flights have been forced to deal with.

Demanding that the engine noise stops

A flight attendant who identifies herself only as “Betty” told Yahoo Travel that one woman ordered her to make that “blasted noise” to stop.

“I think you are referring to the engines, and we better all pray that they don’t stop,” she replied.

Making soup in the toilet

Soup

“Guys, the water lines haven't ever been cleaned – ever,” former flight attendant Heather Wilde wrote on Quora.

Passengers relieving and grooming themselves mid-flight

A woman sneezes

“It’s like as soon as they get on the plane they are in a bubble all alone,” wrote Ms Wilde.

She witnessed passengers biting their nails, breaking wind and popping acne during flights.

Fellow flight attendant Liz Corcoran wrote on Quora that someone once blew their nose on a linen napkin, and handed it to her despite the fact she didn’t have a tray and wasn’t wearing gloves.

Another passenger asked Ms Corcoran to wait as she pulled strands of hear from her head, balled them up and put them in an empty teacup on her tray.

Treating the plane like a tip

The Passenger Shaming Instagram and Facebook pages offer disgustingly visual proof of how inconsiderate some passengers can be, particularly when it comes to leaving litter behind.

Images on the site show packaging and food strewn across aisles, and bloody bandages stuffed into seats.

Feet anywhere and everywhere

The Passenger Shaming pages also reveal how people feet are unleased on flights. Judging by these photos, it is hardly surprising that a recent study revealed that tray tables are the dirtiest places on aeroplanes - collecting more bacteria than the lavatory flush button.

Passengers "hanging out" in the galley

A plane's galley

The Huffington Post recently asked memebers of the Flight Attendant Career Connection Facebook page to shed light on irritating mid-flight behaviour, with user Nia Monet flagging that she couldn't understand why passengers insist on taking up the galley.

“Do I come to your office to do yoga and hang around?!” she wrote on the page.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in