Flight Etiquette from a Flight Attendant’s Point of View

August 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

We really love flight crews at Travelpro. Not only are they some of our best customers, but they’ve got some great stories about things they’ve seen, heard, and even smelled over the years. There are certain points of etiquette that we as travelers should respect, especially since they have the power to make our flight very comfortable, or less so.

Germanwings Flight AttendantSmarterTravel.com once asked a group of flight attendants about some of the etiquette points they would like passengers to observe when flying. Here are a few of their answers.

  1. The galley is not passenger personal space to use as you see fit for stretching or putting your child in time out. Think of it like the kitchen in the restaurant: it’s off-limits to the general public.
  2. Self upgrading is not a thing. Although people try to get away with it all the time, the seat you’re assigned is your seat, unless you’ve received an upgrade before you board the plane.
  3. Touching them is big no-no. Even if they are within reach, invading their personal space by tugging on their uniform or touching them on the arm or leg in order to get their attention is not polite. The worst infraction of this type? Tapping them with trash. That can be insulting to some.
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Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Flight Attendants

June 16, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

If your image of flight attendants is one of “sky waitress,” think again. Even though many people unfortunately think of flight attendants as airborne waitstaff, the truth is that serving food and snacks is not the most important part of the job.

The most important aspect of a flight attendant’s job: your safety.

A recent article on Yahoo Travel gave us the lowdown on flight attendants. And while we thought we knew most of the “surprising things,” there were a few that even surprised us.

Singapore Airlines flight attendants

Singapore Airlines flight attendants (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First of all, the government considers flight attendants to be first responders, just like fire fighters and paramedics. Many are trained in all kinds of ways to respond to emergencies including CPR training and helping people give birth. Some airlines even require their flight attendants to attend jungle survival skill training, and many require their flight attendants know how to swim.

We think it’s a tough, demanding job. Flight attendants have to deal with a lot of challenging situations, including the ones created by their own airlines. For example, as more airlines are charging for checked bags, this is creating a situation where there’s often not enough space in the overhead bins for all the carry-on bags.

Guess who gets to tell the last passengers they have to check their bags.

This brings us to another requirement of flight attendants: They also are often required to have a high tolerance for interacting with people behaving badly. Remember the last time you saw a passenger get irate with a flight attendant? That wasn’t the only time they had to deal with an angry passenger that day.

Finally, flight attendants need to enjoy flying. Not just tolerate it, enjoy it. That’s because some of them don’t live in the same city as their main hub airport. That means they have to fly into work just to do their job.

Do you have any good stories about flight attendants who made your trip a real treat? Let us hear from you. Leave us a comment here or over on our Facebook page.

Five Myths About Flight Attendants

October 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We all know flight attendants greet us as we board our plane and bring us some snacks and drinks, but that’s only a small part of their job, and definitely not the most important part. A lot of people have misconceptions about flight attendants.

According to a July 2014 USA Today article, some of these include:

  1. Layovers are one big party.
  2. You should tip flight attendants for good service.
  3. Flight attendants are in it for the free travel.
  4. Flight attendants are basically waitresses/waiters in the sky.

USA Today interviewed several flight attendants to debunk these myths and educate the public.

English: A female flight attendant of Air Dolo...

A female flight attendant of Air Dolomiti (Italy) on board an Embraer 195 performing a Pre-flight safety demonstration. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For example, they said layovers are not parties, especially since they usually only last 8 – 10 hours. In fact most flight attendants do quite the opposite. Sara Keagle, flight attendant and The Flying Pinto blogger, calls these people slam clickers. Slam clicking, a popular term among flight attendants, refers to when a flight attendant gets to his or her hotel, ‘slams’ the door, and ‘clicks’ it locked.

Think twice about tipping. Most airlines have policies against accepting tips. Though the gesture is courteous and appreciated, most flight attendants will not and cannot accept it. Interesting fact: most tips are offered on flights to and from Las Vegas. Kari Walsh, flight attendant of 22 years, says she would rather receive praise via social media.

Free travel can definitely be a job perk, but it’s not as easy as you might think. Planes are often packed and sometimes even overbooked, especially around the holidays, so finding room for a flight attendant and family is difficult.

They’re also not there to help people lift their luggage into the overhead bins. While they want to be as helpful as possible, if they’re injured lifting your bag they are not covered by the airlines.

Flight attendants are there to attend to passengers’ needs, but they’re not there to serve passengers. Yes, they bring us our snack or meal, but that’s not the first item on their job description. Their primary role is to keep passengers safe, update us on any delays, turbulence and to actually assist if there is an emergency.

8 Myths About Airlines And Airports

February 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Very few people understand all the complexities of airline travel. But, that doesn’t stop them from expressing their opinions on how carriers and airports should run their businesses.

This speculation leads to myths and widespread misperceptions that cause dissatisfaction within the flying public.

Below are some of the most prevalent airline travel myths, along with the actual facts. Many of these myths and explanations come from Arlene Fleming’s article entitled “Top 10 Myths of Air Travel” which appeared on About.com.

  • Myth #1: You will be compensated if your flight cancels: If the cancellation is due to a mechanical issue, or some mistake by the airline, compensation is possible. However weather-related issues, or other “Acts of God” (also called “force majeure”), mean they don’t owe you anything — no hotel, meals, etc.
  • Myth #2: If you miss your flight, you will be booked on the next one: Only for a few specific reasons. Was there a strike, like public transit or airline personnel? The airline might waive their fee for the next flight out. If your incoming flight was late, sometimes the airline will protect you for the next flight, instead of giving your seat away. Are you late in arriving at the airport? Forget it. They’re not obligated to put you on the next flight, or any others, without a fee.
  • Myth #3: If your flight is cancelled because of a force majeure, you will be booked on the next flight. Yes, they will book you on the next available flight, but that does not mean the next flight out. Rather, it’s the next one with an available seat on it, which could be two flights later.
  • Myth #4: Flights hold for people who check in late: Two words: Nuh-uh. If you own it or run it, then yes. Until then, plan accordingly.
  • Myth #5: If your flight cancels, you will be booked on the next available flight regardless of airline: Not if you booked on a low-cost airline, and definitely not if the weather or other Act of God caused the cancellation. If you paid regular rates on a big airline, then yes, you could.
  • Myth #6: If an airline goes bankrupt you will be protected on another airline, or be able to get your money back: If the bankrupt airline had sharing agreements with the other airlines, you could be re-booked if a space is available. But you probably will not get your money back.
  • Myth #7: You are more likely to be upgraded if you ask at check-in or at the gate: If you got a discount ticket off the Internet, it’s never going to happen. There are a whole list of candidates to upgrade first, like frequent flyers and full fare ticket holders.
  • Myth #8: The larger the airport, the more likely you are to have problems: Not necessarily. Large airports know how to move a lot of people very quickly. They’re good at it, because they do it all day, every day. But, when something like bad weather hits that airport, the backups can take days to resolve and cause problems for other airports as well.

Flying is difficult enough without misunderstandings causing passenger bitterness. Please don’t add to the confusion by spreading air travel myths.