Five things a flight attendant DOESN’T want to hear!

This post originally appeared on the Barnes and Noble website 

Five Things Flight Attendants Don’t Want to Hear:

1. ON MY LAST FLIGHT…  The moment I smile and say I’m a flight attendant, I find myself holding my breath.  Without fail, there’s a two second pause, followed by those four little words: “On my last flight…” 90% of the time the story that follows is about a flight from hell. Let’s just stop and think about this for a minute. Upon meeting a doctor, would you tell him about the worst hospital stay you’ve ever had? Or would you tell a car salesman about the time you got sold a lemon? It’s never a good idea to start a conversation disparaging your new friend’s chosen profession.

2. ARE THERE ANY FIRST CLASS SEATS AVAILABLE? It’s okay to ask, but it’s probably not going to get you very far. What’s guaranteed to  get you nowhere, though, is demanding an upgrade because your reading light doesn’t work (this actually happened, on an afternoon flight, no less). One passenger demanded to be moved up front because his wife just had knee surgery and he had the X-rays to prove it! Just so we’re clear: Flight attendants do not upgrade passengers. Gate agents are the only ones with that power. But keep in mind there’s a standby list for those oh-so-precious premium seats, and each and every passenger on that list knows exactly how close to the top his or her  name is. Don’t believe me? Ask the top tier frequent fliers who didn’t score an upgrade and who are now seated in the most sought after coach seats; first row of coach or the exit row. Their names are all next on the list, and they know it.

3. CAN YOU HELP ME GET MY BAG IN THE OVERHEAD BIN? Unless you’re an unaccompanied minor, elderly or handicapped and your bag is not too heavy, I will not put your bag in the bin. One of the most common misconceptions about flight attendants is that it’s our job to lift heavy passenger bags into the bin. We have no problem finding a space for your bag. We may even assist in lifting the bag.  But for the most part, you pack it, you lift it.