August 21, 2009

A Manner of Flight

On a recent flight, there was one passenger who stood out above the rest. Sure, he was quite attractive, but that's not why I noticed him. He smiled at us & said hello on boarding (to all the FAs he passed, not just the ones at the door). He stowed his laptop bag under the seat in front, instead of taking up bin space, he was dressed nicely in a shirt & business pants and above all he said please and thank you. Whenever he wanted something from us, instead of pressing the call button, he'd make eye contact as I came down the aisle, and would smile at me, raising his hand slightly to get my attention, then make his request. Always for something he needed and never in a hurry or wondering why we might be taking a little while to make up his order.

Now these things may not seem like much, but to a flight attendant they are everything.
Imagine how flights would be if every person on board was courteous & considerate of others.

Now you don't need to dress like a millionaire, but being neat & clean certainly helps a lot. No one wants to sit next to sasquatch, who smells like they've been camping with bears & skunks for a week. Picking your nails at ANY time is not acceptable, for ANY reason! And please keep your feet off the armrest of the person in front. They paid for that seat, not you. And if you do put your feet there, and choose to ignore us, then prepare to be bumped into constantly when we can't see you in a dark cabin. Sorry, we did warn you...

Now back to the point of my post. The passenger I noticed was unfailingly polite to the crew, and at first I just thought he was a well-mannered person. Then he handed back his meal tray- it was perfect. Like it hadn't been touched, but without the food on it. You may recall my post about tray stackers. If you've read that, you'll understand why at this moment I began to suspect that he was in fact a non-reving airline staff member.

Later on I checked the manifest, and sure enough, he was a deadheading captain on holidays. It's kind of sad to note that many of the polite passengers these days are actually deadheading crew or staff on company business. Of course, there are many fare-paying passengers who behave like this too, but it seems to me they are becoming rarer and rarer.

FlyingWithFish asked me if the following YouTube video has any truth to it.

While these things might work on some, the following stood out.

* "You'll need charm & chivalry"
* Dress in clean & neat clothes
* Smile & offer a sincere 'hello'
* Be polite- say please & thank you

Er- aren't these all things we as decent human beings should be doing anyway????

About the only things true about that video are the references to 200-pound carry-on luggage, and the instruction not to press the call button "unless you're choking to death"- too funny!

In other cool news, I've been interviewed by none other than our famous Flying Pinto! You can read my 'Creww Briefing' with her by clicking here.


  1. what you give, you receive. It would never cross my mind NOT to be nice and considerate. But my fellow passengers... *shakes head*

    What I hate most is the person in front of me putting their seat back as far as possible, then flopping down in it... or the one behind GRABBING the back of MY seat when leaving their row.

    On Aug. 31 I'm flying to SAN... maybe I can observe some stuff from a pax point of view *wink*

  2. read your interview - good stuff
    oh and thank you!

  3. Good looking people are always better mannered!

  4. Your post has prepared me on how to ask Cabin crew, on the airline I next fly with to have some photos of them LOL. Who knows I just might fly your airline , but wait, I still don't know which airline you fly with LOL.

  5. I start my etihad training in oct, I cannae wait to start flying!! I love reading your blog its very honest and funny!


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