Flight attendants have to deal with all sorts of requests from passengers. Now some have taken to the internet to recount some of the more amusing and obscure requests they’ve received.
For those accustomed to air travel, arriving sane at your destination turns on an ability to deal with body odour, dodge a cold war over shared armrests, or tolerate any of the other social ills that economy throws at you. Yet according to stories being shared online, the biggest babies on board mightn’t be the ones screaming for iPads back in coach but those sipping bourbons up in first.
Their experiences range from the humorous, like one passenger calling for the crew to sing happy birthday to her boyfriend over the intercom, to the downright disturbing, like a young couple offering cash to swing at a nude beach once they land. It turns out daddy’s money can’t buy you class!
It is not uncommon for travellers to disembark having “felt a connection” with female crew members, passing hotel keys, cash and handwritten notes on napkins back to hostesses – trying to ensure that the plane won’t be the only thing getting serviced once they get to the gate…
WATCH an ex-first class flight attendant explain what it takes to be working at the pointy end of the plane.
And these aren’t the only times travellers have insisted attendants check their body parts. Air dispatcher Maia Medena recounted one particularly memorable flight on Quora, where an older passenger had disturbed the cabin with muttered requests to ensure “his eye” was on board.
His seemingly crazed antics set off quite the scene onboard before it was revealed the man was on-route to receive a corneal transplant, and was indeed checking to see if the donor organ had made it onto the flight as cargo. Couldn’t have seen that one coming!
We’ve come a long way since the era of hostesses asking passengers “steak or chicken?” In-flight meals today now cater to a broader selection of diets, and even more so for premium travellers, with airlines like Qantas even partnering with celebrity chefs for their luxury cabin and lounge menus. That isn’t to say all passengers are satisfied, with one peckish customer on a flight even asking attendant Douglas Scott, “well, what about your food, do you have something I can eat?” Picky much?
To make sure trainees aren’t under any illusions that their job will be all high-flying, induction is filled with cautionary tales from veteran attendants of all kinds of needy creatures onboard. Some crowd favourites include pouring a cup of water for a falcon mascot and a woman who’d resorted to breastfeeding her cat after a request for milk to feed her companion animal was denied.
It seems first-class passengers don’t just roll eyes with the requests they make, but also with the requests they ignore. The internet is rife with footage of elite tantrums taking place behind the high-flier curtains, exposing customers losing it over martinis that have two olives not three. It is surprisingly not uncommon for passengers to prove unable to tolerate small inconveniences like not wearing a mask or making phone calls during safety demonstrations.
One man even struggled on a Frontier Airlines flight to follow directions to keep his hands to himself, needing instead to be taped to his seat for time out in a naughty corner after groping two female staff. Yikes.
As more crew members turn to the internet fed up with outrageous in-flight behaviour, outsized egos are rightfully becoming too big for carry-on. Sadly for some people, there’s no amount of money that’ll turn a 747 into a personal genie lamp.