A flight attendant reveals her biggest passenger pet peeves.


The pet peeves of flight attendants are as varied as the number of us working in the industry; the list is endless.

I don’t let stuff bother me. When working with the public, there is no benefit to holding onto pet peeves; life is too short to be bothered with negative minutiae.

But I’ll offer two items here that constantly amaze me:


I see passengers who board the flight, toss everything they own into an overhead bin, then close the bin and sit down, as if the entire bin belongs to them. When I insist on removing a smaller item to put under their seat, they’ll become indignant, even furious, and they’ll refuse to comply, arguing and insisting on using the overhead space (often citing “legroom” as a valid reason). Pointing out that others need space as well has no sway.

I’ve seen people toss their bags into an overhead bin in First Class, then walk all the way to the back of the airplane to take their seat. (I usually remove those bags and check them into the belly of the plane.)

When I’m offering something as part of a service (such as small snacks, a light sandwich, etc.), I often must remind people that there’s enough for each person to select only one item as they grab four or five items from the basket of snacks. (It isn’t uncommon to see them grab several, and cram them into their carry-on bags to take with them!)


I’ve seen passengers toss a coat or small bag or purse on the floor to make room for their things, then walk away and leave the items on the floor.

The Mamamia Out Loud team have had enough. We need to talk about plane etiquette. Post continues.


I’m always astonished at how many people simply ignore us. I can look someone directly in the eye and say, “Hello! Welcome aboard!” and they’ll simply ignore me and brush past!

I frequently see passengers snarl at others, shove people aside to get through and give “attitude” to others for little or no reason.

I see people step on others, spill on others, drop things on others, and worse, all with no apology.

I have seen the gamut, from snarky to outright nastiness, in nearly every case completely unwarranted (in truth, nothing warrants hateful behavior). It puzzles me, and it leaves me somewhat mystified. Being unpleasant requires so very much energy. Why would anyone be hateful when being agreeable is so much easier?

I also find it a bit sad.

This post originally appeared on Quora and has been republished with full permission.

Are you a flight attendant? What are your greatest pet peeves?