Exploring 15 questions to annoy your flight attendant

1. Can I have some water before we take off?

During the chaotic boarding process, it’s important to remember that crew members have important safety tasks to complete. Asking for a glass of water during this time can be inconvenient for them. One crew member mentioned that their biggest pet peeve is when passengers ask for water to take a pill during boarding. They recommend taking your medication with water from an airport water fountain or bottled water before getting on the plane. Another crew member emphasized the limited time they have to get everyone seated and buckled up before closing the boarding door, so it’s important to be prepared and take any necessary medication before boarding.

Photo courtesy of Lufthansa

2. Where is my seat?

Your will find your seat assignment on your boarding pass. It is not necessary to ask a Flight Attendant for this information as the rows and seats are clearly marked. If you have difficulty finding your seat, it is acceptable to ask for assistance. However, it is generally easy to locate your seat using the information provided on your ticket or boarding pass.

3. Can you help me with my bag?

It is not the responsibility of flight attendants to lift and store heavy carry-on luggage in overhead bins. This is due to the high number of injuries that occur when flight attendants handle passengers’ bags. If you are unable to lift your carry-on luggage into the overhead bin on your own, it is best to check it rather than struggle with it on board the plane. Flight attendants may assist in pushing the bag into the overhead bin once you have placed it there, but will not lift it for you. It is important to consider the weight of your luggage when packing and make sure you are able to lift and store it safely on the plane.

4. Do you have a pain killer?

It is important to note that flight attendants are unable to provide passengers with common medications, such as Advil, due to regulations. While planes do carry drugs that can be released to a medical doctor in the event of an emergency on board, flight attendants are not permitted to give medication to passengers. Therefore, it is necessary for travellers to bring their own supply of medications for conditions such as headaches, nausea, or backaches caused by uncomfortable seats.

5. Can you arrange for us to sit together?

It’s important to remember that flight attendants have limited control over seat assignments and cannot move passengers around based on personal preferences or complaints. While we will try to accommodate these requests, it may require asking other passengers to give up their seats and can put us in a difficult situation. We are happy to try to fulfill your request, but it’s important to understand that it may not always be possible. When making this kind of request to a flight attendant, it can be helpful to express that you understand it may be a long shot and that you would appreciate any efforts they can make on your behalf.

6. Can I have an empty seat in first class?

It’s not uncommon for travellers to look longingly at the empty seats in first class and wonder if they might be able to snag one for themselves. However, it’s important to remember that these seats are not up for grabs just because there might be an open spot. In order to sit in first class, you will need to either pay for an upgrade or use miles to make the upgrade. Asking a flight attendant for a favour will not change this system. It’s important to remember that first class seats are not available for free and that travellers will need to go through the proper channels to upgrade their seating. So, it’s not a good idea to ask your flight attendant to move you to a first class seat.

Singapore Airlines First Class seat
Photo courtesy of Singapore Airlines

7. How long will our flight be delayed?

Flight delays can be frustrating for everyone involved, including flight attendants. However, it is important to remember that flight attendants are not the cause of the delay and asking them for information about when the flight will take off will not change the situation. Flight attendants do not get paid until the plane is in the air, so delays can be especially inconvenient for them. It is best to be patient and understanding during flight delays, rather than adding to the stress of the situation by asking flight attendants for information or favours.

8. What’s on the menu?

Asking a flight attendant what drink / food options are available on the flight can be annoying for them. The information is usually listed in a pamphlet in the seat pocket or announced at the beginning of the flight. Deliberating about your order while the cart is stopped at your aisle can also delay the process for other passengers. It is best to simply refer to the available options listed in the pamphlet or previously announced by the flight attendant.

Bamboo Airways Food Service
Photo courtesy of Bamboo Airways

9. Can you take this trash for me?

When it comes to disposing of trash during a flight, it’s important to be considerate of the flight attendants. They will usually come around with a trash bag multiple times after meals and drinks are served. It’s best to wait until then to dispose of your trash, rather than asking the flight attendants to take it from you at other times. It’s also important to be mindful of what you are asking the flight attendants to dispose of. Avoid handing them dirty tissues, greasy food packaging, used diapers, or air sickness bags. These items can be unsanitary and gross for the flight attendants to handle. Remember, airplanes are already full of bacteria and unsanitary surfaces, so it’s best to avoid adding to that. Additionally, try to avoid handing the flight attendants your trash while they are serving food or drinks to other passengers.

10. How long will the seat belt sign be on?

It’s important to remember that flight attendants have a lot of responsibilities and tasks to complete during a flight, and constantly asking them questions or making requests can be disruptive and annoying for them. It’s always best to consider their workload and try to be considerate of their time and energy. If you’re unsure about something or need assistance, it’s best to ask politely and only after considering if it’s a reasonable request. Asking for common medications or for an upgrade to a better seat, for example, is likely to be seen as unreasonable and will likely not be granted. On the other hand, if you have a medical issue or need extra legroom due to a health condition, it’s appropriate to inform the flight attendants and they may be able to accommodate your needs.

11. Can you watch my children for me?

It is not appropriate to ask a flight attendant to hold your baby or to attend to your toddler. It is the responsibility of the parents or guardians to take care of their children during a flight. Flight attendants have other important tasks to complete and it is not part of their job to babysit. If you are traveling with children, it is important to make sure that they are safe, quiet, and not causing disruptions in the cabin. If you need to leave your seat for a short period of time, it may be okay to leave your older children under the supervision of another adult, but it is not appropriate to ask a flight attendant to take care of your children.

12. Will I make my connection?

It’s understandable that you might be concerned about missing your connecting flight if your current flight is delayed, but it’s important to remember that flight attendants cannot predict the future or have all the information that the captain is working with. As such, it’s best to not bother the flight attendants with questions about whether you’ll have enough time to make your connecting flight. If you’re concerned about missing your connecting flight, it’s likely that you will be. There’s no need to pester the flight attendants about it.

13. Can I borrow your pen?

It’s likely that your flight attendant does not have a large supply of pens on hand. As a result, it can be challenging for them to assist every international passenger in completing their customs forms all at once. To ensure that you have the necessary tools to fill out your forms, it’s a good idea to bring your own pen with you in your carry-on bag. This will also help you avoid having to borrow a pen and potentially forgetting to return it to the flight attendant.

14. Where do you guys stay?

We understand that you’re probably just trying to be friendly, but this question is something that makes a lot of flight attendants feel uncomfortable and unsafe. It’s not okay to ask about their plans after work, especially if it involves following them or stalking them. Flight attendants have enough to worry about after a long day of flying, and they shouldn’t have to worry about their safety on the way home or to their hotel.

15. What city are we flying over right now?

Sometimes we just don’t have all the answers, but our flight attendants will always try their best to find out more information for you. They might even ask the captain if he can help! However, there might be times when it’s not possible to get the answer. This could be due to things like bad weather, an in-flight medical emergency or if the pilot is really busy flying the plane.