Return Their Greeting
When a crew member smiles and says hello as you’re boarding the plane, return the sentiment. With so many people filing past without acknowledgment, your sincere hello will make you stand out—in a good way. No one is suggesting you ask about their entire life's story or try to forge a deep and lifelong friendship—just a simple, "Hi," will make you look like a decent human being.
Time Your Potty Breaks
While it’s best to take care of restroom needs before boarding and after landing, a trip to the plane’s lavatory is sometimes unavoidable. If nature calls at 30,000 feet, try to answer before or after snack or meal service. Maneuvering bulky carts through tiny aisles is challenging enough without the wandering passenger element.
Pass It On
If you’re an old pro at flying, you’ve heard the safety spiel a zillion times. Why listen to yet another rendition? The flight attendant’s number one job is to keep you safe, so start off on a good foot by paying attention to the five-minute (or less) pre-flight presentation. It’s the least you can do.
Bring Ink Pens
Don't Make that Call
If you don’t see them for a bit, keep in mind that the flight attendants are busy taking care of everyone on the plane. If you’re wondering when lunch will be served or if you can get a blanket, just be patient. You’ll see your flight attendant again soon. Unless it’s an emergency, the call button is best left un-pressed.
Keep Your Feet on the Floor
Brag to the Boss
When flight attendants are exceptionally good at their job, don’t hesitate to ask how you can let their supervisor know. Before de-planing, thank them for taking care of you and write down their employee number as well as the name and email of their higher-up. When airline officials receive kudos for their employees, they generally find ways to reward them.
Hang Up and Fly
Know Your Drink
Use the Seat in Front of You
Don't Poke or Tap
When you have a question, make sure that your primary mode of communication isn’t just pointing and mumbling “Why?” or “Gimme.” If those phrases even counts as communicating, it’s definitely the most entitled form. Speaking respectfully is a surefire way for the attendants to extend the same amount of respect to you.
Planes have unexpected and complicated problems like any piece of machinery will. By staying calm and waiting patiently for an issue to be resolved or on people in line, holding in snotty complaints keeps the flight attendants sane. Everyone's in the same boat (or plane) here, so your pettiness affects the whole group!
If you brought stuff that can't go onto the flight, own up to it. There's no sense in arguing because it's never going to make it past security. Also, not every conflict on a flight needs an attendant in the middle to resolve it. If someone’s kicking your seat, pluck up your courage and politely ask them to stop. If they don’t, then a third party might be necessary. Don’t rely on the staff to handle everything!
Everyone knows that you need to arrive at the airport well before your boarding time in order to get your bags checked, through security, and at the gate for your flight. Home Alone-esque mistakes do happen, but being on time ensures that you’re calm, clear-headed, and more likely to become a flight attendant's favorite.
Have Reasonable Expectations
Having an appropriate number of carry-ons that aren't 1,000 pounds is another thing you can do to make flight attendants love you. Because boarding is the most stressful part of the flying process, bulky bags that magically bump into everyone and everything lengthens the amount of time it takes for people to actually board the aircraft.
Lift Your Own Bags
If you do decide to use the overhead compartments for your carry-ons, lift them yourself. Let the staff help those who actually need it, or else they risk debilitating injuries from lifting every passenger’s suitcase above their head. Some airlines don’t even allow them to lift bags because of the physical strain!
Don't Make Things Harder
The boarding process is the most stressful part of an attendants job. When lines are long, don’t cut or shove, always have your boarding pass prepared, and listen to all instructions from the flight attendants. If they ask you to remain seated on the flight, don’t defy their instructions or you are the problem!
Remember what we said about patience? A flight attendant's first priority might be taking drink orders one moment and then suddenly shift to tending someone's heart attack. If you don’t realize that a dying person is lightyears more important than your water with lemon, then you have your own priorities to sort out.
Use Your Inside Voice
Using your “inside voice” is a common courtesy we definitely learned in preschool, yet slews of adults either ignore or forget this lesson. No one wants to be struck by the shrapnel of your screaming match or overhear very personal stories of that time in the hot tub across the airport. Soft tones and quiet phones, people!