It’s pretty horrible, but there are a whole lot of entitled people out there. You know the kind I’m talking about. They’re the ones who think they’re better than everybody else. Who expect people to bow to their every whim. The ones who might say, “Don’t you know who I am?” Or maybe a mixture of the three.
We’ve written about entitled travelers before:
- The complaining business class passenger who got exactly what was coming to him
- The Disney guest who was upset when the parks closed due to a worldwide pandemic, and expected special compensation
- The other Disney guest who had the gall to say, “You can’t arrest me; I spent $15k here!”
- The entitled woman who arrived at the airport 30 minutes before her flight
- The other entitled woman vs. the equally entitled United 1K member
And, of course, that entitled passenger who really DID say, “Don’t you know who I am?” (a whole lot of good it did HER).
But those are just stories we’ve heard about. Flight attendants deal with them on a pretty regular basis. Other passengers see them. And someone on Reddit asked about the most entitled behavior they’ve ever seen from a passenger. Here are some of the best (well, worst) ones:
I once watched a very well-dressed businessman have an epic toddler-level tantrum at a check-in counter when he was advised his flight was delayed due to fog. He literally screamed and jumped up and down, and demanded that the the airline “better do something about it or ELSE!” The guy working behind the counter just smirked and suggested that business guy was welcome to go outside and try and flap the fog away with his arms. Entire queue burst out laughing.
I was a kid flying out to Utah to start my teen tour. About halfway through the flight (departing out of NY) the captain got on the speaker to announce an engine had failed and we needed to make an emergency landing in Chicago. Needless to say, we got a little concerned.
Except for one passenger, who stormed up to the flight attendant and explained she was a nanny and needed to get to Utah to attend to the children she took care of. I’m not exactly sure what she was hoping, that the pilot, upon hearing that a babysitter was on board would risk the lives of everyone to fly us all through, or that the flight attendant would be so moved by this story that she would climb out on the wing and repair the engine mid-flight.
Alas, there was no emergency jet pack to give this passenger to blast away from the plane to get to Utah on time, and she was told to sit down.
Not a FA, but had the opportunity to help out a couple back in the day. A fellow passenger across the aisle pretty much thought he was flying private instead of being on a commercial carrier. Always pressing the overhead button and making demands…no “pleases”…not a “thank you”, just a constant barrage of orders. The end came when he pressed the button and shouted, “Get me a drink now! I want a scotch with a splash of soda and not too much ice!” The FA was very accommodating in spite of this person being a total d**k. She brings the drink, hands it to him and he bellows, “there is too much f**king ice in this drink make me another!”. She was dumbfounded and at this point very flustered. She turned around and headed to the galley at the front of the plane. The lead FA comes back and proceeds to tell this “man” that he needs to behave etc…
Well, that just made him amp it up. Wait for it….”do you know who I am?!?” “I am a very good long time friend of Mr. X…you know him, one of executives at your f**king airline. He’s a personal friend whom I’ve know for years. Give me your name and the name of the idiot who can’t make a decent scotch and soda!” I chime in at this point. “Sir, if Mr. X is a long time personal friend, what is his nickname? His very good friends address him with his nick name, not his surname.” He looks perplexed and then tells me to “mind my f**king business”. The FA tells me very nicely to not involve myself and she will handle this. He says, “your g*****n right you’d better handle this.” I reached into my wallet and pulled out a picture taken on my wedding day that had me in my suit….the new wife in her wedding dress…and my new in-laws, one of whom is Mr. X. I handed it to the FA and said that I will call the office when we land and let him know that one of his very good friends is dropping his name and treating members of flight crew in a very unprofessional manner. “Sir, may I have your name so I can tell my father-in-law that you are going to make a formal complaint against members of the cabin crew?” Crickets…nay but a peep. The lead FA hands me back my picture and tells the guy if he touches the button again or even speaks to any of the FAs,the police will be waiting for him when we land.
I called the father-in-law after we landed to fill him in, just in case. I found out much later that he pulled the passenger manifest and wrote the guy a letter banning him from traveling on the airline.
I had a passenger take out my crew luggage out of the overhead bin & leave it on an empty seat, so as to make space for her own luggage.
Not an attendant but once got stranded at Newark for 22 hours(!) after our flight had an unfixable fault and was cancelled late at night. We got put up in a hotel but understandably by the time the new flight rolled around (earliest they could fit in a new flight) everyone was quite tired and agitated.
As we are waiting to board the new flight the flight attendant announces they would be boarding people with additional needs and families with young children first, followed by first class, then premium economy etc etc. All pretty standard stuff, obviously it can take a bit longer for people in wheelchairs to board so makes sense for them to go on first – it’s common on most airlines I believe.
Anyway this business dude races to the front of the crowd and starts yelling at the attendant, saying it was already DISGUSTING that he had lost a day due to their INCOMPETENCE and now he had to WAIT even longer despite being a first class passenger and paying $$$$ every year to fly with them!!
The worst part is he’s looking at others in the crowd to back him up, like it’s perfectly reasonable to scream at this woman who like us had also been stranded and had most likely had very little sleep, and was doing her best to do her job in this difficult situation.
But she was awesome, without missing a beat she smiled and nodded and said ok sir, then made a big point of leaning into her mic and telling the waiting line of people in wheelchairs and mothers with babies that this gentleman needed to board before them and could they please wait.
Literally every single person at the gate is looking at this guy with disgust as he tries to backtrack and say he doesn’t mind waiting for the first group, but the attendant says no no you made yourself quite clear – let’s get you boarded, the others will have to wait. He is humiliated as he sheepishly walks by. She handled it perfectly.
My favorite incident was one that happened to me about a year ago. I’m working up at the boarding door and toward the end of boarding, just as we’re about to close up, we had a high ranking passenger in our loyalty program come on (sitting in first class where there is absolutely NO overhead bin space for his bag. He walks through, opens one bin (that’s full) and drops his bag in the aisle and demands I find a spot for it. Alright. I play the friendly card and I go through opening bins until I finally find one with a space for his luggage. I just stand there in front of the bin. He hauls his bag back a good 12 rows and sets it down in front of me. I look at him. Look at his bag. Look at the bin. Then look back at him and wait. He then proceeds to speak to our lead flight attendant. Surprise! That’s me. He said, “YOU need to out my bag up!” to which I replied, “Not happening. You tow it, you stow it. Otherwise I’m checking it. Our work will not cover us if we get injured lifting passenger’s baggage.” he huffed a bit and slammed his suitcase in the overhead bin. Glared at me, and proceeded to March his way up to the front to sit down. The best part about this was that because he was the last person on board, the agent was right behind him while this whole incident happened. She saw his attitude and said, get up. You’re not going on a flight until you learn some manners. And pulled him off. It was sweet, sweet justice.
Not me, but my sister is a flight attendant. A well known actress on board her flight expected the flight crew to change her kids diaper. They didn’t.
(Not a flight attendant, but travel plenty. Lesson here: holding your temper and being kind is important everywhere.)
Flying back to SFO on Christmas eve, I upgraded my flight to 1st Class as a little treat-yourself present. I was in the back row on the right and across the way on the aisle seat was a young, burnt out looking dimestore heiress with the entitled scowl to match.
At first she seems pretty harmless all curled in her seat like an upset child. Her knees were bruised up and I figured she’d just been on some party bender, as the previous flight came in from the Caribbean, and was worn out.
No, no. She was simply warming up.
As the plane began its ascent and the flight attendants went through safety demonstrations, she pulled out her phone, called someone and began having a vapid full volume conversation. The flight attendants ignored that at first but once the conversation ended, she started playing music on the speaker of her phone. Just sitting there blasting her tunes, as if any of us could ignore her to begin with. The attendant in charge of our section came over and asked, with gentle and kind restraint, if she needed any headphones. The young woman rolled her eyes and huffed “No, it’s fine, I have headphones.”
All is quiet for a bit until dinner service. Then calamity.
Of the two options, only beef was left after we ordered. When the flight attendant informed me I would not be able to have my preferred meal I was a bit huffy and flustered as I had been trying to get the seat to recline for 10 minutes and was getting a little frazzled. I went for the beef and got back to messing with my seat in vain.
My dear neighbor across the way was apparently a vegetarian and quite upset that her only option was a personal cheese pizza (admittedly a little lackluster when compared to the original veg option.) Not content with grumpily eating her substitution meal, she made a scene instead by slamming her tray onto the aisle and storming the entire length of the plane to the bathrooms in the back. All eyes on Our Lady of Perpetual Tantrum, whom I will henceforth call C**tface McGee.
I’m unsure what she did in the back of the plane but she eventually came back to her comfy chair at the front.
Feeling a little ashamed for my own huffiness, I made sure to apologize to the flight attendant when she took our trays and let her know the meal option was great, I was just flustered because I couldn’t get my seat to recline. Mostly I felt bad watching them have to deal with C**tface McGee.
The flight continues for another hour without incident. C**tface McGee seems absorbed in something else and I start having a fun conversation with my seatmate about travels, holidays and where we live. Perhaps I was laughing too loud, though I don’t think so, because the peace soon ended.
Suddenly the petulant neighbor is out of her seat and in confrontation mode, standing over my seatmate and glaring at me.
“OH MY GOD, YOU ARE SO F**KING LOUD. I SWEAR TO F**KING GOD I CAN HEAR YOUR ENTIRE F**KING CONVERSATION. THE LAST THREE F**KING HOURS I HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO YOUR F**KING VOICE.”, she yelled. (We are obviously all Americans, what with the ALL CAPS volume and stunted insult vocabulary.)
I sipped my drink and just nodded my head at her saying “Ok, alright, ok, mhhmm” until she sat down.
A moment passed and the flight attendant came up to see what was going on and asked if she was harassing me.
I gave her a big smile and announced in my clearest voice, “No, it’s ok, she’s just a b***h.” She smiled and said in a quiet voice, “I’ll take good care of you. Another drink?”
Not only did she keep my gin and tonics topped the rest of the flight, she gave me a sizeable amount of airmiles as an apology for the malfunctioning seat. Secretly I think it was for referring to C**tface McGee by her true form.
Be nice to flight attendants. Their goal is to keep you safe and bring you some drinks, not be your punching bags.
Feature Photo: nhadatvideo / flickr
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary