Cabin crew secrets: Flight attendant reveals one thing plane passengers should never ask

Cabin crew are in charge of looking after all the plane passengers on the aircraft during flights. However, it’s important to remember that you cannot expect them to know everything the pilot does about the plane itself. One flight attendant has revealed there’s something they hate being asked on board. It’s something they wish they could tell passengers not to ask but are unable to for obvious professional reasons.

Flights: Cabin crew revealed why you should never ask a flight attendant about flight delay

“Don’t ask me if the plane’s going to be late because of the delay, because I don’t know,” a flight attendant for Piedmont Airlines, an American Airlines Group subsidiary, told Business Insider.

Cabin crew are, of course, obliged to remain polite at all times – so passengers may well not be aware of the annoyance they cause the crew.

Another former flight attendant, Elliott Hester, recalled some of the irritating questions he’s been asked.

A couple once asked Hester, when he was at the airport departure gate, whether they had time to buy a bagel.

“Now here’s my dilemma,” Hester wrote in his book Plane Insanity. “If I say, ‘No, I don’t think you have time to buy a bagel or a newspaper or a souvenir for your kid,’ as I’ve said to countless last-minute boarders in the past, he may respond – as some of those last-minute boarders have – as if I have a personal vendetta.

“‘You, a lowly flight attendant are telling me that I don’t have time to get a bagel?’ (This makes me wonder why they bother to ask in the first place.)

“If I say, ‘Yes, you have time, but hurry,’ and the passenger returns to find that the plane has departed without him, he’ll want to sue the airline. Or at least, he’ll demand a first-class upgrade.”

There’s another aggravating question that pertains to departure time that Elliot dislikes.

“It’s even more unbelievable when a last-minute boarder asks, ‘Do I have time to go to the bathroom?’” he said.

Hester added he would like to give the reply: “That depends, sir. Will you be performing a Number one or a Number two? Are you going to have a seat on the toilet and flip through a copy of Architectural Digest, or are you planning to get straight down to business?”

The fact of the matter is, “an airline employee has no idea how quickly a passenger can complete his bodily functions or obtain for from an airport vendor.

“All we can do it state what time the plane is scheduled for take off,” explained Hester.

If you are actually delayed, travellers often don’t realise they have more rights than they think. It’s worth taking action to make sure you receive what’s owed you rather than waiting to see what happens.

Coby Benson, Flight Delay Compensation Solicitor at Bott and Co said: “Many passengers are still not aware that they have more rights than they think if their flight is delayed or cancelled. 

“If the disruption is not caused by extraordinary circumstances – for example, technical faults or cabin crew sickness – passengers may be able to claim up to 600 Euros.

“EU Regulation 261/2004 also includes care and assistance rules that airlines must adhere to if passengers are stuck at the airport and have been delayed by 2-4 hours or have had their flight cancelled.

“Food and drink vouchers should be provided as well as means for passengers to communicate, including being entitled to a telephone call and an email. Accommodation must be provided if passengers are delayed overnight and transport to and from the accommodation and the airport must also be provided.”

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