Spot the Crazy Passenger

Do you ask for exactly three, not four ice cubes in your beverage? Flight attendants might think of you as a problem passenger.


Whether you’re flying coach, business, or first class, you don’t want to be labeled the crazy passenger. If you’re wondering what, exactly, earns you that title, you might want to check out Heather Poole’s book Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet (William Morrow, 2012). Poole, who has been a flight attendant for more than 15 years, has seen it all: People who try to put their baby in the overhead bin. Passengers who strip, then try to open the emergency door mid-flight, demanding to “get off the bus.” Folks who reach inside the meal cart and snag leftover food from dirty trays. Poole recalls:

One hot young thing, determined to talk a couple of male passengers into buying her drinks, once made the rounds on a flight overseas until one of my coworkers confronted the underage girl in the galley. The girl responded by punching my colleague in the face.

Perhaps you’re not that extreme. Or violent. But what about these folks:

I come across a lot of helplessness in the premium cabins. I once had a passenger refuse a meal tray because his turkey sausage was touching his scrambled eggs. Another passenger, a famous singer, had me run for several cups of tea because there were “black thingies” (tea leaves) floating in the hot water. And then there was the woman who wanted me to discard a single cube of ice from her glass of club soda because she had asked for three cubes, not four. At least she wasn’t one of the ones who complain about their ice being too cold.

the elderly woman in business class who yelled at me for talking too loudly to another passenger, then asked me to help her get her bra on later in flight.

Got a story of your own? Share your crazy passenger experiences by posting a comment below.

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