Keeping Flight Attendants from Spitting in your Drink

Yeah! Another delay!
Yeah! Another delay!

I just went to the fabulous Blog U conference last week, even though, like most hermits, I hate to travel. HATE. IT. I especially despise air travel because it includes other people in my personal space, breathing my air, giving me germs. Hey, airline bigwigs, could we put the seats just a little closer, and maybe make them smaller? In fact, why don’t we just offer a cheaper ticket if you sit on someone’s lap the whole way? The person holding you gets an even lower price.   Yes, I’m being sarcastic. We really do need a sarcasm font.

As I was trying to ball myself into half my size in my aisle seat on Southwest last week, I had a lovely chat with one of the flight attendants while she helped people cram their roller bags into the overhead compartments. While she said nothing about spitting in drinks, she did agree that people are carrying on TOO MUCH. In fact, she told me that when she began her job, she trained her parents on how to be better flyers. Now, I want to do the same for you. Here are some helpful travel tips from your friendly neighborhood hermit.

For the love of all that is sane, just check your bags.

On Southwest and Jet Blue, your first checked bag is FREE. On most other airlines, it’s $25. I’m not a frugal person, but even if you are, do you REALLY want to tote your bag everywhere? I mean, it’s likely that you have to connect in a huge airport like, gulp, Atlanta. Also, what about those gels? Do you really need to squeeze all of your health and beauty products into a quart sized bag?

If you are one of those people who insist on carrying on, for whatever reason, you are annoying. On my recent trip, I checked my bag so I could take my seat quickly and shove my purse under the seat in front of me. It took other people FOREVER to cram their bags in the overhead compartment. A couple of them almost dropped their bags on my head. What could be in there that must be protected and kept with you at all times? Nuclear secrets? Don’t be cheap! Just check the damn bag.

Don’t order a drink on short flights. 

Both of my flights last weekend were only an hour. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting them to do drink service, but they did. And most people actually ordered one! I know soda is free, but really? Do you need that Coke just because it’s free? Are you going to dehydrate on your 52-minute flight from Cleveland to Louisville? By the time the flight attendants take orders and deliver the drinks, you have about ten minutes to drink. Plus, if you carried on your huge roller bag and ordered a drink on a short flight, it probably has spit in it. I kid. I kid.

And then there are the liquor people. Now, I like a good martini or glass of wine every now and then, but even I, a NERVOUS flyer, will not order a drink on a short flight. Seriously, if you can’t get through 45 minutes in a plane without a scotch on the rocks, you need a meeting, not a drink.

Don’t bitch at the gate agents.

My first flight was delayed by about three hours. Believe me, I didn’t enjoy that as it gave me more time to sit and worry about dying in a fiery crash, but I didn’t complain to the gate agents. It would be pointless, as they do not control weather, mechanical issues, flight crew schedules, or anything else that causes delays.  They simply work as GATE agents. Their fathers do not own the airline. Cut them some slack and complain to the customer service department, if you must.

Do not let your little $^%&ers kick the backs of seats.

I know you love your little kids. I love my kid, too. I also taught my kid that while his mommy, daddy, and grandparents love him very much, the rest of the world merely tolerates him. The other passengers on the plane are tolerating your kid. Do not let him kick the backs of their seats. There may be someone like me with the it takes a village mentality who will correct your little snookums. While we are at it, just don’t bring your 2 year-old on the red eye from Hawaii. Ever.

That’s all I got. I would love to hear from you. Do you have any more anti-douchnozzle travel tips? I don’t travel often, so I know I’m missing some things. Any flight attendants out there? I would LOVE to hear from you. Leave me a comment and let’s talk about travel.

 Disclaimer: I have never had a flight attendant tell me that spitting in drinks actually happens on commercial flights in this or any other country. However, I did know a comedy club waitress who wiped her butt with a piece of cheese before putting it on a crabby customer’s burger. Be careful out there, people.

25 thoughts on “Keeping Flight Attendants from Spitting in your Drink

  1. I’m a nervous flyer myself, and I’m cheap too. If some chilluns be kicking the back of my airline seat, I’m throwing someone off the plane.

    1. Has an airline lost your bag? I had them deliver it to me once at a hotel, but never totally lose it. I understand that fear. You don’t want to be in a strange place and have to buy panties at Walmart.

  2. I’ve never really been ON a plane, but I can totally relate to the back of the seat kickers… since I ALWAYS have one of those if I go to the movies and being an ex-teacher, it makes me turn around and glare at the little collaborators. And if the PARENTS are the ones to RETURN the evil eye, I slowly loose my mind.

    1. I’m an ex-teacher, too. This is why I raised my son to not be the kid that everyone wants to be absent. 🙂

      1. That is my biggest parenting goal as well. And if they grow up, to not turn out to be one of those lazy-ass ex-colleagues I worked with.

      2. Exactly. I told my son, “One of my goals as a mom is to make sure you’re not an asshole.”

  3. My anti-douchenozzle tip comes from an experience I had once on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit- an Indian family was sitting behind me, and the wife had dutifully ordered Hindi meals for her husband and children when she booked the flight. The flight attendant let them know that they would be receiving their meals first, and then something surprising happened. The husband complained that he never ordered a Hindi meal, that he wanted to eat meat, and he would complain if he was to be served a Hindi meal. The flight attendant tried several times to explain, but he was insistent. When the attendant got to me, I said, “I’d be happy to take the gentleman’s special meal if he doesn’t want it. I love eating curry.” She looked so relieved! I got served my meal first, the dude behind me stopped bitching, and the flight attendant was so grateful that she actually got me a bottle of German white wine from first class to sneak into my carry-on. Being nice when flying can really pay dividends 🙂

  4. I loved this. But most importantly, I read the word “bigwigs” as “earwigs.” I think I need a nap.

  5. WOW! Well you know I dated a flight attendant for Southwest and the stories he would tell me. Also he was not the friendliest person at home and drank to much! He use to tell me it was the job so most of the flight attendants I have meet are just like him. So sad!

    1. I bet it is a stressful job. I couldn’t deal with some of these people. I try to just sit in my seat, be quiet, and not ask for a drink on a 52 minute flight. 🙂
      I’m glad you are not dating him anymore.

  6. We had a terrible Honeymoon flight. They called us and asked us to change to an earlier flight because of some overbooking problem. We had just enough time to throw our bags in the car and RUN. We were the ONLY people checking in at the time and we were “randomly selected” for a complete rifle-through-your-carry-ons check both at the security and AGAIN at the gate! We were already late (which they knew), and THEN I left my phone back at security and my husband had to run back for it.

    When they told me that we weren’t going to be able to board the plane because my husband wasn’t running fast enough, I mentioned his asthma. His asthma was acting up slightly, but he really played it up for their benefit. He used his inhaler and was breathing very heavily. They IMMEDIATELY became very helpful and held the plane.

    So, here’s the tip: when the official peoples are being jerks, don’t be afraid to play up your weaknesses.

    1. I love it! Yes! Asthma is something that can keep you from running fast. I don’t have asthma, but I do have super short legs. I wonder if the airline would take that as a reason to hold a plane for me.

    1. I hate that, too! That happened to me in a movie theater once. Seats everywhere, and this woman had to sit rightnextto me and my husband. Um, no.

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