Recently, some friends who happened to be in the neighborhood stopped by on the off chance we might be home (which, happily, we were).
It made me realize how rare this is; generally, a ringing doorbell indicates either an Amazon delivery or that our trash can lids have blown open.
In my ever-faulty memory, it seems to me that neighbors used to stop by unannounced with some frequency, especially when we were kids. But this has gone the way of the dodo, thanks to crime, COVID, and other modern inconveniences.
I must confess I would never just show up — I might text to see if somewhere were home or if it was a convenient time to receive visitors — but I kinda think that’s a shame.
Now that travel restrictions have eased a bit, and we’re all looking forward to a proper getaway, the following article from AllTimeLists is very timely.
To which I’ll add my own pet peeves:
Passengers who lean way back in their seats, oblivious to the discomfort of those behind them.
Bringing smelly food on board.
Loud conversations, especially with your companion three rows away.
Frequently blocking the aisle to get something out of the overhead. Just pack what you’ll need for the actual flight (book/meds/moisturizer/hand sanitizer/tablet), stick it under your seat and sit the f*** still.
Removing your mask whenever you think nobody’s looking.
Stowing your small carry-on in the overhead bin. How many times do they have to announce this??
Singing along to what’s on your headphones. Yes, we can hear you and it’s not pretty.
8 Things Flight Attendants Wish They Could Tell Passengers
Remember when air travel was fun and easy? Neither do we, but rumor has it; there was a time when flying was not the pressure cooker it is today.
The air traveling process can produce quite a bit of stress. Imagine it being your full-time job. Flight attendants have the tough task of tending to an entire plane full of people—each passenger with different complaints and needs.
Continue reading to find out what flight attendants wish they could tell their passengers.
8.”Not Taking off Hurts Us, Too”
Flight attendants want to take off on time too. I mean, you are all going to the same place after all. People tend to be overly rushed for no reason. Patience and kindness go a long way!
Also, flight attendants do not get paid while the plane is sitting at the gate. Flight attendants get paid for “flight hours only.” Meaning that the clock doesn’t start until the craft pushes away from the gate. Flight delays, cancellations, and layovers affect them just as much as they do passengers – maybe even more.
Airlines aren’t completely heartless, though. From the time they sign in at the airport until the plane slides back into the gate at their home base, they get an expense allowance of $1.50 an hour.
7.”Don’t Walk in the Aisle Without Shoes”
Aside from the fact that doing this announces to the entire flight that you are the most arrogant, self-centered creature ever to set foot on an airplane, it’s also unsanitary.
“I think people don’t realize how dirty the planes are,” said a flight attendant for PSA Airlines, an American Airlines Group subsidiary. He said that while flight attendants pick up trash between flights, the planes receive a thorough cleaning once a day.
6.”Cut Us Some Slack”
It really makes no sense why some passengers can be so abusive to the flight crew. The flight attendants did not cause the rotten weather that delayed the flight, the unruly behavior of the person behind you, the congestion at the destination airport, or almost anything else you are screaming at the flight attendant about. Please show them some compassion!
5.”We are Not Mind-Readers”
You know the old proverb about what happens when you assume, right? So don’t fly off the handle because the crew didn’t fulfill an expectation of yours that you didn’t verbalize. Keep in mind that these are flight attendants, not your siblings or parents.
Flight attendants can not read your mind. Have some patience! They can’t tailor service to every person, and people sometimes people forget that.
4.”Take Responsibility for Your Actions”
“I just wish I could tell passengers, ‘Be more responsible for yourself,’” a flight attendant for American Airlines said. Next time you are on a flight and have issues you caused yourself, take accountability for your actions. Be more responsible! Also, to go along with the no-shoes item, responsible behavior means respecting everyone else on the flight.
Clipping your toenails, snoring so loud you can be heard on the ground 35,000 feet below, or doing personal business under a blanket, should never be done on a plane. Remember, this is an airplane, not your house. This is a public space, not a private one. Respect the existence and rights of others.
3.”Don’t Ask if a Delay Will Result in a Late Arrival”
There is a difference between a pilot and a flight attendant. They have been trained to fulfill different roles, and one is not able to perform the duties of the other.
In the case of delayed flights, the flight attendant won’t know any more than you. They won’t know if the flight’s lost time can be made up during the flight or if it will result in a late arrival. So, don’t get annoyed when you ask them, and they don’t have an answer. In fact, don’t bother asking at all.
2.”You Have Never been in Extreme Turbulence”
More than 2 million people fly in the United States each day, and yet since 1980, only three people have died as a direct result of turbulence. Of those fatalities, two passengers weren’t wearing their safety belts.
During that same time period, the Federal Aviation Administration recorded just over 300 serious injuries from turbulence, and more than two-thirds of the victims were flight attendants. What do these numbers mean? As long as your seat belt is on, you’re more likely to be injured by falling luggage than by choppy air.
Speaking of falling luggage, don’t try to game the system by wrapping twine around your refrigerator and calling it carry-on luggage and only get about half of it inside the overhead bin.
One of the easiest ways to earn the ire of a flight attendant is to put your carry-on in a full overhead bin, leave it sticking out six inches, then take your seat at the window and wait for someone else to come along and solve the physics problem you just created. Measure your bag at home before you pack it a carry-on.
A carry-on bag’s typical dimensions are 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches (22 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm), including handles and wheels. If yours is bigger, check it in. Yes, the checked bag fee is a pain, but your huge item is creating an injury risk for yourself and everyone around you.
I’ve been noticing a growing trend: hosts and hostesses who weren’t taught the golden rule of party giving – namely, that your role is to make sure that all your guests have a great time. (If you have a good time, too, that’s icing on the birthday cake!)
At several parties we attended this past year, the hosts stayed in the kitchen or one part of the house, chatting with only a few people. They didn’t circulate with an eye out for anyone who might be standing alone. Nor did they make introductions (e.g., “Have you met So-and-So? He’s a pilot and since you love to travel, you should get to know each other”), thereby giving the conversation a starting point.
Is this generational? Geographical? Situational… perhaps a carryover from going to office parties where you already know everyone?
There’s a parallel trend at dinner parties: guests who either show up empty-handed or fail to write a “bread and butter” thank you note (or e-mail or text). Contrast that with friends who came over the other night bringing two bottles of wine, homemade dessert, and flowers. These are people you’ll definitely invite again!
Meanwhile, since you probably have some parties and eating in your future from now through New Year’s, I found the following food cravings chart very interesting. I have no idea whether the science behind it is sound, but if it helps, who cares, right?
Remember that nuts and cheese are high in calories, so substitute in moderation.