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Flight Attendant Sounds Off: Carryon Bags and Bad Attitudes

May 10, 2010 | Posted in: Airline News,Flight Attendants,Passengers

flight attendant carryon bags passengers

Ever wonder what that flight attendant on your plane is thinking?

Well, wonder no more. Or maybe I should say, now we know what one flight attendant is thinking – and he has a lot to say about negativity on the part of passengers and crew, and why the job just isn’t much fun anymore.

Oh, yes – the flight attendant also mentions passengers who simply dump their carryon bags at his feet. 

Check out the article, called “An Airline Flight Attendant Sounds Off on Bags, Bad Attitudes and Today’s Flying Experience” – it’s a pretty good read if I do say so myself.

14 Responses to “Flight Attendant Sounds Off: Carryon Bags and Bad Attitudes”

  1. Steve says:

    As a frequent traveler, I totally sympathize with the attendants’ plight – I can’t imagine a more thankless job. I am constantly amazed by the thoughtlessness of the flying public and wonder where it comes from. After all, if they were on a 3-hour bus ride, would they expect to be waited on hand and foot – or simply accept that they’re on their own and make it work?

    In reality, the flight attendants are only on planes at all for safety reasons. If the authorities didn’t require the presence of highly trained experts in case of emergencies (who mostly only get used as wait staff and baggage lifters by the public), I suggest that many airlines would drop them completely – then where would the complainers be?

    Come on folks – understand the impact your miserable attitudes and pettiness have on these hard-working folks (most of whom have had their benefits substantially eroded over the years). Be polite, obey the rules (yes, YOU!), and accept that your insistence on constantly cheaper air travel has brought it down to the level of a bus ride. Get over it – and be nice to the folks who would certainly be more helpful if you would only be more courteous.

  2. Ken says:

    Yes, it is an interesting read. But I think this FA is long past burn-out. I see passengers desiring contact with FAs. I don’t see passengers “dumping bags at the feet” of FAs. Only 1 in 10 passengers boarding will acknowledge a FA? Come on — stop complaining to the other FA standing next to you and maybe you can hear me say “hi” back to you.

    I think the title of your previous post should be modified for this article: “Should [Flight Attendants] Undergo [Personality] Tests Before Flying?”

    But maybe I’m totally mistaken. This is (was?) a United FA, after all.

  3. Nelson Musha says:

    A good read Rick. Walking in someone else’s shoes can give one a different perspective.

  4. Daggie says:

    I sympathize with the flight attendants having to put up with people wanting to carry on too much luggage, but I think most of us would like to check ALL our bags if only we could trust that our luggage would arrive with us.

  5. Rick Seaney says:


    I think you’ve just made a whole bunch of fans from the ranks of cabin crew members everywhere.


  6. Rick Seaney says:


    I know exactly what you’re talking about – trying to catch the attention of a flight attendant as you board, but failing because they’re busy talking to a colleague.


  7. Rick Seaney says:


    I realize there a number of sides to every situation – but this is a perspective we don’t see (or hear about) often. Glad you enjoyed it.


  8. Rick Seaney says:


    You make an excellent point about our luggage arriving with us (or not) – which gets me to thinking: I’d love to poll the carryon brigade to find out why they don’t check bags. Is it because of the fees? Or the possibilty of losing your bag?

    If anyone wants to respond to that now, I’m all ears.


  9. Erndog says:

    No wonder United ranks last in customer service . . .

    US Airways rated HIGHER than United:

    United ranks first in rudest Flight Attendants:

    United ranks last in customer service metrics:

    And this from 1998/1999, nothing changes:


  10. Rick Seaney says:


    Let me just respond by pointing out that this flight attendant does not pretend to speak for all his colleagues, let alone for everyone at his airline.

    And let me also say that this individual (according to the interview) did demonstrate compassionate and caring at times; and you must admit, some of the passenger behavior he describes is pretty appalling.

    I thank you for writing.

  11. Freddy says:

    Excellent perspective from both points of view, Rick. Ah, for a perfect world; my perfect world, of course. ;-)

    As for trying not to check bags, three reasons for me (in no particular order but all rankle!). First, fees (that keep going up). Second, lost luggage (my luggage has had the good fortune to vacation in San Juan, Puerto Rico but not I). Third (and I don’t see this mentioned often), the wait to get back checked luggage. More than once, I have waited as long as forty-five minutes for my bags to come off the carousel. It’s ludicrous that I can fly across the U.S.A. in about five hours and then have to wait an additional 15-20% more at my destination airport just to get my bags. So yes, I try not to check as often as I can.

  12. Rick Seaney says:


    Great point. I’m with you, the sooner I get out of the airport, the better. And if you do have to wait around for your bag, there’s that awful moment (after the carousel has gone around for the umpteenth time), where you start to panic, thinking to yourself, “They must have lost my bag, I’m DOOMED!”

    I hate that. But I like that you wrote.

  13. Chris says:

    Sounds whiny to me. I have to pay to put up with his bad attitude. Frankly, he needs to talk to the gate crew about the baggage issues if they are too big or too heavy. And if he wants me to check my bags and pay for them to be checked they need to guarantee that they will get there with all of my belongings inside them at the same time as I do OR at least actually insure the contents. I’m pretty sure the airlines just added the fees they didn’t actually take the price out of the ticket and then make it an a-la-cart system. Same thing for fuel surcharges, airport fees, security fees, etc. Most of which used to be part of the price of a ticket. The baggage fees and the fuel fees aggravate me the most.

    And hey, don’t even get me started about being 6′ 2″ and trying to actually sit in one of those seats for more than a few minutes.

  14. Rick Seaney says:


    I hear you. There are two sides to every story, and I hope to soon present, “Interview with a Well-Traveled Passenger” – another anonymous interview, so I can get really candid responses.

    Any volunteers out there?


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