Passengers say the darnedest things…all of these are quoted from actual passengers by the flight attendants who witnessed them:
1) “I’m going to write a complaint letter about you! You like to read? Because obviously you don’t like going to the gym.”
Former flight attendant Shawn Kathleen, creator of Passenger Shaming, recalls this bitter response from a male passenger who was mad at her for making him sit down and buckle up while the plane was taking off (because how dare she enforce the rules of every single airline on the planet). “I was upset,” says Shawn Kathleen. “But I didn’t want to give this guy the satisfaction of seeing me upset.”
2) “I was … um … using my lighter to see something.”
Shawn Kathleen recalls this dubious excuse offered by a passenger who’d just set off the smoke detector in her plane’s bathroom. As the alarm blared, and with a part of his hair clearly singed, this guy stuck to his story that he was using his Bic for illumination rather than for an illegal cigarette break. “It was a fully lit bathroom,” a suspicious Shawn Kathleen responded.
3) “M-I-C-K-E-Y. F-@-#-%-I-N-G. M-O-U-S-E”
Flight attendant Emily recalls this hilarious incident that took place as passengers — many of whom had just been to Disney World — boarded a flight in Orlando. The pilot was greeting passengers when he saw a little boy holding a Mickey Mouse doll. “Who’s your friend?” Emily remembers the pilot asking. The boy didn’t say a word as he made it back to his seat. And when the pilot greeted the boy and his family once again after they’d been seated, the boy stayed mum during any and all questions about his doll. “So, why don’t you want to talk about your friend?” the pilot asked the boy.
The boy, tired of being badgered, finally responded. “Because my dad told me if I said one more f***ing word about Mickey Mouse, he’s going to take it away from me!”
4) “When did you start wearing uniforms?”
That was one of those moments when I had to concentrate on not raising my eyebrows or rolling my eyes,” Flight attendant Betty remembers about that nonsensical question asked of her by a male passenger. But her restraint didn’t last long. “I usually stifle comebacks, but this time I responded, ‘Oh, yes, the days of the naked flight attendants are long gone!’ All the passengers around the man laughed, but he did not!
5) “Can you not release that smell you put out on landing?”
Betty was baffled by this question asked of her near the end of one flight: “A woman rang me over to ask, ‘My stomach is really upset, so can you not release that smell you put out on landing? I don’t think my stomach can handle it.’ At this point I’m thinking, ‘What? What scent do we release on landing?’ We don’t have some sort of air freshener fog that rolls through the airplane before landing. Sometimes it’s easier to just appease people than argue what’s real and what’s not. So with my best fake smile I assured her we would refrain from releasing the smell on this flight just for her. She was very grateful.”
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