Flight Attendant Shares Things You Should Never Do on Flights

  • I was a flight attendant for 2 years, and I really wish passengers would stop doing certain things.
  • It’s pretty gross to go to the bathroom without shoes on or leave the toilet unflushed.
  • You make everyone’s life harder when you bring too much luggage, and we can’t help you lift it.

I worked as a flight attendant on domestic and international routes for two years, and I saw all kinds of behavior on planes.

Read on for the top things you should never do on a flight.

The life vests under the seats aren’t yours to steal

I never thought this would be a problem, but some people think a life vest would be a nice souvenir.

Not only is it stealing, but you could also be putting the next passenger sitting in that seat in danger.

Don’t leave the toilet unflushed

occupied lavatory lit up on an airplane

Everyone on the plane has to use the same bathrooms, so clean up after yourself.

Nataliya Pylayeva/Shutterstock


If you don’t know exactly how to use the airplane bathroom, don’t be shy or embarrassed to ask your flight attendants.

You don’t fly the plane every day, and there are so many buttons. But don’t just leave and hope no one will notice.

The airplane is a very small space. We usually have one bathroom in the front and two in the back, so everyone can tell when you didn’t flush.

It might be best not to take medication that makes you sleep through the flight

When I started flying in 2019, I noticed a passenger looked unconscious to me. I tried to wake him up by shaking him, but he didn’t respond, so I panicked and called my colleagues for help.

I was about to ask for a medical professional onboard or perform first aid. But it turned out a passenger was a heavy sleeper, and it looked like he’d used some sleeping medication.

You might not want to scare your crew by taking drowsy medication on a flight.

Bringing too much luggage on the plane makes everyone’s life harder

Travelers wait for their luggage at a baggage carousel, Friday, May 28, 2021, at Miami International Airport in Miami.

Check extra bags that are too heavy to lug around.

Wilfredo Lee/AP



Some passengers are completely covered with sweat from carrying too many personal items, backpacks, and carry-ons.

It’s so much easier to check your luggage and walk on the plane relaxed and stress-free.

It’s also not always possible to find a space for everyone’s bag, so your extra items may need to be checked regardless. If you’re worried about paying extra, ask an attendant at the gate. They’re usually happy to check it for free if the flight is full.

Never drink any personal alcohol onboard

We catch people drinking mini bottles of alcohol all the time.

Even if you think there isn’t a flight attendant around, you’d be surprised how often other passengers let us know.

It’s prohibited, and you could be banned from future flights with the airline if you’re caught, so it’s not worth the risk.

Crew members can’t help you place your carry-on into the overhead bins

Overhead bins

Your bag should fit in the overhead bin or under your seat.

Surachet Jo/Shutterstock


Sometimes passengers ask flight attendants for help hoisting their carry-ons into the overhead bins. But that isn’t part of a cabin crew’s responsibility.

If the bag is too heavy, it’s better to check it.

Don’t go to the restroom when the flight attendants are performing a safety demonstration

It’s OK to go to the restroom before takeoff. But when you see flight attendants performing a safety demonstration, you should stay seated and wait until the seatbelt sign is off.

When passengers get up during the safety demonstration, we need to stop, wait, and start from the beginning when everyone is back to their seats.

If it’s an emergency, call a flight attendant over and we’ll help you.

Always wipe the seat-back trays before using them

feet on airplane seat

Always wipe the tray down.

Nadezhda1906/Getty Images


You may think that people only place drinks on seat-back trays, but the person before you could’ve slept on it or used it to change a baby’s diaper.

My airline hands out little alcohol wipes during boarding for a reason. Just give the tray a quick wipe when you sit down.

Never go to the restroom without shoes

The bathroom is probably the dirtiest place on the plane. And all the liquid you see on the floor isn’t just water.

Plus, if you’re just wearing socks, they’ll be soaked. Who wants that for a whole flight?

Don’t stay silent if you aren’t feeling well

Airplane cabin with a passenger adjusting the cabin air setting above him

It’s better to tell someone who can help that you’re feeling ill.

Shutterstock



I’ve had passengers feeling lightheaded or having a


panic attack

but they were too shy to tell anyone.

You don’t have to quietly deal with pain or discomfort on your own until landing. Always tell your flight attendant. We might have the training or equipment that can help.

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