Everyone has heard or read at least one "horror story" about flying. Usually, these stories are about fellow passengers. Whether it is because of the effects of air travel or just general bad behavior, some people can't help making a fool of themselves and causing no shortage of problems for flight attendants.
But what happens when that person turns out to be the flight attendant themselves?
Generally, flight attendants are trained professionals who know how to keep their cool in the face of many issues. But every once in awhile there's a flight attendant who cracks under the pressure and can become even worse than the most problematic passengers!
From those who are rude to passengers to some who quit before the plane leaves the runway, here are 20 examples of the worst thing flight attendants have done on a plane.
20 Joined The Mile High Club
Most people have heard of the "Mile High Club." And while there isn't any rule directly against it, passengers can face legal penalties if they're caught attempting it. But, a survey from JetCost recorded that more than a fifth of the 718 British flight attendants they surveyed have "joined the club" with colleagues or passengers!
19 No Juice For You!
According to an eyewitness account, one of the flight attendants on a 2009 Sacramento-Dallas flight had gone into a "screaming" fit as a passenger asked for orange juice with his breakfast. The passenger was handed a federal document that stated he was "interfering with a crew member."
Passengers are supposed to be able to trust flight attendants. Unfortunately, some will take advantage of that trust, as reported with JetCost's survey. Out of the 718 flight attendants that took the survey, 1 in 5 admitted to shortchanging passengers on purpose who purchased products.
17 Steal From The Rich To Give To... Yourself
In 2010 a flight attendant of Air France was arrested for stealing thousands of dollars and jewelry from passenger's pockets and carry-ons on a Tokyo-Paris bound flight. Only identified as Lucie R., the 47-year old flight attendant confessed to stealing from over 27 passengers for several months.
16 Fire In the Hole!
In 2016 flight attendant Johnathan Tafoya-Montano was arrested for starting a fire in the bathroom on an American Airlines plane. Initially, Tafoya-Montano falsely reported the fire and claimed to have put it out himself. After investigating the incident, the National Transportation Safety Board discovered that the fire had been set on purpose, by Johnathan.
15 I Quit!
In August of 2010, JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater had a dispute with a passenger who went to grab their luggage too soon. Growing angry, Slater quit over the plane's intercom, grabbed some drinks, and activated the emergency evacuation chute to slide out of the plane.
14 Don't Mess With The Union
In 2010 at the height of strikes of the cabin crews for Britsh Airways, one flight was trashed by a crew. During a Sydney to London flight, they found out they were being relieved of their duties and proceeded to disconnect ovens, block sinks with bags of trash, pour milk over beds and even seal trolly doors shut with glue!
South African Airways has a list detailing what passengers cannot bring on a plane. A lot of it makes sense, with one or two items (like hoverboards) raising a few eyebrows. Back in October of this year, South African Airways had two separate incidents of flight attendants caught smuggling things they shouldn't have.
12 Packing Heat
A flight attendant must always make sure to pack items that will keep them prepared for whatever the job throws at them. But ex-Great Lakes Airlines flight attendant, Kimberly Chase (not shown above) took being prepared for anything a little too seriously with two of the things she made sure to carry with her on the plane.
11 Screaming At Passengers Over The Intercom
American Eagle flight attendant Jose Serrano had several angry things to tell passengers on a plane at New York's LaGuardia Airport. The flight had seen a 5-hour delay due to the weather and Sarrano was reported to have dared passengers to get off the plane if they wanted to, in response to their anger at the lengthy delay.
10 Catty With Other Flight Attendants
Ex American Airlines flight attendant Rodney Lorenzo is probably one of the worst co-workers any flight attendant could have had. He was dismissed after his poor treatment of another flight attendant during a flight and got into legal trouble for his continued harassment towards his former co-worker and the airline itself.
9 She Said What?!
Flight Attendants can make or break a person's perception of the airline. So it makes an airline look pretty bad when their flight attendants are caught doing or saying inappropriate things. The latter is what happened with a British Airway's flight attendant, who was caught on Snapchat saying offensive things back in 2018.
8 Too Sauced To Fly
Flight attendants ensure the safety of passengers, as they're trained to handle a number of situations. That's why they have to have all of their senses about them when they're on the job. But passengers reported one flight attendant slurring her speech and seeming to be severely uncoordinated during the plane's security announcement.
7 Baby Not Onboard
It can be tough for a parent flying with a baby, but flight attendants are supposed to help make it easier. But one flight attendant for American Airlines didn't get that memo. While the plane was still on the tarmac, an attendant took a stroller away from a mother, hitting her with it and "narrowly missing her child."
6 Fighting With The Pilot
Back in 2017, an argument broke out between a Delta Airlines flight attendant and pilot. The argument took place between the 26-year-old flight attendant and the 54-year-old pilot and caused a 2-hour delay. Port Authority police were even called to the scene to handle the situation.
5 Tell Passenger To Put Pet In Overhead Bin
Unfortunately, the outcome in this instance became a tragic accident for a family and their dog in March of 2018. A family brought their 10-pound French bulldog, and despite following all of United Airways's rules for bringing a pet, they were still made to put the dog in an overhead bin. The dog, sadly, passed away during the 3-hour flight.
4 Kick A Passenger Off The Plane For No (Good) Reason
A flight attendant on an American Airlines flight kicked a passenger from a plane for supposedly blocking the aisle. The passenger in question claims that she didn't hear the flight attendant's request before he started to yell and forced her off the plane. Several other passengers seemed to agree that the FA's reaction was too harsh.
3 We Don't Have That
Most planes offer different things passengers can purchase to eat and drink, though with a limited amount since the cabin crew can only replace items once they land. A survey made up of British Flight attendants revealed 28% of the 718 that were interviewed admitted to lying about what was available for purchase.
2 Extremely Rude
One passenger had an unfortunate experience with a rude and unsympathetic flight attendant back in 2013 on Southwest. While she dealt with an upset stomach in the bathroom she heard two of its male flight attendants making rude comments about her. One even boasted about being able to say or do whatever he wanted and even sprayed air freshener at her.
1 No More Crying After 5 Minutes
There is a pretty big stigma against parents who travel with their babies. Sometimes other passengers are unsympathetic, though it's much worse when a flight attendant is the unsympathetic one. That's what happened to one family with their 8-month-old son on a United Airlines flight. they were approached by a flight attendant that said there was a 5-minute-only crying policy!