The Craziest Confessions From Pinay Flight Attendants

These women share their craziest stories from 30,000 feet up in the air.

Being a flight attendant isn’t all glitz and jet-setting glamour. There are red-eye flights that will give you eyebags for days, and worse, difficult passengers who will test the limits of your patience. We spoke to a number of Pinay flight attendants who shared their craziest stories from 30,000 feet up in the air.

“On a Manila-Los Angeles flight, we had just served breakfast three hours before landing. One male passenger got up and shouted to all the mothers, ‘I’m going to strangle and kill your kids! I was not able to sleep because of their cries and screams.’ Don’t worry; he didn’t.

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“In my years of being an FA, I’ve seen it all. There are so many Pinoys who like to namedrop and act like they own the airlines simply because they know someone on ground staff duty. One time we had a frequent flier na medyo KSP. Every time he boarded, he kept telling the business class crew, ‘I am a million miler!’ He kept demanding that he be served before everyone else, even if we actually have many other million milers onboard. He also demanded that he gets lavatory priority before everyone else, and that we clean it thoroughly before he enters.”

Last year one passenger got so drunk in our flight. He ran after one FA who refused to serve him another drink. The captain called the airport police as soon as we landed and he was fined $10,000. It was all over the news.”

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“As flight attendants, we see it all and know what the scheming passengers are up to. As much as we don’t like to stereotype, we’ve learned that each culture tends to have the same attitudes—good and bad. In my experience, Filipinos are the hardest to please. A lot of them treat the cabin crew like achays. For each route, we already know what to expect—from people who steal life vests and everything on the tray (their trays are practically empty when we collect it) to name droppers and certain demographics that demand for items we don’t have (free eye masks, slippers, and special meals) on short-haul flights. Some of our pet peeves: passengers who stack the food trays of their entire row before handing it to us (We know you think you’re helping make the job easier for us, pero hindi talaga siya nakakatulong), exit row passengers who refuse to listen to the required emergency exit brief, and economy passengers who take the empty seats in the business class and think they won’t get caught.”

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“During one flight in the business class section, I noticed there were only two passengers. They weren’t talking to each other and had no physical connection at all, so we assumed they weren’t together. Before taking off, lights in the cabin were dimmed for safety purposes. After securing everyone in their seats, I sat on my crew seat facing the passengers. I saw the two starting to unbutton each other’s shirts and making out.”

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“As part of our safety procedure, we count all infant passengers and give them an infant’s life vest before we take off. During one flight, my fellow crewmember assisted a mother with an infant. As the mother and child were settling down, my friend excused herself for a few minutes, got an infant’s life vest, went back to the mother, and to her surprise, the baby was missing! She asked the mother, ‘Ma’am, where’s your baby?’ The mother pointed up. My friend’s face went pale because the baby was sleeping inside the overhead stowage bin. The mother thought that it was allowed. Thank God the baby was only there for a few minutes and we got her out before the takeoff.”

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In one of my 14-hour flights, the captain switched on the seatbelt sign, followed by an announcement to take our seats and avoid going to the lavatory. A Pinay balikbayan stood up, went to the lavatory, and waited by the door. I instructed her politely to take her seat and fasten her seatbelt for her safety. She just stared at me as if she didn’t hear anything. When the turbulence got stronger, I asked her again to take her seat, but she didn’t move an inch. The third time I asked her, she shouted at me, ‘Don’t you see that the sign in the lavatory is green? Why can’t you let me use the lavatory? Why would you stop me?’ I explained that we are experiencing turbulence and we will be held accountable if anything happened to her. I told her to take her seat first and wait until the fasten seat belt sign is off. Aggravated, she held up her middle finger and began shouting expletives at me. ‘Don’t you know who I am? Who are you to tell me what to do? I am a nurse and a doctor in the UK. I know what to do!’ I’d never been so humiliated in my life. She started threatening to complain to the company, so I said, ‘Here’s my name.’ Later, she was back in her seat and when I passed by, she grabbed my arm and said, ‘Remember this face and my name.’”

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“During one Delhi flight, the passengers started hiding their food trays under their seat and claimed that no food tray was given. We were baffled. Then we realized that they were still hungry and wanted more food!

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Did you know that it isn’t part of our job description to carry your bag and store it in the overhead bin for you? That’s why it annoys us whenever a passenger tries to get away with more than the allowable 7.5 kilos of carry-on weight, block the entire aisle with the overweight bag during boarding, and then expect us to easily stow it in the bin for them. One time there was a really buff passenger on my flight (he looked like he went to the gym five times a week). He left his bag in the middle of the aisle, kicked it towards me, and gestured for me to lift it up. In dismay, I kicked the bag back to him and left.”

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“There was a passenger from the business class section who wanted whiskey. I asked him, ‘Sir would you like me to serve it on the rocks?’ He got mad and replied, ‘No! On the table! On the table!’ while tapping his table.

 

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