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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

5 air hostesses reveal the worst in-flight passenger behaviour they’ve ever faced

In light of the recent incident where Telugu Desam Party MP JC Diwakar Reddy was banned by IndiGo for bad behaviour, we ask air hostesses about the worst in-flight behaviour they’ve dealt with.

more-lifestyle Updated: Jun 19, 2017 19:52 IST
Abhinav Verma
Abhinav Verma
Hindustan Times
Air hostesses usually smile at passengers, but some passengers can make them cry.
Air hostesses usually smile at passengers, but some passengers can make them cry.

While it may seem that politicians in our country can get away with even murder, it was a pleasant surprise when Telugu Desam Party MP JC Diwakar Reddy was banned from boarding IndiGo flights after his allegedly unruly behaviour. Reddy showed up half-an-hour before the scheduled departure of his flight and the check-in counter was closed 45 minutes prior to departure, as per policy. When he was informed that check-in was closed, he got into a verbal spat with the ground staff and even threw a printer kept on the airline’s staff desk in a fit of rage.

This is not the first time Reddy has got embroiled in a fight with airline staff. Last year, he had reportedly vandalised the Air India office at Gannavaram airport in Vijaywada when he missed his flight.

Airline staff and hostesses are often at the receiving end of tantrums, and not just from people who walk the corridors of power. Five air hostesses reveal to us the horrible passenger behaviours they have faced.

‘A passenger asked me for drinks... and then started shouting’

“One of the worst behaviours that I’ve faced over the years was when a passenger kept asking me for drinks repeatedly... and he only asked me. When I got busy with some other work, I told him, ‘Give me minute, I’ll just be back.’ But he suddenly started shouting at me for no reason. He then made a huge scene out of the situation, and also lied in front of everyone saying that I refused to get him a Coke. I couldn’t believe it, I had tears in my eyes, being humiliated like that,” says an air hostess who wants her identity to remain confidential.


‘During the safety drill, a passenger kept pulling my friend’s skirt’

“A friend of mine suffered a terrible ordeal. While doing the mandatory safety drill, a passenger kept pulling her skirt. She could not stop the drill as it was the safety drill, which by policy shouldn’t be interrupted. But when she told the passenger to stop, he threw water at her. Another recurring problem is when passengers deliberately drop stuff on the floor so that they can take photos of us while bending down [to pick up the item],” says Anisha Chawla from Go Air.


‘A passenger asked me to go with him to the washroom’

“It’s common to have passengers misbehave with air hostesses. The worst behaviour that I’ve faced is when a passenger directly asked me to accompany him to the washroom. I felt disgusted... it was one of the cheapest things ever!” says an air hostess who wants her identity to remain confidential.


‘A passenger got drunk and kept on touching me’

“I think one of the worst experiences I ever had was when a passenger got really drunk and got physical with me. He would not stop touching me, despite being repeatedly told to stop. The crew had to physically restrain him. Once he was subdued, he was escorted out and was put on the no-fly list forever,” says an air hostess on condition of anonymity.


‘This lady started calling me a cheap girl’

“I was busy serving the passengers row-wise. Since I had nothing left in my cart, I had to collect food and beverages from the other crew members as per passenger demand. One passenger suddenly started calling me. I informed her that I was serving row-wise and would get back to her in a while. When I came to her, I realised that I had missed out on a passenger seated on 15th row — this passenger was a lady with a child who had the meal pre-booked. The other lady, whom I had asked to wait, now started shouting and said why the hell weren’t we serving her? She then said that she had been asking for a glass of water ever since she boarded (she never mentioned that to us). She was so loud that everyone could hear her. Then she went on to call me a ‘sales girl’ and called me cheap.

“When a colleague of mine came with refreshments, I requested her to serve the lady with the child first. Now this other lady spoke up again — she now said that I wasn’t serving her because she was not in my row. I couldn’t believe what was going on. I went to that lady and served her water and apologised to her. I also said that I was just doing my job and following the rules. In response, she told me to f** off and then looked out of the window. I was shocked. The lady sitting next to her said, ‘It’s alright, you can continue.’ Again that passenger asked the lady sitting next to her why was she entertaining a ‘cheap girl’ like me. That is when I lost it.

“Since I couldn’t be rude to her, I told her that the way she was talking to me was unacceptable. I told her that her behaviour reflected her upbringing. And finally, with a smile on my face, I said, ‘If you wish to eat or drink anything, please let me know, it will be a pleasure’, and I walked off.

“As soon as I reached my galley, I started crying. A few female passengers came and comforted me. They even wrote an appreciation letter for me,” reveals another air hostess from IndiGo.

First Published: Jun 18, 2017 14:16 IST