5 Things Pilots Say Passengers Should Never Do

Airline pilots in the cockpit

I’ve talked with a lot of pilots over the years, men and women who fly for major carriers like American and British Airways. Pilots, for the most part, are very nice people. But, when they tell us to do something, we must obey. You see, a pilot’s word is law on a plane. The good news is, a pilot’s biggest concern is for our safety and in that spirit, here is a list of things passengers should never do.

Don’t Roam the Cabin

A young man roamed a British Airways cabin a few years back demanding to be let off the aircraft. At the time, the flight was over the Atlantic Ocean. Ultimately, the flight was diverted and the passenger, according to news reports, was taken away in handcuffs. It could have been worse. Some passengers attempt to get off planes by trying to open cabin doors in the air. This good news is, it can’t be done.

Don’t Mess with the Crew

Passengers who mess with flight attendants and other members of airline crews generally regret it. They get kicked off flights, arrested and even jailed. Some examples:

  • A passenger allegedly made sexist comments to an Alaskan Airlines flight attendant during a safety demo. He was kicked off the flight.
  • Another passenger on a Hawaiian Airlines flight wound up in a Honolulu courtroom after being accused of biting a flight attendant.
  • A traveler on an EasyJet plane was accused of – how to put this? – mistaking some of his fellow passengers for the lavatory.

Don’t Overindulge in Alcohol (or Similar Substances)

Some passengers do not handle alcohol well. Many do not handle excessive alcohol well. A couple of examples:
Last year, a fellow on Frontier allegedly drank too much and allegedly grabbed female passengers. He followed this up, reportedly, by urinating on a nearby seat.
A Ryanair passenger allegedly drank from a whiskey-filled shampoo bottle while shouting expletives and threatening passengers.
Both men were ultimately taken away in handcuffs by law enforcement officials. A terrible way to start a vacation.

Don’t Make Me Leave the Cockpit and Come After You

An American Airlines pilot saw a passenger allegedly manhandling a crew member and was heard shouting, “You don’t put your hands on my flight attendant!” The pilot then put the offending passenger on the ground. The incident wound up on YouTube and the passenger wound up in court.

Don’t Worry

Final thought: Every pilot I talked to said they truly enjoy 99.99% of their passengers and consider flying them a privilege. In many cases, that remaining .01% simply didn’t use their common sense. Don’t be like them.

Rick Seaney
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