Being a flight attendant is a thankless job. Like "being a parent" thankless, but instead of two or three whiny brats who tug on your pants and perpetually ask for soda, you’ve got 247 of them. And there's no spanking!
While some people are models of the perfect passenger, a lot of folks do stupid things and ask stupid questions almost as soon as they step aboard the plane.
And still others, well, they go above and beyond the usual pressing of the call light for an extra glass of water. Some passengers ask for things that are completely impossible, totally irrational, or flat-out inappropriate. How inappropriate? We talked to FAs to find out the most bizarre requests they’ve gotten on the job.
"On a flight from Moscow to JFK, a passenger asked for a blood pressure cuff. He had just received (as in, within the last 48 hours) a black-market kidney transplant in Russia and asked if we could monitor his vitals on the flight home. Fortunately, we had a nurse in our crew."
"A passenger asked for a Tylenol because her husband was in a bit of pain. He had a penile implant, his body rejected it, and, well, she pulled it out mid-flight."
"Once a passenger who, let's just say, probably should have bought two seats stepped on a piece of glass while on board -- barefooted. He asked one of the FAs to pull the glass out for him, because he couldn't reach it."
"One passenger asked for anti-gas medication. For the person in front of them."
Well, that’s… a little personal
"Once a woman asked for a birth control pill. But she only needed one!!! Yeah, that’ll save you."
"A woman wearing a (very) mini skirt on a Vegas-bound flight asked me for a tampon. When I showed her where the pads were in the lav, she told me that wouldn't help. You know, since she wasn't wearing any underwear."
"I had a man demand that I give him my underpants. I said, 'Sorry I don't have more clean ones in my bag,' and he replied, 'No, the ones you're wearing!'"
"A 200lb passenger asked me to help her to the bathroom, and then to pull her pants down. Also, to leave the door open, you know, so I could help her pull them back up."
"I had a passenger board and promptly ask me to help change his catheter."
"A nice little old man was walking around the aircraft all night. He would go in the lavatory, come out abruptly, sigh, and walk some more. Finally, he comes up to me and asks for a bar of soap. Said he was constipated and hadn’t been able to go in three days. He was practically in tears. I got some bar soap and a knife out of my luggage and he proceeded to cut the soap into five pointed pieces, which he then took back into the bathroom. When he came out, he tried to shake my hand. I politely declined and he gave me a hug instead."
"I had a male passenger ask me: 'Could you block off the bathroom so I can shave my "privates?"' Except he did not use the word 'privates.'"
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest
"A young man holding a photo of his beloved cat asked mid-flight to go down and visit it in the cargo hold!"
"When I first started flying, some man asked me for a dog biscuit for his dog. Even odder was the fact that... he wasn't traveling with one."
Treating everyone like family
"A woman asked me to flush her husband’s ashes down the toilet so he could be in the ocean. I told her he would be in an ocean of blue potty fluid. She did it anyway, it was sad."
"An old lady once asked if I would consider marrying her son? 'He's a very sweet boy, I promise,' she said. 'His girlfriend is a bit nuts though, and I think you'd be a better fit.'"