They smile as they bring the drinks down the aisle and make safety announcements, but now they are getting their revenge.
After decades of being ignored, leered at and faced with yet another person asking, “Am I going to make my connection?”, flight attendants are turning the tables on their less considerate passengers.
Anyone who ever thought that it was acceptable to rest their bare feet on the seat in front of them, or thought nothing of clipping their toenails during a busy flight, now runs the risk of seeing their photograph posted on social media.
The hashtag #passengershaming on Twitter and Instagram reveals a catalogue of unspeakable behaviour, appalling messes . . . and bare feet. There are feet on the bulkhead, feet on the seats, even feet on the tray tables. The campaign was set up by Shawn Kathleen, a former flight steward based in New York who started a blog seven years ago called the “rants of a sassy stew”.
She told MailOnline: “The people we discuss are a small number of people in the travelling public. Luckily, you meet some great people on the job and feel that you can make a connection with passengers sometimes.”
Some of the more bizarre requests she has received include that of one passenger who summoned her at 35,000ft to ask if the plane was moving. Her Facebook page features the game of “passenger shaming bingo”, which includes such pet hates as “important businessman on bluetooth” and “unflushed toilet”.
There is also some advice for ordering a drink on an aircraft. “Do not ask ‘What do you have?’ unless you want daggers shooting deep into your soul from my beautiful blue eyes.”
One commenter, Steve Kearney, posted: “I love it when they say ‘I’ll never ever fly with you again.’ What they really mean is no one else does this flight as cheap so see you next year!!!”
The cabin crew members also reveal how they deal with the passengers they dislike. As one post says: “How to say ‘f*** you’ in flight attendant speak: ‘Be right back.’”