Flight Attendants Reveal Their Biggest Passenger Ick – And You're Probably Guilty

With Christmas just weeks away (I know, we’re struggling to accept it, too), it’s time to start making travel plans for visiting our friends and families over the festive period.

And for many of us, this’ll involve hopping on a flight to head home for the holidays – which, given we’re all seriously well-behaved passengers, will be a breeze.

Well, sorry to break it to you, but it turns out that a lot of our ‘normal’ flight rituals are actually flight attendants’ biggest icks.

Online travel company, loveholidays spoke to former flight attendant Saya Nagori to get the skinny on Christmas travellers.

According to Nagori, there are two types of holiday travellers; the ones who are excited to get back home for the holidays and the ‘scrooges’; rude and grumpy.

She continues: “My biggest ‘ick’ from working throughout the holidays is when passengers travel with a friend or family member and then take it upon themselves to get intoxicated and obnoxious because ‘hey it’s Christmas, a time to celebrate’.”

A drink in the airport lounge is a beloved travel ritual for some – who hasn’t posted a picture from an airport’s Wetherspoons?

However, Nagori says that those who take it upon themselves to have one too many before their flight or in-flight often became inconsiderate and troublesome towards cabin crew.

The ex-attendant explains that passengers should be understanding that many others are also travelling: “The planes are often packed, airports crowded, and flight attendants are often tired.”

She goes on to advise that passengers who get too intoxicated on flights are issued a verbal warning and cut off from alcohol for the remainder of the flight.

If a passenger continues to be disruptive they will be moved to another seat if available and the pilot will alert security that there is a passenger that potentially needs to be escorted off the plane once landed at its destination.

With that warning, loveholidays have also shared tips from travel experts on how to make your Christmas flights as smooth as possible in 2023.

A flight attendant’s top tips for travelling throughout the festive period

Travel Freebies

In terms of savvy tricks while you travel, if you’re travelling with children, some airlines offer complimentary kid’s packs and toys to keep them entertained whilst onboard.

For example, on a Virgin Atlantic flight, you can ask for a kid backpack for children aged 2-6 to enjoy such as a holiday journal, and on British Airways, children can enjoy a Sky flyers activity pack, which includes a fun eye mask and a postcard to send home from your holiday.

Don’t wrap your presents

Will Hatton, travel expert and ex-airport security worker said: “To maximise space and keep the security line moving, leave any gifts you are bringing along unwrapped.”

Each airline has its own policy on items that can and cannot be taken in carry-on luggage, with some including alcohol above 70%, snow globes and artists’ paint sets but, if your bag gets flagged through security your gifts could be at risk of being unwrapped.

Utilise your child’s carry-on allowance

Hatton also mentioned one trick parents might be missing. He said: “Many parents don’t think about it, but if you’ve purchased a seat for your child on the flight, they are also allotted 1 piece of carry-on luggage at most airlines.

“Kids’ clothes don’t take up that much space, so use their bags to carry more gifts.”

Arrive earlier than usual

Iona Wark, Senior Holiday Product Manager at loveholidays advises travellers to plan in extra time ahead of flights: “Christmas can be one of the most chaotic times of year to travel, and with most travelling with gifts, queues at the check-in desk and security alike might take a little longer to get through, so be sure to factor this in – regardless of your end destination.”