Just A Heads Up: These 34 Entitled Airplane Passenger Stories Are Intense, So Please Proceed With Caution
"A drunk man told a woman with a service dog to move seats because he wanted them for his family."
1. "Former flight attendant here. I remember flying into San Francisco and going through the final walk-through asking everyone to wake up, buckle up, put their tray tables up, and collect their trash. Halfway through, the pilot said, 'Flight attendants, be seated immediately' (which usually indicates a lot of upcoming turbulence). So, I quickly started to trot through with my trash bag to my seat when a man yelled 'HEY!' at me. I was a few rows past him, and he had a cup and a wet nap in his hand. I quickly said, 'I have to sit down' and turned toward the back galley. Then, I felt something hit me — I looked back and he had thrown his trash at me. I heard a few people gasp, and everyone in the last eight rows were so tuned into the drama. I picked up the trash, walked over to him, and said, 'I'm sorry, I cannot take trash right now — the pilot said I needed to sit down.' Then, I tossed the trash into his lap."
"He stared at me with a defiant look in his face and held out the trash again, as if I was going to take it — I turned and left, and I heard him yell a few more times (but he didn’t throw anything)."
2. "I was on a Vegas to Boston flight when a passenger unfortunately passed away in his sleep. The whole situation was heartbreaking, and the flight attendants were clearly shaken — we stopped in New York for emergency personnel to attend to him. The whole process was very quick and the pilot and staff handled it like champs. Just as we were about to take off, a guy in the front row asked the flight attendant if they could all get free drinks due to the inconvenience...I've never wanted to yell at a stranger more in my life."
3. "I had someone have a meltdown on my flight because I made them properly stow their wedding dress away — the thing was massive and spilling into the aisle, blocking seats of the entire row. They may have had to pay the hotel to get the wrinkles out, but I likely saved them from shoe prints and beverage cart rollers going back and forth all over it. Still, she was in tears, and I was not going to risk others' safety (including my own) for her wedding dress."
4. "The door to the plane was about to close when a man came running on to claim an empty seat. He was carrying a full-sized pizza box, and all of the overhead bins were already closed and full — but that didn’t stop him from proceeding to open them to find a place to stash his pizza. The stewardess kindly informed him that he couldn’t put his pizza in an overhead bin, and he informed her, 'But it’ll get stepped on!' She proceeded to tell him to take his seat and put the pizza in front of him, and he told her that he flies with pizza all the time and has never been treated this way. He persisted, but as their argument was getting heated, he finally succumbed and put the pizza box under the seat in front of him and sat down. Then, he pulled out his flip phone as the stewardesses started the safety video demonstration — one of them told him he needed to put his phone away, and he motioned with his hand, 'One minute.'"
"He flipped it shut dramatically mid-sentence, and put it in his pocket. He twisted in his seat back and forth, clearly agitated, and began to crack his knuckles very expressively one at a time (sort of like a primary school bully would do on the playground before they would hurt someone). He flipped the middle finger toward a flight attendant, and I noticed we were pulling back into the gate.
The cockpit door opened, the pilot came to our row, and he said, 'Sir, I understand you were harassing my flight attendant. I need you to leave the plane now.' The pizza man attempted to argue and even asked me if we had witnessed anything — clearly the pilot wasn’t budging on his decision, so the guy got his pizza off the floor and left the plane."
5. "We were flying through really, really bad turbulence — the seat belt sign was obviously on, and everyone (crew included) was seated and hanging on for dear life. Some guy got up out of a business class seat and attempted to make his way towards the toilet, cannoning off other passengers (and accidentally elbowed one lady in the face, breaking her nose). Amidst the screams from the lady, I jumped up and told him to sit down immediately. His response was, 'No, it’s fine, I’m a platinum frequent flyer — it’s fine.' Dumbfounded by that level of stupidity and entitlement, I tried to help the lady with the broken, bloody nose. He later emerged, enraged that we hadn’t responded to the toilet bell to help him (yep, you guessed it: He peed all over himself because of the turbulence). It wasn't the best time to use the bathroom, as it turns out."
6. "A few years ago I was on a flight with a little girl and her parents behind me. About 10 minutes after take-off, the little girl started kicking my seat, so I turned around and asked her to stop because it was rude. After she didn't listen, I turned around to the parents, but they were both on their phones. The dad then looked at me and demanded to know why I was talking to his daughter — I said she was kicking my seat, and he yelled at me to turn around...so I did. For the rest of the flight, he instructed his daughter to kick my seat even when I told her to knock it off. He didn't even have headphones in, so he was able to hear what I said to her — what is wrong with people!"
7. "On a flight from Sacramento to Seattle, a woman with a service dog came on the plane and she sat in the front row of seats. After pre-boarding, a very drunk man, his wife, and their baby came on the plane — the man demanded that the woman with the service dog move because he wanted the front seats for his family. When she told him she wouldn't move, he began grabbing her bags and throwing them in the aisle. The attendants came and told him that he couldn't move a passenger's seat, and then he grabbed the service dog by the harness and began yanking it out into the aisle. The woman at this point was crying and begging for help, and the man was told if he continued his behavior, he and his family would have to de-board the plane."
"The man finally stopped, but put his carry-on in the bin above where the woman was sitting before taking a seat further back. The entire flight there were complaints that his wife was holding their baby on the tray table, she was changing diapers in the seat, and disgustingly storing them in the seat pocket in front of them.
When the plane landed, the man and his wife pushed through the aisles yelling that they needed their carry-on and in the process, shoved a woman with a full-leg brace and a cane back into her seat. They were removed from the plane, though it was too late — the damage had already been done. This was by far the worst set of passengers I have ever encountered on a plane."
8. "A type of behavior I've unfortunately seen too much of is a straight couple will book two separate seats: The man in a premium economy seat with extra leg room, and the woman in a normal economy seat. The woman asks the passenger sitting next to her man to give up their comfy seat so they could sit together — if the passenger refuses, the couple complains to the crew to make them move the passenger. All of this is done so the couple saves a few bucks on the second premium seat..."
9. "I'm 6 feet tall with most of the length in my legs, and I fly a lot — so, I've run into a jerk or two. Almost every plane I get on, my knees are already touching the seat in front of me, so if the person in front of me reclines, the only way for me to sit down is to straighten out my legs and slide them underneath the seat in front of me. I was probably 16 years old at the time, and the guy in front of me couldn't have been more than 24. He reclined his seat and he practically hit me in the chest — I could smell his hair, he was so close. I asked him to put the seat up a bit, but he declined — the seat was clearly broken, and reclined a good 6 inches past the other seats in his row, so we called over the flight attendant. She also saw the problem and asked him to put his seat up because it was broken. HE STILL SAID NO."
10. "I was a passenger on a flight to Egypt, and I saw some man near me try to hand a flight attendant a cup of his son's piss. As you can imagine, she was not impressed, and she refused to dispense it for him."
11. "My girlfriend’s mom is a flight attendant. One time a woman got quite angry because her daughter spilled apple juice all over, and there wasn't a clothes dryer available on the plane for her to dry off her daughter's sweater."
12. "My sister worked as a flight attendant — there was an entitled asshole on an overseas flight who made constant demands until he finally fell asleep. The plane was on descent when he woke up, and he asked the flight attendant for the day's newspaper. When she got him one, he complained that it was yesterday's paper and he wanted one from this morning. She responded with, 'Sir...we have been in the air for 16 hours and have not stopped for paper delivery en-route.' He kept complaining and would not accept that he wouldn't get that day's paper, even though it was the 'airline's policy to provide him a newspaper.'"
13. "I'm a flight attendant who was working a quick turn at the end of a three-day, and we had a medical emergency in first class where a passenger passed out. We had to give him CPR and hook him up to an AED, so two of us were with the man and the other FA was paging a doctor and communicating with the captain. While all of this was going on, a passenger in the first row of the main cabin (who could clearly see everything that was going on) kept paging us for a Coke, and got VERY upset that we wouldn’t serve him. Finally, a commuting FA stepped in for us, and we eventually had a word with him."
14. "I had a lady who got mad at me because I wouldn’t give her my personal food I brought from home and paid for with my own money. She said she was hungry and she needed it...nope."
15. "I once got stranded at Newark for 22 hours after our flight had an unfixable fault and was canceled late at night. We got put up in a hotel, but by the time the new flight rolled around, everyone was quite tired and agitated. As we are waiting to board the new flight, the flight attendant announced they would be boarding people with disabilities and families with young children first, followed by first class passengers, then premium economy. It was all pretty standard. Some business dude raced to the front of the crowd and started yelling at the attendant, saying it was already DISGUSTING that he had lost a day due to THEIR incompetence and now he had to wait even LONGER despite being a first-class passenger and paying money every year to fly with them. He looked towards the crowd to back him up, like it was perfectly reasonable to scream at this woman, but she got back at him in the best way."
"Without missing a beat, she smiled and nodded and made a big point of leaning into her mic to tell the waiting line of people in wheelchairs and mothers with babies that this gentleman needed to board before them, and could they please wait.
Literally every single person at the gate was looking at this guy with disgust as he tried to backtrack and say he didn't mind waiting for the first group, but the attendant said, 'No, no, you made yourself quite clear — let’s get you boarded, the others will have to wait.' He was humiliated as he sheepishly walked by — the FA handled it perfectly."
16. "I was on a plane at the Burbank airport, and a family who was on standby boarded the plane without being told they'd be on the flight. They proceeded to go from passenger to passenger trying to get people to de-board the plane so they could use their standby tickets. It was at least 45 minutes of us sitting on a plane on a runway listening to this family argue with the flight attendants about how they 'needed' to be on this flight because they had somewhere to go. I was hungover on my way home from Vegas, and I don't think I've ever wanted to punch someone more than I did in that moment."
"'They 'needed' to be on this flight because they had somewhere to go' — yeah, so did everyone else. That's why everyone else sprung for real tickets!"
17. "A flight attendant asked a passenger, 'Can you please open your blind all the way? It's regulation for landing' and the passenger responded, 'No, I want it closed.' This went on for a few minutes — the passenger used his tone to assert himself, and still refused to open it. The flight attendant started to speed-walk to the handset, and her voice came on over the PA: 'Hello, ladies and gentlemen. We're going to play some trivia today! The question is, why do we keep the blinds open during takeoff and landing?' Without letting anyone answer the question, she jumped right into, 'It's so we can all keep an eye on the outside of the plane for safety!' then she turned the mic off.'"
18. "My sister is a flight attendant, and a well-known actor on her flight expected the flight crew to change her kid's diaper. They didn't."
19. "A fellow passenger across the aisle pretty much thought he was flying private instead of being on a commercial carrier. He always pressed the overhead button and made demands without saying 'please' or 'thank you' — just a constant berate of orders. The end came when he pressed the button and shouted, 'Get me a drink — now! I want a scotch with a splash of soda, not too much ice!' The flight attendant was very accommodating (in spite of this person being a total jerk) and brought him the drink. As she handed it to him, he bellowed, 'There is too much fucking ice in this drink — make me another!' She was dumbfounded and very flustered at this point — she turned around and headed to the galley at the front of the plane. The lead FA came back and proceeded to tell him he needed to behave."
"Well, that's when he got even more entitled and said, 'Do you know who I am?! I am a very good, long-time friend of Mr. X...you know him, he's one of the executives at your airline. He's a personal friend whom I've known for years — give me your name and the name of the idiot who can't make a decent scotch and soda!'
I chimed in at this point: 'Sir, if Mr. X is a long-time personal friend, what is his nickname? His very good friends address him with his nickname, not his surname.' He looked perplexed, told me to mind my business, and the FA nicely told me she could handle it. I reached into my wallet and pulled out a picture taken on my wedding day with my wife and my in-laws, one of whom was Mr. X.
I handed it to the flight attendant and said that I'd call Mr. X when we landed and let him know that one of his 'very good friends' was dropping his name and treating members of the flight crew in a very unprofessional manner. The lead FA handed back my picture and told the guy if he touched the button again or spoke to any of the other FAs, the police would be waiting for him when we landed."
20. "On a 6:30 a.m. flight, the plane was mostly full — the row behind me had three seats and only one passenger. After take-off, I leaned my chair back about half-way and fell asleep. I felt jostling on my seat, but didn't think anything of it — a few seconds later, the man in the row behind me smacked my chair hard at least three or four times. When I turned around to ask if there was a problem, he began scolding me: 'Lean your chair back up! I can't sleep with your chair in my face!' Me: 'What?' Him: 'You have to lean your chair up. I'm trying to sleep!' He was laying across THREE SEATS with his head by the window (I had a window seat), so apparently reclining my chair back wasn't allowed because it was too close to his face. He refused to lay the other way because the beverage cart would 'wake him up' — he was aggressively committed to his cause, and on the cusp of creating an even bigger scene, so I didn't fight him."
21. "Flight attendant here — flying in and out of Washington, D.C. we always have Air Marshals on flight, and one time the agents let them on early. When the first airplane passengers started arriving, a wealthy-looking older couple came on and the woman started demanding to know who those men were who boarded before them. Her husband claimed they paid extra to be the first passengers on board, which is absurd, because we always let wheelchair passengers and other people with disabilities on first. So, I calmly explained to her that they were invited down by the captain because they were veterans in the Wounded Warrior Project, and that shut her up for the rest of the flight. I can’t imagine the kind of mindset that allows a person to think they are so entitled, they deserve to sit down on a shitty airplane seat before anyone else."
22. "I booked a first-class ticket from Hawaii to St. Louis because my grandmother passed away at 104 years old, and I needed to fly back rather quickly. I got on the flight and when I sat in my seat, the guy next to me looked me dead in the face and said, 'Are you sure you’re in the right seat? You don’t look like you can afford this seat.' I wasn’t dressed the greatest, but I showed him my ticket and told him to shut his fucking mouth. I didn’t hear a word out of him except 'excuse me' the rest of the flight."
23. "My mom was a flight attendant in her twenties, so I asked her for a story — during her first week flying, there was a group of drunk men on the flight. At one point when returning to quiet them down again, one of the men had his penis out on full display — she was taken aback, and politely asked him, 'Why don’t you put that away now?' This drunken man flat-out responded to her, 'Why don’t you put it away for me?' with the most revolting, smug smile on his face. My mom said to him, 'I'd be happy to do that for you, but you'd never be able to use it again.'"
24. "I was on a plane where half of the people on the plane ignored the rules. When we touched down, these people immediately got up to walk around and started taking their bags out of the overheads. Mind you, the plane wasn't parked: It literally just touched the floor of the landing strip, so it was still moving. It was dangerous for half of the people on the plane to be messing around, and even worse, taking all of their heavy bags down above everyone else's heads. The flight attendants were desperately trying to get these people to sit down until the plane stopped moving, and some people were waving their hands at them dismissively. I think the captain heard the commotion and the flight attendants half-yelling because all of a sudden the plane did a VERY abrupt stop, knocking over all of the people who were standing up. The flight attendant then said, 'This is EXACTLY why we have rules.'"
25. "When I was on an eight hour flight to Florida, a family of five boarded first and then demanded the attendants rearrange their kids' seats to all be together. I get it because I’m a mom now, but they occupied my seat and the entire row while the flight attendant tried to arrange them to all sit together. I politely asked them to let us sit down, and they just ignored us — I asked again and they said, 'No, we are waiting for our seats,' and that I could probably wait at the back of the plane. I just crossed my arms and stared them down and I held up the whole plane — I do feel bad about that, but I made it clear it was the entitled family who was the hold-up and not me. They finally moved to go wait at the back of the plane — I can’t stand people who think they are a higher-class just because they have kids."
26. "I saw a man berate the flight attendant because they let employees from the airline board before the customers. He was so angry because he, 'Paid for business select! They didn’t pay for shit, so why are they boarding before me?!' The flight attendant responded with, 'It’s company policy, many are actually working and just need to get to the airport they’ll be leaving from. Plus, there are only three employees on the flight — what’s the big deal anyway?' He continued to whine and complain to her for another 10 minutes or so, all because there were now 140 seats to choose from instead of 143. Boohoo for him :-(."
27. "I'm a daughter of a captain, and I've heard some pretty interesting stories from my dad. One time he had to make an emergency stop to have a passenger be escorted out of the plane — the man was rude to the crew and the passengers around him. He didn't want to eat the food that was given to him, and when the crew told him they didn't have anything else for him, he dumped the food on the floor. He was harassing female passengers and even started shouting when a female crew member told him to stop. My dad had to come out of the cockpit and 'arrest' him (my father told me when they're in the air, he has that kind of power, but as soon as the door of the plane opens, the power is given to whatever country they land in). The passenger wasn't happy to be escorted off the plane, but as soon as he saw my father, he calmed down significantly (my dad assumed because he was one of the few male crew members on the plane)."
28. "I have pretty bad hearing issues, so I wear hearing aids. Normally when I fly I leave them in for the safety check, then pull them and promptly check out. I was on my way back from work-related travel and had the cheapest, most god-awful seat on the plane — about 30 minutes into the flight, this guy sitting next to me (probably 20 years old) started having an epic meltdown. Apparently the WiFi on the plane was too slow for him, and he started banging on the seat in front of him — then his knees knocked up my tray, and shot my hearing aids up and away. I tried to get up and catch them, and he knocked me right in the face (I’m 5 foot 3 inches and this guy was 6 feet tall), sending me hard to the floor. Someone restrained him, and they had to turn the plane back around and had him escorted off the plane. The FAs were super nice and the other passengers helped me find my hearing aids."
29. "I was getting ready for a long flight home, and through some minor miracle, the plane was fully boarded way ahead of schedule. The runway was clear, so the pilot announced that we'd be able to depart about 40 minutes early — however, the flight attendants literally couldn't get all of the passengers to sit down. They were standing, stretching, and frequently spitting in the aisle (and I don't mean one or two people — I mean one fourth of the plane). The flight attendants would go up and down the aisles getting people to sit down and buckle up, and the moment they walked away, those passengers would get back up again. This went on longer than you'd expect, and finally the pilot came back with a translator to yell at the passengers to sit down or the plane would not leave, and that they had to stop spitting in the aisle or they'd be removed from the plane. By the time we departed, we were 30 minutes behind schedule."
30. "I was on a flight with really bad turbulence — it went on for about 10 minutes, and the old lady next to me reached up and pressed her button. An attendant walked over to see if the woman was okay, and the woman began to yell at the attendant for the rough flight. She had been flying her whole life, and the pilot clearly had no idea what he was doing — the attendant just walked away."
31. "I fly very infrequently (once in the past five years), so I had carefully ensured I purchased a window seat. While boarding, I was in the last group to get on, so the middle and aisle seats in my row already had their passengers seated. I looked at the two women between me and my seat, and I quietly asked, 'Hey, sorry, can I slip through?' The middle seat woman perked up and said, 'Oh! Am I in your seat? Do I need to move over?' I explained that no, I'm in the window seat, and I just needed space to slip through — she gave me such an annoyed look after that. WTF."
32. "I was a kid flying from New York to Utah to start my teen tour. About halfway through the flight, the captain got on the speaker to announce an engine had failed and we needed to make an emergency landing in Chicago — needless to say, we all got a little concerned (except for one passenger). This passenger stormed up to the flight attendant and explained she was a nanny and needed to get to Utah to attend to the children she took care of. I'm not exactly sure what she was hoping for: That the pilot would risk the lives of everyone upon hearing that a nanny was on board and needed to get to Utah, or that the flight attendant would be so moved by this story that she would climb out on the wing and repair the engine mid-flight? Alas, there was no emergency jet pack to give to this passenger to blast away from the plane and get to Utah on time, so she was told to sit down."
33. "I once had a father put his child in my seat (which was next to his) on a trip, and proceeded to order me to look for another seat...on a full flight! Luckily the flight attendant was able to find another seat for me so I didn't have to endure three hours of sitting next to that awful guy."
34. And: "I had an Instagram model sitting next to me on one of my flights — she freaked out on the steward because he hadn't gotten her water after 10 minutes (meanwhile, it was a packed flight). He came back with her water, and she literally scoffed at him — later on he came back around for drinks again, and she demanded that she get a free vodka water for her previous wait. The steward politely told her that it would still be $10, which she made a big stink about, and refused to pay. As he moved on to my order, I requested a scotch on the rocks, and with a smile and a wink, he quickly obliged, free of cost...it was such a nice 'suck it' to her."
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.