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Frequent Flyers Share Their Entitled Passenger Stories


Just about everyone is in a bad mood when flying. It’s a frustrating experience. You’re in a stuffy, confined space with hundreds of strangers for hours on end. The seats are uncomfortable, the entertainment gets boring after a while, and the food isn’t great (if you get anything to eat at all).

So we get it. It’s easy to lose your temper. But some passengers just go above and beyond with their rudeness, crazy demands, and lack of compassion for others around them. Those are the folks these stories are all about. These are stories of the most entitled passengers as told by fellow passengers, flight attendants, and pilots…



I was flying an airline (named after a Greek letter in the alphabet). I am a Management Consultant for a large global firm and I achieve medallion status pretty effortlessly.

Anywho, I was waiting in the Premium Line for my flight to board and a middle-aged woman came up to me and said that I was in the “Premium Line” as if I couldn’t read. I told her I was in the right line and that I was flying first class.

She demanded to see my boarding pass. I hadn’t smelled anything fishy on her breath but I am assuming she was under the influence of something or just being a complete maniac.

I tell her to leave me alone. We start boarding the flight and after I get settled, here she comes demanding to know why I am in first class and asking the flight attendants to check my ticket. I do also recall her saying something like, “This is unfair, I fly with y’all all the time!”

Note: I am 1/2 Spanish and 1/2 African American. Note 2: This occurred in NC (which I still feel is the better Carolina) Note 3: The flight attendants profusely apologized to me and made it up to me by offering me as many KIND bars and drinks as I wanted. Reddit: cruztec



I fly a lot and I was on a flight where half the passengers were ignoring the rules and regulations. Like willfully not doing what they were told. When we touched down these people immediately got up, started walking around, and began taking their bags out of the overheads.

Mind you, the plane hasn’t parked it’s just literally touched down on the landing strip so it’s still moving and it’s dangerous for half the people on the plane to be screwing around and even worse taking all their heavy bags down above everyone else’s heads.

The flight attendants are now desperately trying to get these people to sit down until the plane stops 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 which knocked over all the people standing up… and then continued to park. A flight attendant then said, “This is EXACTLY why we have rules.” Reddit: queenguac



I was on a flight from NYC to PDX. The only empty seat was next to me, a middle seat. Bulkhead but the kind where there isn’t a wall, just the first-class seats in front of us. The door is about to close when a large sweaty man comes running onto the plane to claim the empty seat.

He was carrying a full-size pizza box… All 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. “But it’ll get stepped on!” he gruffly informs her.

She proceeded to tell him to take his seat and put the pizza in front of him. 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 pretty heated he finally succumbed and put the pizza under the seat in front of him and sat down.

The stewardesses have now started the safety video/demonstration and he pulls out a flip phone and proceeds to make a call.  I can tell he’s going through menus, so I’m thinking he’s calling Delta to complain. Nope, turns out to be his landline phone company.

He had been late paying his bill and was trying to get them to waive the late fee. They wouldn’t. He is arguing with them. The plane has pushed back from the gate and is headed toward the runway at this point. Stewardess comes over and tells him he needs to put his phone away NOW.

He motions with his hand to say ‘one minute’. “No, sir, it needs to be put away NOW.” He flips it shut dramatically mid-sentence and puts it in his pocket. Stewardess is back at the front of the plane. He then decides to stretch.


I’m pretty much plastered to the wall trying to stay out of his way as he extends his arms up, and then to the side, etc., and then twists in his seat back and forth, clearly agitated. He then extends his arms up, stretches out his fingers.

Then he proceeds to crack his knuckles very expressively one at a time, sorta like a primary school bully would do on the playground before they were gonna kick your butt. In that whole knuckle-cracking process he flips a middle finger toward the flight attendant.

I didn’t notice her reaction as I was just waiting to get this 6-hour flight underway and over with. Next thing I know, I can tell we’re pulling back into the gate. “Flight attendants prepare for the arrival and cross check” message. The cockpit door opens. Captain comes to our row. “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 ask me and the other neighboring passenger 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. The door closed and we departed, an empty seat next to me. Reddit: shawnmk



I once got stranded in 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 understandably by the time the new flight rolled around (the earliest they could fit in a new flight) everyone was quite tired and agitated.

As we are waiting to board the new flight the flight attendant announces they would be boarding people with additional needs and families with young children first, followed by first class, then the premium economy, etc.

All pretty standard stuff, obviously it can take a bit longer for people in wheelchairs to board so makes sense for them to go on first — it’s common on most airlines I believe.


Anyway, this business dude races to the front of the crowd and starts 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 $$$ every year to fly with them!

The worst part is he’s looking at others in the crowd to back him up like it’s perfectly reasonable to scream at this woman who likes us had also been stranded and had most likely had very little sleep, and was doing her best to do her job in this difficult situation.

But she was awesome, without missing a beat she smiled and nodded and said okay sir, then made a big point of leaning into her mic and telling 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 is looking at this guy with disgust as he tries to backtrack and say he doesn’t mind waiting for the first group, but the attendant says no no you made yourself quite clear.

She continues, let’s get you boarded, the others will have to wait. He is humiliated as he sheepishly walks by. She handled it perfectly. Reddit: Kidgorgeoushere



I’m 6′ tall, with most of the length in my legs, and I fly a lot so I’ve run into a douche or 2. Almost every plane I get in, my knees are already touching the seat in front of me. If the person in front of me reclines, the only way for me to sit is to straighten out my legs and shoot them underneath the seat in front of me.

I was probably 16 (still 6′) and the guy in front of me couldn’t have been more than 24. He reclines and his seat practically hits me in the chest. I could smell his hair, he was so close.


We 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, and told him it was broken.

HE SAID NO, AND SHE SAID THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE SHE COULD DO! Great, thanks. Luckily my mom is the “pack everything you may need on a plane” mom, so I get an idea. I start eating pretzels with my mouth wide open and get crumbs all over his head and shoulders.

He doesn’t notice until the crumbs are bouncing off his shoulder crumbs and into his lap. It was gross. He turns around with a look of disgust and asks me to stop. I got great pleasure in telling him no and showing him the rest of the bag of pretzels I had to eat over him. He put the seat up. Reddit: Imalawyerkid



Former flight attendant here. I remember flying into San Francisco and going through the final walkthrough — asking everyone to wake up, buckle up, headrests forward, tray tables up, and collect trash.

Halfway through, the pilot said “Flight attendants, be seated immediately” which indicates a lot of upcoming turbulence. So I quickly started to trot through with my trash bag to my jump seat when a man yelled “HEY!”

I was a few rows past him and he had hit the cup and wet nap in his hand. I quickly said “I have to sit down” and turned back towards the back galley. I then felt something hit me.

I looked back and he had thrown his trash at me and was staring at me like the little jerk he was. I heard a few people gasp and everyone in the last eight rows or so was tuned in to the drama.

I picked up the trash, walked over to his row, and said, “I am sorry, I cannot take trash right now. The pilot has indicated that I need to sit down.” And tossed the trash back on his lap.


He just kind of stared at me with a defiant look on 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 this time he didn’t throw anything. I have had a lot of unbelievably entitled passengers before but for some reason, that guy sticks out. Reddit: TJeffersonsBlackKid



I was a kid flying out to Utah to start my teen tour. About halfway through the flight (departing out of NY) 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 got a little concerned. Except for one passenger, who 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, that the pilot, upon hearing that a babysitter was on board would risk the lives of everyone to fly us all through, 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 this passenger to blast away from the plane to get to Utah on time, and she was told to sit down. Reddit: Imalawyerkid



Ex-Flight Attendant here. I’m no longer a flight attendant for too many reasons to count. Worked for a private charter company for two years. Lots of oil riggers, miners, private tours, pretty much man-children, and entitled weirdos.

Used to fly a bunch of 30 days 7-day-off type guys up in northern BC. These guys were notoriously bad, they just didn’t give a crap and the company we subcontracted out of didn’t help by letting them basically do whatever they felt like.

They really had that “I don’t care about your petty rules” mentality about everything, which translated oh so well to being told what to do by a measly flight attendant.


Middle of December get put on a 4 day pairing to unload these guys which have me up at 5 am to board the plane which takes off at 6:30 AM, do an 11-hour loop going south with 3 stops, and back up to park and repeat putting me back at the hotel at 6:00 PM each night.

Crew Sched had scheduled an absolute minimum crew rest, meaning any minor delays screws the whole pairing. Literally, 20 minutes before the first day take off one of the NAV units blows (airplanes have two but must fly with both for this very reason).

This delayed us considerably because another plane had to fly in with a whole other crew and a replacement piece. By the time we take off, it’s 10 am, other crew takes half our leg. The guys have been talking to the delayed passengers so we’re getting a ton of “Your planes are pieces of crap” “You guys are a freaking joke” and tons of abuse hurled at us.

And of course, it’s the first day. On top of this, fellow F/A gets deathly ill and gets sent home after day 1, ride along mechanic is sleep deprived and blows the slide trying to rush off the plane. Pretty much a train wreck and we have 3 more to go. Fast forward to the final day and we are WIPED and just need out of there.

I’ve slept in and gone without a morning smoke which has put me a little on the edgy side. We’re in the middle of taxiing to the runway and doing our safety demonstration when the In-Charge calls me via interphone, her voice is shot from doing announcements for the past 4 days straight, and asks me to do them.

I finish my checks in the back and start up the demo, keep in mind this is an extremely short taxi (small BC airport). As I’m doing the demo and the pilots are waiting for us to give the clear, some idiot jumps out of the seat.


Since they’ve been told 3 times since boarding to remain seated with seat belts fastened as we’re about to take off I assume emergency and he bee-lines it to me right in the middle of me speaking the demo which I promptly stop.

I ask him if he’s ok and is promptly met with “Get me a pillow.” Mustering all my calmness I explain to him that I can get one for him the second we get in the air as we’re about to take off and the pillows are located near the OW exits, and I can’t interrupt our safety checks and procedures.“JUST GET ME A PILLOW.”

I swear, there are only a small number of times I can say I’ve visibly seen red, and this was one of them, I can’t remember exactly what I said but I’m pretty sure it was “I’m not your slave” and “sit the [bleep] down” He saunters off to his seat where he starts arguing with another passenger.

I immediately regret it, and continue the demo keeping an eye on him. Thankfully nothing really came of it, only the hilarious karma of telling a passenger I wasn’t their slave and realizing soon thereafter that the commissary they packed for us to give out was mini cupcakes and Disney princess yogurt which I had to serve him. Reddit: AlamosX



On an 8-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 I’m a mom now too, but they occupied my seat, in fact, 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. 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, I held up the whole plane and I do feel bad about that but I made it clear it was the entitled family that was the hold-up and not me.


They finally moved to go wait at the back of the plane. I can’t stand people that think they are from a higher class just because they have kids. I had no problem with them wanting to be seated together, they most likely specified that and the airline probably messed up. Happens all the time.

I had no problem with them boarding first (although family priority seating is mainly to make things go smoothly). the obvious entitlement was that they occupied a seat that I paid for and refused to move.

Then they told me that I should wait in the back holding my luggage until their accommodation was made. Because they were too good for that and so much more important. Reddit: Madammonie



One time on a flight, I had a slight cold, the air was pretty dry and I was coughing a lot. I was sitting in a middle seat so I didn’t want to drink too much water and have to constantly get up to pee, so I resolved to just cough into my scarf, trying to keep the noise and disturbance to a minimum.

Two rows in front of me, I see a gentleman staring at me every single time I cough. Now, I understand that you don’t want to be stuck in a limited space with someone sick… but if you’re flying in the winter, sick passengers are something you’re going to have to risk.

And again, I was being very careful to cough into my scarf or suppress it so as to not disturb the people around me. He spends the whole 3-hour flight staring at me and muttering at me but I just ignore it.

When the plane finally lands and we are getting off, I see him up ahead, standing to the side, talking to a flight attendant. And he is talking to the flight attendant, he is glancing at me and saying, “How can you let those types of people on the plane? They could have SARS or something.” (I’m Asian.)

The flight attendant is just smiling and nodding but I can tell she’s just ignoring him like I was. I was pretty offended that he thought I had SARS just because I was Asian and coughing. At baggage claims, I made sure to stand near him and cough without covering my mouth. Reddit: [deleted]




A few years ago I was on a flight with a little girl and her 2 parents behind me. About 10 minutes after taking off, the little girl started kicking my seat and 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. Then the dad 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 would be been able to hear what I said to her. Honestly, what is wrong with some people? Reddit: BigJosephRoseph22



Flying in and out of DC we always have Air Marshals. One time the agents let them down early. When the first passengers started arriving a wealthy-looking older couple came on and the woman started demanding to know who those men were that boarded before them.

Her husband claimed they must have paid extra to be the first passengers on board. This is absurd because we always let wheelchair passengers and other specials down first. But she was furious and demanded an explanation.

So I calmly explained to her that they were invited down by the captain because they were veterans of the Wounded Warrior Project. That shut her right up for the rest of the flight.

But I can’t imagine the mindset that allows a person to think they are so entitled they deserve to sit down in a crappy airplane seat before any other person. Reddit: jdrouts



There was an elderly couple on board and the flight was completely full. They were sitting next to each other and the wife demanded another seat because when her husband falls asleep he will put his head against her shoulder.


Since this was an intercontinental flight this was unacceptable. Nobody was willing to change seats and eventually, the couple got so verbally aggressive they had to be taken off the aircraft by the Dutch military police. Reddit: scaevola79



Not one specific passenger but a type of behavior I’ve unfortunately seen too much of: Couple will book separate seats, the man in a premium economy seat with extra legroom, the woman in a normal economy seat. The woman will then play the sad sack and ask another passenger to give up their comfy seat so they can sit together.

If the other passenger refuses (usually because they paid extra and literally don’t fit in a regular seat), some will even complain to the crew to make them move the other passenger. And all this to save a few bucks on the second Premium seat. Reddit: ConstableBlimeyChips



Last Christmas I was flying from Amsterdam to Seattle, and you know how you have to “have your window shades open, have your tray tables locked, your seat in an upright position and the armrests down for take-off and landing”?

Yeah, well this 50ish-year-old grumpy old man literally did the opposite of all those things. (Was being a complete jerk the whole 9-hour flight, as you would imagine.) So when the attendant came by to tell him to get his stuff together, he pretended to be asleep and ignored her, so she shoved his seat forward and slammed his tray table up.

This guy starts screaming at her, flailing his arms, and STARTS CRYING, yes, crying because she was “rude.” I’m literally just staring at this dude in pure disbelief. Then when we finally land, they were like “Please stay seated until the seatbelt sign turns off.” This entitled idiot stands up while we’re taxiing and starts to get in the overhead bin.

So the same flight attendant comes by and in the sternest and most ticked-off voice, says, “Sit. Down. Right. Now.” She slams the overhead bin closed and just returns to her seat. That woman needs a raise. Reddit: skdubbs




You know how as soon as you get to the gate and the seatbelt sign turns off people leap out of their seats to stand around, this takes it to a new level. A man in his 50s or 60s is at the front of the plane with his elderly mother.

As soon as the seatbelt sign turns off, he jumps up, unbuckles his mother, and lifts her up. Man: I NEED A WHEELCHAIR NOW! Attendant: Sir, we just got to the gate, there isn’t a wheelchair here yet. Please put your mother down until the wheelchair comes.

Man: I NEED A WHEELCHAIR NOW! Attendant: Sir, they are bringing the chair to the gate now, but it isn’t here. Man: WHEELCHAIR! Attendant: Sir, please put your mother down. Man: WHERE IS THE WHEELCHAIR! This continues on for another minute until the man finally loses his strength and breath. Reddit: QuickChildhood



Every so often we get the odd straggler who boards last and finds a vacant seat in first or business thinking that we won’t know that they are from the coach.

“Excuse me, sir. May I see your boarding pass? … Sorry, your seat is 58A not 1A. “But I’m so tall, I need the legroom.” Awkward silence. Reddit: zlinerlabs



Was on a flight from the UK to Japan. As soon as we were cruising the guy diagonally in front of me reclines his seat. That doesn’t bother me: we all need to relax. But it’s a personal insult to the woman beside me (directly behind him). She immediately attacks his seat, quickly growing increasingly violent while the guy ignores her.

Flight attendant gets involved. Somehow it’s this guy’s fault that the lady had cancer. She argued with the flight attendant for at least 30 minutes before loudly giving up. It was a long flight. Reddit: 3msinclair



I saw someone hand a baby with a dirty diaper to a flight attendant expecting her to change it. I wanted to engage the woman in a conversation. My wife stopped me. That’s probably a good thing.


The attendants would have had to throw me off the plane after I was done. I must admit my first thought involved the back of my hand and her face. Reddit: noeljb



Flight Attendant: “Can you please open your blind all the way? It’s regulation for landing.”, Passenger: “No, I want it closed.” This goes on for a minute. The passenger is using his tone to assert that he refuses to open it. So instead the FA speed-walks to the handset and her voice comes 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?” And without letting anyone answer she jumps right into, “It’s so we can all keep an eye on the outside of the plane for safety! *click*” Reddit: qweiuyqwe87y6qweiuy



I once flew from Chicago to Israel (a very long flight with a stop in the middle) with a woman who didn’t seem to understand that everyone around her was in the same situation she was in.

She dropped a number of passive-aggressive gems over the course of our day together, but the worst one was right when we were seated for the first leg. The plane was one of those 2X5X2 setups, with aisles on each side of the five-seat section.

And this woman was seated in the middle of the five-seat section. “But you can’t seat me in the middle! What if I need to get up and walk around and the people next to me are asleep?! I’ll be very uncomfortable for this whole flight!”

…Wow, lady! You figured out why flying kind of sucks all by yourself! Now sit down and start pretending you’re not here like the rest of us. Reddit: clocksailor



I used to be a flight attendant. Getting ready to board a flight from California to Vegas (Vegas flights were notorious for being “eventful”) and we didn’t have a jetway. So this was a flight that had passengers come outside the terminal and board up the stairs.


Lady comes out the door, puts down her bag, and starts pretending to be an airplane zooming around with her arms outstretched. Mmmmkay. Keeping an eye on her at this point.

She comes on board and has a cat with her in its carrier. While we were taking a seat count (for weight and balance before takeoff), the other FA and I notice she took the cat out, which isn’t allowed.

We tell her to put the cat back and keep it secure for the flight. She complies, we take off, and before we’re even at 10k ft I see a cat head poke out into the aisle from her seat area. You freaking kidding me?

I have to get up, while still in a very steep angled takeoff, and tell her to put the bloody cat back in its crate. Poor kitty was clawing at the seat and terrified. Luckily she behaved after that. Reddit: littlemisshellfire



I had a pair of sisters who started drinking, no big deal. The first sister said the other was a nervous flyer. They were behaving so I let them order more drinks. They each had four, but still seemed fine. Come to find out the nervous sister had also taken a pill before the flight — great.

She comes to the back lavatory and has already wet her pants. Oh god. She asks if I can make her another drink “But this time it needs to be a Christmas tree!” Uhhhh, I think you’ve had enough for now. The rest of the flight is fine.

We land and start to deplane and as I’m saying goodbye to passengers I hear a WHOMP. The heck?! It was her. She totally ate it and face-planted in the middle of the aisle right before the galley. She gets up and there’s blood on her mouth, so I tell the captain to call medics down.

They get her into a straight-back wheelchair and as they’re strapping her in she starts asking “Are we in Denver?!” over and over. The medic goes, “No, we’re in Omaha and you need to hold still!” (And no, Denver was not where we left from either.) Reddit: littlemisshellfire




Currently on an airplane, and saw a man berate the flight attendant because they let employees of the airline board before the customers. He was so angry because he “paid for business select! They didn’t pay for anything 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.” And there are also only three on the flight so what’s the big deal anyway?

He continued to whine and complain to her for another 10 minutes or so. All because now there were only 140 seats to choose from instead of 143. Boohoo. Reddit: gerbilseverywhere



I’m currently a flight attendant and on my very first flight I had a passenger complain to me that the man behind him was snoring too loudly. Putting on my best customer service smile I offered to move the complainer.

He was very aggressively telling me that he’d paid for his seat and he wasn’t moving, yelling loudly enough that he woke the snoring guy in the process.

I wish I’d had a first-class seat available to move the snoring guy just to spite the jerk complainer but there were only other economy seats available so I just told the complainer that he could continue yelling at me or he could accept my offer of a different seat.

Bbut that was all I could do for him. I ended up giving the snorer free drinks for the rest of the flight. Reddit: UsernameTaken5074



I was on a flight with really bad turbulence. It went on for about 10 minutes then the old lady next to me reaches up and presses her button. The attendant walks over to see if the woman is okay.

The woman begins to yell at the attendant for the rough flight and that she’s been flying her whole life and clearly the pilot has no idea what he’s doing. The stewardess just walked away. Reddit: NotWeirdThrowaway