Why Flight Attendants Like You Better If You Don’t Fly First Class

flight attendant serving a meal

Working in first class isn’t the easiest duty for flight attendants. | Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Being a flight attendant might be one of the most toughest, most thankless jobs in the world. First you have to go through a brutal training program, then you get to jet all over the world working long hours — and dealing with demanding passengers.

You might think that flight attendants who work the first-class cabin enjoy a more luxurious experience than the ones stuck serving the economy class travelers. You’d be dead wrong. Working business or first class is far more stressful for flight attendants than dealing with the hoi polloi. Here’s why.

1. First-class passengers are needier than any others

In an interview with the Independent, an anonymous flight attendant listed the reasons why attending to first-class passengers is way more stressful than dealing with the economy crowd. Apparently, working with first-class passengers isn’t as easy as it might seem. The domestic and international flight attendant cited one major major fact, saying that first-class travelers are much needier than the economy fliers. It’s likely they feel like they paid for a high-priced ticket so they can ask for whatever they want.

Next: They can be really rude

2. First-class passengers are rude

Stewardess handing a pillow to a blanket covered passanger of jet

Flight attendants are often treated with a lack of respect. | OSchaumann/iStock/Getty Images

The flight attendant also told the Independent that business- and first-class passengers flying from New York to London are the worst. He said that they often act as if the flight attendant has no right to talk to them at all — all he should do is serve them their food and keep their glasses full. He mentioned that he’s experienced passengers boarding the flight, handing him their coats — and giving him their seat numbers and drink orders. Ouch.

Next: They’re seriously picky 

3. First-class passengers are picky

luxury armchair in row of airplane

These passengers can be very demanding. | vicnt/iStock/Getty Images

First-class fliers are picker than economy passengers, according to the Independent. Particularly, for some reason, on flights, such as JFK to Port-au-Prince, New York to Los Angeles, and New York to Miami. According to the flight attendant, pretty much everyone on those flights sitting in first class has a chip on his shoulder. One incident that illustrates that chip aspect is a passenger who told the flight attendant he was a picky eater and asked him to “remove the almonds from his mixed nuts, the shaved parmesan from his salad, and the cilantro from his tabouleh.” What fun. 

Next: They diss economy peeps

4. First-class passengers hate economy fliers

passengers sitting on an airplane

Flying can be very divisive. | iStock/Getty Images

According to the website Motherboard, those who fly in first class look down upon the economy passengers, which can be stressful for flight attendants. Apparently, when first-class fliers absolutely have to acknowledge economy passengers, bad conduct happens. For instance, first-class fliers can get downright belligerent if someone from economy dares to use the their bathroom. Clearly, there’s a real class divide among airline passengers.

Next: They think the world owes them

5. First-class passengers are entitled

man relaxing on airplane

Flight attendants note a sense of entitlement among first-class passengers. | Genaro_Melendrez/iStcok/Getty Images

Another flight attendant, who recently starting working in first class after a decade of serving economy passengers, chimed in on the Independent interview. According to her, the toughest part of serving these passengers is their senses of entitlement. First-class fliers feel as though they’re entitled to um, pretty much anything they want, according to the flight attendant. Here, take my kid, please.

Next: They make flight attendants work harder

6. First-class passengers are more work

two people toasting on airplane

There’s a lot of extra work involved in first class. | Tuned_In/iStock/Getty Images

Express reported that Nuralia Mazlan, an AirAsia flight attendant, said working first class is incredibly stressful. There’s a lot of extra work involved, and the attendants have no time to rest because they have to cater to their passengers the entire flight. Other work worries abound, too, such as worrying about which passengers are related to your airline’s CEO — or which ones happen to be royalty.

In addition, first-class flight attendants have to liaise quite often with flight deck and supervisory crews — and learn everyone’s name and seat assignment before the flight. The flight attendant added that, “ … serving 100 in economy class is better than 16 in business class anytime for me.”

Next: Just follow the rules like everyone else, please.

7. First-class passengers don’t think the rules apply to them

flight attendants talking to passengers

Some first-class passengers don’t listen to the flight attendants’ rules. | Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images

If you’ve traveled on a plane, you’ve likely witnessed this one: Often, first-class passengers don’t think the rules apply to them. For example, you’ve probably seen a first-class flier use the bathroom while the plane is taking off, or keep their seat reclined, or hide a bag under a blanket that should be in the overhead compartment. The airlines have rules in place for a reason, and if you think that first-class passengers not following them bothers you, imagine how it makes flight attendants feel.

Read more: 23 Things You Should Never Ask a Flight Attendant

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