Travel Tips from a Flight Attendant
Question: Is there a nice way to tell the person beside you on the plane that you would rather not chat the whole flight?
I swear, this can be one of the most annoying things for me. Almost weekly, I fly to and from Seattle (where I work) and Denver (where I live). I am usually in my uniform, which is like an immediate talking point – a red flag for people to start chatting with me. About my job. About my life. About anything.
I love people, I really do. But the last thing I want to do is feel like I am already working when I am not. And usually I have a long day ahead of me as is…
But this doesn’t just happen to me.
I am sure you have been there before too.
So, if you don’t feel like chatting for the entire 3 hour flight, but the person next to you keeps railing off the questions, here is what I suggest…
Take notice! Do they have something to occupy them? Did they bring on anything but their jacket? If they don’t have anything, give them one of your magazines to read.
No magazines? Ok, tip number two:
As soon as you hit cruising altitude the flight attendant will make an announcement saying you can use electronics. This is your opportunity, you’ve got a short window to say, “Oh, looks like we can use our devices now! Great, because I’ve got a kindle book I am dying to finish!” or “Oh good! Now we can finally use our electronics, I’ve heard so many good reviews about this movie.’” (Hint: Don’t ask if they’ve seen it or read it! That will just encourage more conversation!)
No electronics? No kindle? No laptop? (Who are you??)
Ok, then… tip number three:
Bring headphones. Even if you don’t listen to music. You can always fit small ear buds in your pocket! Then during a break in between questions dig through your bag and put your head phones on – as soon as you can before the next question comes flying out of their mouth! It is a universal sign of silence. Once you have your headphones on you’re in the clear.
Really? You brought nothing? (You are making this harder for yourself!) Fine, my final tip…
They might be less likely to take the hint …because you’ve got nothing to do, and they have nothing to do…but say something polite like, “It’s been nice chatting with you. But I am going to catch up on sleep. It’s the first time I’ve been without the kids in months!”
I am a flight attendant for a west coast airline. My occupation is very unique, therefore I receive many questions… some about my life and some about flying in general. I decided to share my knowledge with you, in my blog series, “Travel Tips from a Flight Attendant.”