Rants of a Sassy Stew 7 Travel Tips From A Sassy Stewardess Shawn Kathleen

Today’s air travel is enough to make you find a secluded bathroom stall in the terminal where you can quietly hang yourself with your own belt. In order to prevent devastated family members and PTSD for the custodian discovering your body, I have decided out of respect for the flying public to provide you with a few insider travel tips.

1. Pack a lunch from home, or purchase food in the terminal prior to boarding.

The majority of domestic routes will not be serving meals inflight. Moreover, if they do, it will probably be a miniature bag of cookies or potato chips that you will need to purchase. Luckily, many airports offer numerous healthy options to choose from including fresh fruits, yogurt, veggie platters, wraps, hummus, salads, gourmet sandwiches, and even sushi. Also, if you would like a “free” snack or $7 cocktail during your flight, you’ll probably need to book a $3,000 first class ticket.

2. After the completion of packing your luggage for your upcoming trip, go ahead and remove one-third of its contents.

You really don’t need it. Trust me, I’m a professional! Also if you are unable to lift the bag by yourself, unfortunately it must be checked. Due to company policy and the potential of injury, most flight attendants are only permitted to “assist” in the stowage of bags, and are not able to actually lift them. I promise it’s not because we don’t want to! Fellow passengers always seem to be helpful with lifting heavier items, plus it’s a nice way to meet your travel mates for the next few hours. If you need help in finding a spot in the overhead compartment, let us know and we might be able to move items around to find you one.

BONUS TIP: Don’t ever challenge a flight attendant to the game Tetris, you won’t win.

3. Hitting up the bar for a little pre-departure beverage in the terminal is all good, however it is against Federal Aviation Regulation to board any aircraft while intoxicated.

Erring on the side of not getting sloshed is probably your best bet if you don’t want to pay for a hotel room to sober up and travel standby the following morning.

4. Wear layers.

As I am sure you are aware planes are typically chilly, and unfortunately blankets aren’t readily available these days. I just play it safe by following Mom’s advice given to me as a child; always bring a sweater to the movies, or whilst traveling on an airplane. Why? Because these venues are always freezing! Also, if you travel a decent amount, shelling out $10 at a big box store for your very own personal travel blanket and pillow set is a great investment. Plus, no one else has used it!

5. If you need to practice yoga, we kindly ask that you do so somewhere other than in the back galley.

This area is the workspace of the fabulous crew attempting to serve you! Also, if we are seated and attempting to eat our only meal of the day, our preference is to not have your (no longer) private parts in our face. Not. Very. Appetizing.

6. When an onboard announcement or a flight attendant asks you to turn off your electronic devices, please just do it.

Trust me when I say this, we do not enjoy repeatedly asking travelers to do so, and contrary to popular belief it is not a power trip for us. If anything, it is monotonous and can prove to be incredibly frustrating to ask adults to follow a few simple requests. While you may have to experience the horror of being alone with your own thoughts for a few minutes, in the end it will help to prevent a delay for everyone on board.

7. Kindly check “travel dread” at the ticket counter for stowage into the belly of the plane.

Flight attendants have to park at the airport, take shuttles and go through security just like you, so trust me — we totally get it! Air travel is not always wonderful, and we would love to be the person responsible for improving your experience. After attending to your safety, we are here to make your flight a happy and comfortable one!

We’re all in this together, yo.


Featured image via Ubersuper.


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  1. Great tips from the sassiest of all the sassy stews. I pray for the day when people start to take such good advice and start to behave like human beings on the plane.

    Hans Hamburglar seems to have got his/her panties into a tigh tight wad. What was with that rant? Forget to take your nerve pills this morning?

  2. I have been speaking to some friends who fly, and apparently you were let go from your last airline. You are currently NOT a flight attendant, you have less than 5 years experience and you have never worked for a major airline in your life. I have also been informed by a fellow at AA that you are or were in litigation with your former employer.
    I have also seen your “Rants of a Stew” page, as well as your “Crew Lounge” Facebook group page where you complain about “rats” and supervisors.
    I appreciate that you are providing a forum for other who are actually in the aviation business, but this blatant misrepresentation of yourself for profit is misleading and, to be blunt, complete B.S.
    Does the owner of this blog realise that she has a phony on her page? Does Gogo internet realise you are a fraud? Do all of your followers realise you are nothing but a charlatan posing as something she is not? You are not trying to be a flight attendant, you are trying to make money off the flight attendants with your bag tags and cruises. Also, I think it is disgustingly unethical for you to steal posts and photos from your Facebook page and claim them as your own in order to write some kind of book? My dear AA friend has also informed me of this nonsense. So, basically you plan to plagiarize an entire book? Interesting. I am sure I can find out who plans to publish this book of lies, and let them know what a fraud you are.
    Maybe instead of misrepresenting yourself, you should “fess up”, as you all say in the US, and let people know you are nothing but a character, much like Pam Ann, who is actually funny. You are nothing but a comedy stealing hack. There have been many like you and they have all failed, as you will do as soon as folks realise they have been had.

    • And of course, the above comment is simply tongue-in-cheek, and should be taken in jest.
      Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and that is why freedom of speech is a wonderful thing. USA!

  3. Ummm… While most of what she has said is 100% true, I would appreciate that she at least not claim to be currently in the hustle and bustle of aviation because shes not actually a flight attendant…

    • Thank you, I am so glad you enjoyed the article! My 7 years of sassy stewardessing has served me well! I appreciate the comment. :)

      Shawn Kathleen | 8/13/2013 11:08 am
      • Perhaps the title of this article should be changed as to not seem misleading. I used to be 10 years old, but when I introduce myself, I do not introduce myself as Hans, the 10 year old boy. ; )

  4. I don’t mind the word Stewardess for the Ladies. In this day an age there’s no excuse not to know the word Flight Attendant. So if any nice man is helping you onboard Please use the word Steward, Flight Attendant or Sir. I will not answer to Stewardress.

  5. Can I add for goodness DO NOT put your medication in checked luggage and if you’re asked to gate check your bag pull out medications and keys. As an airline employee I get way too many calls from people whose bag is delayed/lost and 9/10 times I hear “I have my medication in the bag”.

    • VERY good tip! Also make sure not to ever check your laptop, keys, etc. Thanks for the addition!

      Shawn Kathleen | 8/13/2013 11:08 am
  6. The bonus tip about Tetris is spot on!! We will always beat you :) and please ladies wear clothes that are warm enough! We no longer have blankets on my airline, plus do you really wish you could have a dirty rag, used by many many ( many) people. Yuck!! Bring a sweater or as Sassy says get a travel set !! And please please we don’t like being the gadget police, just TURN IT OFF! Great tips! These should be required reading when you purchase a ticket.

  7. Any tips on kids who keep kicking the back of your seat? Or about the guy sitting in front of you who puts his seat back right into your face? I really really wish I could fly first class because, even though I know I’m a plump Gal, the space has gotten smaller and smaller between the seats on all sides. I know there are a lot of travelers and the airlines are trying to make the max amount of money, but please, charge me 20 bucks more and give me a bigger dang area to sit in. I don’t know how my very claustrophobic mom would have reacted on the last tow flights I took. Both AA planes were tiny and the “newer” seats in the “old” plane were tiny and cramped. Each time we landed I started to feel a little claustrophobic myself and my husband and I had back aches from hell. It was so horrible that I refuse to fly American Airlines again after that.

    • A friendly, non-confrontational chat with the seat kickers parents usually does the trick. We aren’t there to referee disputes over seatbacks and armrests (and we fly as passengers so trust – we feel your pain in those situations).

      I don’t work for AA but I think they have some sort of economy plus seating area now. Check their website and consider reaching out to AA. Let them know you didn’t have a good experience. On that same topic, when you have a good experience – please email that airline to let them know. We love getting “good” letters from customers, no matter what airline we work for! :)

  8. Thank you so this! I travel quite a bit and I always feel for the attendants because some people can be asshats.