• Wed. Mar 29th, 2023

Flight attendant reveals passengers are stealing life jackets

Flight attendants have a pretty full on job – we have to provide emergency medical support, keep people safe and make sure everyone has a drink too.

However, another part of our job that’s now also important is that we have to stop people stealing. For some reason, it’s becoming increasingly common for passengers to try and grab souvenirs from our planes.

In this, my latest weekly blog for Sun Online Travel, I’ll explain why this is not only incredibly stupid, but also at times, very dangerous.

One of the main items that passengers try and take from our aircraft is the life jacket.

If you have even just a quick glance at eBay, you’ll see loads of people flogging them on there, for sometimes as much as £100 ($A175) a pop, so it’s easy to see why people take them.

But this is probably the worst thing you can take from the plane, for many reasons.

Firstly, you could be depriving someone of a vital lifesaving bit of kit.

If the flight after yours has to land in the sea, then you’re quite literally putting someone’s life at risk, which seems a little unfair for the sake of £100 ($A175).

And secondly, we know where you were sat and therefore will have a pretty good idea of who stole the jacket.

Not having enough safety equipment on board could land the airline with a big fine if an auditor found out, so any thieves shouldn’t be too surprised if they get a call from us afterwards asking for it back.

As well as jackets, some people steal the safety cards from the backs of plane seats.

This is slightly less dangerous than the life jackets, but still not ideal.

The information on those is something we’d like all passengers to have access to at all times, in case something unforeseen happens, and so we’d appreciate it if you left them where you found them.

These are mostly taken by aviation geeks who collect them from each plane they go on. I’m not sure why, but it’s a bit annoying to have to go round and replace them, which often ends up being my job.

Away from collectable safety equipment, passengers take things simply because they feel entitled to. Which they shouldn’t.

On longer haul flights, the economy class people will often have to pass through the business class seats, and sometimes walk past the galley, where we’ll be preparing for the flight.

In there, we’ll have slices of fruit, glasses of champagne and other bits and pieces ready to hand out to the passengers in the front sections of the plane.

However, people passing through regularly pick them up for themselves and take them back to economy class with them, which they really shouldn’t.

Sorry, but you do have to pay extra to get those kinds of perks on board our flights.

There are a few things I don’t mind passengers taking away from the planes, including pillows and blankets, but other flight attendants can be a little stricter than me.

Just make sure you’re not taking too much and nothing hugely important, or life saving, and you’ll probably be alright.

In fact, I know other flight attendants who are as bad as passengers, if not worse.

I’ve been to visit friends who have almost kitted their homes out with things they’ve nicked from work.

From the soaps and lotions in the bathrooms, the salt and pepper shakers and even cutlery and wine glasses, if it’s not nailed down to the plane, they’ve taken them.

I half expect to turn up and find the drinks trolleys there next time – it’s really funny, but also a bit too cheeky for my liking.

I’ve got a couple of wash bags and things from first class, but other than that, I’m happy for it all to stay in the plane where it belongs.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was republished with permission

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