JT’s pro tips for not being an asshole when you travel #2

I’m back and protecting more people from unwittingly being an asshole when they travel.  You’re welcome.

Today’s pro tip:  Stewardesses

First, if it ever comes up in a quiz, “stewardesses” is the longest word in the English language that you can type using only one hand.  The more you know.

Second, we all know that you don’t really need to turn your laptop off on the descent.  Yes, you’re very important and you have to be on the phone during the taxi while the stewardess is going through the safety protocols.

But here’s the deal.  The stewardess gets to spend her whole day telling people to sit down, turn off their gadgets, and essentially enforcing all the rules the FAA has laid down.  I suspect it’s a thankless job that most of them (at least at Southwest) still manage with a smile.  Now, special though you are, don’t add misery to their day be acting like the stewardess made the rules or has the authority to grant you an exception to them.  She didn’t and she doesn’t.  Stop arguing with her, don’t congregate at the front of the plane no matter how much you don’t want to walk all the way to the back to pee, turn off your shit when she tells you to, and stop pitching a fit as though that will fix anything.

PERSONAL: Sorry to disappoint you, Julian.
It's funny how ambitions change over time.
PERSONAL: Mid day lab pics from the wife.
Update and pics from #AACon15. MST3K cast members were at my talk.
About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Brian

    Also, don’t call them stewardesses. The appropriate gender neutral term is flight attendant.

    I do agree though. An airline ticket does not entitle you to be an asshole and pretend that airline employees are your personal servants who need to bend to your will.

    • http://www.musasha.org Dave Muscato

      “We’re called ‘flight attendants’ now.” – Flight attendant to Austin Powers

    • mercurianferret

      But you can’t type “flight attendant” with one hand…

      • http://onefuriousllama.com onefuriousllama

        Of course you can.

        “Flight attendants”. There, one hand, quotes and everything! A bit slower, sure, but hardly impossible.

        I prefer “flight attendants” anyway, stewardessesessesssedses just doesn’t sound right.

  • John Eberhard

    The people you describe are the same ones who honk their horns in the middle of traffic jams and expect it to help.

  • GJames

    Those people are called “flight attendants”.

  • http://www.stephentapply.com/ Stephen Tapply

    You’d lose the quiz. Tesseradecades and sweaterdresses (if you spell it unhyphenated) are both longer…

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      You, sir, win. :)

    • Pierce R. Butler

      Oh shucks: I was gonna try for a tie with stagecrafters.

      But did you know that

      Crazed Swede safe sex star Teresa de Sade wears a breast exaggerater bra at badass cabarets after sacred screws!


  • http://honesttogodless.blogspot.com Matt Foss

    I think that this can be modified into a broader rule for how not to be an asshole in general:

    Don’t add misery to the day of a low-level employee of any organization over rules that he/she didn’t make and has no power to override.

    • neatospiderplant

      I agree. Once we rid the world of religion, this should totally be one of the next things we should work on to make the world a better place.

      • Joshua Fisher

        I don’t know… Rid the world of assholes and its gonna be a lonely place. :P

    • N. Nescio


  • Drakk

    First, if it ever comes up in a quiz, “stewardesses” is the longest word in the English language that you can type using only one hand. The more you know.

    On a standard QWERTY keyboard, I assume you mean. And even then there’s nothing stopping you from typing one handed.

  • Ember

    Jumping on the “flight attendant” bandwagon. Not all flight attendants are female.

    Otherwise, I completely agree with you.

  • NotAProphet

    The point can be further generalised into “don’t f*ck with people who handle your food before you do”, duh!

  • lordshipmayhem

    And as well as paying attention to the flight attendants’ presentation, also make sure you watch the flight safety video closely as well.

    • Joshua Fisher

      That video promised so much, and delivered so little. “Bares it all” my ass.

  • ed

    Because shutting up about it is how you get things to change. Great idea.

  • http://www.thejudge.me.uk The Judge

    Some years ago, I heard an anecdote about Muhammad Ali.

    He was on a plane, and they were coming into land. The stewardess~flight attendant-whatever asked the passengers to fasten their seat belts.

    Walking down the aisle, she then saw that Ali hadn’t done his up.

    “Would you fasten your seat belt please, sir?” she requested.

    The champion looked at her with his customary disdain, and replied, “Superman don’t need no seat belt!”

    The stewardess smiled sweetly, and said, “Honey, Superman don’t need no airplane either!”

    Sheepishly, Ali fastened his belt.