How to Deal with Difficult Kind of Passengers

Customer service isn’t really taught to cabin crews during the initial training – which is why there are some airlines that prefer to hire employees with prior experience in the same industry. However, there’s no need to worry about it because the experience is always the best teacher. Having a first-hand experience on how to treat the passengers will help you be knowledgeable enough to do things on your own as you get the hang of it.

On the other hand, it is inevitable to have passengers who are a bit hard to deal with. As a cabin crew, you’ll have to communicate with different people every day and you can’t choose who to attend to and who to refuse.

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Can I learn customer service on my own?

Of course! Anyone, regardless if you are a flight attendant or not, can study all about customer service no matter where in the world you are. We live in a modern world, and everything we need is just a few taps away – which is the same for studying.

Through online classes, you can learn a new language or research about some ideas on how to handle passengers – especially the difficult ones! For today’s post, we will teach you how to deal with unruly passengers.


Remain calm

Photo Credit: Wikimedia (Under CC)

It can really be hard to deal with people who are being too demanding, especially when there are other passengers waiting. There will be incidents when someone will be stubborn, but you should never ever lose your temper. If you let yourself lose it, a conflict may arise and you would not like that to happen.

The best way to deal with this kind of people is to stay calm and think of a way to resolve their issue as fast as possible.

Consult a fellow crew

If in case you aren’t sure of what to do, your fellow cabin crews are there to take over. You can talk to them and consult the matter with them. Assuming that you’re new to the job, it is understandable if you’re a bit lacking on that part. Just be sure to observe how your colleague handles the issue perfectly, and try to do the same next time.

Provide a simple explanation

Sometimes, people tend to be unyielding because they don’t see a reason why you’re refusing to give them what they want. Say for example: if a passenger asks for another drink after having their second one, explain that it is the rules because having too much to drink might cause problems rather than just telling them that it is not possible.

Furthermore, if you’re fairly new to the job, you might be intimidated with a passenger especially if they are refusing to back down which leaves you no choice but to grant their request. You must treat every passenger politely, but you must always stick to the protocol.

Use your authority

If in case all of your methods fails and the passenger keeps being a pain in the neck not only for the whole team of crews but for the other passengers as well, you might need to force them to behave. There are instances when a sudden stopover is made to have a passenger get off the plane and compensate for the costs that will be incurred because of the trouble – and no one wants that! If you use your authority the right way, no one will try to cause a trouble.


It might be hard to do at first, but you’ll learn unconsciously through your daily experiences. Just remember to always keep your composure and be professional as much as possible.