Destanie is a flight attendant who has chronicled what it’s like working in the skies on TikTok and has gone viral in the past discussing her job. Whether it’s dealing with passengers who can’t understand that there aren’t any more Coca-Cola cans available on the beverage cart, or how she’s been trained to deal with folks who want to sit in unfilled first-class chairs, she deals with a lot.
She’s recently gone viral again in another video where she shares a series of passenger pet peeves, and it seems that there’s one, in particular, viewers agree is especially annoying.
Destanie begins her clip by brushing her hair and talking into the camera as she records from a hotel bathroom during a “layover.” She slaps her viewers with the number one thing she can’t stand above all else right from the get-go: the boarding process.
According to the flight attendant, her main gripe with boarding doesn’t necessarily have to do with a specific facet of airline travel, but rather humanity’s capacity to “tune…out” everyone and everything else around them, making them inconsiderate of others.
Destanie states that because she was raised to be wary of her surroundings and think of other people she’s sharing a space with she is appalled by some of the behaviors exhibited by many passengers.
This is why, as part of the boarding process, Destanie prefers to work the “front” of the plane so that she can set the tone for the rest of the flight with a pleasant and cheerful welcoming experience. Working the “back” of the plane, as she says, is where she has to deal with the dregs of humanity: folks who, despite being told time and again to be considerate of others when it comes to overhead bin storage space, will still stuff these crevices with purses and jackets and other “small” items that could easily fit underneath their chairs.
That’s not the only gripe Destanie has with the airline industry, however. The flight attendant says that she also isn’t a fan of working with strong personalities and says that some employees who probably shouldn’t be working as flight attendants won’t leave their jobs because they are used to the lifestyle.
Another big issue Destanie says flight attendants have to deal with is caring for their mental health—she even referenced a statistic many folks may not be aware of and it’s that individuals who work in aviation, flight attendants included, are at a higher risk of committing suicide.
The CDC reported that “deaths from suicide were 1.5 times higher” for flight attendants when compared to other populations in its study. The TikToker says that both herself and other flight attendants were run ragged throughout the summertime and that they didn’t have much chance to think, but now that the end of the year has settled in and they’ve had time to “debrief” both her and her friends are going through a “rough patch” when it comes to their mental health due to the extreme loneliness of working in aviation.
@destanieaaa Here is the tea. #flightattendant #cabincrew ♬ original sound – Destanie | Flight Attendant ✈️
Destanie also used her video to address how flight attendants are often “fetishized.” She explains that she’s asked at least once a week if she’s ever joined “the mile-high club” and that in general, passengers tend to think that flight attendants like to “sleep around” with various people in different layover cities.
“That is so far from the truth for me, like I’ve never even been on a date on a layover,” she says in the clip, mentioning that she even addressed this “stigma” while on a date with someone who apparently wasn’t aware of the reputation Destanie says have been built up for flight attendants.
It seems some passengers, according to the TikToker, may construe this reputation as an opportunity to be creepy towards flight attendants. She says this is something she experiences in the air when she has to buckle herself up in seats facing seated passengers.
Oftentimes, Destanie states, she’ll have a guy making bedroom eyes at her while she’s in this seating position and generally skeeving her out, forcing her to divert her gaze to look out of the window or around the cabin.
Another big issue Destanie has with being a flight attendant is the pay. She says that despite working nearly every single day for an entire month, she couldn’t break “$3,000” and even though she’s employed with “mainline” as one of the better-paid flight attendants, she wasn’t very happy with the cash she’s been getting in her line of work.
“I feel like that’s such a slap in the face…like working a comfortable full-time income I probably make around $2,300 to $2,500 a month which is not sustainable in this economy. Like I’m having to choose between a place to live and a car, a place to live in a safe place…I don’t know,” she says, further addressing her income woes.
Her overall health has suffered since becoming a flight attendant as well, she says, and that her “eyebags” have never been as prominent as they have since working in the field.
“I’m dehydrated constantly like it’s really difficult to keep up and be that beautiful beauty standard that people have for flight attendants when we’re so tired and so overworked,” she laments.
The final point she wanted to bring up was body dysmorphia.
“We have to wear these really tight dresses and being in the air you’re constantly bloated and everything’s just like it makes your body fluctuate a lot,” she says. “I have faced a lot of weird self-esteem issues since starting this job…with the way I look in a dress the way I constantly feel like I have to look super pretty I have to constantly go in the bathroom to make sure my hair looks OK. To make sure my eye bags aren’t looking creasy or whatever.”
However, despite these grievances, Destanie appears to have an overall positive outlook on the vocation, concluding, “And I am always all about being transparent. I love this job. Working today again I was like I missed working. Even though today was a pain in the butt I love this job and I’m very grateful to have this lifestyle but this is not, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, so.”
It seems that several other TikTok users also worked in aviation who seemed to all agree. “Boarding wouldn’t be as bad if we got paid for it,” one person wrote.
Another said, “Boarding is the absolute worst part of the job.”
“Boarding takes years off of my life,” one TikToker wrote.
According to another user who responded to Destanie’s video, these gripes are something that flight attendants all over the world experience.
“Girl, im an FA over here in AUS, and there are so many things that you have talked about here that ring true all over the globe..!” they said.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Destanie via email for further comment.