TURBULENCE isn't the biggest threat on a flight, a flight attendant has revealed - it's actually passengers.

Former flight crew manager for Virgin Airlines, Ally Murphy, told Fox News the most difficult part of her job was dealing with difficult and violent flyers, saying she was often on the receiving end of "inappropriate" behaviour because of her job.

"The tapping of the behind to get my attention - that's kind of inappropriate," she told Fox News' Watters World show.

"I wouldn't tap someone on the behind for any other reason, but apparently on a plane you can do that."

Gross behaviour aside, Ms Murphy said defusing difficult and sometimes violent passengers was a real part of the cabin crew members' jobs, and they were regularly trained on how to deal with tense situations.

Flight attendant Ally Murphy told Fox News about her most difficult experiences on-board.
Flight attendant Ally Murphy told Fox News about her most difficult experiences on-board.

She recalled a particularly difficult experience she had with a man, who was flying with his wife and had mixed sleeping pills with a bottle of wine he'd snuck onto the plane.

"(He) drunk an entire bottle of wine to himself, little did we know," she said.

"But the two together (sleeping pills and alcohol), they can kind of create a reaction where you don't know what you're doing, you don't sleep, but you have no idea what you're doing.

"This guy went around and he stole all the other passengers' shoes and was trying them on, and then he sat next to his wife, didn't recognise her.

"Then he suddenly thought, 'I want to get off here', so he tried to open the aircraft door, which of course meant we had to jump on him and restrain him."

Ms Murphy said while it wasn't really possible to open a door mid-flight, the crew had to step in.

"We pinned him down, and then he passed out, and then it became a medical situation," she said.

The former flight crew manager said while she'd never personally been attacked by a passenger, "a couple of my friends have received punches".

It’s not turbulence that’s the biggest threat on a plane — it’s difficult passengers.
It’s not turbulence that’s the biggest threat on a plane — it’s difficult passengers.

But she wasn't immune to abuse from flyers and revealed the one incident that caused her to lose her temper.

"A passenger swore at me and said it was my fault the plane was delayed because I'd been doing CPR on a guy," she said.

Ms Murphy also revealed she had caught plenty of couples heading to the bathroom for a mid-flight tryst: "If they've been nice people and it's kind of discreet, I think, 'Well you kids have fun'.

"If they've not been that nice to me, then they're out of there."

Her comments came as a former navy pilot told news.com.au about the huge market in Australia for mile-high flights.

Chuck McElwee, the founder of Air Australia International, said about 300 passengers have joined the mile-high club on one of his flights, which cost $750.

"You don't really hear anything because the engines are so loud," he said about piloting the mile-high flights, "but you do feel it move because the plane is balanced. So when people move back and forward - you feel it."