A to Z Quick Tok 30 | So many “Karens”

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In this episode of The A to Z English Podcast, Jack is joined by Layla, May, and Hendrik as they decide whether the people in the situations are Karens or not Karens.

“Karen” is a slang term that has become popular in contemporary culture to describe a certain type of person who exhibits entitled, demanding, and often obnoxious behavior. The term is typically used to refer to women (though it can also apply to men) who display a sense of entitlement, often accompanied by a willingness to complain loudly, make unreasonable demands, and seek to speak to managers or authorities to get their way.

The Upgraded Outburst: On a fully booked flight, a woman named Karen arrived at her economy seat only to notice that the first-class section had some empty seats. She demanded that the flight attendant upgrade her to first class, claiming she deserved it due to her loyalty to the airline. When the flight attendant explained that the first-class seats were available for purchase or for frequent flyer members with the necessary status, Karen began to loudly berate the crew, accusing them of mistreating her and threatening to report the airline to the authorities for “unfair treatment.”

The Window Shade War: During a daytime flight, Karen was seated by the window. The passenger in the aisle seat preferred to keep the window shade open to enjoy the view, while Karen wanted it closed to watch a movie on her tablet. Despite the passenger’s polite refusal to close the shade, Karen became increasingly agitated. She repeatedly reached over and forcefully attempted to close the shade herself, causing a tense confrontation between her and the passenger. The flight attendants had to intervene to mediate the situation and remind Karen of the importance of respecting fellow passengers’ preferences.

The Turbulence Tantrum: While experiencing moderate turbulence, Karen became frightened and demanded that the flight attendants “do something” to stop the plane from shaking. When the crew explained that turbulence is a natural and common occurrence, she refused to listen and insisted that they find a way to make it stop. Her anxiety escalated into a full-blown tantrum, with Karen yelling at the crew to “make the pilot fly smoother” and accusing them of not caring about passengers’ safety. Other passengers had to reassure her and explain the normalcy of turbulence, while flight attendants tried to maintain order amidst her outburst.

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2 thoughts on “A to Z Quick Tok 30 | So many “Karens””

  1. Zainun Grace

    This is a new term for me, Jack. Karen is something new for me and thanks for highlighting this slang.

    In the first situation, I think she is the Karen. Everyone knew that to get into the first-class seat we needed to buy it prior. This is common knowledge and it is a ridiculous reason to get into the first-class just because you are a loyal customer. She is just a Karen!

    For the second situation, I think the guy is a Karen here and the lady is not Karen. It’s common sense in the plane that when another passenger watching a video we must close the window or open it in half. It is the same situation if the passenger next to us is sleeping, we need to close the window or open it in half. To make it worse he is a guy and he didn’t behave like a gentleman here. Well… It’s all about manners and a win-win situation. So, in my, opinion that lady is not a Karen and the guy next to him is a big Karen.

    Then we go to the third situation, I think she is not a Karen here. It’s a normal situation where some passengers are scared when the plane is shaking. It’s not a condition but it’s a reaction to a situation. Some passengers have a phobia and if this is their first flight it will get worse. My aunt has a phobia of travelling by plane and one day I managed to persuade her to go travelling with me. She makes a big fuss when the plane shakes and cries out of fear. I need to hug her and calm her down until the plane is stable. It’s tiring but I understand her fear. And,
    that is her first and last travelling by plane. So based on my experience, this lady is not a Karen. It’s just a normal situation for those who have a phobia.

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