When I was first hired as a flight attendant, one of the things that I always kept in the back of my mind was that the passengers were paying my salary.
While that didn't justify outright abuse, and I set firm boundaries about what was and wasn't acceptable passenger behavior, it did help me overlook the little annoyances. I smiled at some of the complaints, and listened without rolling my eyes. I never took blame for something that wasn't of my own doing, but I was more than willing to take responsibility to find a solution to a problem. Passengers, no matter how tedious, annoying or simply wrong, were paying my salary.
The times have been a changin' though!
While I still smile and try to help solve a problem, I no longer have the "customer is always right" point of view. Sometimes they are simply wrong. They have unrealistic expectations of air travel. They want something for nothing. Outrageously bad behavior will not be tolerated. Drunks are dealt with quickly and firmly.
Flight Attendants are often blamed for problems out of our control. We have less and less resources available to us to help solve a problem. The tightening of rules and regulations in our work environment means that we no longer can help in ways that we might have been able to in days past.
In fact, I also don't think of the passenger as paying my salary any longer.
The airline executives have chosen to deeply discount fares to a dangerous level, and have slashed employee salaries to subsidize it. That's a business choice. We have to live with it.
But think of it this way (and this won't be popular with a lot of people): Try being nice to your flight attendants. They took pay cuts to subsidize your travel.