Rude controllers

I have noticed that on the expert server, there are many rude controllers. Yes, it is the expert server and it is mandatory to obey ATC. But some controllers are very rude to pilots just enforcing their authority over us like barking orders rather than controlling respectfully.

For example, sometimes when you contact ATC, they dont even bother asking your approach plans or anything they just tell you what vectors to do. So I do that, and I say my approach/ask to descend on the STAR. They reply by telling you to follow instructions. There is literally a button that pops up saying unable, expect vectors. Instead of pressing that, the controller deliberately spends extra time finding the follow instructions button. I understand that some people are gonna say ATC are very busy with a lot of traffic and dont have time to respond to everyones requests, but they are literally going out of their way to spend extra time finding the follow instructions button instead of just pressing the default button saying unable, expect vectors. When you ask a question, you expect a response. The button that pops up on their screen by default is a response. Half the time they do not even bother responding or just continue giving you instructions ignoring your question completely.

Also they sometimes tell you to check tutorials on the home screen when you have not even misunderstood anything. Like sometimes I am flying into an airport and I request to descend on the star and request my approach, they dont even bother replying to your request, they just give you vectors. Sometimes you make a request for visual or gps or whatever on whatever runway they dont even look what you said, they just say ILS approach this runway. If you ask to change runways they do not even bother pressing the unable button that comes up by default, instead they tell you to look at the tutorials on the home screen. The change runway button is self explanatory, there is literally no way you can misunderstand it or learn how to use the button. Why would you need to look at tutorials on the home screen???

Sometimes, you may even get told to follow instructions when they havent even given you any instructions in the first place!

Expert server ATC have the power to kick people, but they are just players, exactly the same as everyone else. They dont have the right to boss people around.


Hi there! I suggest you go back to your replay and contact the controller in question in a PM to discuss what you didn’t like. What I can say about the “expect ILS approach runway xx” though is that this is the most effecient way to handle traffic at busy airports. It allows the controller(s) to get all the planes lined up for their respective runways which increases throughput if everyone is doing the same.
Hope this helps :)


Hello there, sorry to hear about your experiences. Reports like this are helpful, and it would be even better to privately message individual controllers who you received poor service from. This way they can receive your feedback directly and use it to improve.

Secondly, I will add that when it’s busy, all you need to do to approach is state your approach request. If you check in or request descent via a STAR first, it is totally reasonable for the controller to assign you the most convenient approach instead of spending time asking you to say what exactly you want first. This helps with efficiency.

However, you should always be assigned an approach before being given vectors. Again, sorry to hear about some poor service you’ve received and hopefully this response helps why in some cases the controllers behave like you described.


ok, thanks. I have seen many controllers like that, sometimes you do not even check in and they give you vectors without asking intentions or anything


Thanks for making this I was about to make something similar because I have the same problem

1 Like

How can they be rude when they are clicking buttons that send automated messages lmao?


The point is sometimes, for one reason or another, controllers could get impatient and give some commands prematurely. Everyone has done it from time to time - sometimes the controller is justified as I explained above, and sometimes they aren’t, which is when sending a PM is helpful so the controller can see it from the pilot’s perspective.

Thank you for bringing this up but…what can I say? ATC needs to give a whole new set of pattern entry instructions after a change of runway is issued - to my memory of the manual. Sometimes they need that efficiency to handle traffic by clicking ILS instead of others, since it’s at the top of the list of commands. Third, let’s chill down and think, even in real life ATCs they’ve got their own plan of how to manage the traffic. By that said, we should support ATC’s work even sometimes that means change to FPL and your choices of approach. Just chill… Nothing so intense…it’s just a game…


This is likely due to the fact there is a conflict they are trying to avoid that is immediate. After they deconflict they will then either let you continue on your flight plan or assign you an approach as others said.


I think you might mean, “authority to exercise control of their airspace”, which they most definitely have.

P.S. if you really are Nickchan you have no place to be complaining about rudeness or others not following proper procedures 😂


but sometimes you say something and 10 minutes later they do not respond

As Trio said, I only do this whenever I have to resolve a conflict that needs to be attended to ASAP. After the vectors, I always make sure to give them their approach assignment. Another thing, on an approach frequency you don’t need to request defend via STAR. You just request your approach.


Just to add on to a few things I have not read in the comments (I might have missed something):

After a “radar contact” message, not all controllers are servicing approach. For example, I was on center earlier today. I did not service approach into San Francisco, only the arrivals into such airport. In this case, the controller would not ask for or need your approach request. They can see where you are headed to, and manage you accordingly. Sometimes altitude, heading, or speed vectors are required to add you to the back of the line, or sometimes even to take you off your flight plan down the line to better control your arrival.

If you get this message, I would look through the history of what messages have been sent to you. When you get a vector, it isn’t a matter of “but let me request a descent instead.” You should follow the vector and ask your request after modifying your course as instructed. Many times pilots cannot see the big picture whereas controllers with the radar scope can.

Yes, that is true. However that is not applicable if you aren’t already following the vector issued.

Sometimes a frequency is busy. If they respond with your request with a vector, that should answer the question. I agree, it is better practice to inform the pilot but as other controllers have remarked, vectors can sometimes be immediate and urgent.

Personally, I only use this command if a pilot clearly does not understand what I said. For example (from earlier today too), there were mandated STARs in use at SFO. I requested that some pilots add an “ATC Preferred STAR.” These STARs show up in green when selecting them to add to a flight plan. The User Guide describes this very well. This can be helpful for those not understanding how to follow the instructions of adding a STAR. It is not an insult, more of a suggestion for the pilot to check it out!

Some of the stuff described shows you had a negative experience with ATC, which is really unfortunate. I agree that ATC shouldn’t be bossing people around, as you say. However, bossing pilots around and issuing vectors that you expect them to follow are very different. I wasn’t there so I cannot assume.

Just to comment on what Rob said here, I think he means more specifically in the context of approach service. Most of my comments I’ve made, as I previously mentioned, came from the standpoint of a Center controller. In this case, there are specific circumstances in which vectors are needed without an approach being assigned. I am happy to go into a bit more detail if you want (feel free to DM me).

Now I am not saying that this is correct, just providing you my personal point of view. In urgent circumstances with a plane not on your frequency, a vector may be required to avoid a mid-air collision. In these cases, an on guard message that alerts the pilot to tune to the frequency followed by an immediate vector may be essential. However, after that, the controller should work to have you continue with your flight and serve requests.

If I missed anything or got anything wrong, please let me know. This message is only trying to help explain my point of view as an experienced ATC Officer. It is also possible that I serviced you on radar today, so if that is the case, feel free to DM me about more specific situations and the reasoning behind each of my actions. At the end of the day, ATC is in place and works to improve the pilot experience and ensure safe spacing and realistic operations. Once again, on behalf of IFATC, I am sorry that you had this negative experience.


You don’t request both when you are with the approach controller, you simply state your approach request. Their “continue as filed” is permission to follow your flight plan, including the filed flight path and altitudes. Asking to descend via the star is a redundant request, and not needed, as you have already been given permission to fly your flight plan.

If you are told to expect vectors, you also don’t request to descend via your filed star because the controller has told you their intent to issue vectors rather than allow you to continue on your filed flight plan.

Most of the time when folks come on here to complain “the controller is rude,” “the controller was wrong,” “the controller didn’t know what they were doing,” it’s actually the poster who was in the wrong or not following correct procedures.

Keep it “real” my friends….


As much as I can understand the frustration and anger, let me briefly show you my path in making the first steps into the game to my role in IFATC that I have today. In the beginning I was exactly in the same position like you. There was one issue minimum with one of the controllers per week back in the days. Luckily I left most of the time to prevent myself being reported. I felt often misunderstood and treated unfairly by ATC. The situation maintained for about 1 year only getting slightly better as I gained more experience on the ES just by flying and a bit of reading in the manual as it was often told me by ATC. So similar to what you described.
Then things changed for me: I was sick of getting treated by ATC as you outlined in your post. I applied for IFATC and wanted to make it better than all the guys that in my opinion at the moment I applied did. And this was exactly the moment were my point of view changed (no it didn’t changed completely) I tend to say it like that: It put another point of view on things. Only after studying the manual in deep and experiencing situations on the ES out of the perspective as an ATC changed the way I’m evaluating situations then and now.
Long story short: study the manual in its entirety and stay calm, even if you feel treated unfairly. Contact the controller and talk to him, they are nice and you can learn from them. So they can from you. Be happy, conquer the skies :). Good day.


Given the timestamps are reported in GMT, this looks to have happened about 12 hours ago. Please give mods and controllers 24 hours to respond. Not to mention, it’s Easter Sunday which a lot of people will be celebrating. People are naturally going to be busy with their families and other obligations. Just give them some time and they’ll get back to you.


This is a very difficult topic to talk about. But I believe sometimes the controllers do unprofessional things and other times it’s just because it’s a flight sim or they have some other actual reason.


I’ve never really experienced this. The only time I had something similar is when I got given an ILS approach instead of my requested RNAV approach.

haha well i care when i am forced to obey them

You have already sent the controller an angry PM about this to discuss it. At this point you are just trying to be rude. You do not need to. This situation is already being managed outside and this message does not do anything to further this topic. If you have any questions about that situation, I was a center controller at the time and I am happy to help explain it in a PM