Whenever you are flying out for your trip, it is useful to know what you are about to get yourself into before heading out to the airport. Flight attendants know better than anyone how to differentiate between frequent flyers and first-time flyers. There are quite a lot of things that will irritate flight attendants, but there is a good chance that you will never know about it. They will only smile and bear it all. However, we are sure you are going to be in for a surprise when you learn exactly what they are hiding behind their pleasant faces. Are you ready to learn what gets on their nerves and other secrets and tricks of the trade?
They Will Cut You Off If They Must
Some people will drink as much as they can on a flight, but you might want to watch how much you consume. It is actually illegal for flight attendants to let passengers get intoxicated! Moreover, it is illegal to be drunk on a plane. If you break the law, you might have to spend two years in jail for this little-known criminal offense. However, you only need to change your perspective. You should know that there is no need to drink too much booze during your flight because alcohol has a stronger effect thanks to the changing cabin pressure.
Diet Coke Might Be The Worst Drink To Order
If you want to make your flight attendant’s job easier, we recommend that you skip a Diet Coke during beverage service. Flight attendants actually hate it when a passenger wants Diet Coke. This drink is significantly fizzier than most carbonated drinks. When you are more than 30,000 feet high, the bubbles take a long time to settle. Therefore, flight attendants need to pay more attention to keep it from overflowing, which means it will take three times longer to serve than other beverages. And when you consider how dehydrating flights are, you are much better off drinking some water instead.
They Take Their Naps In A Secret Compartment
We all know that long-haul flights are made for sleeping, but have you ever wondered how the flight crew can survive them? They need to constantly be on their feet to tend to all of our in-flight needs, but that sounds like too much when the flight takes more than ten hours. There is no need to worry because they get to take breaks as well. Big planes such as the Boeing 777 or 787 come equipped with hidden sleeping cabins for this very reason. The windowless rooms are typically built below or above the galley. If you notice that a flight attendant has been missing in action, this is likely where they went.
They Have A Secret Code For Communication
The flight crew might seem like they know everything that is happening, but attendants actually use subtle codes to let each other know what is going on. Among other things, this comes in handy when they have to tell each other something without freaking out the passengers. The chimes and bells you hear during the flight are good examples of this mode of communication. Whenever you hear the “dings” during the start and end of the flight, keep in mind that it is meant to let the crew know that the most dangerous parts of the flight are now over.
Not Everyone Is Up To The Task
We know that it sounds very glamorous to be a flight attendant, but it is not simply fun and games. You might feel jealous about their jet-setting lifestyle, but they essentially become waiters and waitresses once they are up in the air. You should know that it is very challenging to be a flight attendant. For one thing, it comes with constant jet lag when you work back-to-back flights. Moreover, they also get wake up calls at ungodly hours of the night and work even on holidays. Of course, let us not forget that they have to be away from their loved ones for extended periods of time.
Why They Shut Off The Lights At The Start And End
As the airplane is preparing for takeoff or descent, you will notice that the lights in the cabin shut off. It is rarely explained and people do not normally ask because the lights are switched on in only a few moments. However, there is a good reason for the phenomenon. Landing and takeoff are the most difficult stages of any flight. The lights are turned off so that our eyes can acclimatize to the light in case an emergency happens. This will allow us to orient ourselves better with the space if the worst-case scenario happens. Now you know!
They Do Not Get Paid Very Well
Flight attendants need to work as soon as they get onto the plane. This often means carrying out safety checks before people board the plane and then greeting them once passengers hop on. It is pretty hard to believe that no matter how much work they do before takeoff, they do not get paid for it. Flight attendants are only compensated for the hours that the plane starts its engines and then pulls away from the gate. That’s right, they do not get paid their full rate for anything before that. The hours they spend at work on the ground are only compensated with a low rate of around $1.50 per hour.
They Do Get Romantically Involved With One Another
It is not surprising to hear that flight crew members sometimes get involved with their colleagues. As a matter of fact, it is pretty common for crew members to get into relationships with each other. Considering how much time they have to spend together in an enclosed space, it kind of makes sense. Although they are free to fraternize as they wish, it is important for them to remain professional. Just like other jobs, employees should not air their dirty laundry in the presence of customers.
They Make Quick Assessments During The Boarding Process
When you enter the airplane, you will be greeted by flight attendants. Aside from the great customer service, there is another reason why they do this. As passengers board the aircraft, flight attendants make quick but important assessments of each and every person. They have been trained to survey us and then take mental notes of anyone who might be intoxicated or problematic. They also track who is traveling alone and those who might need any assistance during the course of the flight. It is also interesting to hear that they size passengers up to see who could be useful in the event of an emergency.
No Rules Against Passenger And Flight Attendant Relationships
We have already talked about flight attendants and their relationships with one another, but what about fraternizing with passengers? Apparently, most airlines do not have policies on it. If you think your flight attendant is cute, you are not doing anything illegal by shooting your shot. However, keep in mind that it might not end well because they actually experience a lot of this. They often have to fight off unwanted attention as they try to carry out their job. Tread carefully if you must.
Say No To The Coffee And Tea
If you ask flight attendants about coffee or tea, they will likely advise you to skip it. Although the water is filtered and potable, it might not be a good idea to drink the hot beverages made in-flight. Why? Apparently, the tanks where they keep the potable water do not get cleaned as often as they probably should. There are also cases when the valve for the water in the lavatory is kept way too close to the valve for the potable water. It is probably a better idea to only drink the canned and bottled options during beverage service.
The Food Is Not Good For You
Now that we are on the topic of things you should avoid, let us now talk about airline food. The meals they serve during long flights might look like nutritionally balanced, but you will be surprised to learn the truth about their dietary content. These meals are normally full of fat, sugar, salt, and simple carbs that will fill you up despite the lack of nutritional value. When you are sitting out a long-haul flight, we understand that they can be lifesavers. However, it is probably a better idea to bring some food with you next time.
They Are Grossed Out By People Walking Around Barefoot
We all know that it can become a little uncomfortable when you are staying on a plane for longer than two hours. You will likely see other passengers taking their shoes off – and then walking around the cabin without them! Although it might sound like a comfortable idea to you, this is actually disgusting. Flight attendants know better than everyone just how filthy the plane floor is. There are many accidents that happen in-flight. Even though they normally clean up the mess, it is still not a very thorough cleaning process. After all, cleaning supplies are always going to be limited up in the air.
They Can And Will Restrain You If They Must
It should be common sense, but not everyone got the memo. If you behave too unruly, your flight attendant has the ability to arrest or restrain you! Perhaps you have seen people offloaded before takeoff, but what if something comes up in the middle of the flight? Should it come to that, flight attendants have the power to stop aggressive or troublesome passengers and restrain them. Zip ties or seatbelt extensions come in handy during these moments. Once they are all tied up, the passenger would be taken to an area where they would not disturb the other passengers and taken away during the first stop. Make sure to be on your best behavior!
First Class Is Last Place During Plane Crashes
Although it might sound tempting sometimes, it is not really worth it to pay for first class. Research has shown that people sitting near the front of the plane have a higher chance of dying during a plane crash. If you want the safest seats, they are those near the emergency exit. In general, aisle seats are also safer. The studies reveal that people in the rear boast of the highest survival rates. If you do not get a say in your seats, at least make sure to keep your seat belt on!
The Breathing Masks Do Not Offer Unlimited Oxygen
We are all familiar with the oxygen masks that will be deployed when the cabin pressure goes lower than a specific point. However, this rarely ever happens. In case it does come to that, however, do you know how long you should be able to breathe with it? Apparently, the oxygen is usually enough for 12 to 15 minutes. We know that sounds like too little time, but it is usually enough. If ever this happens to you, all you need to do is to relax and breathe as you wait for the pilot to bring the plane to an altitude where you can breathe even without the equipment.
Flight Attendants Need To Look A Certain Way
It is no secret that flight attendants need to uphold specific visual standards if they wish to keep their jobs. Although it is no longer a huge requirement to look a certain way and be a certain age, there are a couple of things that they still need to keep in mind at all times. Flight attendants need to have their natural hair color and pull it back when it reaches a certain length. Another important thing that airlines consider is height. One should not be too tall as this means crashing into the overhead bins. However, one should not be too short as this will make it hard to perform the duties of the job.
A Lot Of People Apply For The Job
If you are interested in becoming a flight attendant, remember that the competition can be intense. Apparently, Harvard’s acceptance rate was even higher than Delta Airlines in the year 2010. In the same year, Delta had 1,000 openings and got more than 100,000 applications. Only four percent of the applicants received a callback interview. It is also important to remember that flight attendants carry out a demanding job for a small starting pay. If you think you can handle the stress and have great customer service skills, it will likely appeal to you. As a tip, being bilingual is a plus.
Extra Bags Do Not Really Make A Huge Impact
Each passenger is allowed to have at least one stowed luggage during the flight. However, this means that they will have to pay some fees if they want to bring more baggage. Although planes are typically designed to accommodate just a bag per passenger, extra bags would not really change anything. Planes have been designed to have the right center of gravity to takeoff without a problem. Depending on the number of checked bags on the plane, airlines normally use sandbags to balance out the weight. This does not exactly explain why they charge you a lot of extra bags, however.
How To Improve Your Chances Of Getting An Upgrade
It should be a given for everyone to treat others with respect no matter what, but it often pays to treat your flight attendant very well. According to flight attendants, they like customers who smile at them and respond with “thank you”. Apparently, this does not happen all that much on flights! Aside from basic courtesy and etiquette, it might be possible for them to give you an upgrade if there are any availabilities. If this is what you are looking for, keep in mind that they will be more willing to do so if you are pregnant, too tall, or a frequent flyer.
Why It Is A Good Idea To Turn Off Your Phone
If you have ever flown before, you are probably familiar with the request to shut off your mobile devices just before takeoff. Of course, it would be best if you do as they ask. Although it is highly unlikely that it will cause a plane crash, they make this request for a good reason. Cellular signals can be strong enough to mess with the frequencies of air traffic control, so it is best to simply turn them off during takeoff or descent. There are times when takeoff takes a little longer than usual, and it might be in your best interest to put your devices on airplane mode at the very least.
Treat Check-In Staff With Respect
We have no idea why people would act so terribly to the check-in staff. Not only is it rude, but they also have the power to choose where you are seated. If you act like a jerk and there are babies on the flight, you might just find yourself sitting right beside them. They will still smile to your face no matter how you act, but it is only when you board the plane that you will discover your fate. And like we have already mentioned earlier, you are not doing yourself any favors if you are hoping for a free upgrade.
Feel Free To Tip
Not a lot of people are aware of this, but flight attendants do accept tips. They do not only accept them, but they also appreciate them! The tips will certainly get you points when it comes to topnotch treatment for the duration of the flight. This is the reason you should not be afraid to tip them. You will certainly make their day, at the very least. It is never a bad idea to pay it forward. Just like your favorite service person or bartender, flight attendants will be grateful for your appreciation.
Put Your Gifts In A Bag Instead
Many people look forward to going home for the holidays. This is especially true when Christmas rolls in. If you are heading home for the holiday season, it might not be such a good idea to wrap your gifts before you get home. Airport security might need to unwrap and inspect the items you have with you. A gift bag would be a better idea if you are flying home. This is not exactly an “on-flight” tip, but it is helpful anyway.
Avoid Using The Complimentary Blankets And Pillows
It is only on the first flight of the day that the pillows and blankets you receive will be guaranteed to be clean. If you are a germaphobe, you might want to avoid using them. Anyone who is extra careful about sanitation will know this already, but many people are not aware of this. It might be a good idea to bring your own headrest and an extra jacket on your next flight. Those horseshoe-shaped pillows will also make the journey more comfortable. It is a better idea to spend a little money than to catch germs from a stranger, after all.
Time To Leave
If the plane is only about to take off or has only landed, you can’t be on the plane for more than three hours. If you want to get off the plane, feel free to do so after this time frame. Flight attendants also need to keep the water and food cart up and down the aisle after a delay of two hours. They will keep you fed for an hour, so there is no need to worry. Just keep in mind to avoid the tea or coffee!
Bring An Empty Water Bottle
Do you want to save a little money at the airport? It is a good idea to bring an empty water bottle with you. You will normally have to throw away a full bottle, so simply bring an empty one to avoid any hassle at the airport. You will always find water fountains that you can use to fill it up anyway, so there is no need to worry about getting thirsty. You can then spend your hard-earned cash on other things instead. Aside from that, it will save the flight attendants time as well. After all, there is no need to bother them when you can have your own ready.
Being Rude Will Not Get You Anywhere
When you act like a pain in the back rear, your life will generally be harder. Among other things, it will not do you any favors when flying. If there is an available flight upgrade, flight attendants will definitely not consider you. We already talked about this earlier. However, even frequent flyers are not shoe-ins. If you are considered troublesome, it will be on your account and they will know. It is like receiving a bad grade in school – you might take a lot of flights, but they will always know that you are a bad flyer.
Germs On The Food Tray
In the same vein as the unsanitary blankets and pillows, there is a good chance you have made contact with baby poo just by putting your food on the tray. Gross, right? That isn’t all as other dirty items have likely been placed on those trays in the past. These trays only get cleaned once per day, so you can imagine how dirty they are by the end of the day. Be careful when you eat as you might contract germs by being a messy eater.
Pilots Need To Doze Off As Well
We would all love some nap time when we are in the middle of a workday. If you want to get some proper education and time away from your family, you might want to consider studying to be a pilot. The takeoff and landing are the moments this feature becomes important. If you talk to your flight attendant about it, she will likely tell you the pilot is awake and performing his duties. Appearances will never cease to be important.
Being A Flight Attendant Has Its Perks
Flight attendants normally have a perk we all wish we had. Aside from being paid to go to different places, they also have free Wi-Fi and cellphone usage! They will normally use their phones during the flight, unlike most of us casual flyers. Although they do not earn the biggest salary in the world, they do have the opportunity to travel far and wide. Depending on the way you look at things, this could be a great payoff! Just get ready for the insane competition during application.
Bomb Threats While Flying Over The Ocean
This one will likely shock you. If the plane you are riding is going over the ocean and a bomb threat has been reported, you will not likely know of it. That’s right. You will likely be reading the most recent Time issue or dozing off while something of this magnitude is taking place. You would likely never know it because flight attendants have received training on how to keep peace aboard the plane. It will be even more difficult to deal with this when the passengers are all freaked out.
Walking Barefoot Is A Terrible Idea
Whatever you do, never walk barefoot aboard the plane. There is a good chance that blood, urine, milk, and vomit have all made it to the floor of the plane one way or another. You already know that they only clean the blankets and trays once a day, so how often do you think they vacuum the floor? Feel free to be comfortable if you wish, but don’t say we didn’t warn you! As you might already know, airplanes are huge cabins full of whatever germs you can imagine. You might want to bring some penicillin with you!
Hands Behind Their Backs
Did you ever notice how flight attendants greet passengers with their hands folded behind their banks? Apparently, there is a reason they do this. Airline employees are actually hiding their hands so that they can perform a head count just as people are boarding the plane. They normally keep count using their fingers! Not a lot of people will react positively if they saw the airline staff counting on their fingers, right? Moreover, the trust between passengers and flight attendants are important during flights.
Bring Your Own Headphones
The next time you fly, don’t forget to bring your headphones. There are times when airlines issue headphones, but there are cases where they don’t. Besides, the free ones are too flimsy for everyday use. They will probably break as soon as possible! If you are taking a long flight, you will likely be provided with some in-flight entertainment that will interest you. In case they don’t give you free headphones, you won’t have to pay to watch a movie.
Skip The Starbucks At The Airport
Although Starbucks is addicting and delicious, we highly recommend skipping the long queue. For one, you can get coffee for free during the flight if you really want a cup of joe. Next, you can get a free Starbucks drink if you choose to fly with Delta or Alaska Airlines. This will be something that your flight attendants will let you know. Not only will it prevent you from drinking the airline coffee, but it will also save them time. This arrangement is one you can describe as a win-win situation. Awesome!
Joining The Mile-High Club Is Not A Good Idea
The concept of the “mile-high club” has been going around ever since humans started traveling by plane. But when you consider just how cramped, smelly, and dim airplane bathrooms are, you probably won’t get the appeal. Mid-flight hanky-panky is simply not all it is cracked out to be. Aside from this, flight attendants normally keep an eye on the bathrooms, so it is almost impossible to go inside the bathroom with someone else. If you get caught, there might be serious repercussions including indecent exposure. Is it really worth it?
The Person Beside You Might Be An Air Marshal
Are you under the impression that there is an air marshal on every single flight you take? This is not actually true. We do not know how many air marshals there are, but CNN has reported that they had to lay off 3,500 of them in 2014. Nonetheless, you will not know if you are seated next to one! Air marshals often don “normal” clothes but have a firearm with them on the flight. Of course, this is meant to protect passengers from a terrorist attack.
The Brace Position Is Not Only A Myth
Whenever flight attendants demonstrate the safety procedures before takeoff, they will explain the “brace position”. This refers to the act of putting your head towards your knees and cupping your head lightly. However, conspiracy theorists believe that this position can be dangerous. The truth is that this position will help compact the body and ultimately protect vital organs from most injuries. Can you believe that people have debated about it so much that there was a Myth Busters episode about it?
What To Expect If There Is A Medical Emergency
As we all know, medical emergencies do not choose a place or time. That means they can happen even in the middle of a flight! It is a good thing that flight attendants and other crew members had been given training about different kinds of situations. They can substitute for first responders if anything happens aboard the plane. They know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver and CPR, among other things. There are also first aid kids and defibrillators on board in case passengers need them. If the situation is particularly grave, flight attendants might go around the aisles and ask if any of the passengers happen to be a doctor. A pilot can also divert and ground the plane, which will normally take only 15 minutes during domestic flights.
How Sturdy Are Planes?
So the question often comes up, how safe are planes really? Put it this way, if lightning hits an airplane, the worst that can happen is hundreds of shrieking passengers. Now that’s strong if you ask us. Airplanes are built to withstand the worst conditions, so don’t worry, you’re safe.
Why Being Nice Is Worth It
Whoever said nice guys finish last has never been on an airplane! Being respectful, kind and friendly to your flight attendants can have its perks. Whether its extra attention from the crew, or upgrades, it doesn’t hurt to be nice. If your behavior isn’t good, you may find yourself moved next to a screaming baby or the bathroom because of “weight distribution reasons”. This actually happens from time to time!
Pilots Do A Lot More Than Just Navigating
Did you really think all pilots did was navigate the aircraft? Think again. They are pretty much in charge when in the air, and therefore need to be quite authoritative. If a passenger disrupts the flight, the pilot can decide if he or she wants them to be handcuffed for the rest of the flight. In addition, if a passenger is sick and dying on a flight, the pilot is allowed to take their last will.
How Thoroughly Are Planes Cleaned?
Now this question has to be one of the most frequently asked and wondered by passengers. While us passengers only really notice trash being removed and the floor being vacuumed, that’s about all we see. Grossly enough, the FAA doesn’t mandate the seats, armrests and folding trays be cleaned. It is up to each airline how often they want to clean, and with quick flight turnovers, the conditions are often less than pristine.
What Does The Crew Eat?
Ever wondered what the pilot and co-pilot eat while in the air? They are actually mandated to eat different things in the event that the food is bad and they get sick. It would be a huge problem if both pilots got sick, so this lessens the changes of that occurring. For this very reason, they usually bring their own food from home.
As you can probably imagine , there is a lot of wasted food on flights. Whether it’s because of a passenger taking one bite and not liking the taste, or those passengers who don’t show up, many meals are wasted. We wish they had a way to donate all of the leftovers!
Flight crews are expertly trained in caring and handling your little ones before, during and after the flight. Although loud noises can’t be avoided, the crew has your pet’s best interest at heart, so worry not, Fido is in good hands!
The Flight Attendant Look
Not many years ago, flight attendants were regulated by the airline industry, and we’re not just talking about their work ethic. Age, beauty, makeup and weight were actually mandated, but it’s a bit different today. Airlines today look for friendliness, good grooming skills and professionalism over things like age and weight. One physical feature they do look for? Height! Many baggage compartments are just way too up there!
Price And Safety
A good priced plane ticket doesn’t mean you’re being jipped on safety standards. Safety regulations are actually standard on all flights, no matter the price you paid. You are paying for things like seat selection and leg room or lack thereof, but safety? No way.
Use Of Autopilot
Don’t freak out, it’s completely safe, but pilots really do use autopilot! The computer is used by pilots 90% of the time. They are only responsible for the most dangerous parts, which are takeoff and landing. A computer is sufficient enough to do the rest.
Best Time To Fly
Although evening flights may seem more appealing, be warned, flight attendants claim morning flights are superior. They happen to be more comfortable, and not because of the extra pillows. The weather is usually better in the mornings, meaning turbulence is less likely to occur. Sign us up!
Can you believe that flight attendant’s are on a 6 month probation period at the beginning of their job? During this time, they can be fired for the smallest infractions, like wearing a uniform sweater around their waist instead of on their shoulders. Attendants are also prohibited to board any flight if they call in sick. Immediate termination is possible if they don’t abide.
Don’t Sneak A Deceased Person On The Flight
Although this may seem obvious, it’s on the list for a reason. Can you believe that on multiple flights, people have brought someone deceased, pretending they were still alive. It’s quite expensive to transport a dead body at around $5,000. For those short on cash, this seemed like the only option. Flight attendants are always aware and at attention when a situation like this occurs.
Fighting Human Trafficking
A nonprofit called ‘Innocents at Risk’ trains flight crews how to handle situations and detect the signs of human trafficking. The organization focuses on helping teens and children, but also aims to assist anyone in need. Many prostitution trafficking groups have been stopped thanks to flight attendant’s heightened awareness.
Perks Of Seniority
Seniority is a big thing with flight attendants; with it comes choosing routes and days traveling. In addition, they choose which bunks to sleep in…in essence, they get first choice. You can tell how senior a flight attendant is by the length of her skirt. After 6 months, they can shorten their skirt.
You Never Felt Extreme Turbulence
Can you believe that there’s a greater risk of items from the overhead bins falling on you than there is of turbulence actually inuring you? Extreme turbulence is only defined as when the pilot loses control of the plane or if it takes on structural damage. If you’ve never experienced either of these scenarios, you haven’t experienced real turbulence!
As you’re probably aware, there are things passengers do that really get under the crew’s skin. One of their biggest pet peeves has to be when people stand up right when the plane lands, instead of waiting until they are told to. Only unbuckle when you are at the gate and when the fasten seatbelt sign is off.
Real Purpose Of The Handles
Have you ever noticed the emergency door handles on the exits? Ever wondered what their purpose was? In the event of an emergency situation, they are there so the crew can hold on to avoid being pushed or trampled by panicked passengers.
Hands To Yourself
Don’t laugh at this one, but people, do NOT touch the flight attendants! Crew members have said they have passengers poking and grabbing them on almost every flight. Respect the crew, they are there to help you!
Since you can’t smoke on flights, why would there be ashtrays? They’re supposedly still there on older planes since smoking was somehow legal on planes some years ago. If you see one, don’t take it as a cue that smoking is allowed…it definitely is NOT!