Traveling and flying can be especially stressful and exciting for the passengers, but have you ever wondered what it's like for the flight attendants? If you are ever curious about the behind-the-scenes of a flight attendant's job and what really goes on inside the plane, read on for a complete list of all the best-kept industry secrets so you can fly with ease and finally know what the cabin crew really thinks about all those pesky passengers.
Helping With Baggage Is Not in Their Job Description
A few flight attendants disclosed that they were told not to lift any luggage during their training for their specific airline. When passengers board the plane and need to stow their suitcases in the overhead compartments, they are supposed to do it alone. If a flight attendant does it for them and gets hurt in the process, the company will not cover any compensation because it's intentionally not in their job description.
However, if a passenger is elderly or can clearly not lift their bag, most flight attendants will help them anyway. Though it is highly discouraged, so they try to keep it to a minimum.
Sometimes Flight Attendants Have to Disguise a Deceased Passenger
A former flight attendant who worked for a UK airline made a shocking confession. It would probably send shivers down your spine if most people knew this. Well, here goes. It is pretty common for passengers to die on board. But to not freak out the other passengers, they are kept in their seats and propped up like they are sleeping. And the finishing touch? They drape a blanket over them so no one will suspect a thing.
Now, this is terrifying and maybe something that should have remained behind the scenes. Though it is creepy, what else are they supposed to do in mid-air?
They Know How Truly Unsanitary the Plane Is
The number one piece of advice from the aircraft crew is always wipe down everything. Between flights, it can be difficult to sanitize and clean every seat and tray. Allegedly cleaners only vacuum down the walkway quickly and wipe the bathroom just as fast. So always bring disinfectant wipes and wipe down the tray table, seatbelt, and seat. And never let your babies crawl on the floor; who knows what's lurking there.
It's a safe bet to pack extra cleaning products in your carry-on bag like hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and tissues; to stay prepared, clean, and healthy.
Sometimes They Purposefully Board Delayed Flights
Have you ever sat in a plane for hours before taking off? The captain usually plays over the speaker and says there are delays, so there's no choice but to sit and wait. Well, a surprising secret was revealed by a stewardess that may explain why. Sometimes when the crew is aware of a delay beforehand, they will purposefully board the flight. This is because the crew doesn't get paid for the delayed time when everyone is waiting at the gate but only when the doors are closed, and everyone is boarded.
Although federal regulations require the plane to return to the gate if it hasn't been cleared for takeoff after a certain amount of time, it's still worth it for them to taxi the plane so the flight attendants can get paid.
When Boarding the Plane, the Crew Looks Out for These Particular Passengers
Flight attendants may favor certain passengers, and they happen to be those who are fellow airline employees themselves. There's an important reason for this as well. They become valuable assets to the working crew in case of an emergency. This is because they have been trained in various aircraft situations and can essentially become an unofficial team member. Therefore, if you are a passenger and fellow flight attendant, make yourself known!
Of course, this doesn't mean you will be asked to help with mundane things among the aircraft, but it is excellent to know who will be helpful in times of crisis.
The Secret Compartment Passengers Aren't Aware of
While most airplanes seem claustrophobic, most Boeing 777 and 787 aircrafts have a secret compartment dedicated to small bedrooms for the crew. On long-haul flights, the crew splits the duration of the flight in half. This way, while one half gets time to sleep, the other half works. The sleeping area is usually small but comfortable and is commonly bunk beds stacked on top of each other or a flat open space of cushions.
While this may not seem luxurious, it's a life savior. After all, flight attendants are humans too, and just like everyone else, they need to sleep on long-haul flights.
If You Join the Mile High Club, the Crew Will Report You to the Police
A flight attendant revealed an encounter she experienced on a flight that disturbed her forever. On one flight, a fellow crew member approached her, who said they thought people were in the bathroom having sex. They went to the bathroom door and began banging on the door. The passengers inside wouldn't unlock the door or answer them, so eventually, the flight attendants had to open the door. What they saw next was shocking.
The doors opened, and people were standing there naked, so they immediately shut the doors and told them to get dressed and come out. The passengers eventually came out, cursing and screaming. The authorities had to get involved and escort them off the plane when it landed.
They Have to Deal With Intoxicated Passengers
A flight attendant shared one of her wildest experiences ever. She worked for a high-class airline and was on a flight from Russia to Dubai. A couple bought a bottle of alcohol, and although it is illegal to drink, they opened and finished the entire bottle before arriving at their destination. The couple got so drunk and started screaming at each other, and then the woman peed herself in her seat.
The flight attendants had to separate them for the remainder of the flight because of how much they were fighting. What a horrible experience that could have resulted in the passengers being blacklisted from flying with that airline.
The Flight Attendants Are Probably Talking About You
Flight attendants admitted that they all talk about the passengers, especially if someone is being rude. They can take notes about you and leave them in a database for any future flight with the same airline. They even revealed that they notice who is attractive on board and play a game by calling people "raftie." This is code for someone they'd want in their raft if they needed to make an emergency water landing.
It might seem strange, but it is inevitable. Maybe you'll be the talk of the cabin crew on your next flight, and hopefully, it's for something good.
The Cabin Crew Has to Throw All the Leftover Food Away
Someone who worked for a ground crew at a private airport shared that food waste is enormous and happens frequently. Apparently, any uneaten food on a plane that flew in from another country must be incinerated immediately as it is considered international waste. Including the food on flights that never took off, like private planes that are delayed. Unfortunately, this continues a massive cycle of perpetual food waste. But the crew might have another secret about what they do with the food.
Although the food is supposed to be incinerated, sometimes the food is given to the crew, and they get to eat it. However, it remains on the down low.
If Your Flight Is Delayed, It Could Be Because the Pilot Is Hungry
One anonymous pilot revealed that sometimes when a flight is delayed, it could be because a pilot got a little hungry. Essentially, pilots could work 14-hour days with no lunch break; when they do, it could be only an hour long. However, switching planes or walking to a new aircraft in a different terminal can take up most of the hour. So if there is no time to buy food beforehand, the pilot must grab something at the airport.
Even standing in line at a restaurant in an airport can take forever. So if you want to be a good person and see a pilot in line with you, let them cut you. You could be helping prevent an entire flight delay.
They Don't Really Get to Travel the World Like People Think
When most people think of becoming a flight attendant or imagine what their work is like, they think of free spirits who are traveling the world. And although that may be exactly what they are doing, it's not just fun and games all the time. More frequently than not, their layovers are 10-14 hours, which means that's all the time they have to get to a hotel, shower, sleep and get back to the airport for the next flight.
Unfortunately, that leaves no time for exploring the destination they land in. However, they get flight benefits during the 1-2 weeks they have off a month, so plenty of traveling then.
Flight Attendants Are Experts at Treating Anxious Passengers
Flying can induce a lot of anxiety and panic in people, which is relatively common. Flight attendants are well versed in this and know how to comfort nervous flyers. In fact, they specifically like to keep an eye out for those who are scared so they can offer them some encouragement throughout the flight. They also want to prevent anyone from having a panic attack on board, so make it a top priority to stay aware of these individuals.
Don't hesitate to ask your flight attendant for some advice and let them know you are anxious about the flight. It is actually encouraged; that way, they can do their best to help you.
They Get to Decide How Much You Drink on Board
In the US, it's illegal to drink alcohol on a plane. It could result in you being kicked off your flight or even arrested. Even though you can bring some alcohol through security in your baggage and buy some at stores inside of an airport, it's not allowed to be opened. However, once on board, only flight attendants can serve you alcohol, and they get to determine when to cut you off.
So if you want to drink on your flight, better get on your flight attendant's good side and be prepared to pay for your drinks!
They Google All the Passengers
Before you get creeped out by this confession, take a second to understand it. But flight attendants admitted to googling every passenger on their flight. They have access to a list of every passenger's full name and seat number, so it's easy to do a quick google search and find information about every traveler. Though it's not necessary or for any particular security reason, it is simply entertaining for those who are bored during the flight.
Kind of bizarre and flattering, but remember, flight attendants are humans just like everyone else. And when boredom strikes, google is there to rescue. Just make sure your social media accounts are private.
Chances Are You've Flown on a Plane That Had a Problem
It might be frightening to hear, but it is common to fly on a plane with various broken things. A pilot once revealed that he experiences at least one failure on a plane every month. They're mostly small things the passengers don't need to stress about, like burnt-out lightbulbs. But the chances are that you've flown on a plane with a problem and had no idea about it. If it's not major, they just keep flying.
Of course, things can be broken or stop working on an airplane, but they will only continue to fly if it's safe. No need to make all the passengers aware of it and cause unnecessary stress.
Things Break All the Time in the Plane and You Don't Even Know It
People often think they will be charged a hefty price if they break something on a plane. But the truth is, things like handles and trays break pretty often. Some flight attendants revealed you won't actually get charged or billed for damages. They just need to log it, so they have a list of all repairs the airplane needs. So it's better just to let them know the moment it happens rather than be scared of the repercussion and try to hide it.
Even if you don't report it, they know who sat in which seat. And although it doesn't mean you would be in trouble of any sort, it's best to bring it to their attention to prevent any problems in the future.
They Have to Deal With Theft All the Time
These flight attendants shared the horror story that made them consider leaving the career altogether. They dreaded flying into Saudi Arabia. "This is because, in the past, Saudi Arabian authorities would come on board and literally take anything they wanted and would walk out, and there was nothing the airline or staff could do about it." Food, drinks, cutlery, napkins, and blankets would all be wiped clean from the aircraft. So they began locking up everything on board before landing to save all of their stuff.
Imagine just how terrifying it is to realize the local authorities, the people you would think you need to call for help in a situation like this, are the ones causing the problem.
Some Passengers Are Caught Doing Really Troubling Things
Here's some shocking insight into what really happens on a plane. An anonymous woman shared that in her two years as a flight attendant, she encountered three separate instances of someone peeing outside the bathroom. Yes, you read that correctly. Someone was peeing on the floor outside of the actual toilet. Why someone would do that remains a mystery, but one thing is for sure, wear shoes around the aircraft.
Apparently, this is why they get grossed out if they see any passenger without shoes on, even if they are in socks because the floors are not clean.
They're Always on the Lookout for Sick People
When a passenger first enters the aircraft, of course, the flight attendants scan each individual and look for a variety of things. One important thing to check for is whether someone looks sick. Because the airplane is such a small enclosed space, it's not safe to risk the possible spread of illness. Although flight attendants are trained to give basic first-aid in emergencies, it is much easier to provide medical attention on land than in the air.
Especially considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it's more important than ever to stay safe and healthy. So if you're sick, don't get on a flight or let your flight attendants know you're not feeling well.
Flight Attendants Know You’re Pooping
Usually, the toilets on a plane are located near the area dedicated to the flight attendants' seats. Therefore, they see and hear a lot of things near the bathroom. Some stewardesses even admitted that when people try to cover up the fact that they are pooping, it's pointless because they can tell. How, you might wonder? It might sound gross, but the flight attendants are used to various noises on board and shared that it makes a different noise than if you go number one, so they always know.
A super weird confessional nonetheless, now you know. Avoid sitting near the bathrooms on a plane unless you also want to become an expert in toilet noises.
If You’re Strong, They Need You
If you're in good shape and buff, the flight attendants on your flight will take notice. Being that safety is the primary concern, they make mental notes of those who look strong and are capable of lifting heavy things to assist them in emergencies. They'll even take notes on which seat you are in to be fully prepared. If something happens in which they need extra hands, they will typically discreetly ask the person if they are willing to help before so.
Another helpful tip for those of you who are doctors by profession is if you are willing to help during a medical emergency, let the flight attendants know before takeoff.
The Best Way to Get Free Drinks
It's possible to drink in airports and even buy drinks aboard a flight. Though getting drunk is discouraged, liquor is very much accessible. In fact, you might not even have to buy it. If your flight isn't completely full and you are friendly to the staff, you might be treated to a free drink. You can't expect it to happen frequently because it is hard to comp someone without others noticing and also wanting free stuff.
Next time you fly, try chatting up the flight attendants on board. Being polite and genuine is always appreciated. And who knows, maybe you hit it off and get some free drinks.
No One Is Left Behind
Don't be alarmed when you are getting eyed up and down by flight attendants. Another thing they like to check carefully is if a passenger will need special attention in case of an emergency. The elderly, infants, and those with injuries, are all people the flight attendants like to note of. As well as those who are seated in the emergency row because they have to be able to lift a heavy latch. This ensures no one is left behind and everyone is adequately accounted for.
It is good to be prepared in any situation, so if you need extra help with anything, it's essential to let the flight attendants know beforehand.
Observant Flight Attendants Can Save Lives
While flight attendants get a first impression of how you are dressed and look, they also look at your demeanor and behavior. They must remain observant and usually pay attention to the type of energy people give off. If someone behaves erratically, angrily, or wary, they must be cautious and act fast. Especially in unfortunate cases of human trafficking, they are mindful of people's behavior and observe any sign that could indicate something is wrong.
On the other hand, if you are nice and friendly, flight attendants also take notice. Maybe they'll even treat you to a free drink or snack.
They Scan All of Your Bags for Anything Suspicious
Bags are checked in security, and you may think you're good to go once you make it through. However, once you board your flight, flight attendants also zero in on your luggage, specifically airplane carry-on bags. They try to pay close attention to passengers' bags in case they go against any policy or notice someone trying to sneak something on the plane. They want to ensure nothing looks suspicious, of course, for safety measures.
Flight attendants do a lot more than pour drinks and hand out snacks. They have extensive emergency training and must remain attentive and proactive at all times because the safety of the passengers is in their hands.
Safety Is Always a Top Priority
It may be strange, but when passengers board the airplane, flight attendants are adamant about them not being distracted. Even before boarding, it is essential that they are not holding up any of the boarding processes. But on the aircraft, flight attendants want to ensure the passengers are aware of all the safety protocols and feel confident about what to do in an emergency. They also look for suspicious activity, so it might be a red flag if someone is entirely frazzled.
The crew must get the aircraft out on time, and any suspicious people or those not paying attention can only cause delays, so flight attendants must remain vigilant.
Flight Attendants Always Notice Your Feet
Flight attendants always pay attention to what shoes passengers are wearing. And it's not because they are obsessed with shoes or all have foot fetishes. It's actually to be prepared in case of an emergency. If someone is wearing high heels, they might not be able to run, so flight attendants like to take notice of particular things like this. Then they can remember to add emergency commands about removing shoes if necessary.
It's best to put on comfortable shoes that are easy to take on and off to make life easier when going through security and moving around the aircraft.
This Is Highly Illegal, so Don't Try It
Flight attendants are used to many different passengers, but there is a special place for those who try to smuggle things on the aircraft. It may seem ridiculous, but it happens pretty frequently. Flight attendants have only a few seconds to assess each individual while greeting them and trying to remain comforting and pleasant. In that small moment, they have to scan them for many things, and occasionally they get a weird person behaving suspiciously with their belongings.
One flight attendant shared, "I've had people try to smuggle pets in their purses or handbags, bottles of booze in their briefcases (booze is allowed as long as it stays capped)."
Furry Friends Can Fly Inside a Plane Too
Your favorite furry companions can probably fly with you, but first, you'll need to check a few things. There are specific rules that you must follow, and they can vary by airline. If you have a service animal, it must be professionally trained and registered with the airline in advance. You can also buy a seat for your pet, but they must remain in the carrier for the entire flight.
Sometimes people try to take their pet out of the carrier and have them roam free or sit on their lap. But unfortunately, it is not allowed, and flight attendants must stop the passengers from doing so.
Please Just Listen and Wear Your Seatbelts
A common reoccurrence that flight attendants experience is having to remind people time after time to wear their seatbelts. Usually, there are signs indicating when it is safe to take your seatbelt off and when you should wear it. But apparently, they are useless because most people do whatever they feel. An anonymous flight attendant said, "It's always the full-grown adults who throw the biggest fits when asked to wear their seatbelt. They're way worse than any child."
The seatbelt signs are not suggestions; they are required. It's best to pay attention and follow along to stay safe and make flight attendants' jobs easier.
What You Must Wear on a Plane
Flying is not always the most comfortable experience, so when getting dressed for traveling, it's best to wear something practical. Surprisingly, many people will wear clothing that's super inconvenient for traveling. Remember, you must go through security which requires removing layers, shoes, and jewelry. Also, sitting in a small cramped space for hours and going to the bathroom on board is not fun. Therefore, comfortable clothing and shoes are always the best options.
The next time you notice flight attendants scanning you up and down, they're probably checking out your outfit and shoe choice. What they notice about you isn't limited to how you act but how also you look.
Drunk Passengers Can Be Refused Entry Aboard
Many flight attendants have shared that they must be discerning regarding their first impressions of passengers when they board the plane. They must be quick to notice those who are drunk or high and could be a potential threat. The intoxicated individual can become a liability for the crew; therefore, they have a right to refuse them aboard the aircraft. Though it's not fun, it's necessary to ensure everyone's safety.
Flight attendants want to take any measure possible to avoid conflict during the flight, so being vigilant of intoxicated passengers is a must. Especially in the event of an emergency, they need to be capable of following protocols.
Flight Attendants Know Everything That Is Going on With Passengers
The cabin crew is aware of everyone on board and everything going on. Flight attendants have caught people trying to vape on the plane, passengers who took their pants off, and know exactly who goes poop in the bathrooms. They pay attention to everything. They keep track of how many drinks each passenger has and have even caught people trying to watch inappropriate content while on board. They've experienced it all but have to remain vigilant.
Unfortunately, this is a part of the job. Keeping tabs on each passenger, having uncomfortable conversations, and reprimanding people when needed.
The Pandemic Has Changed Flying
With the complexities of the Covid-19 pandemic, the entire travel experience has changed. Now more safety precautions must be taken to ensure people are staying healthy. Most airports and airlines require tests that prove a negative result before boarding. Everyone must wear a mask, and most places even ask passengers to show their vaccination certificates. Although flight attendants have worked throughout the pandemic, they haven't been classified as "essential workers." Unfortunately, any benefits the government gave essential workers didn't apply to them.
Regardless of flight attendants risking their health by continuing to work all day in small enclosed spaces with circulated air, they don't receive any additional coverage or bonuses.