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Flight Attendants Reveal Secrets Of Flying And What Its Really Like Working For An Airline

It might appear that flight attendants have great jobs but they have to do more than you’d think. Sure, they get to travel around the world on an airline for free and see so many wonderful views, but they also have to tolerate difficult passengers on a daily basis and go through intense training to get the job.

While your flight attendant might smile at you, behind that facial expression they’re hiding some things from you. If you were to figure out these well kept secrets, you’d find yourself quite surprised at the information you heard.

Ever wondered why that when a flight attendant greets you with a smile they have their behind their backs? Well it seems like it’s part of their training and they do it for a good reason.

Well, when passengers are entering the plane the flight attendant is doing a headcount, they put their hands behind their backs so you can’t see them counting on their fingers. Flight attendants always try to save face and make the passenger feel at ease.

Some flights can be lengthy and even though you get to sleep whenever you wanted have you wondered how the attendants cope with constant attention on passengers’ needs. It seems like a lot of time for the crew to be on their feet.

Well, flight attendants do actually get a chance to rest and recooperate during the long flights. Planes like Boeing 777 or 787 have hidden cabins where the staff can sleep. The cabins are normally above or below the gallery. 

We all know how uncomfortable you can feel on a long flight. You might be tempted to take your shoes off, we’ve even seen people walk around the plane without them on. We don’t advise this.

Flight attendants won’t tell you but they know just how filthy the floors are. After hundreds of flights, some pretty gross accidents can happen on a plane. Even though the floors are cleaned it doesn’t seem like a good idea. Especially when cleaning supplies are pretty limited on a plane.

You might think that there’s a strict rule around getting involved with fellow staff members, there actually isn’t one! Apparently, relationships between crew members can happy quite commonly. 

But even though they can be together doesn’t mean they can show affection while on the job. They should always stay professional while on the job. They don’t want their dirty laundry in front of any of the passengers.

Flight attendants get something that passengers could only dream of. Other than the free travel to exotic places, they also get to use their phones the entire flight and get free wifi! They’re probably using their cellphones while you have no idea.

Even though they don’t get paid a large amount of money, many people feel it’s a tradeoff since they get paid to travel around the world. So depending on what you’ll willing to do, this job might be for you.

You should always behave when you’re flying, if you get too unruly, the flight attendants actually have the authority to restrain you. We’ve all seen someone get removed from a light, but do you know what happens to people to cause problems when the plane has already taken off?

If forced to, a flight attendant can detain any passenger. There are normally zip ties that they have on hand. They would then take the unruly passenger somewhere quiet where they wouldn’t disrupt any passengers. They are taken off the plane at the first opportunity.

The crew communicates through special code that the passengers won’t understand. It’s so they can let each other know if anything is wrong without causing a panic, imagine how hard it is to contain a situation when everyone on board isn’t calm.

When you hear the distinct bell sounds that resonate through the cabin when you take off and when you land, that’s actually communications letting the crew know that the hardest part of the flight is over.

Now you’d think that there must be a rule against fraternizing with passengers? Well, on the contrary, almost all airlines don’t have a rule against it. So if you see an extra pretty flight attendant and you want to try you luck then go ahead. 

But it’s normally the flight attendants who don’t want the attention while they try to perform their duties. But in the case that they see someone really special, they can take the opportunity to get their number at least!

You always see flight attendants smiling at you warmly as you enter the flight. Their motives may be more than just politeness. They’re actually looking at each passenger and making mental notes about them. Bigger stronger guys will always be needed if there is an emergency and handicapped people may need help boarding.

The attendants will also lookout for anyone you could be a problem, such as suspicious looking people or intoxicated passengers. They also try to help if any minors come on board on their own.

While you should always be nice to your flight attendants, if you go the extra mile you may be in for a treat. You’d be surprised how little passengers even thank their flight attendants.

If you go beyond the norm you might get an upgrade in class. Sometimes there are also proper reasons to be upgraded, like being pregnant, or tall. But if any extra seats are available you may as well try you luck and be extra nice.

Flight attendants have to go to work the minute they arrive on the plane. That means doing safety checks before a flight and then greeting and assisting passengers during the boarding process. But for all they do before the plane takes off, they’re not even getting paid.

Flight attendants only get paid for the hours that the engine starts and the plane pulls away from the gate. Anytime before that, they aren’t getting paid — or they’re at least not getting paid their full rate. Hours spent away from home but not in the air are compensated with a rate as low as $1.50 an hour.

You might want to watch it next time you opt for booze on a fight. Not only is it illegal for flight attendants to enable passengers to get drunk on a flight, it’s actually illegal to be intoxicated on a plane.

Should you end up breaking that law, you can get up to a two-year sentence for this odd criminal offense. But think of it this way: you don’t need to overdo it on a flight because the changing cabin pressure causes alcohol to have a stronger effect on your body than it does on land.

If you don’t want to annoy your flight attendant during beverage service, then don’t order a Diet Coke. Flight attendants hate when a passenger requests Diet Coke and for very good reason.

Diet Coke is noticeably fizzier than other carbonated drinks. And at over 30,000 feet in the air, those bubbles take forever to settle. Flight attendants have to pay extra attention not to let it overflow, but that just means that it takes about three times longer to pour than the other available beverages. Flights are so dehydrating anyway so it’s probably best if you just ask for water.

As the plane prepares for takeoff or for its descent, the lights in the cabin will get shut off. This is never really explained and there’s not much to think of it since the lights get turned back on just a few minutes later.

But there’s actually a good reason for this. Takeoff and landing are the most problematic stages of a flight. The lights get turned off so that everyone’s eyes can adjust to the light in the event of an emergency. This can help people orient themselves with the space easily if they needed to take action.

Many flight attendants wouldn’t suggest drinking the coffee or tea served on flights. While the potable water is filtered and not necessarily the same water that flows through the lavatories, you still might want to pass on these hot beverages that are made in flight.

The tanks that the potable water is kept in apparently don’t get cleaned as often as you’d think. And sometimes, the valve for the lavatory water is located precariously close to the valve for the clean water. So next time, you might just want to stick to the bottled and canned drinks. Flight attendants will have to take action if you start acting up…

Speaking of things you should steer away from, you might also want to think twice about airline food. Meals served on longer flights usually look pretty balanced, but the nutritional content of those meals is shocking.

In-flight meals are loaded up with salt, sugar, fat, and simple carbs that make you feel full but actually have no nutritional value. If you’re stuck on a long-haul flight with nothing else to eat, those meals are your saving grace. But you might want to remember to bring your own food on board next time.

Flight attendants may have a jet-setting life with the ability to visit new places, but it’s not all fun and games. On the ground, many people see flight attendants as having a glamorous job, but in the air that changes as their jobs are minimized to that of a waitress.

A flight attendant job is a demanding one. You’re constantly jet-lagged, sometimes having to work on flights back to back. You’ll often get 4 A.M. wakeup calls and be scheduled to work on holidays, not to mention being kept apart from your family for long periods of time.

It’s probably not all that worth it to sit in first class. Studies have shown that in the event of a plane crash, those who are sitting towards the front of the plane are more likely to die.

The safest seats are those within a few rows of the emergency exit and the aisle seats. Studies have shown that passengers in the rear of the plane have the highest survival rates compared to those in first class. In any case, no matter where you sit, it’s always smart to fasten your seat belt.

The oxygen masks on a plane will deploy when the cabin pressure falls below a certain point, but more often than not, that point never comes. In the event that it does, however, how long would it allow you to breathe?

There are around 12 to 15 minutes of oxygen in those masks. It doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but it is. If you ever find yourself in a situation that warrants the use of these masks, just try to relax and breathe. The pilot is working to get the plane to a safe altitude where you will be able to breathe without them. You’ll be annoyed when you learn the truth about extra baggage.

You might think that flight attendants have to uphold certain visual standards to hold on to their jobs. Although the requirements of looking a certain way and being a certain age are antiquated and long gone, there are still some things flight attendants have to keep in mind.

Flight attendants do have to have a natural hair color and it has to be pulled back if it is long. The biggest thing the airlines look for these days is height. You can’t be too tall that your head will constantly be bumping into the overhead bins, but you can’t be so short that you can’t perform your duties comfortably.

Harvard had a higher acceptance rate than Delta airlines did for their job openings in 2010. If you’re trying to become a flight attendant, the competition can get pretty intense.

In 2010, Delta announced 1,000 openings and received over 100,000 applications. Only four percent of those applications got a callback interview. Flight attendants have quite a demanding job, for very little starting pay (at least $18,000 per year). But if you have excellent customer service skills and think you can handle it, by all means, go for it! It definitely helps if you are bilingual.

Every passenger is entitled to at least one stowed bag during their flight. But this means they’ll have to pay some hefty fees for any additional baggage. While planes are designed to only accommodate one bag per passenger, the truth is your extra bags will hardly affect anything.

Planes do have to have the right center of gravity for takeoff. Depending on how many checked bags do get stowed on the plane, most airlines have practiced using sandbags to even out the weight. Still, that doesn’t necessarily explain why airlines charge you for extra bags, but we don’t make the rules.

When the flight attendant requests that you should turn off your mobile devices before takeoff, it’d be in your best interest to just do as they say. While failing to turn it off won’t cause the plane to crash, there’s still a very good reason they ask you to do it.

Cellular signals are strong enough to interfere with air traffic control frequencies, which isn’t ideal when the plane is trying to take off or land. Sometimes takeoff can take longer than it needs to, so to help ease the process just turn off your devices when the time comes.

It is not a smart thing to do to be rude or disgusting to a check-in staff person. They have the ability to determine where you sit. If you’re a jerk and there’s a slew of babies on board, they just might sit you right in the thick of the crying and fussing.

Even if they smile to your face once you have been rude to them, you don’t know what is awaiting you on that plane. Plus, as we’ve already said, the nice you are, the better your chances of being upgraded turn if a seat becomes available.

Some do not know that flight attendants can accept tips. And not only do they accept them, they greatly appreciate them, too. Those tips can also go a long way in getting you first-class treatment for the rest of the flight.

A dollar might not get you far, but do not be afraid to test your luck by tipping. At the very least, you’ll make someone’s day. It’s never bad move to pay it forward, and just like your favorite bartender or service person, flight attendants just want a little extra love, too.

Going home for the holidays is a tradition many look forward to. One such tradition is going home for Christmas. If you’re going home for the holidays, you might want to reconsider wrapping your gifts ahead of time.

Airport security may have to unwrap and take a gander at your items. Maybe having a gift bag makes more sense. We know this isn’t “on-flight” related, but sometimes a good tip needs to be given anyway.

The only time those pillows and blankets you request are clean is during the first flight of the day. That’s bad news for the germophobes out there. It is likely they already know about this startling fact, but this is to those who are unaware.

You might want to bring an extra jacket or headrest next time. You can also buy those horseshoe shaped pillows at airports just to be safe. Better safe than sorry, we’d hate to see you catch germs from someone you’ve never met before!

For as long as humans have been traveling by plane, the idea of the “mile-high club” has been glamorized. But considering what we know about airplane bathrooms (let’s be real — they’re tiny, the lighting is awful, and they don’t always smell so good), a mid-flight romp isn’t all its chocked up to be.

What’s more, flight attendants carefully watch the bathrooms, so even going inside of the bathroom with another person and getting away with it is nearly impossible. If you do get caught, you could face serious repercussions, including indecent exposure.

If your plane is either about to leave or it has just landed, you cannot be on that plane for longer than three hours. If you wish to get off, you are more than welcome after that time frame.

Flight attendants are also required to keep the food and water cart going up and down the aisle after two hours of delay. You’ll be fed for at least an hour, don’t worry. Just remember, don’t drink the coffee or tea!


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