Being a flight attendant sounds glamorous when you consider all the cities they visit. Spending your time flying around and traveling the world definitely has its perks. However, not all that glitters is gold, as these flight attendants can contest. They have shared their years of experience with us to provide some secrets of the industry. We have access to some of the most delicious secrets that are kept from even the most experienced flyers, so strap in and prepare for take off!
You may not be surprised to discover that your mobile device will not cause the plane to crash if you leave it on. The chances are, you aren’t the only person who has forgotten to switch your phone off during takeoff or landing. While it won’t cause major issues if they are kept on, it’s possible that 300 or so phones might cause a bit of interference with air traffic control, especially during takeoff and landing. Therefore, they ask everyone to keep them off.
Upgrading to business or first class is seen as the jackpot prize of air travel. Suddenly having access to a fully-reclining seat or gourmet menu can change your entire flight. Anonymous air stewards have shared that it’s possible to receive an upgrade, but it depends on how empty the flight is (and also how nice you are!). Next time you fly, remember that a smile can take you a long way. Good manners cost nothing, and might get you a first clas trip!
Devilishly Diet Coke
You wouldn’t think a small can of soda could cause so many problems, but here we are. The difference in Diet Coke and its regular counterpart mean that there is a lot more fizz in Diet Coke, and its carbonation takes a lot longer to settle. It’s definitely something to consider next time you get a drink on your flight. When you order a Diet Coke, you might just see a stewardess roll their eyes – it takes three times longer to pour the drink!
Dating The Passengers
Strangely, there is no policy banning passengers and air stewards from hooking up during the flight. And while everyone would like to join the Mile High Club at some point in their lives, it appears it’s very possible to do so! Although we imagine they are fighting off more advances from passengers than they would like, it doesn’t hurt to try your luck. Some stewards have been known to date frequent flyers if it works within their schedules. We all need love, right?
Don’t Be Tempted!
Despite the desire to join the Mile High Club, it may not be the wisest thing to do. Airplane toilets are not as clean as you would like them to be, and each airline carries a different penalty if couples are caught, such as indecent exposure or interfering with the flight crew. Also, it is important to remember that airline stewards can open the toilets from the outdoors – for safety purposes – so there’s no way out if you get caught.
How Healthy Is The Food
Depending on how long your flight is, it might be worth filling up on a meal at the airport first. Airline meals have barely any nutritional value – with most of it being salt, carbs, and sugar. These processed meals are only somewhat edible and hardly worth it – especially if you are a frequent flyer or it is a short flight. Next time, you’ll be better to eat a bit before. If the flight is more than five hours, take some snacks from a supermarket in the airport.
We all remember the scene in Bridesmaids where Melissa McCarthy’s character demands that a passenger is an onboard air marshal. Since 9/11, there has been a large increase in the presence of undercover air marshals on domestic US flights. Their job is to remain anonymous, so it’s likely you’ve never noticed them. Other airlines, like Israel’s El Al, also take these safety measures when flying. It’s always worth being well behaved on board, you never know if you’ll end up caught!
Why Are They So Friendly?
You might think that the initial greeting from the air stewards is a nice welcome, but it serves a large purpose. Stewards are trained to look for problematic passengers, whether they are nervous, drunk, angry, or suspicious. This way, they can look out for, and solve, any problems that may occur onboard. Next time you board, remember to offer a nice smile and greeting – if will lower the chance of you being spied on while you kick back on the flight.
How Strong is The Plane?
It might seem obvious, but a plane flying at 35,000 feet is pretty strong and can withstand almost anything thrown its way. As well as all the extra buckles, cabins, boxes, and seats that provide safety, the plane itself is incredibly durable. Pilots are warned about any weather problems ahead of time and they can even withstand being struck by lightning – has it happened to you? This isn’t surprising, these things carry hundreds of lives and deserve to be the best they can be.
Is it worth being a travel steward? Even though it appears glamorous to travel the world, they actually have a tough ride. Stewards need to handle aggressive or nervous flyers, remain in small cabins, and only get paid for the time spent when the plane doors are closed. This means that air stewards find cancellations and delays just as frustrating as the passenger, since they are paid for the trip and not by the hour. Something to remember if you ever lose your patience.
The Brace Position
There have been rumors for years that explore the true meaning of the brace position. Some say it causes a quicker death in the event of a crash, and others say it’s the only reliable way to keep your teeth in place for dental recognition after a crash. Sheesh. In fact, Mythbusters confirmed the Brace Position actually help channel the energy of a crash into the chair in front of you and not through your body. Check out this Mythbusters explanation.
The Repercussions Of Your Heavy Baggage
We’ve all been hit with annoying baggage fees when we pack our suitcases a little fuller than we expect. Obviously, a few extra pounds in your case isn’t going to weigh the plane down enough to prevent it leaving the ground! The fees are in place to incentivize people to travel light and make it easier to balance the weight of the plane underneath. In fact, planes sometimes place extra sandbags in the baggage area to make sure the weight is even!
In Case Of Emergencies…
Flight attendants receive basic training, such as the Heimlich maneuver or CPR, but in the event of a more severe medical emergency, what happens? Planes can’t take off without a fully-equipped first aid kit for small events. Flight attendants will not hesitate to ask if one of the passengers is a doctor to help out. In urgent or life-threatening situations, the pilot would decide whether or not to divert or land the plane. This usually happens in about 15 minutes for domestic flights in the US.
How Cozy is Too Cozy?
We all know the struggle of getting comfortable on a transatlantic flight. Spending more than seven hours in the same position can cause circulation problems in our joints leading to cramps. We all have our own ways of combatting discomfort, either walking around or taking a nap, but there’s one thing you should never do – take your socks off! Walking around barefoot is disgusting for everyone involved, and attendants would hold back on asking you to cover up! Do it!
Good Manners Cost Nothing
Flight attendants hold a lot of power when it comes to the enjoyment of your flight. As mentioned above, they can choose to upgrade you if you have a smile and good attitude, and they assess you even when you enter the plane. This goes the other way, of course, when we are rude to them. The saying goes, ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’, and it couldn’t be truer for stewards. Be nice or you might just end up next to a screaming child – something no one wants!
The Cleanliness of The Water
Planes can become dry places with the constantly circulating air for hours on end. The rule of thumb is to NEVER drink the tap water from the toilets. You don’t know how clean the water is and there’s no guarantee that the tank it comes from has been cleaned recently. Fortunately, most of the water you will be served by attendants will be bottled. If may be expensive on long flights from over the world, but it’s always safer to stick to bottles!
The Reality of the Lifestyle
Even though it seems flight attendants enjoy glamor of traveling the world, the reality is tougher than we think. Flight attendants battle constant jetlag with 4am starts sometimes feel like 2pm and an afternoon flight feeling like the middle of the night. They are expected to work evenings, weekends, holidays, and birthdays. Their status determines a choice in the schedule, which means the more senior you are on board, the more choice and flexibility you have.
The Power of the Pilot
It turns out the pilot is basically the king of the floating castle in the sky. He/she is in charge of final decisions, leading all the crew members, dealing with emergencies, and troubling passengers. Even though they cannot actually arrest passengers, he/she can contact local authorities who will meet the problematic passenger upon landing. Also, pilots have the authority to even take a dying passenger’s will in the event of their death. So yeah, they are a big deal.
Cleanliness is King
Between flights, it’s expected that cabin crews tidy up some of the trash and additional materials left over from previous passengers, but the extent of the cleaning stops around there. Next time you fly, you might want to take some wet wipes and run them over your table surface. The FAA isn’t in charge of monitoring planes’ cleanliness, and so each airline makes their own decision on the matter. Don’t take the risk and clean your own area yourself before you take off.
Dinner for Crew
Usually, the cabin crew and pilots don’t eat the same food as the passengers. It may seem like an unnecessary change, but in the unfortunate event of food poisoning, you don’t want your captain to get sick! It acts as a safety precaution to make sure that the plane doesn’t go off course, even if 100 people end up sick. Something like this actually happened not too long ago! Ouch. Maybe next time you fly, try sneak in and grab some gourmet food.