As much as you might like to travel, there is so much that happens behind the scenes that we are not even aware of, especially when it comes to flying. Flying can be one of the most frustrating parts when it comes to travel, airports, lines, cramped seats, limited baggage allowance, and hours of what can only be described as being frozen in time 30,000 feet in the air. Although it can be a nightmare for passengers, imagine what it's like for the flight attendants.
Flight attendants do not get enough credit for everything they have to put up with! They are essentially the glue that holds your flight together and gets you from point A to point B as safely and conveniently as possible. Even frequent travelers do not know the amount of work that goes into being a flight attendant and making a flight successful. The work is rough, the hours are long, and the stuff they put up with is endless, however, we would never even know. Flight attendants keep a lot of airline information, secrets and facts about their job under wraps, but we're letting you in on 25 facts that flight attendants don't tell just anyone.
25 Planes are only deep cleaned once a month
This one might be a surprising fact, but it is true, unfortunately. Although a plane does have a superficial pass after every flight, airlines will only undergo a proper and thorough cleaning process about once a month.
In fact, planes are only ever deep cleaned when they are brought back to the hangar.
This may only occur after traveling thousands upon thousands of miles seeing passengers from just about everywhere, that is a lot of dirt piling up! When you see people disinfecting their table trays and headrests, they are doing it for a very good reason.
24 They don't like crying babies either
Does anyone like a crying baby on a plane? When you are traveling for hours, the last thing you want to hear is a crying baby, and the same goes for the flight attendant.
An attendant revealed how, although they sort of stop hearing them, "you don't get used to them", and we don't blame them.
When you see a baby on board, one of the first things that come to mind is some wishful thinking praying that the child remains calm and quiet for the duration of the flight, but that isn't always the case.
23 Crew members will date each other often
When you work with the same crew members for the same airline, you are bound to start dating someone at some point, turns out, it happens quite a lot with flight attendants.
Pilots will date pilots, flight attendants end up with other flight attendants, and honestly, we're here for it!
When you spend hours with the same people, it only makes sense that you start catching feelings. In addition, keeping a steady relationship back home isn't always easy when you're constantly on the go, so flight attendants find love with people in the same field, who travel just as much as they do.
22 Airline crew members get to fly for free
They do get some great perks! Depending on the airline you work for, crew members get to fly to certain destinations completely free.
Some airlines give crew members free flights, and if not, give them ones at a discounted price.
In addition, several airlines offer flight attendants discounts for their friends and family as well, especially if you've been a loyal airline employee for some time. You always don't have to just be a flight attendant to benefit from this perk, any airline employee from baggage, check-in to customer service reps get all sorts of airline freebies. So, if you know anyone who works for an airline, hit them up, because you might just be able to snag a plane ticket for a lot less.
21 Those earbuds have been used before
Yikes! We know this isn't something you might want to know, but we think it's something that you should know. According to some flight attendant, those earbuds they offer, have been used before.
Although they are in fact cleaned and re-bagged, they have been in someone else's ears at some point, and that sorta makes our skin crawl.
Even if the bag is sealed, they have certainly been used on past flights. So, the next time you see a flight attendant pass around some earbuds, politely decline and bring your own!
20 And the blankets have been used as well
As if the earbuds weren't bad enough, the blankets are used on different flights too! Yes, they are washed after every flight, but if you thought you were being given a brand new blanket every single time, you are sorely mistaken.
As fresh and lovely as they may appear in their sealed bags, airlines know exactly what they're doing, and that's giving you a blanket that has kept someone else warm before.
If you tend to get cold on a flight, pack accordingly. Bring that extra sweater, or a travel blanket yourself!
19 They know when you try to join the mile high club
This one does not occur as often as one might think, but flight attendants notice everything, and we mean EVERYTHING.
If you are trying to pull a fast one on a long haul flight, or short haul if you're feeling ambitious, with your significant other, just know that the crew knows exactly what's going on.
If you are thinking of joining the infamous club, read the first fact on this list, and that might just change your mind for good.
18 Do NOT order ice in your beverages
This is a big one! Although the taste of a nice cold beverage can really hit the spot, try passing on the ice next time you're in the air.
Ice is typically made with the plane's supply of tap water, which is always kept in tanks that have been found to breed A LOT of bacteria.
This is why bottled water is often used on flights rather than tap water, however, unless your beverage is refrigerated, ice is a definite no-go. Even flight attendants themselves refuse to drink anything made with an aircrafts tap water, including coffee.
17 Hot drinks are their nemesis
And it should be your nemesis too! As mentioned above, the coffee and tea is made with the aircraft's tap water, which is stored in tanks that are a lot of the time not cleaned for a while.
Although the boiling process kills off some bacterias, it doesn't get the job completely done.
In addition, the process to make a tea or coffee takes a flight attendant a lot longer than a normal drink. So, if you do decide to grab a coffee on the plane, know just what you're ingesting, and try to make the order as quick as possible. Don't wait for the flight attendant to ask if you take anything in your coffee, say it all on the first go, so that they know exactly what to make, and get it done quickly.
16 Food is thrown out after every flight
This one makes us a little angry! Many airlines actually toss out the food after each flight, and that can be a lot. Sure, plane food isn't all that great, but it's still food. Although this doesn't apply to snacks such as chocolate bars, chips, and canned drinks, the majority of meals are thrown out as they are no longer good. As upsetting as this may be, it doesn't make sense.
Food is heated up and prepared on board, it is then sat there for hours upon hours, and although passengers may have passed on a meal, or there are simply some extra, the food is no longer legible to be served on any future flights, and therefore must be thrown away.
15 Flight crew do not have secret codes
A common myth is that flight attendants have a secret language comprised of codes and hand gestures, however, that isn't the case at all. Although there are in fact some standard expressions and service signs, nothing that they do is top secret.
Some flight attendants will have some gestures that can allow them to communicate without needing to yell across the aisle, particularly during food service, but it's never anything important.
Most secret information and or urgent cases are discussed through the plane's phones that connect flight crew from the front of the plane to the back. So, the next time you think some James Bond stuff is transpiring, rest assured, there isn't.
14 They sometimes have hookups waiting in the cities they visit
A lot of the time, flight attendants have someone waiting for them in the city they are visiting. Most airlines will host their crew members in hotels if they have a long layover or an overnight flight to rest for, however, some flight attendants take that time to find somewhere else to sleep, and meet up with some friends and potential hookups while they have that time off from work.
As mentioned before, flight attendants have a busy schedule that makes holding down a serious relationship difficult, so they sometimes look for some fun in the cities they visit, even if it is only for a few hours to a few days.
13 There is no limit on snacks
"I'll take ALL the Pringles, please!" This doesn't mean you should go overboard, but technically, most airlines don't have an actual limit on the number of snacks you are allowed to. Flight attendants have revealed that if there is plenty to go around, then there's no limit, however, it all comes down to whether you're nice about it.
If you ask politely, then crew won't mind giving over as many peanuts or pretzels they've got, but if you're rude, then don't count on getting a second saltine cracker.
Remember, please, thank you and a nice smile can go a long way, especially when good is involved.
12 You can order a drink at any time
A lot of passengers believe that the only appropriate time to ask for a drink is during a meal service or snack time. However, that is not the case whatsoever. Flight attendants do not mind in the slightest if you ask them for a drink or even snack when the cart is going through the aisles. Again, as long as you don't abuse the system you shouldn't have a problem.
If you're thirsty mid-flight then grab that glass of water, just don't abuse the bell too much, otherwise, you'll be getting a glass of Sprite with a bit of side eye. Once more, please, thank you and a nice smile go a long way.
11 Both male and female attendants go through the same hiring process
Male and female flight attendants go through the exact same process, which includes both physical and psychological examinations before they're even hired. There really is no difference!
Many people still believe that flight attendant is a job better suited for females, but that is just plain incorrect!
The ability to ensure the safety of hundreds of passengers, all while doing so in a professional manner, is a job suited for anyone who can take on the task. The job isn't easy at all, however, airlines do not look into gender as a deciding factor when it comes to hiring flight attendants. Most airlines will look for someone capable of undergoing the immense amount of stress, time and energy that the role requires.
10 Flight attendant uniforms are VERY uncomfortable
Have you seen some of the uniforms?! Many airlines have rules when it comes to flight attendants appearance, and it includes a very meticulous and presentable uniform. Imagine having to tie a scarf around your neck or walking in heels for hours on end? Yeah, not easy.
In addition, the fabric used to make crew uniforms aren't always comfortable against the skin, especially if you are wearing it for an entire flight.
Flight attendants have claimed that the uniforms are "ugly and uncomfortable", and to be really honest, we don't disagree.
9 You can get a FREE upgrade by doing one thing!
Now we've all dreamt of being bumped up to first class for free, but a lot of the time it just doesn't happen. On many flights, first class seats remain open and unsold, and there is nothing worse than sitting in economy and glancing over at an empty first class seat.
If you've ever really wanted to get in on the perks of first class, there is one thing you can do. Ask!
Yes, it is that easy. Flight attendants are always willing to move passengers from economy to first class if space permits and all it takes is to ask. Of course, there are certain ways to go about doing this, and that will require you to be both polite in asking, and understanding if the answer is no. Most of the time, if it poses no issue, and you have a good enough reason, a flight attendant will gladly bump you up!
8 Do NOT order a Diet Coke
Whatever you do, do not order a Diet Coke. If you usually get a diet *insert soft drink of choice*, spare the flight attendant the task and just order a regular soda. Why? Well, diet beverages, Diet Coke, in particular, is infuriating for flight attendants considering how long it takes to pour a glass of Diet Coke. The amount of fizziness when pouring can take the crew members three times the amount to wait for it to fizzle down before pouring again. So, take on the calories for this flight if it means saving the flight attendant time, because believe it or not, pouring drinks for hundreds of passengers isn't an easy task, so your request for a Diet Coke isn't really helping.
7 Airline food is as unhealthy as it seems
There is a reason why cabin crew packs their own meals a lot of the time! It doesn't take a genius to know that the Snickers bar, the Pringles or any other soft drink are not the most healthy choices on an aircraft, but we're here to let you know that the meals you are served, are in fact, just as unhealthy.
Although you might think that the grilled chicken, bread roll and green salad sound healthy, they are really not.
Unless you're sitting in first class, chances are your meal was prepared not in the galley, but in the aircraft catering, which is done 12 hours to a few days before the flight, yikes! Flight attendants stress how it isn't the most healthy choice, especially if you opted for a raw or vegan option.
6 Turning off your electronics really does matter
It does matter! When the flight attendant instructs all passengers to turn off all major devices such as laptops and tablets, and to switch handheld devices to airplane mode, LISTEN!
Sure the plane won't go down during takeoff and landing if your phone or iPad is on, however, can you imagine how frustrating it must be for the pilot to receive hundreds of intercepting signals from your devices when trying to land an aircraft?
This can make a huge difference in the pilot's focus, and simply make the task easier for someone who is essentially bringing you to safety. Instagram and Twitter can wait, folks!
5 Flight attendants have a special cabin for sleeping
Passengers aren't the ones that need to sleep! Although it might not be the most comfortable space, flight attendants have their own cabin to rest and sleep if need be. On most international flights, crew members need to get some rest as well, and luckily, there is an area on the aircraft for just that.
The space usually includes a small padded mattress to sleep on or reclining chairs that allow crew members to relax and unwind on flights that last 12 or more hours.
Being on your feet isn't easy, so if you see that the number of flight attendants has died down a little on an overnight or long haul flight, just know that they too are trying to get some shuteye too.
4 Do NOT hit on the flight attendants
You might think it flatters them, or that they might be interested in you as well, but for the love of god, do NOT hit on the flight attendants. Although it doesn't happen too often, flight attendants are there to do their job, not pick up a random passenger. Now, friendly conversation and some humor are always appreciated, but asking for their number, or where they are headed after this flight, is not appropriate to be asking someone who is trying to do their job.
Flight attendants have admitted to finding certain passengers attractive, but leave it at that. If you do decide to hit on the crew, just know, that if your offer is declined, leave it alone.
3 They pay attention to your appearance
Flight attendants are people too! As mentioned previously, flight attendants notice attractive passengers, and they notice how you look and present yourself.
Crew members have admitted to chatting with their fellow crew about certain passengers and who they think is cute, and who could do for a quick haircut.
Sure, it might not be the nicest thing, but they need to entertain themselves somehow, and as long as the gossip stays behind the curtains, we're all good with it. This obviously doesn't mean you need to wear haute couture on your next flight, but put some effort into your travel outfit, comfy, casual and stylish is definitely achievable.
2 Tipping is accepted
Tipping is accepted! Now, we aren't saying you need to fork over big bills to your flight attendant on your way out, but a small gesture doesn't hurt. Flight attendants are well within their rights to accept tips, whether in monetary form or other. Passengers will often hand over their used magazines, puzzle books or a $20 bill, either one is a huge move on your part, and makes the crew feel appreciated.
Although it isn't mandatory, it sure does go a long way.
If you're not into that, then a kind thank you on your way out is almost just as good. It's super important to show gratitude to the flight crew, the job isn't easy, and they sure do deserve it.
1 DON'T tick them off
If there is one thing you don't want to do, is tick the flight attendants off. Crew members have admitted that nothing is worse than a rude and impatient flyer. A lot of blame is tossed onto flight attendants since they are a direct link from the airline to the passenger, but before you lose your temper with a flight attendant, it'd be at your best interest, to second guess that though.
The flight crew talks with one another, so beware, because you do not want to be known as that unruly passenger in 29D. In addition, flight attendants are your only key to food, drinks, and in-flight services and utilities, so if you decide to tick one of them off, chances are your in for a less than favorable flight. Once more for the people in the back, please, thank you and a nice smile go a long way.
References: usatoday.com ; businessinsider.com