Flight attendants, the unsung heroes of the sky. Most people seem to think of them as waitresses and waiters but part of the requirement of being a flight attendant is being a practical "aircraft expert". An interview done by Cosmopolitan shined some light on some of the lesser known details of a flight attendant's duties. They are mostly there for the passengers' safety rather than their comfort, as they have to know the seating charts, all the emergency exits, and every "physical drill" inside every plane they're in. They only get paid for the time they spend on the actual plane, rarely ever get the holidays off and have some of the strictest dress code requirements of any profession.
What we're saying is, it's hard to be a flight attended for many reasons before you even include all the traveling one has to do. Flight attendants work nights, weekends and holidays. They have a set schedule and an on-call schedule. There is a little leeway in what kind of schedule a flight attendant can set up for themselves a month, though the more seniority they have, the more likely they are to get what they want. It's a tough and competitive job, which takes its toll on even the more seasoned flight attendants.
For such a tough job that requires them to be away from home and a lot of its physical comforts for sometimes days on end, they have become experts at packing all the essential things needed for any flight. Here is a list of 25 things every flight attendant has in their travel, that we think we should have too.
This is one of the more obvious items that every flight attendant packs in their travel bag, their phone! It is a must-have for them, as it is often the only way they are able to stay connected to their loved ones while they're working, but they also use it for their jobs as well.
They can stay connected with crew members, and hold crucial information regarding the plane and trip, including passenger information and restock lists.
United Airlines even gave company issued iPhone 6 Plus smartphones to flight attendants in 2016.
This might be one of the least expected of things, but quite a few flight attendants make sure that they bring a swimsuit along in their travel bag. Flight attendants travel all over the world. No matter what time of year it is, there's always a warm sunny beach somewhere.
A layover might just be the perfect opportunity to catch a little sun.
And most hotels have a pool, so even if the weather isn't sunny outside, it doesn't mean a swimsuit will go to waste!
Most passengers on planes will notice that the air inside can be pretty... dry. This is because air from the outside of the plane gets pulled inside to dilute the contaminants in the air inside the cabin.
Air at 30,000 feet in the sky is pretty cold and the colder the air is, the less moisture there is.
Dry air dries out the skin, a fact that most flight attendants know all too well. So most of them pack some type of moisturizer to keep their skin as healthy and as radiant as possible.
22 Sweater Or Something To Keep You Warm
As kids, most of us have probably been told by a well-meaning parent or guardian once or twice to always pack a jacket or a sweater when we're going on a trip. And most flight attendants take that sentiment to heart as they will pack, lightweight sweaters, hoodies and even things like scarves and sarongs.
The planes themselves are usually kept quite cold, so for the flight alone, pack something warm.
Weather is pretty unpredictable at times and a flight attendant's schedule could change in an instant. They could start off somewhere sunny and warm and then move to a much more chilly destination.
Flying can be pretty stressful for both passengers and flight attendants, and having a mind-numbing headache will only make things even more stressful. Most airlines do offer free simple medicine like ibuprofen and bandages, but most flight attendants still take their own medicine on board.
And it's important to take any prescription medication that needs to be taken on a regular schedule.
Anyone worried that trying to take their medication might get them held up with the TSA don't have to fear, there aren't any limitations to carrying solid tablets or pills.
20 Comfortable Clothing
The uniforms that flight attendants wear certainly cut an impressive professional look, and makes just about anyone look good. But, considering some of the strict dress codes most airlines expect flight attendants to follow, their uniforms aren't always comfortable. So a lot of them tend to pack comfortable clothing for when they're off the clock.
Light breathable fabrics that can dry easily seemed to be the way to go.
Something that, if need be, can be washed in a hotel bathroom and left out to dry overnight. No jeans either.
19 Selfie Stick
Love them or hate them, selfie sticks are a thing now. Used the wrong way and they can be an annoyance at the least, and dangerous and damaging at the most. But in the hands of most flight attendants, the results are very good.
There have been a number of selfies taken by flight attendants that they post on social media after long days of work.
It certainly shows a more human and personal side to the people that work hard for our safety and comfort and in the sky.
Packing along something to keep oneself entertained is probably Traveling 101. But it is a pretty important thing to carry for most flight attendants when you consider just how long they'll technically be on the job for.
They work as the plane is in flight and might even have to book a room at a hotel until their next flight out.
Having an i-Pad and a Netflix account, or even a book could make those long trips just a little more bearable. Also, it gives more options to choose from when compared to the in-flight movies available.
17 Hair Conditioner
The lack of humidity in the plane can wreak havoc on hair too. It can leave hair dry, frizzy and just a downright nightmare once a person gets off the plane. And for flight attendants who always have to look their best and look presentable, that just isn't something they can allow.
So a lot of them make sure to pack a deep moisturizing conditioner that will help keep their hair from drying out or repair the damage done once they get off the plane.
One of the requirements for becoming a flight attendant is the willingness (and desire really) to travel to new places. And flight attendants will do that often, 24 hours a day, and even on holidays when most people want to be with their families.
Whether it is domestic, international, commercial or even private flights, a flight attendant will find themselves having to spend at least a night in a hotel.
So flight attendants always make sure to pack a pair of comfortable pyjamas in their travel bag.
15 Flat Shoes
For most flight attendants part of their work uniform includes a pair of professional work shoes. And for women, that means... heels. Heels are nice but put a lot of strain on someone's feet if they wear them too long.
And flight attendants spend a lot of time on their feet, from walking through the airport to walking through the cabin.
Most will pack another pair of shoes, flat ones that can be changed out of once they're off the clock. A pair of flip-flops, even when the weather isn't warm, can work as slippers at a hotel.
14 Portable Battery Pack
Nowadays there are quite a few airports and even planes that offer charging stations and USB ports in their seats, but that isn't the standard for all of them.
Not taking the right precaution could lead to a dead phone, which is something that no flight attendant can have.
So it appears to be the standard to bring along a portable battery pack. They are fairly inexpensive and easy to travel with. Just remember to put it in the carry-on bag and not the luggage.
13 Travel Pillow
Seats on a plane have definitely come a long way in regards to how comfortable they are. Certain airlines are even making economy class seats more comfortable with new designs.
But there is only so much one can do with a plane seat, and even the most comfortable seat in the world will lose its charm after sitting in it for hours.
So many flight attendants pack a travel pillow with them to make the long hours on the job just a little more comfortable.
12 Exercise Clothes
One of the biggest issues flight attendants have is keeping themselves fit and healthy. Traveling all the time really does take its toll, and it could affect their sleeping schedules and even their eating habits, as they wouldn't always have time to sit down to a healthy meal.
One way that they manage to stay in shape is by taking as many opportunities as they can to exercise, which is the reason for the exercise clothes. Just about every hotel has a gym, and if one doesn't then it's simple enough to get out and run a few laps.
11 Extra Toiletries
Most of us already pack things like our toothbrushes and other beauty and health products on trips. But maybe we should take things a step further and pack a "backup" for our toiletries?
Most flight attendants pack extra toiletries in their travel bags.
Sometimes bags can get misplaced or even lost, and it might not always be convenient, or possible to grab what is needed at a store. It is better to have something and not need it than need something and not have it, right?
10 Roll Of Tape
Is packing a roll of tape weirder than packing along a selfie stick? Probably, but this handy little item could very well be the secret little gem to any passenger's travel bag. A roll of tape, any kind of tape really, can be found in many travel bags of flight attendants as a sort of "make-shift emergency kit".
Tape can be used in all sorts of ways, including on the spot clothing repair and tailoring.
And duct-tape has proven over the years to be a multipurpose tool for fixing just about anything.
9 Adapter Plug
Okay, so probably an even unluckier situation than someone not having a place to charge their phone would be for someone to have a phone charger but not be able to use it. Flight attendants that take international flights know that the plugs we use in the United States and Canada won't work in certain other countries.
There are around 12 different plug types and the reason for why is an interesting story... that we can get into another time. The point is every flight attendant that flies international packs an adapter plug.
Passports are things that most people who travel often get, though don't really question why. A passport is a document that lets countries know who is coming to and leaving their territories. It's a way to keep track of people.
For domestic flights in the United States passports aren't a requirement (that'll change in 2020), but for anyone flying internationally a passport is needed.
That, especially, goes for flight attendants and a passport is a must-have item in every single one of their travel bags.
7 Lip Balm
We have already expressed just how dry the air in the cabin of a plane can get. And it is not just hair or skin that the lack of moisture can wreak havoc on.
Lips can get pretty dry and even lead to uncomfortable cracking, so most flight attendants make sure to back some type of lip balm or lip moisturizer in their travel bags.
A simple little tube of lip balm could really save a person from having chapped lips their entire flight.
6 Wet Wipes/Hand Sanitizer
Of course, most planes are kept very clean, but the spread of germs can't be avoided completely in any public place.
Planes are one of the places people are more susceptible to germs and bacteria since the cabin of a plane is so enclosed.
Many flight attendants pack their own set of wet wipes and hand sanitizers to wipe down trays hands and anything else needed. It's also handy off the plane too, and both can be used to wipe down tv remotes in hotel rooms.