Flight Attendants Reveal Top Secrets That Airlines DON’T Want You To Know
When I think of flight attendants, I’m reminded of the classic Saturday Night Live sketch in which David Spade, and usually a co-host, would greet passengers on their way off the plane with a reluctant smile and a dismissive “buh-bye.” People in the service industry do not have easy jobs, and flight attendants especially have a lot to juggle, and they’re required to do it while providing excellent customer service. Airline crew members must train for eights weeks with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before they’re allowed into the position. They must learn CPR, first aid, in-flight firefighting, defibrillation, emergency landing procedures, and security. Plus, they must provide excellent customer services or risk the wrath of grumpy passengers. Most of the men and women in this position are much too professional to talk poorly about their jobs to any customers, but don’t you secretly want them to give the dirt? Fortunately, I spoke to two friend who work as flight attendants, and they agreed to divulge some of the secrets of their job. Likewise, they led me to to a Reddit thread where other pilots and flight attendants divulged some of their secrets.
1. Flight attendants are most likely not to serving dinner for a reason
“On night flights, we sometimes hold off on meal service as long as we can so that you’ll be asleep and we’ll have less to do,” confessed a flight attendant who decided to remain anonymous.
2. Don’t touch the plane water…Ever
“Do not EVER drink water on an aircraft that did not come from a bottle. Don’t even TOUCH IT. The reason being – the ports to purge lavatory sh*t and refill the aircraft with potable water are within feet from each other and sometimes serviced all at once by the same guy.”
3. Those oxygen masks will actually only give 15 minutes of air
Any situation on an aircraft is considered dire once the oxygen masks drop down. However, knowing that after the initial drop of the oxygen mask, the oxygen is only obtainable for about 15 minutes, makes the notion even scarier.
But @jezalenko on Reddit indicated that within this allotted 15 minutes, it is highly probable that the pilot will descend into a lower altitude where breathing normally is possible again.(Flight Attendants Reveal Top Secrets)
4. Getting arrested mid-flight is still possible
The captain of the aircraft actually has immeasurable power to several undertakings, including having the authority to “arrest people, write fines and even take the will of a dying passenger if need be once the doors are closed,” revealed @virgadays on Reddit.
Airline expert and co-founder of expertflyer.com Chris Lopinto explained that in an emergency, the pilot can call authorities to have any disobedient passengers arrested once the plane lands. “The captain can put you in restraints for the authorities to pick you up on the ground if there is a problem, but the captain can’t ‘arrest’ you in the legal sense of the word,” Chris said.(Flight Attendants Reveal Top Secrets)
5. Pilots sometimes fall asleep while they’re flying
Tracy Christoph, JetBlu flight attendant with over 20 years of experience in the airline industry, stated “On longer flights, pilots are assigned to take rest periods while their co-pilot mans the controls.” Since then, several pilots from both past and present experiences have confirmed that either themselves or their co-pilot have indeed fallen asleep at the controls at some point in time on a flight.
NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker called it an “insidious issue” while reporting about the two airline pilots who fell asleep while cruising over Hawaii in February of 2008, flying past their destination toward the open ocean for 18 minutes before waking up. “Many times the pilots themselves don’t recognize that they are fatigued when they get into that cockpit.”
6. Airplane air is actually air from the engine’s compressors
“The air you breathe on an airplane is actually compressed air taken from the engines. A large portion, 25% to 50%, is blown in the flight deck; the rest is for the passengers. The air leaves the airplane via a small hole in the back of the fuselage.”(Flight Attendants Reveal Top Secrets)
7. How checked bags are really checked
“If it says ‘fragile’ it’s getting thrown harder. If it says this side up, it’s going to be upside down. We have to fit freight and 100+ bags in a cargo pit. It has to fit how it’s going to fit.” an anonymous airport luggage handler confessed.
In recent years, several videos by unidentified senders have been uploaded exposing luggage handlers at various airports chucking bags and suitcases violently with little to no care only to “get the job done quicker.”
8. People steal LIFE-JACKETS
“People take those life-jackets, located under or between your seat, as souvenirs. It’s a vile and punishable offense, and while airlines do check each seat at the start of every day, a plane could make several trips in a day, during any one of which a passenger could steal a life vest,” George Hobica, airline expert, revealed.
Of course, lifejackets are not the only items getting stolen on planes. After passengers get off a flight, attendants sometimes also find gadgets, devices and valuables left behind. Flight attendant Charlie Sanders revealed that in addition to finding a Kindle, an iPad, and an iPhone 4, she also found a substantial amount of money.
9. Flight attendants probably aren’t following cell phone rules
Turning off cell phones use to be a widely known and infamous rule every flight attendant instructed before takeoff. This was before FAA determined that it was indeed safe for passengers to use electronic devices during takeoff and landing back in 2013.(Flight Attendants Reveal Top Secrets)
However, it’s not exactly professional or proper etiquette for a flight attendant to be using a cell phone instead of tending to passengers, whether it be before, during, or after a flight.
10. There are often several hidden amenities on the AIRCRAFT
Reporter Christian Nilsson informed the public in a report about secret compartments on airliners just how privileged some flight attendants have it on-board.
“Sometimes flight attendants just sit outside the bathrooms, but others have access to secret crew rest departments that feature beds and other hidden amenities like entertainment centers. Though the space is tight, a number of airlines have rest areas so flight attendants can unwind and get some much-needed sleep,” Christian reports.
On-board of some of the even newer aircraft’s, including the Cathay Pacific planes, there’s even more hidden compartments on-board including staircases and rows of bunk beds lined with thick curtains to shield from sound.