Flying Hints from Airline Staff

Female Abroad

After speaking with a few flight attendants there were a few hacks and surprises that they wanted to share with the public. Since I thought that they were very interesting I thought that I might as well make up the list and pass it along. Enjoy!


- crew usually don't part on layovers as they can get fired for showing up drunk or with alcohol in their system (and yes, they can be randomly subjected to a breathalyzer)

- the pilot is the ultimate authority when the plane's doors are closed. No one out ranks them and they can fine & arrest people.

- if you are polite and nice, they are more likely to help you in return

- bathrooms can be unlocked from the outside but most staff don't want to have a reason to do it

- while there are some airlines where you can but your child in the overhead bin or there are nanny's on board, check before you actually get on the flight and don't assume as every carrier is different. Also, if you kid is over 3, give them a lollie/sucker as those will usually pop ears.

- the bells / chimes you hear during the flight may be passengers pressing the service button or they might be the crew communicating back and forth (low running snacks, up coming turbulence, route changes, etc)


- drinking non-bottled water, tea, or coffee on an airplane is a no go as the tanks are not cleaned often which results in high levels of coliform & e. Coli. Due to this the EPA now required planes to test their water once a year but still

- no one dies on a flight as they are not declared dead until they are off the plane and checked by medical professionals but if the crew thinks someone might be close to passing then they may say they are sleeping, drunk, or took a sleeping pill. From there they may just leave them where they are or try to move them to an empty row.

- while try tables are nasty, the dirtiest thing on an airplane is the head rest

- staff are trained in a variety of emergencies (just not to declare death) and can do things like deliver a baby, splint broken arms, preform CPR, and a variety of other basic medical / first aid issues which is why some of the their programs are darn near impossible to get into (only 1% of applicates in 2016 were hired by Delta).

- oxygen masks contain 10 - 15 minutes of air but don't panic, this is enough to calm the passengers and allow the pilot to fix the issue

- lights dimming are to help your eye adjust to the dark just in case there is an emergency

- don't wear high heels or no shoes at all since if there is an emergency you'll have to take the heels off (especially if a ramp is involved) and bare feet might not be the best idea depending on what you need to do


- you can ask for a can of pop and usually you will get it unless the are worried they will run out

- don't take sleeping pills if you don't need to since if there is an emergency, there isn't enough crew to drag you off the plane

- if you are stuck at the airport, change the time on your computer / phone's clock to get more free Wi-Fi time at the airports that only give you an hour. Make sure something has the right time though so you don't miss your flight! Another option would be to sit near one of the first class / business lounges as sometimes you can pickup on their open Wi-Fi signals.

- keep your shoes on for landing and take off as this is the most likely time for something to go wrong

- marking your luggage as fragile is causing air handlers to not be as careful as they used to be as there is a massive amount of "fragile" luggage now that everyone is reporting that you can get your luggage faster if you flag it as such. If everything is important then how do you ever know what really is? Baggage handlers are given X number of minutes to off load a flight and if half the luggage is fragile, that will take even longer

- most airports have bottle refilling stations so just bring an empty bottle with you instead of pay $5 for a bottle of water

- add a pompom or a metal or silicone baggage tag to make your luggage stand out. Plastic and wood will normally crack and break with the heat changes. Ribbons usually get caught in things or come undone.