10 Flight Attendant Secrets Every Passenger Wants To Know

Lauren Freeman

Journalist

Did you know that we can't call flight attendants "stewardesses" anymore? You do? Well, you probably don't know everything, you smart-alack, you! We and the flight attendants have some tricks in our collectives sleeves!

Fortunately for you, this is the Internet, the place where people both share and overshare. If you want to know the secrets of flight as recorded and passed down by generations of flight attendants, read on and have your flying experience transformed!

1

Feel free to ask for more food

source Airplane food is being delivered premade (you don't want to prepare food on the plane) and thus has a limited shelf life. Anything that won't be eaten will be thrown away after the flight. So if you want more, ask for more. Better than eating those airport sandwiches that all cost $absurd.

2

Check your lifejacket before tanking off

source Horrible people travel, too, and some of them steal life jackets from under their seats as a souvenir. So if you want to be safe in case of an emergency landing, check if the life vest is under the seat before taking off.

3

Use the ashtrays if you smoke

source Smoking onboard is strictly prohibited, but there are ashtrays in the toilets. That's because airways know that some people don't care about the fines and will indulge in their slavish cravings on nicotine. So if you're one of those cigarette thralls, be kind enough to put it out in the ashtray instead of using paper or just throwing it in the bin, potentially causing a fire. Maybe they'll give you a smaller fine.

4

Don't be squeamish during the flight.

source "Superficial cleanup" means that your airline might not wash the blankets and pillows, just refold them to look good. The food trays may not be washed. The seat trays are wiped off and the carpets are cleaned, but you can never be sure that some passenger didn't get sick there. Try not to lick anything you shouldn't and you'll be fine.

5

The lavatory door can be opened from the outside.

source Whether you're smoking or trying to join the illustrious Mile High Club (as illustrious as a club that involves cramped toilets can be), the flight attendants can barge in on you as they have own keys to unlock the lavatory. Many aircraft also have the door lock mechanism installed under the "No smoking" sign on the toilet door. You can open the door by raising the flap with the cigarette sign and turning the bolt.

6

Board last

source Board last this way, you will be able to see which which seats are free. Considering the fact that the door has already closed behind you, there will be no more passengers to take up seats, meaning you can take any free seat onboard (in your class, anyways). It will also give you ample time to wrestle with your baggage, too.

7

Don’t get drunk

source Flight attendants say that one glass in the sky is equal to two on the ground. This all has to do with changing altitudes and pressures, making alcohol more effective in flight. So drink less unless you want to be a star of a YouTube video.

8

Avoid the bulkhead seats.

source Passengers with babies onboard are most likely to take the bulkhead seats: baby carriers are much easier and safer to place there. If you want your screaming neighbors to be older than 3, take a seat somewhere else.

9

Only drink bottled water.

source Wall Street Journal did an expose on dirty water on planes in 2002: water samples from 14 of the most popular airlines showed bacteria numbers to be hundreds of times higher than the established standard. And the situation hasn't changed a lot! You're better off drinking only bottled liquid onboard while avoiding tea, coffee, and water from the sink.

10

Hold the applause

source While some countries have customs for applauding when the plane lands, some crews might actually consider this to be an insult. You might not be a frequent flyer, so every take off and landing is special to you, but it's routine business for pilots. So maybe don't applaud them for not being bad at their job.

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