19 Secrets From Flight Attendants I Wish I Didn't Know

Sarah Kester
Refiney 21 | HBO

On the surface, the job of a flight attendant appears to be a glamorous one. You get to meet new people, wear a cute outfit, and fly to exotic locations.

But if you were to delve deeper, you'd see that it's a job that a lot of people aren't cut out for. There's low pay, rude passengers, messy situations, and lots of loneliness. Some flight attendants also have to live with knowing these 19 shocking secrets.

If you mess with flight attendants, they will mess with you

Unsplash | Suhyeon Choi

When this Redditor was a flight attendant, they would handle rude people by going to the computer and resetting their in-flight TV screen. They would keep doing this so the passenger couldn't watch their movie.

Flight attendants get equally if not more annoyed when flights are delayed


"A lot are paid only for the 'flight time' - meaning they aren't paid to sit at the airport, to wait....or even to greet customers during onboarding....For that reason alone, the longer the flight the better. Imagine working on a short route where your actual work is 3-4h but you're paid for 55 minutes as that was the duration of the flight." - u/psotnica

They crop dust... a lot

Giphy |

In case you don't know what this is, it's basically farting as you walk around. LOL. One Redditor said that it's best to do this around old people and children so you don't get blamed.

Flights into Saudi Arabia aren't always smooth-sailing

Universal | Universal

"A friend of mine who works for Emirates told me this little gem. Whenever they fly into Saudi Arabia, Emirates makes the flight attendants lock the entire galley including all the food, water and drinks, all the napkins and cutlery too. This is beacuse in the past, Saudi Arabian authorities would come on board and literally take anything they want and walk out. And there was nothing the airline or staff could do." - u/REAIMY

If you’re nice, you can get a bunch of stuff for free

Unsplash | Yue Iris

This makes us mad for all the times we didn't get something for free.

When this Redditor on a flight ordered drinks for a couple with a baby behind them, they were tapped on the shoulder a few minutes later. A flight attendant rewarded them with a "goodie bag" filled with treats, drinks, and a voucher for 24-hour access to the AA lounge.

Many years ago, some pilots would get drunk before they flew

Giphy | Tomi Ferraro, Sportz

"A buddy of mine has been a pilot for the better part of 30 years and says that back 15-20 years ago the Russian/Soviet pilots and crew had to been watched like hawks (sometimes even being locked in a room) because there was a high chance of them getting absolutely drunk before when they were supposed to fly." - u/richard-777

The flight attendant life isn't all it's cracked up to be

Refinery 29 | HBO

Sadly, some workers say that alcoholism, drug abuse, and depression are common in the industry. While it's fun at first to see new places and destinations, the appeal eventually wears off as the loneliness creeps in.

Hungover flight attendants cause delays

Giphy | Gringo Movie

"I once overheard a phone call at the gate check-in. A flight attendant was hungover, slept-in and was going to be pretty late. A minute later, the person at the kiosk made an announcement about how some pre-flight maintenance was going to delay the flight. I was thinking like, 'you lying sonofabitch.'" -u/TheDjTanner

Flight attendants take home mini liquor bottles that are left behind


These are the little bottles that go into making drinks for passengers. One Redditor once received a large bin liner full of minis and mixers.

Flight attendants can hear you go number two

Giphy | The Office

"The toilets are near where we sit, and no matter how hard you try to cover the fact that you’re taking a dump. It makes a different noise than if you just go number 1." -u/FlyFeetFiddlesticks

A lot of cheating goes on

Unsplash | Sandy Millar

Since the flight crew (including pilots) often stay at the same hotel, one Redditor wrote that they all party together. This leads some pilots to often sleep with flight attendants regardless of marital status.

Dead passengers stay in their seats until landing time

Unsplash | Ross Parmly

"Used to work for a UK airline (non-crew). It was normal for passengers that died on board to be kept in their seats until landing. They would be wrapped in blankets and propped up to look like they were sleeping to not freak out other passengers." - u/gjs78

Flight attendants have heard all the same lines before

flight attendant
Unsplash | Lukas Souza

Since they sometimes go on multiple flights per day, they've seen and heard it all before. This means every joke, every flirty line, request, and complaint.

Flight attendants greet you in a certain way for a reason

Straight | Paramount

"When flight attendants greet you as you step on the plane, they're doing two things: 1) checking to see if you're drunk/stoned, and 2) checking to see if you're strong/buff, so in the event of an emergency they can tap you in if need be (i.e. need to pull open the emergency door or lift something, etc.)" - u/nbel1996

Flight attendants Google you

Unsplash | Firmbee.com

Since they have a list with every passenger’s full name and seat number, they will Google you if boredom sets in.

Many flight attendants are homeless

Unsplash | Ev

"A significant number of them are homeless. Living out of their suitcase and the crew break room. I was a pilot for a low paying regional airline in the US. The pay for new flight attendants is pathetically low. Since they spend 90% of their lives on the road anyway some don’t have a permanent place to live." - u/usmcmech

Avoid the hot water on flights

Unsplash | Sergey Norkov

One flight attendant shared that the boiler in the back galley is rarely cleaned thoroughly. So you can just imagine all the germs and mold!

It's okay to bribe the crew


"If you bring a box of chocolates for the flight crew, you will get all the free snacks (and sometimes beers) they can throw at you. My old coworker had been a flight attendant for like 20 years and knew all the secrets. This was his best recommendation for a good flight." -u/Hoosier_816

Corners are cut to meet food demands

Unsplash | Eaters Collective

"Food shortage is a thing. And to meet demands, they have to manage with what they can do.

The example told to me was when there is demand for more vegetarian food, they simply remove the non-veg from dishes and serve it." - u/greg_says_relax

H/T: Reddit