PHOTO: Flight Attendants offer some behind the scenes secrets of travel. (Photo courtesy Flickr/Peter Burge)
Reddit, it’s that wonderful Internet trove that offers advice, memes and, in this case, a bunch of behind-the-scenes tidbits from the world of airline travel.
Here we have delved deep into the website for those AMAs and simple fortuitous moments of sage wisdom being bandied about. Of course, we love to hear from flight attendants and pilots in the know, so sound off accordingly on social media. Or, you can simply read a bit further and see what we found lurking over on Reddit.
Reddit User: adrianne456
A flight attendant who decided to leave the industry offered some words of wisdom. Here are some of the more-interesting aspects of this AMA.
Attendants do get some nice perks: “Yes, I was able to fly free domestically on all US airlines. Internationally, for a very small fee.”
Different Area Codes:
As for national hooking up: “Yes, some people have 'friends' in cities. Especially flying regional, we go to the same cities all the time. It would be very easy to have hoes in area codes.”
The Job Is Expensive:
Adding to al the reasons you should be nice to your attendants, this Reddit user explains the job can be expensive: “It costs money just to go to work; For example. I just finished a five-day trip. Most FA's (flight attendants) carry a lunch box (including myself) but it’s almost impossible to pack food for 5 days. Maybe the first two-three days and snacks. But when you are doing flights back to back all day, you’re only option is expensive airport food. THEN- you tip van/hotel drivers, who put your bags in the hotel shuttle.”
Is He/She Into Me?
This attendant explains how they might flirt: “If I gave you a full can or didn't charge for your alcoholic beverage, that was me hitting on you.”
Go Easy on The Water:
This one we will stick to: “I personally would not drink the potable water from the aircraft. So the tea, coffee...I would avoid. The water isn’t so bad but how often do you really think those tanks are cleaned?”
There Is Some Hooking Up:
The attendant continues about hooking up: “not so much 'just sex' but a lot of relationships. I posted further down that literally every girl in my initial class has, or is dating a pilot except those who were already married. A lot of sex happens too (though).”
This chain turned rather NSFW immediately, but you can find that out for yourself. That brings us to the first tip.
Don’t Do THAT:
For some reason, passengers try to join the, um, solo mile high club while at their seats. As attendants in the chain confirm, they all know you are doing it. It’s disgusting and you need to stop.
There Is Far Too Much Trash:
As one user states: “I think the biggest thing is to throw your own trash away. We walk through the aisle with trash bags, there's often a big trash bin on your way out and, if not, a trash can right inside the terminal. The seat-back pocket is not a trash receptacle. We typically have very little time between flights to tidy up and perform a checklist of tasks and finding unpleasant surprises tucked in those seat-back pockets is not fun.”
Flirting Will Get You Nowhere:
One anonymous pal states: “My friend (who's a flight attendant) always talks about how weird it is when passengers try to flirt with her. A little bit is okay, but getting to the point of asking for her number and/or a date is just obnoxious. She has a weird work schedule; you probably live on the other side of the country from her, not to mention the fact that she's on the job. It's not that she doesn't like being flirted with, there's just an appropriate time and place (Hint: It's not while she's trying to serve drinks to the passenger behind you).”
As noggnoskill explains, “My housemates and I have been working as flight attendants for about two years combined on separate rosters.” Here is what we found.
Training is Extensive:
“So you start with an evaluation day. Basically it's like a massive interview. You'll have a written and oral English exam, you'll go through the usual interview hoops. Afterwards you'll be asked to attend a training course in one of the airlines' locations. Ryanair has one in Wicklow.”
The Reddit user continues on this arduous task: “Before you start your training you will need to provide a full background check, criminal record check, multiple professional and personal references, visa details etc. If you have been in certain countries you'll have to give very, very precise details on what you've done.”
Attendants are extremely well trained: “Your training then goes over airline law, safety procedures, firefighting, first aid…Most people at some point during the course will need a hug! Some airlines then will do extra courses on cocktail making and the like. Once you're finally finished all that you then get shipped off to your base, you then have to jump through all the hoops in that specific airport to get your security clearance. Once you're done ALL that then you can be a flight attendant.”
Oddest Part of Job:
“Hypoxia! When you are in the air working for up to 12 hours a day you are completely starved of oxygen. By the end of the day, you'll either be completely shattered or high as a kite. Let me tell you, you sleep like a baby when you get home!”
Flights Are, Thankfully, Boring:
One pilot explains via this thread: “Another airline pilot here. About once every 6 months I have a flight where all kinds of crap happens. Multiple instrument approaches in really low weather with cross winds, usually to a go around at low altitude. Engine failures on takeoff, high-speed rejected takeoff and usually a fire leading to a full evacuation on the last landing. It's called the 6-month proficiency check and it happens in a full motion simulator that is the ultimate video game. We like to get our fun out the way ‘in the box’ so the job of driving you around is comfortably boring. Boring is good IRL (in real life).”
So aside from the seat shenanigans and constant flirting, flights are a, fortunately, tedious task.