Another Ten “Shocking” Secrets of Flight Attendants

From The Week, not all that “shocking”,  but a seasoned flight attendant for a major carrier dishes 10 workplace secrets. I’ve listed a snippet from all ten, but check out the article to see the full details for each secret…

1. If the plane door is open, we’re not getting paid – You know all that preflight time where we’re cramming bags into overhead bins? None of that shows up in our paychecks. Flight attendants get paid for “flight hours only.” Translation: The clock doesn’t start

2. Landing this gig is tough – Competition is fierce: When Delta announced 1,000 openings in 2010, it received over 100,000 applications. Even Harvard’s acceptance rate isn’t that low! All that competition means that most applicants who score interviews…

3. We can be too tall or too short to fly – During Pan Am’s heyday in the 1960s, there were strict requirements for stewardesses: They had to be at least 5-foot-2, weigh no more than 130 pounds, and retire by age 32. They couldn’t be married or have children, either. These days

4. We can be fired for bizarre reasons  – Newly hired flight attendants are placed on strict probation for their first six months. I know one new hire who lost her job for…

5. Diet Coke is our nemesis! – Of all the drinks we serve, Diet Coke takes the most time to pour — the fizz takes forever to settle at 35,000 feet. In the time it takes me to pour a single cup of Diet Coke, I can serve three passengers a different beverage. So even though…

6. If you try to sneak a dead body onto a plane, we will notice – You may have heard the story of a Miami passenger who tried to board a flight with his dead mother inside a garment bag. Why would someone do such a thing? Because it’s…

7. We’ll also notice if you try to join the Mile High Club – It’s usually the long line of people waiting to use the bathroom that gives you away, and nine times out of 10, it’s a passenger who asks the flight attendants to intervene. Strictly speaking, it’s not against…

8. We’re the first line of defense against human trafficking – When I started flying, I never dreamed I’d be working with the police, but it’s become an important part of the job. This new role started with Sandra Fiorini, an American Airlines flight attendant…

9. Seniority means shorter skirts – Our tenure on the job doesn’t just determine which routes we fly and which days we get to take off; it also affects the hierarchy in our crashpad, an apartment shared by as many as 20 flight attendants. Seniority even determines the length of our skirts — we can’t hem…

10. You’ve never experienced extreme turbulence – More than 2 million people fly in the United States each day, and yet since 1980, only three people have died as a direct result of turbulence. Of those fatalities, two passengers weren’t wearing their safety belts. Interestingly, on some airlines, a flight attendant’s injuries in flight can’t be officially classified as…

Some fun related posts:
What Do Flight Attendants Think of You…and your requests?
Smelly Seatmate Survival Tips
Say What? Overheard on the Plane Edition 28 – Crazy Things Passengers Say to Flight Attendants
…and I thought some of my seatmates were gross
American Wins for Rudest Flight Attendants while Alaska, JetBlue, Virgin, & Frontier Tie for Nicest

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