Galley Gab! Part 1 – Flight Attendant ‘Secret’ Terms

by Sam Roecker

Ever Wonder What Flight Attendants Are Whispering?

Galley News Network (GNN), Galley FM, Galley Gossip…or Galley Gab! Depending on the airline and crew, these are the terms for inflight secrets brewed, stirred, and spilled in galleys large and small.

The majority of ‘secret’ words flight attendants use are hardly salacious – most are simply industry jargon for various safety protocol. Flight attendants “cross-check” to ensure their colleagues properly “armed the doors” (evacuation slides). Chimes, dings, and other seemingly top-secret codes are standard practice. 

What About The Terms You Don’t Hear?

I interviewed a flight attendant for a major US airline with 27 years of experience – not a senior mama yet! – to spill the galley tea.


   ❝ Most people look better sitting down ❞

B.O.B or “Bob”

The Best-on-Board, aka the hottest passenger on the flight. See quote above. 

Burn N’ Serve

Get the meals out quickly (“burn”), serve, and return to your jumpseats. 

Crew Juice 

Think of it as a creative take on “upcycling” onboard libations. While specific recipes vary, crew juice usually involves combining leftover booze from a flight and taking a to-go cup for an extended layover.


❝ Flight attendants never drink on the job, but we either toss it or take it [leftover booze].❞


The senior-in-age version of a senior mama (see below). 


❝  AA should stand for Absolutely Ancient  ❞  

Flight Deck Floosie or Cockpit Queen

A shameless flirt who looks for every opportunity to visit the flight deck. 

Flyboy or Flygirl  

The pilot. “Never as cute as you hope,” I was told. 

Image: Point Me to the Plane

Galley Grub

Preservative-filled snacks or other items flight attendants consume onboard. Not typically a term of endearment. 

Galley Queen

A flight attendant who only works the galley position. They do not interact with people and get mad when crew or passengers invade their “office” space. 


❝ It’s the only position I work ❞  

Lounge Lizard

Pejorative term for a flight attendant who stays overnight in the crew lounge because they are too cheap to rent a crashpad. Since many flight attendants commute to their base, they often share “crashpads” – apartments with other crew. An infamous few opt to sleep in the crew lounge instead. 


❝  The lounges do not have showers, in case you were wondering  ❞  

Jumpseat Confessions or Jumpseat Therapy 

Precious time shared during taxi, takeoff, or landing when you can share your personal issues and air your dirty laundry with a random colleague. 


❝ The one upside to a ground delay? An extended session of free therapy  ❞  

Senior Mama  

A senior or experienced flight attendant. Sometimes used affectionately to describe 30+ year industry veterans who have been through multiple mergers, bankruptcies, etc. Senior generally refers to seniority – years with the company – not necessarily age. 


❝ I’m pretty sure half of my colleagues flew on the Stratocruiser ❞ 


A flight attendant who slams their door and clicks the lock as soon as they get to their hotel room. The term can also be used as a verb to tell your colleagues you simply want to sleep.


Readers! Did we miss any?

Stay tuned for part two.

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Taylor June 14, 2018 - 6:17 pm

Haha! I would like to know hacks of things I can do to make an FA’s day… tricks of the trade would be helpful! Also, what should I never do as a passenger…

Sam Roecker June 14, 2018 - 6:20 pm

Stay tuned for parts two and three! Yoga in the galley… in the words of a famous singer, absolutely not

747always June 14, 2018 - 11:00 pm

One of the tips I have seen work is where you give a box of chocolates / a supersized bar to the crew on boarding. I usually say, “You guys must be having a long day. Heres a box of chocolates for you”


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