We asked flight attendants in the TheNews.Top Community to tell us their wildest secrets and stories about their jobs. Here are the eye-opening results.
Obviously, we can’t 100% confirm all of these stories, but these people are allegedly speaking from their own experiences as aircraft employees. Enjoy!
1. “I’ve been a flight attendant for seven years. We definitely take notice of who’s hot on the plane. We play a game by calling people BOB (‘Boyfriend on Board’) or a ‘raftie,’ as in someone who you’d want in your raft in the water if need be.”
2. “ALWAYS wipe down your tray table. They are never cleaned or sanitized between flights. Also, the cleaners only vacuum and briefly look in the toilets, so don’t let your babies crawl on the floor!”
3. “With the captain’s permission, we will purposefully board a flight we already know is delayed, close the door, and taxi out to sit on the tarmac. Otherwise, the crew doesn’t get paid for the time we’re delayed for.”
4. “As a pilot, I have experienced at least one failure on a plane per month. Pretty much every plane flying right now has at least one thing broken and is just waiting to be fixed the next time it’s due for maintenance. Chances are you’ve flown on a plane that had a problem and just didn’t know it.”
5. “Most people probably don’t know this, but on the bigger planes, there are beds above the overhead bins so we flight attendants can sleep on longer flights.”
6. “I was on a flight from Minneapolis to Boston. A flight attendant approached me and said, ‘I think someone is having sex in the bathroom. What do I do?’ I went to the back galley and knocked on the door. Silence. I knocked a second time. Nothing. After the third time I said, ‘I’m going to give you a couple minutes to stop what you’re doing and get dressed.’ They didn’t come out, so I said the in-flight crew must enter. I unlocked the door, saw a vagina, and immediately closed the door.”
7. “All of the crew members talk during flights, so if you’re rude to one of us, just remember that we all know who you are and where you’re sitting, and there WILL be notes about you in the airline database for future flights.”
8. “At my airline, we’re taught to not lift up passengers’ suitcases for them to stow in overhead compartments. We can ‘assist’ if they are also lifting their bag, but if we end up getting hurt, it’s possible the company will not cover it as worker’s comp since it’s purposefully not in our job requirements.”
9. “I worked for a very popular, high-class airline for 3.5 years. One of my wildest experiences was on a flight from Russia to Dubai. A couple bought a bottle of vodka and brought it on board (which is fine), but then they opened it up and drank it (not fine). They got very intoxicated and had a full-on screaming match in Russian. We had to separate them and watch them to ensure they stayed apart. The woman ended up urinating on herself and the seat.”
10. “Passengers may not love the airplane food, but it’s better than what the flight attendants get: nothing. On international flights, the pilots get fed, but flight attendants have to pack their own food or go hungry for 14+ hours, depending on the flight.”
11. “My mom has been a flight attendant for 30+ years. What I find the wildest is that they’ve been working throughout the entire pandemic but aren’t classified as ‘essential workers.’ Her airline has done NOTHING to help get them vaccinated.”
12. “The cabin crew is very aware of everything and everyone! We know who’s trying to vape, who took really smelly poos, and who took their pants off during the flight. And, yes, we all tell each other about it.”
13. “People think that if they accidentally break a tray or seat handle or something they’re going to get charged. You won’t. Just tell us so we can put it in the logbook for repairs. It helps us out in the long run so we don’t have to delay the next flight.”
14. “It’s always the full-grown adults who throw the biggest fits when asked to wear their seatbelt. They’re way worse than any child.”
15. “I’ve been working as a flight attendant for two years now, and I believe I’ve encountered three separate instances of someone urinating outside of the lavatories, so whenever I see people walking around barefoot or just in socks I find it so nasty.”
16. “Pilot here. Sometimes I work 14-hour days and get no lunch break, so when your flight is delayed, it’s probably because I went to get food.”
17. “I’ve been in the business for nearly 20 years. It’s illegal in the US to drink your own alcohol on an aircraft. I’ve had passengers go against this rule, and the result can be anything from being removed from a flight to being arrested.”
18. “A lot of people want to be flight attendants because they think they’ll be able to explore the world, but usually our layovers are between 10–14 hours, which is barely enough time to get to the hotel, take a shower, eat something, and sleep.”
19. And finally, “For people who don’t wear shoes to the bathroom…that’s definitely not water on the floor.”
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.