Travel Features

Behind the curtain: secret life of a flight attendant

When the alternative might be the drudgery of 9-5, it’s easy to see the appeal of becoming a flight attendant. As well as the good pay there’s the free foreign travel and all-expenses paid stays at destinations with colleagues.

What’s more, the ever increasing number of budget airlines offering great value fares through companies such as cheapflights.co.uk means there is no shortage of opportunities for a life in the air. But behind the groomed appearance and permanent smile, every male flight attendant knows plenty of secrets that the travelling public may never discover – until they’re on the receiving end of them!

When the doors open they’re not getting paid

While it may come as a shock, flight attendants don’t actually get paid when the plane doors are open. Flight attendants are only paid for the “flight time” so the clock doesn’t start until the plane starts moving.

air stewardesses hidden truths

They can make your flight hell

It pays to be polite to flight attendants as, if you’re extra demanding or rude, you may well find that the single mum travelling with a baby may unexpectedly be given the seat next to you – and we all know about babies and planes.

If they say they’re out of Diet Coke ask them to make sure

There’s something about Diet Coke that makes it fizz up three times longer than other drinks when it’s poured at 30,000 feet. This means it holds up the flight attendant when they’ve got a whole plane to serve, so often they’ll pretend that only regular Coke is left.

Why you’ll never see a flight attendant drinking tea or coffee

Contaminated water tanks on planesStill on the subject of drinks, the wise flight attendant will only ever drink bottled water on planes, and never the tea or coffee that passengers are offered. That’s because the water tanks on planes are notoriously difficult to clean out and can be a breeding ground for germs.

Getting that elusive upgrade

Everyone flying economy dreams of being upgraded and the best way to stack the odds in your favour is to be the last person to get on the plane because, by then, the attendants will know which seats are still free. However, it still pays to extra nice as you may end up squashed in the middle seat.

How to get upgrade on flight

While all the secrets of a flight attendant may not be known, it’s handy to know when you should be nice and charming so you don’t end up on the wrong side them!

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