13 Flight Attendant Secrets We Learned From A Reddit AMA

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Sky Aviation's flight attendants show to photographers the overhead luggage bin of a Sukhoi Superjet-100 during the unveiling ceremony of the first of the 12 jetliners purchased by the domestic airline, at Halim Perdanakusumah airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013.
Sky Aviation's flight attendants show to photographers the overhead luggage bin of a Sukhoi Superjet-100 during the unveiling ceremony of the first of the 12 jetliners purchased by the domestic airline, at Halim Perdanakusumah airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013.

If you fly, you've seen them in action but unless you work in an airline, you probably have no idea of the rigours flight attendants endure while on the clock.

When it comes to jobs, few titles carry such a mix of sex appeal, glamour and mystery like flight attendants. Despite the number of times they've helped you with your luggage, shown you how to buckle a seat belt or served you a meal, there's still a lot travellers don't know about attendants.

But between their duties and responsibilities of keeping passengers happy and safe, there's not a whole lot of time to stop and ask before another overhead light flips on and they're needed somewhere else on the plane.

Still, that hasn't stopped one female flight attendant, under the username of inflightdrinks, from taking to Reddit to host an ask me anything session for travellers curious about the things she's experienced in her four years on the job.

Here's a few secrets Huffington Post Canada Travel gathered from the 21-year-old attendant who declined to give her name in order to stay completely anonymous.

Flight Attendant Uniforms > Tinder

Q: Are hookups something flight attendants look for or are receptive to?
A: Well, since many are young and the job makes steady relationships quite difficult, hookups are something many attendants embrace. And there is no lack of opportunities since the uniform is way better than anything like Tinder.

Q: What are the logistics of taking a flight attendant out for a drink? Are you typically staying at a hotel near the airport?
A: Yes, usually airport hotels or close by. Well, there is no general trick for taking one out, just be friendly and honest about your intention and just chat her up. Just make sure she is not busy when you ask her.

Q: How often do you guys have sex with passengers?
A: It's a very rare thing but I must admit, it does happen. But after all its just between two persons and how they get along.

You Scratch Their Back, They Might Scratch Your Back

Q: What's the easiest way to get on a flight attendant's good side?
A: Be friendly and charming but not cheesy. Appreciate the work we do.

Q: There's a free seat in business class or, better yet, first class. Is there any move I can make to get it?
A: Yes, its not easy but there are ways to qualify. - Be really, really friendly - Help an attendant when necessary (lifting bags, help with spilled drinks) - We might be nicer when we see you are struggling (2-metre tall guys in economy, very annoying person next to you)

Q: What kind of free stuff can you/or other airport folk give me and what do I need to do?
A: There is not much to be honest, only a few promotional stickers or so.

Q: Upgrades to first? Lounge pass? Free drinks?
A: Only if you stand out as being really nice and helpful and to make up for annoying seat neighbours or mishaps.

Q: Is it really all that common for attendants to approach passengers mid-flight to move them up? Also do you spend time with other attendants during long layovers?
A: No, not that common but it happens when the situation calls for it or it helps to improve the atmosphere in the cabin. And yes, attendants often do stuff together, of course it depends if you get along well but its generally fun.

While On The Job...

Q: What's the worst thing, in your opinion, a passenger can do on a flight (that doesn't result in being arrested)?
A: Sexual acts and behaviour aimed at the flight attendants, that's the worst.

Q: It is acceptable to ask for multiple cans of soda/wine/spirits at one time?
A: Two cans of soda are totally fine and its OK to ask. Alcohol is a different story though since its hard to keep track who had how much so its one drink at a time only.

Insider Knowledge

Q: So, what brand of luggage do flight attendants prefer?
A: Well, that varies a lot. First of all it has to be light and durable. Hard-case trolleys are best. You don't do wrong with the big brands like Rimowa, Titan or Halliburton. Just make sure it has a long warranty.

Q: Not to get too personal, but do you make a liveable wage? How long does it take to get to a point where you're getting regularly scheduled flights and making decent money?
A: It really depends on the airline, some consider it to be a proper job and immediately give you proper flights, others let you start right at the bottom. In fact, the job is not paid that well money-wise. However, you get tons of discounts and travel is really cheap (80-90% off).

It generally gets better after two-three years but you just have to be into the whole lifestyle. I personally just love being in the air and travelling the world. But you are right, it's not the dream job it used to be any more. It is stressful and there are many annoying things to put up with.

Q: Do you ever get nervous or scared? You all seem so freakin' unflappable.
A: Its all experience and training. We are trained to stay calm all the time and smile. Newbies sometimes are a bit scared but it goes away quickly.

Responses and questions condensed up for clarity.

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