Pilots and Flight Attendant Confess Airline Secrets and Tips

Airline Secrets and Tips

Collected from loose-lipped pilots, flight attendants and crew members in the business, these “secrets” and tips may shine a new light on flying…

*Pushing that call button for anything short of an emergency will irk the flight attendants. They are constantly running up and down the aisles, try and signal them then if you need something that absolutely can’t wait. For reference, pushing the call button for the attendant to pick up your trash, find out when the plane will land, take your kid’s dirty diaper or ask for seconds on snacks are all no-nos.

*You are a cramped space sharing air with strangers. Sneezing and coughing aren’t the only thing germaphobes should be worried about. Those tray tables are a breeding ground for germs. They do not get wiped down after every flight, but the bathroom does.

*If you are traveling with cranky kids or need extra help, show the crew your appreciation. The Association of Flight Attendants frown on tipping, but discretely insist on slipping him or her a couple bucks. It will be greatly appreciated and may even earn you an extra secret snack, stiff drink or special care. Low on cash? Bring the crew a pre-packaged snack like quality chocolate bars. After boarding is complete, quietly hand the treat to one of the crew members.

*Don’t touch, let alone drink, water on the plane if it didn’t come from a sealed bottle. Tests have repeatedly found that bacteria levels in tap water found on board are higher than U.S. government limits. The holding tanks for water are very rarely cleaned…so that cup of coffee is filled with more than just caffeine.

*The airflow generally moves from front to back. If you want the freshest air, get a seat in the front row.

*Cold? Tell your flight attendant. They are running up and down aisles working up a sweat and are constantly asking for the air to be turned up.

*Those blankets and pillows aren’t the cleanest things on board. After they are used, they get stuffed back in their storage bins.

*On most planes, there is a “secret” way to unlock the lavatory door from the outside. It’s a safety precaution and will catch those people trying to sneak a cigarette or join the Mile High Club.

*Ask, ever so politely with a smile, for that entire can of soda and, usually, the flight attendant will oblige. Just don’t be greedy. If they are running low, don’t be guy who helps himself to two portions of coke.

*Check your seat for the life jacket. They are one of the top things people like to steal as souvenirs.

*Pilots will leave the wing flaps up after landing to signal that the plane is experiencing an emergency.

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Cara is the jack of all trades. She started in fashion, but found her true passion in writing. After mixing the two into a fabulous cocktail of freelance writing about all things style, she started a family. Her 3 kids keep her Prada pumps moving as they explore the world one adventure at a time.

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13 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Karen July 1, 2014 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Good to be in the know!

  2. paula schuck July 1, 2014 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    Um, gross. Now I can’t drink coffee on the plane anymore or drink water that isn’t in a bottle or eat off the tray OR even use the blanket. ICK.

  3. DD July 1, 2014 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Some of this stuff I really didn’t know. Wow.

  4. DD July 2, 2014 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    I’m just not going to fly anymore Just kidding.

  5. Allie July 3, 2014 at 7:02 am - Reply

    Great tips. It doesn’t take long, when you fly often, to figure out what you need to bring with you.

  6. Janelle July 3, 2014 at 7:06 am - Reply

    I try not to get anything on the plane. Everything is overpriced and/or covered in germs.

    • Jen July 6, 2014 at 5:56 am - Reply

      Yes. Just take your won little picnic. And careful dosing kids up with piriton to make them sleep. A lady did that in front of me once and her 3 kids puked the entire flight. DOH.

  7. BusyBee July 5, 2014 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    I bring hand sanitizer and napkins and wipe down EVERYTHING before I even sit down. So gross.

    • Jen July 6, 2014 at 5:54 am - Reply

      YES. Me too. And don’t touch the free blankets with a ten foot pole. Take a Mexican style blanket coat.

  8. DD July 5, 2014 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    I will not push the call button!

    • Jen July 6, 2014 at 5:54 am - Reply

      My sister used to do that and ask for cups of tea. I used to lean over and tell the hostess to ignore her! lol.

  9. Jen July 6, 2014 at 5:55 am - Reply

    If anyone drinks the plane tap water they will get sick. And take a huge dose of vitamin C before and after flying.

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