A fight attendant who's worked in the industry for 15 years has written a book about some of the shocking behind-the-scenes secrets.
Heather Poole is the author of Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama and Crazy Passengers at 35,000ft.
She recently let slip some of her secrets to Mental Floss, and some of them are pretty eye-opening.
Poole reveals that flight attendants get just as annoyed as you do about delays and cancellations, as they only pid for 'fight hours', so shoving bags in overhead lockers doesn't show up on their pay slips.
While on land, crew gets an expense allowance of $1.50 an hour, says Poole.
She says the six-month probationary period is super-tough, with flight attendants being fired for not wearing their uniform properly, or using travel privileges too early. Also, if a flight attendant calls in sick, they aren't allowed to fly, even as a passenger on another airline - an action that is grounds for immediate dismissal.
Poole explains that Diet Coke is a flight attendant's "nemesis" as the fizz takes so long to settle at 35,000ft: "In the time it takes me to pour a single cup of Diet Coke, I can serve three passengers a different beverage," she says.
She also explains that no one officially dies on a flight unless there is a doctor on board to make the pronouncement. Often, if it does happen, most flights are full and "it is not always possible to move an 'incapacitated' passenger to an empty row of seats", says Poole.
She adds: "Singapore Airlines is the most prepared. Its planes feature a "corpse cupboard," a compartment for storing a dead body if the situation arises."
Poole also says you are likely to get caught if you try to join the Mile High Club, explaining: "It's usually the long line of people waiting to use the bathroom that gives you away, and nine times out of 10, it's a passenger who asks the flight attendants to intervene.
"Strictly speaking, it's not against the law to join the Mile High Club. But it is against the law to disobey crew member commands. If we ask you to stop doing whatever it is you're doing, by all means, stop!"
See mentalfloss.com for more flight attendant secrets!
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