Greeting you with a friendly smile, serving you food and drink, as well as dealing with medical emergencies on board, flight attendants often work long hours a day to ensure that your journey is as safe and enjoyable as possible. However there is more to the job of a flight attendant that meets the eye - From tips on staying looking fresh faced to some rather unflattering nicknames, read on as we reveal the secrets of a flight attendant.
Their shift only begins when the plane doors are closed
Despite spending time greeting you as you board the plane, checking boarding passes as well as helping you cram your bags into the overhead luggage area, the flight attendant only starts to get paid once the plane's doors are shut.
If the flight is delayed or subsequently cancelled, a flight attendant will receive a minimal expenses allowance but this is approximately £1 an hour. So bear this mind the next time you feel frustrated at having to wait at the boarding gate for an extra few minutes and feel like mentioning this to the flight attendant.
Flight attendants still must be a certain size and height
In days gone by, flight attendants were required to be lean, skinny and well-presented. Airline, Pan Am infamously required attendants to be a minimum of 5ft2, weighing 130 pounds or less and retire at the age of 32 - crazy, we hear you say.
Fortunately, these strict requirements are long gone but flight attendants must still conform to restrictions relating to weight and height - but simply I the interests of safety. They must be able to reach the overhead lockers (lifting suitcases safely) as well as being able to fit in the jump seats.
They are self-defense trained
Although you may see flight attendants as there to simply serve you food and drink, however they are also required to undergo self-defence training in the case of a serious security threat.
Both male and female attendants have to practice sparring with one another as well as punching and kicking dummies, so that they are prepared should someone try to take over the plane and enter the cockpit.
Those complimentary new-looking headphones in the plastic wrapping... they're not new
Upon arriving at your seat you may be greeted with some complimentary headphones all nicely packaged in a clear wrapper - what a lovely surprise! However you may be even more surprised to know that these headphones are in fact not brand new.
At the end of each flight, the headphones that are left behind are given a quick dust over and then re-packaged for the people on the next flight.
They use their mobile phones whilst on-flight
Whilst we as passengers are repeatedly reminded to switch off our mobile phones and electronic devices for the duration of the flight, the same rules do not apply to the flight attendants. When they are safely out of view from the prying eyes of the general public, the first thing that many attendants choose to do is check their phones and text.
However, if you do spot a flight attendant on their phone, don't worry - the most it will do is cause minor radio interference to the pilot, which can be annoying, however even more annoying if all passengers were allowed to do this.
Want some beauty advice?
After a long 10 hour flight, have you ever wondered how your flight attendant still manages to look as fresh as a daisy? Some airlines provide staff with on-the-job beauty training in which they are taught the secrets in the beauty trade.
Virgin Airlines is one of those beauty training airlines, asking attendants to drink at least a litre of water before, after and during the flight, exfoliating the night before their shift, tinting their eyelashes, using facial sprays that hydrate the skin as well as using lip balm to nail cuticles to keep them looking hydrated.
So the next time you have a flight, follow the beauty tricks of the flight attendants!
Crazy requests are a regular occurrence
Asking what time the plane will land or asking for some water are pretty normal questions to ask your flight attendant compared to some of the crazier ones they receive - just take a look below:
Did you enjoy this post? If you did, please like and share it using the social share icons above. Have you got any other flight attendant secrets you'd like to share that we may have missed? Just visit our Facebook and Twitter pages to let us know!
Alpha Travel Insurance and alphatravelinsurance.co.uk are trading names of Infinity Insurance Solutions Ltd which is authorised and regulated by Financial Conduct Authority: FRN 528912 © Infinity Insurance Solutions. 1 Tower View, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent. ME19 4UY. All rights reserved