As a flight attendant who’s been on the job for 20 years, it’s easy to take my travel Insights given – Little tips and tricks that make traveling easier.
But after seeing so many passengers significant events this summer due to airline cancellations and delays, I knew I needed to start sharing that wisdom. Last month, I offered up nine tips for traveling living now, and I was surprised by the positive response — and thousands of comments.
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After the story was published, I invited readers to ask more questions, of which I received hundreds. I know, for some of you, I have a curious and mysterious task. It was fun to know what you wonder about, how do we look so fresh long flights (dimmed) Should you drink coffee on the ship (I don’t, but most flight attendants do).
Here are my answers for a selection of your questions, some of which have been lightly edited for length and clarity. I hope you enjoy them.
Q: I was recently assigned to an exit line already on the ship once. I don’t want to be responsible in an emergency. What if a passenger talks about not sitting there?
A: We want you to speak. You have a very important task in that row, and we need to be able to trust everyone sitting there. We ask everyone in the row if they are willing and able to help with the evacuation, and it is completely understandable to be reluctant. nothing bad happens; You can move to another open seat, or we ask someone to trade seats with you. There’s always someone who prioritizes the exit row for extra leg room.
Q: What is it that you want all the passengers on board the plane to make your job easier?
A: Accepting us as people and not treating us as part of airplane Furniture goes a long way. It’s discouraging to welcome people who look right through us with no feedback. Smiling, and saying small things like “please” and “thank you” always helps to boost our enthusiasm. It’s hard to maintain that perfect flight attendant smile when everyone else is giving us stinky eyes.
Q: What are some things that passengers do that drive flight attendants crazy?
A: Do not touch the flight attendant. This should be common sense, but somehow it is not. We don’t like being poked, tapped or caught.
The lack of headphone etiquette drives me crazy. There’s nothing more annoying than trying to talk to someone who’s looking right at me, and they don’t care enough to pause their movie or pull out their earbuds. The funny thing is that usually I’m asking them what they want to drink or eat. I give the courtesy of asking three times. If I don’t get a response, I move on to the next passenger. Here’s the worst part: After about three lines the same person will ring their call button and ask why they didn’t get a drink.
Q: If you fly in the line of duty, do you let the flight attendant know that you are a flight attendant? Is there a secret handshake or code? Will you get special treatment?
A: Yes! There is no secret handshake, we just say hello and tell them where we are sitting. We don’t get special treatment, except perhaps making a new friend or having an entire can of soda. If any we tell the crew as a courtesy emergency onboard, so they know where to turn for an extra helping hand.
Q: Do you have any insider tips for parents who fly with young children? I am a single mom and I am scared of every flight with my almost 2 year old.
A: First, and foremost: Your baby will feel your nerves. If you are stressed, they will be tense. Make the flight as exciting as possible for them ahead of time. Dress them in a special new airplane outfit, or buy a new book, or a box of crayons. Let them have all the screen time they want. Download and watch a new movie or series. Practice with the headphones on before you fly so they get to know how they work. Allow them to carry their own little “on the go” bag that holds new airplane activities. Let them eat or drink something on the plane that they aren’t always allowed to eat, like a cookie, chips, or a little soda. We don’t always have them, but you can always ask the crew for those little plastic wings, and let us know if this is their first flight.
Keep your carry-on as light as possible, and check the rest. Pack some diapers, a change of clothes, some snacks, and any medicine. We also love when you bring in car seats. I know they’re heavy and tough, but most of the times younger kids feel more comfortable because it’s familiar, and it elevates them high enough to look out the window. We like them because they are safe. It also doesn’t hurt to let them run out of their energy. Airport before flight.
Q: I’ve been afraid to fly since I lost friends on the planes on September 11th. The turbulence and sketchy behavior of other passengers doesn’t help. What would you suggest to calm my nerves?
A: There is nothing I can say to calm your nerves after losing friends that day. We all lost something, but for you it was personal. It goes much deeper than an irrational fear of flight. We all have anxiety about flying, even if we’re not really scared. You’re not alone.
Other travelers may add to all of that, but, for the most part, if you mind your own business, other people shouldn’t bother you. Legitimate problems with passengers are really few and far between. I no longer like to fly as a passenger; Being around people on my vacation causes mild anxiety. so i feel you. When I fly as a passenger, I’ve started bringing noise-canceling headphones and my tablet full of movies or shows. I start looking at something as soon as I sit down and pretend I’m in my living room. I get engrossed in my show immediately.
If you’re sitting next to someone who’s bothering you, there’s a chance waiter Can transfer you if the flight does not take off. It’s also perfectly reasonable to ask the gate agent if you can sit by the window or aisle before boarding. A glass of wine can also help you relax and enjoy the flight.
Q: I wonder if, as a flight attendant, you’ve actually chosen to be on an airplane for a living. Do you ever get scared in the air?
A: No, I’m not usually scared. However, sometimes something surprises me. I know my airplane makes every sound and feel, and I panic when I hear something that just isn’t quite right. If I need to, I call the pilots and tell them what I heard, and they check things out.
I would always prefer flying rather than driving. Commuting to and from work is the scariest part of my week. I like to look down at the sky. How peaceful the world looks from above. My office window is a nice respite from the crazy world of traffic and Disorder, Instead try to think about it. Some of our fear of flying is a lack of control: We have to put our trust in two people we don’t know and can’t see. They go through a lot of training to earn that responsibility. We take it lightly, but flying is truly a miracle. Try to ignore the rest and enjoy being able to travel somewhere in a few hours’ time compared to the weeks or months our ancestors would have taken.
Q: What’s the biggest misconception about your job?
A: That we are on the plane for customer service. We are really there for safety. Before World War II, air hostesses were registered nurses. The requirement to become a nurse ended during the war as nurses left flying to join the war effort. Now, we go through intense training to learn how to use all the safety equipment onboard, and where it is on each plane. We offer training on basic life saving skills like CPR. We learn how to take off an aircraft in 90 seconds or less in case of an emergency landing on land or in the water. We also learn firefighters, and how to deal with safety hazards and unruly passersby.
The second biggest misconception is that our work is glamorous. Our days are very long, and our days are short. Sometimes we get so tired that, instead of enjoying our long time by sightseeing, we spend them watching movies in our hotel rooms in pajamas. Although some nights are unbelievable. The strangest thing is that one night I can sit by the sea, sipping Prosecco with fresh seafood, and the next I can eat a four-day-old sandwich next to a toilet in my galley, while someone doing yoga. my face. Becoming a flight attendant is much more than just a job; It changes your whole lifestyle. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
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