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11 Secrets Your Flight Attendant Doesn't Want You to Know

By Poyen Ramos on January 1, 2016

Whether you're a frequent flyer, or perhaps want to fulfill your dream to becoming a flight attendant soon, it's probably best for you not to read this article because going to change your perspective on life in the air. Wait. On second thought, maybe you should so you'll find out the dirty little secrets some airline staff from all over the world has been keeping from you.

Someone finally asked through Reddit the question we've been curious about—what are they hiding from us? A few have spoken up and confessed what really takes place behind the scenes.

So if you're boarding a plane anytime soon, either for your next business trip to Cebu or New York, or even just a vacation to Palawan, these revelations might make you think twice of flying mindlessly ever again.

Side note: This might not be entirely true in the Philippine setting, but it's something worth noting next time you're riding the plane.
1. The truth about airline coffee or tea.

One user mentioned that they don't clean out the brewing machine because they just don't care:

"The coffee is absolutely disgusting because no one washes the container that goes out every morning. The station agents who get paid way too little don't give a sh*t about cleaning it. I certainly didn't when I worked for American Airlines. Also, because we weren't given the proper supplies to clean it. We pretty much just rinsed it out and dumped coffee into it."

Not yet convinced? Here's another one that might just do the trick:

"Sometimes, the vehicle that fills the potable water for washing hands and making coffee is parked next to the vehicle that is used to dump the shitters and fill the blue juice for the lavs. They're not supposed to. Sometimes, they're parked at a distance from each other, which is policy, yet the guy who is filling the water is using gloves that he hasn't changed in over 2 years."

2. The little missing parts.

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Apparently, we've been flying up 35,000 feet in a plane that has missing parts.
Comment from discussion People who work for airlines, what are secrets passengers don't know?.
But this is something that's of minimal concern for us passengers, because our airline staff already know that with these little glitch, the plane is still airworthy.

"True. It's called a Minimum Equipment List (MEL). Counterintuitively, it's a list of what can be broken on the aircraft while it still remains airworthy. It should be noted that the operational limits of the aircraft are altered to respond to broken parts. For instance, if certain lights are broken, the aircraft is restricted to daytime use." - iperArrown3191q via Reddit


3. Nope. Turbulence won't bring the plane down.">

“Turbulence CAN NOT bring down a plane. Period.

It is thought to have only ever possibly, perhaps, maybe happened ONCE in the whole history of aviation. I bet many on here will claim that I’m full of sh*t, that they’ve experienced “severe” turbulence. No, you haven’t. I’ve had hundreds of passengers jump out of my plane complaining about how it was “the worse flight ever and so horribly bumpy,” as if it was our fault. 99% of the time, those bumps they felt are what we call, and what is defined by the FAA as “light chop.” Big deal, it’s little more than a nuisance. Moderate chop will be what most people complain about but it’s still not even enough to spill a drink. Legitimate severe turbulence WILL toss you around violently enough to slam your ugly face against the seat in front of you, against the ceiling if your seatbelt is off (WHICH IS WHY YOU NEVER EVER TAKE IT OFF UNTIL WE ARE PARKED AT THE GATE AND THE SIGN IS OFF) and snap your neck and die (yes, it has happened), open up the bins and spill bags everywhere, potentially cracking your skull if a hard suitcase hits you. In other words, the stuff you see in Hollywood. Extreme turbulence will actually bend a plane, and that is extremely rare, maybe a couple of times year in the US.” -—PM_ME_YOUR_EMPENNAGE via Reddit


4. Those masks only give you 15 minutes of air (kinda).

oxygen mask
Photo from Aviation Republic

"If the oxygen masks drop down, you only have about 15 minutes of oxygen from the point of pulling them down. However, that is more than enough time for the pilot to take us to a lower altitude where you can breathe normally." -Anonymous


5. Pilots and their sleeping habits in-flight.

sleeping pilot
Just getting a little snooze. Photo from Reddit

"Most of the time during your flight, the pilots are sleeping. It's been found that 1/2 of pilots sleep while flying and 1/3 of the time one has woken up to find that their partner is also asleep." -Anonymous


6. And when they're just making sure one of them doesn't get sick.



Comment from discussion People who work for airlines, what are secrets passengers don't know?.


7. Be nice to ticket agents, and they'll be nice to you...

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"Be nice to the ticket agent and they will pretty much always let you get away with overweight bags. If you were funny, I'd even not charge you for bags." -WorseToWorser via Reddit

True story. I had about 1.5 kilos of excess baggage on my way back to Manila from the holidays, and was struggling to transfer some items to my carry on. Then the agent told me, "Ok lang 'yan, ma'am. Ako na bahala." That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you use your charm on cute ticket agents. #win

8. And also to flight attendants (they might just give you free drinks if you do).

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Photo from
Comment from discussion People who work for airlines, what are secrets passengers don't know?.


9. Your luggage are never really safe.

airport cargo
Photo from Reddit


Comment from discussion People who work for airlines, what are secrets passengers don't know?.


10. You're riding with at least one dead body on the plane.


Comment from discussion People who work for airlines, what are secrets passengers don't know?.


And for the most helpful of all secrets...


11. The armrest on the aisle can be lifted! What?!


sleeping plane fight club edward norton


Comment from discussion People who work for airlines, what are secrets passengers don't know?.

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