IRL

Flight Attendants Reveal Mid-Air Stories Passengers Never Knew Happened

Think you know what's happening on your flight? Ya don't. Flight attendants dressing up dead people, hauling vital organs, and pilots goofing off on the emergency channel are just a few of the things passengers usually don't notice. But they happen, and now I want to be a pilot.

Yamesfrank0 asked flight attendants and pilots of Reddit: What are some things that happen mid flight that only the crew are aware of?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.


Whoops.

One of my all time favorites is the Captain accidentally broadcasting his passenger briefing (welcome aboard, weather in chicago and so on) on frequency instead of the aircraft PA system, blocking up ground, ramp, tower, etc. for a solid 15 seconds. You automatically become the laughing stock of the airport.

Sir_Giraffe161

I have been that lady. Many times.

A lady who was feeling very ill crapped her pants mid flight. A very kind FA managed to get her covered in a blanket and into the bathroom with barely anyone noticing and then gave her a pair of her own pants to wear so she wouldn't be embarrassed.

HippySol

I was so sick on my last 14 hour flight. Like constant diarrhoea and vomiting due to a tummy condition and delayed flight.

There was one flight attendant who was so so kind to me, that I have no doubt if I did follow through, she would have given me anything I needed.

It was such a horrible experience but her look of such concern when I was just sitting in my seat balling my eyes out (because that's what I do when I'm sick) was so comforting.

Edit. As it seems I have personally offended a couple of people by crying on a flight they were never on, here are a few things I would like to clear up.

  • Yes I know you aren't supposed to get on a plane when you are sick. It was the being on the plane coupled with delays that made me sick
  • Yes I'm a big baby for crying on an airplane. Oh no my world is over! But seriously. I know what it's like to be stuck next to an annoying person on a flight for 14 hours. (This obviously hit a sore note so I'm sorry for whatever previous crappy experience you had). But unless you were starring at me directly, you would not have known anything was wrong until the flight attendant asked. I cried silently, yes I cried a lot but the toddler crying in the seat in front of me was definitely making more noise than I was.
  • And lastly, adults cry. We're allowed to. I have no shame in how I handled the crappy situation (literally) I was in. I impacted 1 other person, and that was my partner. And if he can't handle my shit in those situations than we probably shouldn't be together. Luckily he's a little more mature than some and is comfortable to comfort his sick partner.

Thank you for taking the time to have a healthy discussion about crying, pooing and vomitting on a plane! May you all have successful bowel evacuations :)

Pia-the-Pangolin

Just the 10 a.m. flight to Bernie's...

Not sure if it's been mentioned already. I was learning to be cabin crew at college and in the event that someone dies onboard, the CC (Cabin Crew) make it less obvious that they have passed. Put glasses on them, maybe a hat. Essentially dress them up as subtle as possible to not alert and or panic the other passengers.

cMindge

Was deplaning a flight yesterday and someone 10 rows up was hunched over to the side with a neck pillow on and hat on her head. OMG I wonder if thats what happened. It was really strange to see someone not budging from an aisle seat when everyone around them was gone. There were also a lot of cleaning people on the plane earlier than normal.

uncle_drunky

Yeah, it's real subtle when the flight attendant starts playing Mr. Potato Head with the passenger next to you.

Aster_Pop_Soda

Setting off alarms without warning...

The scariest moment of my day is when the FA opens the internal bag door (the closet we all throw our overnight bags in) without calling us in the flight deck first. That ding and master caution gets me everytime....

nukem2099

Sounds like the Q400. Either the FA opening the door in flight or a passenger who seems to think the door very clearly marked "no entry" is the bathroom and sets off the Master Caution because the FA forgot to lock the door

3genav

So it's like XBox live for pilots.

I've got an original one for you all. There is a radio frequency we all are required to monitor. Its called Guard. It's for emergency use and is designed for maydays, and for Air Traffic Control to reach aircraft that may have lost radio contact, or to relay messages from aircraft to other aircraft, etc. every day this frequency is abused. You will hear hundreds of professional aviators meowing, yelling obscenities at each other, and making fun of one airline or another. Often times what will start it is some poor guy accidentally transmitting his PA announcement to passengers on the guard frequency, followed by the very "mature" outbreaks for about 5-10 minutes.

It's the worst on the east coast.

Edit: just today I heard an airline aircraft trying to relay info about a medical emergency on this frequency through one of their fellow company aircraft. They couldn't finish any of their sentences without people yelling "YER ON GUUUARD" "HEY NOBODY CARES ABOUT YER PASSENGER" "HEY YOU'RE ON GUARD TOO EH"

Gravity88x

Autopilot.

Pilots are on their phones or reading the newspaper all the time.

AirspeedIsLife

I'm a pilot and I'm browsing Reddit right now. Ooga booga booga!

Big_Spicy_Tuna69

Pilots aren't just texting and browsing Reddit.

Pilot here.

We only get paid when the doors are closed and the push back has commenced. If we're delayed or sitting with the door open, we're just as annoyed as you are.

At altitude we're constantly in contact with air traffic control and change to different "center frequencies" (or control for other than US locations)

We're also doing fuel checks to make sure the fuel burn isn't abnormal, dodging weather, and probably b!tching about scheduling.

cornbreadcasserole

Why the f*ck aren't you guys salaried? That seems like a job that would be salaried.

Tw*thammer32

Corporate Pilot here, airlines pay block to block, corporate pays salary. It's the route you choose. I make well into 6 figures to work 10ish days per month.

im_a_chinook

TIL how to break into an airplane lavatory.

As said before in the last thread, there is a large list of things that can be broken but the aircraft can still fly.

Often there will be a dead body in the cargo hold.

There is a crash axe just laying around in the cabin. It'll spilt open your skull (not tested) but it won't actually get through the aircraft skin or windows (tested).

Lavatory doors can be opened from the outside by lifting the metal plate saying "lavatory" and pulling the pin under it.

Both pilots may not eat the same meal, but they might be eating at the same time while the plane flies itself.

llfee

Flight hacks.

Pilot here. Late to the party as usual. But, sometimes the passengers may be having a nice quiet flight in the back while the pilots are upfront dodging thunderstorms and yelling their heads off.

We will not only transport dead bodies, but also live transplants, like hearts and lungs. I particularly like the live transplants because we get to cut to the front of the line for takeoff and we get all the short cuts to our destination.

Tip for those who get motion sickness: try not to move your head around. Pilots move their eyes instead of their heads to look at the instruments in the flight deck. Also try to sit in a seat over the wing. This area of the plane doesn't rotate as much during climbs and decents.

Flight attendants can't do pilot's job, but pilots can't do flight attendant's jobs for sure. We aren't hired for our people skills.

Don't take off your shoes to go to the bathroom. People pee on the floor all the time.

purcerh

Ex airline employee here. Often we'd have someone on board with terrible body odor. You can set the temperature in one end of the cabin hotter and it localized the smell to one part of the plane. If you see coffee filter bags hanging anywhere its because someone smells like open @ss somewhere on the plane.

FAs often talk about the "hot guy in 23B" or whatever seat he's in.

Pilots f--- around a lot up front. They'll take pictures, post on FB, watch movies, automation has taken over a lot of the work on long flights.

Edit: Not really on topic, but don't ever walk barefoot or in socks on an airplane. The same mop that mops the lav, mops the galley.

Subrookie

Wondering why your flight is late? Keep wondering.

Pilot here, most of the time the passengers are not given the full answer on why a flight is delayed or cancelled. Airlines will typically blame cancellations on unrelated events (weather) instead of mechanical issues so they don't have to pay for hotel rooms/meals etc...

Also, chemtrails are not real. For those of you who believe they are real, give your head a shake.

darbel

Pilots have a what-could-go-wrong handbook.

There's a 600 page book in the cockpit with every. Single. Thing. that can possibly go wrong, from a bulb going out to an engine falling off, a biohazard or a bomb threat.

Exos9

I've seen a handful of air disaster documentaries where the pilots are facing issues not covered in the manual. I suppose they would likely be added after they happen in that case.

sean_themighty

Yeah, a lot of the air crash investigations were from the 80's and 90's where flying was a lot more dangerous. For instance, British Airways 5390, where the pilot flew out the window and miraculously survived. Cockpit window damaged was soon after added into the QRH and is still present to this day.

Exos9

Youch. Noted.

Don't fly with an ear infection or fluid in your ears. There is a chance you can rupture your eardrum. Flight crews are especially susceptible to this since we are constantly going through pressurization and depressurization when we work.

AcromionProcess

I use to travel a lot for work, and I made this mistake thinking I wasn't that sick. I could feel the pressure slowly leave my inner ear during ascent. During decent my ears wouldn't equalize and I thought they were going to implode.

That was a very painful 5 days of antibiotics while I was waiting for the infection to go away enough that my ears could equalize again.

Maxwell_Jeeves

Ya know, for the "water landing."

FA here, at mid-flight I noticed a strange thing with one of the slides was not armed properly and had an issue with it, however we landed safely and nobody of the Pax knew nothing.

Firewater_

Harassing a flight attendant is a federal crime.

A former teacher told us a story that fits the question.

Every year he would make trips to Europe that were for an "educational experience," or related to the subject he taught in one way or another. In reality, it was just an amazing way to spend two weeks in Europe.

One year he took a students brother with, since he needed an extra person to have the minimum amount of required students. After the 10 hour flight, the flight attendant walks up to him and asks if said brother was apart of his group. He says yes.

Apparently, on the flight he stopped the flight attendant and asked her to have sex with him in the bathroom. She denied, but he continued to ask her several more times through the flight. It reached a point to where she no longer felt anywhere near comfortable. She asked my teacher if she could notify the authorities and have him sent back to the states. He agreed.

There were no immediate flights back home, so a distant relative of his had to be contacted. He stayed with a relative he had never even met, for an entire weekend. He was then put on a flight back home the following week.

tl;dr kid repeatedly asks flight attendant to have sex with him during s 10 hour flight, she contacts authorities, he gets sent back.

DontDoSoap

This is so wrong.

Flight attendants don't get paid on the ground. Only flying hours are paid. We are slave labor on the ground and duties are continually added to our unpaid work time because the company knows they don't have to pay us. We show up 2 to 3 hours before we even start getting paid and some days we will work up to 14 hrs and only get paid for 5 or 6 of those hours. It should be illegal.

Please be kind when you are boardng the plane and getting all pissy about your bags etc, the flight attendant is a volunteer while she is helping you on the ground, she is essentially doing you a favor.

abicus4343

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Teachers have a hard job and empathy can make all the difference, as we learned when Redditor 2minutestosundown asked the online community: High School teachers of Reddit, what is the one thing that you want your students to know that you'd never tell them in person?

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