Fasten your seat belts: the revelations of a flight attendant about how we flyPictolic
As passengers, you blindly trust the crew, because you want to be sure that you are flying quite safely at an altitude of 10 kilometers. Therefore, it is quite surprising that so much information about the world of passenger aviation is still shrouded in mystery.
We asked Annette Long, a flight attendant with 13 years of experience, to tell us about how flights are conducted and about those who guarantee safety. Just below are the questions that you will probably be interested in hearing the answers to.
Do flight attendants eat on-board meals? Oh, yes! All the time. Just imagine our vulture faces, if suddenly you can eat dishes for the first class, m-m-m. Usually we get what is left untouched after all the passengers are fed.
What is the most attractive direction for a flight attendant? This is a controversial issue, since everyone has their own. When I shared a post on Facebook that I was flying to Beijing, one of my colleagues wrote: "It's cool that you're flying, not me." She likes working on domestic flights, and so do many others. And vice versa, there are people who like international flights more. I like to fly to Beijing and Tokyo from Washington and back. In addition, in Beijing, we are given 52 hours to rest, so I can go shopping and have a good rest.
How do many hours of flights affect you? By the time you arrive home, you are very exhausted. You really get so tired that you don't even have the strength to sit in social networks. It happens that after a long flight you do not want to answer the phone or open the door. You want to cancel all your plans and just lie in bed.
Can you sleep during long flights? Yes, we can. For example, on a flight to Beijing lasting 14 hours, we have a 4-hour break. We serve drinks, then food, then dessert, and then we can relax a little. Half of the team goes to the rest compartments while the other half works. These compartments are very small and cramped, it is impossible to even sit down there. To be honest, they look like a coffin. But, in principle, you can lie down there, listen to music and relax a little.
Is it possible to sleep properly there? One of our new friends recently fell asleep so that she didn't hear three alarm bells, so anything is possible. And I, for example, can only sleep for a couple of hours, and then I feel so-so.
What happens when you are in the rest compartments and get into a zone of turbulence? We have special seat belts there.
And what do you do when someone gets really sick or someone dies during the flight? We contact the medical company, and the doctors explain to us what to do. They ask questions, we answer them, and together we decide what to do. Just in case of fire, there is an automatic external defibrillator on board.
And do you leave those who died on board in their seats? Yes. Thank God, I have never been in such a situation and I don't even know a single person on whose flight someone would have died. But I think we would have covered the body with something so that it would not attract so much attention. It's all very sad.
Do you have any secret signals that are used in communication with other crew members? There are several situations in which we are supposed to use certain words, not signals, the meaning of which is understood only by the crew members, and I can not share them with you.
What happens when a passenger refuses to fasten his seat belt when the "Fasten your seat belts" light turns on? When the "Fasten your seat belts" indicator lights up, but does not blink, some passengers do not care at all: they want to go to the toilet — no, they do not want to look rude and impolite — they just want to go to the toilet. Okay. I'm not going to physically detain anyone. But I just have to tell the passenger the following: if the captain believes that the indicator should be lit, then it can be dangerous to unfasten the belt and even more so to get up from your seats.
What do passengers need to do to be kicked out of the plane or to make an emergency landing on board? If for some reason this was not noticed during the pre-flight inspection and you got on board drunk, and we saw it before departure — you will have to leave the plane. We don't need you to suddenly get up from your seat at an altitude of 10 kilometers above the ground and start brawling. However, in order for you to be kicked out of the plane before takeoff, you just need to start behaving aggressively — you will immediately go home accompanied by representatives of the security service. If you are injured, in principle, the plane can be redirected, but this decision is not made by me.
What is the strangest thing that you have encountered while working? My flights were mostly quite calm, nothing special. Although there were a couple of incidents. One day I saw a passenger fall and break his face. He didn't even have time to grab something with his hands. Although this is not very strange. I was also told about one case when blood dripped from the shelves for hand luggage. It turned out that someone tried to smuggle a goat's head in a bag. This was, of course, before the introduction of modern pre-flight inspection standards.
And what is the most terrible thing for you in the behavior of passengers?
When someone decides to cut their toenails. It's so awful! And this happens not so rarely, believe me. Even more often, passengers take off their shoes and throw their unbearably bad-smelling feet somewhere higher. Many people come to the back of the plane and begin to warm up there, perform physical exercises. And we are forced to observe this. Some people start demanding free alcoholic beverages literally immediately after takeoff, and someone without any hesitation watches porn.