6 Surprising Insider Secrets Flight Attendants Know (That You Don't)

by Michelle Guerrere

Flight attendants can spend up to 80 hours a week in flight (crazy, right?), so it’s only natural that they know some plane-related secrets we’ve never heard of and have witnessed some interesting things passengers only dream of. In case you’re wondering, this goes beyond couples’ bathroom meet-ups and setting off smoke detectors on board—we mean where exactly you should sit, what not to pack, and the exit you should never, ever take. Read on to see interesting facts straight from flight attendants’ mouths, as shared with Business Insider Australia. 

You'll get better service at the back of the plane.

Most passengers think being at the front of the plane is optimal, but get this: Sitting toward the back may score you some extras. The reason is simple: “We like to avoid responding to call bells from the front of the plane because answering one means potentially flaunting whatever item the passenger has requested to everyone else along the way,” says flight attendant Annie Kingston. “This can cause a problem since planes often don't have enough extra vodka, pillows, earplugs, and toothbrushes, or the time on shorter flights to deviate from the service schedule.” 

Don’t deploy the emergency slide for a quick exit.

This should be an obvious one, but never deploy the emergency slide unless there is an actual emergency. Not only does this cause massive delays, some passengers have had to pay back around $16,000 worth in damages for this major mistake.

Some flight attendants are allowed to taser passengers.

Yes, this is a thing now. If you’re flying Korean Air, note that your flight attendants are allowed to use tasers in the case that a passenger may harm others on board. 

You can't BYOB.

Although travel-sized alcohol bottles are a thing, it doesn’t mean they’re actually allowed on board. If a flight attendant sees you with one, he or she can confiscate it because pouring your own drinks means your alcohol consumption in the air can’t be monitored.

Never drink the water.

Or the coffee or tea, for that matter. Apparently, one in eight planes fails water safety tests, according to the EPA. "Flight attendants will not drink hot water on the plane,” an unnamed flight attendant told Business Insider Australia. “They will not drink plain coffee, and they will not drink plain tea.” 

Flight attendants don’t get paid until the flight takes off.

So the next time you’re frustrated about delays or inconveniences, make sure you don’t take it out on your flight attendants. Chances are, they’ve had a longer day than you have.

For more under-the-radar facts about flying, visit Business Insider Australia, pick up a luxury leather passport case for your next getaway, and tell us what you think in the comments! 

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