You probably sense there’s some hidden bureaucracy happening on an airplane — that just a few well-kept secrets stand between you and a much better in-flight experience. You’re right! Here’s what your flight attendant won’t tell you.
They throw out the extra wine
The plane isn’t allowed to have opened, unfinished bottles of wine when they land, so they pour out all extra wine. If you mention you know this, it could be hard for your attendant to deny you a couple extra free glasses.
They delay dinner on purpose
If you’re asleep, your flight attendant is supposed to leave you alone and that means less work. For this reason, the crew will often delay dinner as long as possible on night flights, so that half the plane is asleep and they don’t have to serve that half.
You can have first class’s leftovers
After everyone in first class has been served their meal, a flight attendant could technically give you one of those sought-after leftover meals. It’s worth asking.
Nice clothes can get you to first class
You actually can be upgraded for free to business or first class once the cabin doors have been closed. But here’s a secret: the crew isn’t going to put a slob in stained sweatpants up there, so dressing nice could be your ticket to first class service at economy prices.
They’re not on the clock until the doors are closed
If the crew doesn’t seem to care about you until the doors are closed, that’s because they’re not being paid to. They don’t make a dollar until those doors are shut which is also why they rush you to put your bags away and sit down.
They’re the law
They may look unassuming in their pencil skirts and cardigans, but it’s against the law to disobey crew members’ commands. Simply refusing to put your seat up when it’s time could mean a meeting with police when the plane lands.
You only think you know turbulence
Flight attendants laugh when they hear passengers swap stories of “the worst turbulence ever” and “dangerously bumpy flights.” Out of the over 2 million people who fly yearly, there have only been three fatalities due to turbulence in over 30 years, and two of those individuals were not wearing their seatbelts.
Joining the mile high club is not illegal
That’s right! If you can get away with it, you didn’t do anything wrong. That being said, flight attendants almost always know when this is happening, and will ask you to exit the lavatory.
They’re sneaking you decaf coffee
Why would they give you regular if that just means you’ll be awake for hours, wanting snacks, wanting drinks, and asking pointless questions?
They’ll intentionally delay flights
If a flight is delayed, the crew often gets paid overtime. But this only kicks in after a certain amount of delay, so sometimes the crew (after the doors have closed and they are in fact on the clock) will delay take off intentionally.