I'm a flight attendant working in for a european all service carrier in star alliance.I am here to answer all those questions that always popped-up in your head while flying and why you have to open your sunshade!

Comments: 308 • Responses: 63  • Date: 

kooldawgstar74 karma

What was your worst experience with a passenger?

MsSafety15 karma

Sorry, sorry, overlooked it! Didnt mean to hurt you ;) Ahm, difficult question to answer, because I have different kinds of top-bad-passengers. The worst are usally those who think they are the only people around, I really cant put my finger on "worst ever". The one that I cant forget is a woman who was very persistently calling me while I was bringing another passenger a blanket and when I got to her she pointed at the trash on the floor with her FOOT, said "there" and wanted me to pick it up. Or yesterday, probably while you wrote that a woman decided she HAD to pamper her baby 3 minutes for take-off and my senior let her go. When I went into the toilet after take-off she had just left the diaper on the floor and there was babyshit all over the place.

ihavetheneed49 karma


MsSafety87 karma

How sweet. Well its easy stuff really, basically: dont be a dick - we are well trained and care for your safety, not personal servents. Dont tell your flight attendant to stow your handluggage, company policy forbidds us to do so, and its also super rude. Try to pay attention to the safety video and prepare YOURSELF for take-off, dont let us ask you for each thing.

NewyoZ10 karma

Well, my girlfriend is 1.5 m, 4 ft 11, she is not tall enough to put her luggage on, and a perfectly fit male flight attendant just refused to help by saying "Sorry, I don't do that". Are there absolutely no understanding? She was not being rude but genuinely need help, why is there such a policy anyway?

MsSafety12 karma

If we break anything and/or hurt ourselves or others we are not insured. Some male flight attendants do it anyways, but you have to understand - its not our job, its like asking your waitress to hold your bag because you're growing tired of it. You have to be able to "handle" your own "hand" luggage. I dont do it, but I'm a rather tiny woman so err...

ser323234 karma

Out of all the flights you've been on, how many people do you know for sure joined the Mile High Club?

MsSafety114 karma

A total of 0. Also, sex on an airplane is as hygienic and classy as sex on a gas station toilet.

AnonIsGirl26 karma

When people are using data on their cellphones during take off, can it actually harm the functioning of the plane in any way?

MsSafety58 karma

It depends on the airplane kind, some older ones are very sensitive. Otherwise, one probably does nothing, also two...but if everyone messages it might disturb the electronics. But really, I forgot to turn of my phone a lot of times, and whats really shit about that is that it kills the battery, because it constantly searches for a telephone network.

micaoct17 karma

It has nothing to do with messing with the "electronics". It is all about making sure people aren't playing with their phones during the safety briefing and also ensuring that in the contingency that something happens, those phones/iPads/laptops/etc that people are holding aren't going to be deadly projectiles. Avionics are not affected.

MsSafety-1 karma

Thats actually not true, since you are now aloud to hold anything in hand and use that weighs less than one kilo and fits in the seatpockets, so you can use your ipad etc. Even though, i gotta say, i strongly disagree with that policy.

BerlinerHell-4 karma

Didn't myth busters disprove this bullshit?

MsSafety81 karma

your right, I'd better trust myth busters on my life than the EASA.

RaulRaulRaul25 karma

Can you guys really keep me in an airplane (that has landed) for as long as you want?? Is there anything I can do about it?

MsSafety37 karma

NO...And why would we? But sometimes the airplane isnt able to connect with the airport bridges etc. after landing (could be airport malfunction, a thunderstrom...) and then we cant just let you run out on the apron. And dont try to open the door, you'll shoot a slide and pay your whole life. And if your stuck in an airplane before takeoff, its because we're legally bound to keep you in and your online way out would be through major legal issues. BUT trust me, NOBODY wants to be stuck on a crowded airplane, that counts for passengers as much as for flight attendants.

RaulRaulRaul16 karma

It's because once I landed in Texas from a flight from Italy, and they wouldn't let us out of the airplane because costumes weren't there, we waited 3 hours.

MsSafety32 karma

Thats on costume/the united states, dont blame the airline, those flight attendants probably had a crazy shit day too.

dirtyrottenshame24 karma

Any thoughts, comments on the Knee Defender?

MsSafety10 karma

Fuck that shit. Why not just be civilized human beings instead?

Kareful-kay21 karma

What got you into the industry? Do you get discounts on flying with your company? Do you enjoy getting to fly to many different places, and do you ever have any down time between flights to explore the places you fly to?

MsSafety39 karma

My exboyfriends sister started flying and it sounded like a sweet dream. I was also pretty fascinated in my childhood, with those gracious, pretty, multilingual people. (HA! naivity...)

We get pretty good discounts, but our tickets are then only "standby", so we only get a seat if there is space. There are a little less cheap tickets, still with discount, that are fix.

I have 6hrs to 4day stops. It doenst happen all the time though, a lot of times we just do roundtrips. I have up to 4 flights a day.

Kareful-kay19 karma

Up to 4 flights a day? Jet lag much?

MsSafety42 karma

nah, just never change your watch, you dont stay there anyways. The biggest trouble there is taking care of the various personal needs of up-to 800 people in one day.

Kareful-kay18 karma

One last question: If you could fly anywhere in the world..where would it be , and why?

MsSafety33 karma

I'm flying to China in October, I've lived there as a child but I havent been back in 12 years. I just want to take a trip down memory lane. But if I had to give somebody a recommendation, I'd say Sarajevo.

defufna6 karma

Can you please say a few more words about Sarajevo? Why do you recommend it?

MsSafety35 karma

Its a beautiful, lovely and quite charismatic city, the collision and combination of chistianity and islam on this small space is unique and today wonderful thing there but it also provides a vital nightlife. Also in me it brings out a lot of special feelings seeing every house covered in shotholes and in the middle of it suddenly me medieval buldings. Also chevapcici.

Dioxid310 karma

For those who don't know what chevapcici are, little "sticks" of minced meat grilled and served with french fries and ajvar, a sort of paprika(bell pepper) paste. Very tasty!

Also as a bartender I admire your patience. I can throw out a customer but you are pretty much stuck in the tube with them so points to you!

Source: Am Half-Croatian.

MsSafety8 karma

Deescalation is what everyone should bare in mind on an airplane. nono escalation.

arbiteus2 karma

Where in China? It's changed so much in the past 12 years, essentially all major cities are westernized now. Transportation everywhere is really convenient, unless your going to Shanghai/hangzhou area, flights in and out are heavily delayed due to "unforseen circumstances" aka military flights, =/

MsSafety2 karma

Beijing..I know, I've been in constant contact with people who are still there, but I'm curious to see, anyways.

DoctorWho--1117 karma

What's the deal with airline food?

MsSafety3 karma

What do you want to know?

DoctorWho--111 karma

How's the quality?

MsSafety2 karma

pretty good actually, very high calories though, not exactly nutricioning but not so bad if you don't have to eat it every day.

paulisnofun17 karma

Is the word Stewardess considered as offensive as the "N-Word"?

MsSafety50 karma

Since it doesnt refer back to ages of slavery, no. But its not a nice way to call us. Such as maid to your household help.

h0bb1tm1ndtr1x19 karma

Is there an exact reason for this or did stewardess simply become unPC? I'm having trouble understanding the difference between that and flight attendant, which hold the same definition of inflight server in my mind. Not trying to come off as rude, just genuinely curious.

MsSafety32 karma

flight attendant wears more the connontation of a safety worker too. Steward(ess) is also the guy in the hotel carring your luggage, eh? Most flight attendants get very offended when you see them as a waitress, it may seem like that most of the time, but we are mostly trained in safety and we can do much more than serving coke. Not offended, btw :)

beardedlemon14 karma

How often do you get to be at home? And how many days a week do you work?

MsSafety21 karma

I usally have 10-13 days off, some colleagues have up to 15 days off, if they fly longrange only. I sleep around 7 days a month in hotels, sometimes more in the summer.

beardedlemon9 karma

That seems pretty manageable. I bet it's awesome to get to travel so often!

MsSafety24 karma

It is a lot of more off time, but you have to take in accounting that we do shift work and often have a very, very messed up sleep-schedule. I for one mostly sleep 4-5 hrs each night and then 14 once a week. Its still a great job, but physically very exhausting

The145ninja13 karma

What is the training like to be a flight attendant?

MsSafety33 karma

I once ran into the wall in the middle of the night because I dreamt I got an evacuation command. Military-ish. Trainers yelling at you to put you under stress, figher fighting, swimming blindfolded. Just to name some key-points.

KemperBoyd1712 karma

Do you get sick a lot with sore throats and colds or have you built up a strong immunity breathing in all of our recycled air and germs constantly?

MsSafety24 karma

In the beginning I got 4 rather severe infections in a row. Quick fevers, tonsil infections, all sorts. Now I'm mostly good. Your immuno-system has to adapt. Now, I have to say though, that the modern air conditions leave less germs in the air than before, but we get the germs from touching all those things the 1000s of passengers touch every day. I eat nothing at work before disinfecting my hands.

ogunasekara12 karma

How often does a flight attendant face sexual harassments and how are you told to, considering that you are, deal with this behavior?

MsSafety25 karma

The offical company policy is to file a report, if someone is very very harrasing. I face what I considering sexual harrassment every day, from passengers and every now from colleagues. In reality, nobody ever reports except if something REALLY bad happens (e.g. a friend of mine was once photographed down her skirt by a passenger, they flew straight back to the airport and called to police for an unruly). Mostly its just over the top flirting, or people who think that you understand them better when they touch you. I used to work as a bartender and I have no fear of telling people where my boundaries lie. I will politely or less politely tell everyone who does so to not touch me. But some of my co-workers are quite young and its their first job, so they are equally shy.

TheGarlicRogue10 karma

Hi there thanks for doing this AMA.

So I was wondering if you ever had any trouble with a passenger or co-worker while flying?

Or if there ever occurred a weird situation?

MsSafety19 karma

The other day on a flight to London a 17-yr-old Londoner told me "Thanks love, ye know, I'd fuck the shit right outa-ya" Er. Thanks.

Tons of weird situations. People putting their babys on the floor or in the overhead compartment, people shouting for no reason, people undressing.

Passengers make trouble all time. Almost no flight passes without somebody going nuts.

dclozr8 karma

Do you have advice for combating a fear of flying?

MsSafety30 karma

Tell us if you are scared, for starters, we are pleased to help. Dont take any sedatives, you never know how you will react on them in higher altitude. Otherwise, rationally, there is not a lot of reason to fear, but I bet you know that. Just try to get something to distract you...and really tell us! Everybody I know always cares a lot about scared passengers and it might help to talk to the personnel.

numath047 karma

What sort of announcement are private lingo between the captain and crew that we as passengers don't understand? Can you share some of those secret phrases?

MsSafety16 karma

The exact phrases vary from airline to airline, but theres always something about slide arming, and there are code-words for fire etc. to prevent causing panic

NorbitGorbit7 karma

which airplane model is the most pleasant for a flight attendant to work in?

MsSafety16 karma

Must be a B777, altough I've never worked th A380.

skater6877 karma

How has being a flight attendant effected your health, my friends mom is a flight attendant and it has messed with her circulation, do you ever worry about stuff like that?

MsSafety12 karma

I worry, and I can say that you age quicker, all my collegues who have been doing the work for 10 years or so look easily 5 years older than they are. Also the lack of sleep is a huge issue and I would also like to see some long term studies about what working in 2500 m high altitude does to your body.

middlemanmark6 karma

Can you confirm or deny the rumour of the secret Ryanair village where all the fit flight attendants go at the end of the day to eat and sleep (and lez off)?

MsSafety22 karma

I have never met anyone working for ryanair, but I guess its not really true. Sounds like a weird airtravel-enthusiasts sexy dream too me.....

NextNinja6 karma

Have you ever hooked up during a flight ?

MsSafety13 karma

No and I've never actually seen someone do it. But there are stories and tales and always a lot of gossip going on, about colleagues hooking-up

LOUCIFER_3152 karma

No Mile High Club?

MsSafety8 karma

non that I've ever seen.

stevejj5 karma

What is the most fun European city for a layover?

MsSafety14 karma

Sofia, Amsterdam

4juice5 karma

I heard a good tip from a friend of mine who is working as a steward in a major airline. He told me a good way to get free goodies is to inform the flight attendant about your mate's birthday and asking you all to do something for him. They will get a cake out and sometimes champagnes from the first class cabins. How true is this and does your airline practise this too? Also, do you like doing Indians flight? My mate hates it.

MsSafety8 karma

Ah i'm ok with the indians, I think flight attendants are a quite racist crowd, bc we get confronted with stereotypes all the time, but I also think that you shouldnt let yourself believe too much of that. I also enjoy flights to israel, but most colleagues hate it.

That is precisely what will happen. Champagne seems a bit over the top,though

newyork_sucks4 karma

A friend of mine wants to be a flight attendant; what special training or education did you have to endure, or is this a job one can apply and hope they get picked? Basically, how does one become a flight attendant?

MsSafety8 karma

I dont know how american procedures are. Here in Europe you need to have to have the countries highest highschool-degree or a lower degree but a two year job-training. The following should apply to the US too: you apply for the job online, sent letter, curriculum vitae and job certificates etc., if they answer you, you do an online-test, if you pass that, you may be invited to an assessment center, and if you pass this you get into training which takes roughly about two months...you also have to pass a shitload of medical tests.

Shelby024 karma

Are blankets really washed before put back in plastic bags?

MsSafety13 karma

gosh, I dearly hope so.

Danner0014 karma

Why could 35 people not come on my flight because there was one less flight attendant available?

Is there a rule that states there should be at least 1 flight attendant for an x number of people or something?

MsSafety17 karma

International law says one flight attendant per 50 people. IATA regulations say one flight attendant per 50 seats, no matter if there are passengers sitting there or not.

dvasilev3 karma

Why don't you provide additional meals, since, I assume, there are always leftovers?

MsSafety6 karma

I do! I dont know what other airlines policies are there.

Imaterribledoctor3 karma

If the nearest emergency exit is behind me, should I really use it or am I better off going forward?

MsSafety47 karma

always use the one you can reach the fastest, usally the closest, but if that one is running slow or if that one is blocked, use the one that gets you out the quickest. That should be the priority, to get out asap. If the wings catch fire it takes the whole airplane 30secs to explode, so where ever you go, JUST GET THE FUCK OUT

verksies3 karma

Is there any guaranteed way to get a free upgrade on flights? :D

MsSafety4 karma

No. Definitly not...and my airline doesnt give any free upgrades unless the flight is highly overbooked.

defufna3 karma

I was once flying from Frankfurt to Munich and there was a pretty bad snow storm. I think it was covering most of Germany. We were not able to land in Munich immidietly and had to wait for 20 minutes until they cleared runways. Were we in any danger of running out of fuel? How long would a plane wait? Where would it go if landing in Munich was deemed impossible?

KillAllTheThings7 karma

Not OP.

All aircraft carry more fuel than it takes to make the journey. The cockpit crew pays very close attention to fuel consumption (it is a major factor in whether that flight is profitable or not) so they would alert ground control if they were running dangerously low.

Europe is littered with dozens of airports capable of handling your flight. If your primary destination is no longer an option for any reason, the pilot will be given the nearest available suitable facility to land (if a diversion is necessary for any reason - like the recent American seat tilt disturbances).

MsSafety3 karma

Nothing more to say to that :)

Lazdaa3 karma

What is your experience with people bringing their instrument inside the airplane? A lot of guitarists are trying to get their equipment safely to their destination, but some flights don't allow people to bring their guitar in the cabin. Do you usually allow it? And if so does it count as hand luggage?

MsSafety4 karma

You have to pay extra and declare, its no problems most of the time. Cellos get an extra seat+restraining device. We once hat a whole brass orchestra on board. People usally bring their instruments, rarely guitarists though.

DuckyFreeman3 karma

I am USAF aircrew on a cargo plane, and I play the "flight attendant" roles on my jet. I feel your pain. We get dementia'd retirees and unruly kids just the same as you, though in smaller numbers.

But I also want to gloat that I get to yell at the passengers to sit down when I tell them to. My cargo compartment, my rules. Don't like it? Leave. You're not paying to be here anyways. It makes the job much easier, that's for true.

MsSafety4 karma

What a sweet dream.

ontrack2 karma

If your carrier wanted to put you on a flight to a country that was experiencing a plague outbreak like Ebola, could you refuse to go?

MsSafety3 karma

I can refuse flights due to fear, bc of wars, deseases etc.

HamBus2 karma

Since nobody asked this, why do we have to open the sun shades?

MsSafety4 karma

So that in case of take-off/landing abortion and emergency, we can look out and see the outside conditions (water, fire..)

reseph2 karma

What happens if I gamble on a fart and lose? Can I sit in first class?

MsSafety6 karma

please specify "losing the gamble on a fart". Alsoo er...Behave in first class as if you are worthy of first class?

reseph3 karma

Well see... a lot of us, maybe a lot of us guys fart. And sometimes those farts aren't actual farts. They're solid. Or sometimes liquid. So when we're pushing out a fart, we don't always know. It's a gamble. If we lose, well... we've probably ruined the seat.

Thus why I asked if that lets me move to first class for a new seat.

MsSafety4 karma

get it. they will ask you to change your clothes, maybe maybe ask you to leave first class (BUT WHERE TO REALLY?! Its a goddamn airplane, impossible to bring you out of reach of anyone..) and we have airfreshers and stuff. If you pushed it too far and the smell is out of control, landing.

reseph3 karma

If you pushed it too far and the smell is out of control, landing.

wait uhhh... has this actually happened?

MsSafety4 karma

I can't exactly imagine somebody have so much diarrhea that it forces an airplane to land, but then again theres nothing too gross to exist and airplanes have landed a lot of times because of unbearable smell.

MsSafety-1 karma

get it. they will ask you to change your clothes, maybe maybe ask you to leave first class (BUT WHERE TO REALLY?! Its a goddamn airplane, impossible to bring you out of reach of anyone..) and we have airfreshers and stuff. If you pushed it too far and the smell is out of control, landing.

numath042 karma

Do you have a picture?

MsSafety7 karma

in contact to prove to mods just know. Cant do it publically, as my company has a very high secret-keeping policy

Sisiwakanamaru2 karma

Do you have any story when you were assigned to accompany children?

MsSafety2 karma

Fortunatly not, most of them are pretty cool checked out frequent flyers.

sawmebanginonthesofa2 karma

I once wanted to become a pilot but after a few transatlantic flights, being on a plane for that sorta time becomes unbearable. So my question is(this might've been asked before, sorry I hadn't gone through every single comment): since becoming a flight attendant, have you become more comfortable being on a plane? for example aeroplane ear etc.

MsSafety8 karma

I dont really realise I'm flying anymore, not as a passenger or on duty, it just "feels" the same after some time. But you are, right being in an airplane can become unbearable sometimes, when you are tired e.g. After all its an unescapable metal tube.

sawmebanginonthesofa3 karma

Unescapable metal tube? Looks like I'm never visiting my sister again :D on a serious note though thanks for the AMA

MsSafety10 karma

I'm a real star with the aviophobiacs.

angiethestrange2 karma

What's the scariest thing that has happened to you on a plane, like something that was a "close call" ?

MsSafety4 karma

Rome ATC "accidently" sending us through a thunder storm for landing, crazy turbulence, people vomiting, crying, my senior got really scared, prepared for an emergency landing. In the end we just had a go-around and went on to another landing strip and everything was fine. But we all got a good scare and the pilots wrote a long report.

CountOlafAMA2 karma

What type of mental or physical training do you need to go through to work at such high altitudes? (Breathing at high elevation? Practicing balance during turbulence, meditation to deal with the beck-and-call of so many passengers?)

Thank you for all the work you do; I wish more people understood that flight stewards are there first and foremost for safety, and providing snacks is an additional duty!

MsSafety6 karma

I dont do any of that I only had to learn how to sleep on the spot (unfortunatly I wake-up always very soon after that). The working in the altitudes is just harder on the body, like working on a mountain, people with high blood pressure get easily dizzy. Also NEVER go to work when you're even slightly sick, is something all of us learn the hard way. I once got the flu on duty and by the time i was back on ground, I passed out on the stairs. Also no flying with blocked nose, you can seriously damage your ears, and it hurts and is painful as shit. Counts for passengers too.

iamasopissed2 karma

What's the pay like?

MsSafety2 karma

Not really great, but since its a job you can do right after school, still good.

twistedfork2 karma

A woman that I am friends with at the dog park is a flight attendent for a private airline. She works 7-on 7-off and flies both national and international flights. I'd like to get her a little gift that would be useful while out of town. Do you have any suggestions?

MsSafety4 karma

Hmm, she probably has everything she needs while traveling, because she does it all the time. Better give her something she can use in those precious hours at home.

skinnyfatguy902 karma

How do I get better personal service?

MsSafety3 karma

be charming, be nice.

[deleted]1 karma


MsSafety7 karma

I can really not say that basic attractiveness is a big factor here in europe. Your weight must not be over slight overweight, but thats all to that. What counts a lot is the way you dress, wear make-up/beard etc.- They pay A LOT attention to that.

Maccas751 karma

What is the best advice you'd give someone who suffers from anxiety and has to make a 10,000 mile journey solo soon?

MsSafety2 karma

I answered that question earlier, pls search for it. I wish you the best for your trip! Take a good book!

zizl-8 karma

Are you hot, most of you are, please be hot, are you hot?


MsSafety20 karma

super hot, naturally.

zizl-6 karma

Prove it!


MsSafety7 karma

Oh man, if I do so, I cant talk as freely anymore because I might be breaching my contract