As passengers, you blindly trust the crew because you want to be sure that you are rushing 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, writes Big Picture.
Annette Long, a flight attendant with 13 years of experience, was asked to talk about how flights go and those who guarantee safety. Below are questions that you will probably find interesting to answer.
Do flight attendants eat on-board meals?
Oh yeah! All time. Just imagine our vulture faces if you can suddenly eat first-class meals, umm. Usually we get what is left untouched after all the passengers are fed.
Which direction is the most attractive for the stewardess?
This is a moot point, because to each his own. When I shared a Facebook post about flying to Beijing, one of my colleagues wrote: “It's cool that you fly, not me.” She likes to work on domestic flights, and many others too. Conversely, there are people who like international flights more. I like flying 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 hours-long 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 on social networks. It happens that after a long flight you do not want to either answer calls or open the door. You want to cancel all plans and just lie in bed.
Can you sleep during long flights?
Yes we can. For example, on a 14-hour flight to Beijing, we have a 4-hour break. We deliver drinks, then food, then dessert, and then we can relax a bit. Half of the team goes to the rest compartments while the other half is working. These compartments are very small and cramped, it’s even impossible to sit there. To be honest, they look like a coffin. But, in principle, there you can lie down, listen to music and relax a bit.
Is it okay to sleep there?
One of our newcomers recently fell asleep so that she didn’t hear three alarms, so anything is possible. And I, for example, can only sleep for a couple of hours, and after that I feel so-so.
On the subject: 7 facts that passengers of the aircraft are not told about
What happens when you, in the compartments for rest, fall into the turbulence zone?
We have special seat belts there.
And what do you do when someone gets really sick or someone dies during a flight?
We contact a medical company, and doctors explain what to do. They ask questions, we answer them, and jointly decide what to do. There is an automatic external defibrillator on board for every fireman.
And you leave those who died on board in your chairs?
Yes. Thank God I have never been in a similar situation and do not even know a single person on whose flight anyone would die. But, I think, we would cover the body with something so that it would not attract so much attention. This is 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 not signals, but certain words, the meaning of which is understood only by crew members, and I cannot share them with you.
What happens when a passenger refuses to fasten his seat belt when the “Fasten seat belts” light comes on?
When the “Fasten your seatbelts” indicator is on but not blinking, some passengers don’t care at all: they want to go to the toilet - no, they don’t want to look rude and impolite - they just want to go to the toilet. Okay. I will not physically detain anyone. But I simply must inform the passenger of the following: if the captain believes that the indicator should be on, it means it can be dangerous to unfasten the belt and even more so getting up from its seats.
What do passengers need to do to get kicked out of the plane or to board make an emergency landing?
If for some reason you didn’t notice this at the preflight inspection and you got drunk on board, and we saw it before departure, you will have to leave the plane. We do not need you to suddenly get up at a height of 10 kilometers above the ground and start to rage. 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 have received bodily harm, in principle, the aircraft can be redirected, but this decision is not made by me.
What is the strangest thing you encountered while working?
My flights were mostly fairly calm, nothing special. Although there were a couple of incidents. Once I saw a passenger fall and smash his face. He did not even have time to grab something with his hands. Although this is not very strange. They also told me about one case when blood dripped from shelves for hand luggage. It turned out that someone was trying to smuggle the head of a goat in a bag. This was, of course, before the introduction of modern pre-flight inspection standards.
And what is the worst for you in the behavior of passengers?
When someone decides to cut toenails. This is so horrible! And this happens not so rarely, believe me. More often, passengers take off their shoes and throw unbearably foul-smelling legs somewhere higher. Many people come to the rear platform of the aircraft and begin to warm up there, perform physical exercises. And we are forced to watch this. Some begin to demand free alcoholic drinks literally immediately after take-off, and someone watches porn without any hesitation.