There are few things worse than being cooped up in a airborne metallic structure thousands of kilometers above the ground with hundreds of other people. It takes a lot of mental and physical fortitude to prepare for a flight – but Mamamia has you covered.
We asked a flight attendant with over 20 years experience on international and domestic flights everything we’ve ever wanted to know: from screaming babies to the mile high club, and do free upgrades even happen anymore?
We’ve called her Sally, but as you can probably guess that’s not her real name…
First things first. Do people really have sex in the toilets?
The quick answer to this frequently asked question? Yes. But according to Sally it’s mostly on long-haul flights to places like London and New York.
“There’s very few people waiting for the bathroom in the middle of a flight when everyone is asleep,” Sally explains, “so if you were wanting to slip off and not get caught that’s when it’s most likely to happen.
“But honestly, I can think of nothing worse,” she continues. “Those toilets are disgusting by the end of a long flight. It would be like having sex in a public toilet.”
What's the grossest passenger habit you've come across?
The moment we asked Sally this question she had an answer. "People leaving used chewing gum in seat pocket," she says unhappily. "Just ask us for a tissue or napkin, we're more than happy to oblige."
Is it ever okay to flirt with flight attendants?
Flight attendants are often some of the most attractive, pleasant and helpful people around. So somewhat understandably, you may be interested in flirting with them. But there's a fine line between being complimentary and harassing someone in their place of work.
According to Sally, it's totally okay, "so long as you're not sleazy about it. Sometimes a little flirt makes people feel nice, so there's no real harm in it."
Is wearing makeup a requirement of the job?
It's no secret that flight attendants are incredibly well put together people. It's probably why we want to flirt with them! But is a flawless face of makeup and chignon a requirement?
Sally says that while it might not be an enforced requirement, "most flight attendants know that wearing makeup is just part of the job, like wearing a uniform is."
She also says that most major airlines have makeup staff on hand to colour match attendants and show them how to achieve a flattering look that suit's the company's aesthetic.
The cabin crew share all the dirty you want to know about flying. Post continues below...
Do flight attendants get sick very often?
Thinking about the amount of coughing, sneezing and snot that flight attendants come into contact with is enough to make you feel sick without even having anything wrong with you. But Sally says that years of air service can give you an incredible immunity.
"I don't think I've been sick in about four years. We get the flu injection every year but we have a bit of a resistance to things."
What can parents with unruly toddlers or crying babies do?