Flight Attendant Stories

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So, Does That Wiggle in Your Pants Mean You Love Me?

The flight attendant was walking down the aisle in the aircraft when something caught her eye – a passenger’s lap seemed to be moving…all by itself!   Back and forth, up and down, rippling to and fro.  What the heck…?! 

Just kidding.  Actually, small animals were in hand luggage a male passenger had brought with him onboard the aircraft.  It was reported in the news recently a passenger on an Etihad Airways flight EY471 from Jakarta, Indonesia, had snuck on board the plane 4 python snakes, 2 parrots, and a squirrel.   Of course, this is strickly prohibited in the passenger cabin and the man was arrested when the airplane landed in Abu Dhabi International Airport.  The other passengers onboard the flight seemed to be unaware of the “pets” the man had in his possession. 

How did this person get onboard the aircraft with these animals, you ask?  Good question!  The matter is being investigated by airport and police authorities.  The airline is cooperating with the investigation.

Now, if you had been one of those passengers on the flight and discovered the animals, what would you have done?  Tell us.

We’d like to thank Fred for bringing this story to our attention.

How to Slide

  • Remove high-heeled shoes – they can damage slides.
  • Place arms across chest, elbows in, and legs and feet together.
  • Jump feet first into the center of slide.
  • When you get down to the bottom, stand up and quickly move away from the aircraft to a safe distance.

Prepare for an Emergency – Get Ready During Preflight

In the unlikely event of an emergency evacuation from an aircraft, your best preparation includes:  wearing slide-friendly clothes and shoes, being aware of your closest emergency exits, following flight crew and flight attendant instructions, and leaving all your possessions behind when you go:

  • When you get to your seat look around to see where your nearest exit is – in front of you, behind you and across from you.  The closest emergency exit may change depending on what kind of aircraft you fly and where you’re seated in the aircraft. 


  • Count the seat rows from your seat to the nearest exit, and don’t forget, the nearest exit can be behind you.  In the event of smoke or if emergency lighting fails and it’s very dark, you want to know the number of seat rows so you can feel on your way to an exit. By counting the seat backs you’ll know when you’ve reached the exit row.  Before the plane takes off, memorize the number of seat rows from where you’re sitting to your nearest exit. 


  • Know how to open the nearest exit when you get there – see the safety briefing card.


  •  Keep the overhead storage bins free of heavy objects.  In severe turbulence overhead bins may not be able to hold all the contents and can break open.  Objects could escape and fly out everywhere in the cabin, or fall on you causing injury. 


  • Listen to the flight attendants.  Their primary purpose on the aircraft is safety.   Do whatever they tell you to do when they tell you to do it.  Ask questions later.


  •  Pay attention to the flight attendant safety demonstration.  Read the safety card.  I know, you’ve heard and seen both a thousand times and you already know everything.  Well, in an emergency you don’t want to have to stop and try to think of what to do next, you just want to do.  If you over-know something, you’ll be more likely to overcome the panic and confusion of the moment and act quickly and efficiently. 


  •  When you’re in your seat, go through a mental exercise and visualize in your mind what you would do if suddenly you had to get up out of your seat and get out of the aircraft.  Flight attendants do this while they are sitting in their jump seats each time before the aircraft takes off and before it lands.


  •  Always keep your seatbelt fastened when you’re in your seat.  Clear air turbulence has no warning and can cause severe injuries. 


  • If the emergency oxygen masks drop down, put your own mask on first.  This will decrease the risk of you passing out before being able to help your children or other passengers.


  •  To help the circulation in your legs on long flights, get up and walk around the cabin from time to time. 


  • Don’t drink too much alcohol.  Because of the pressurized cabin, one drink in the air is like having 2 drinks on the ground.


  •  In the unlikely event of an emergency evacuation, promptly follow the directions of the flight attendants and flight crew and exit the aircraft as quickly as possible.  Do not stop to collect your belongings first.  Just go.

 In Summary –

*  Wear proper clothes and shoes on the aircraft.

*  Be aware of your nearest emergency exit from your seat.

*  Know how to open the emergency exits.

*  Keep heavy objects out of the overhead bins.

*  Mentally visualize what steps you would take in an emergency evacuation.

*  Keep your seatbelt fastened while you’re in your seat.

*  If the oxygen masks drop, put your mask on first before helping others.

*  Walk around the cabin on long flights from time to time.

*  Don’t drink too much alcohol.

*  Listen to the flight attendants and flight crew, and promptly follow their directions.

*  Do not stop to collect your belonging in an emergency evacuation; just get out of the aircraft fast.

Flight Attendant Jobs

The Association of Flight Attendants has posted on its website a list of airlines that are currently hiring and/or accepting applications as of November 12, 2010.  Union and non-union affiliations are also included.  The list is below.  Hiring needs change on a frequent basis in the aviation industry, so check the airlines’ websites often.  We do not provide employment information or hiring advice.  For more information about job opportunities, please check the airlines’ websites. 

Air Tran Airways (AFA)                             Air Wisconsin (AFA)                       
9955 AirTran Boulevard                             W. 6390 Challenger Drive, Suite 203
Orlando, FL 32827                                     Appleton, WI  54914-9120                           
www.airtran.com                                       www.airwis.com                                                                               

Allegiant Air (Non-union)                             Chautauqua/Republic/Shuttle
8360 S. Durango Drive                                America (IBT)
Las Vegas, NV  89113                                8909 Purdue Road, Suite 300
www.allegiantair.com                               Indianapolis, IN 46368                  

Colgan Air (USW)                                        Delta Air Lines (non-union)
10677 Aviation Lane                                    1030 Delta Boulevard
Manassas, VA  20110                                  Atlanta, GA  30320
www.colganair.com                                   www.delta.com

Hawaiian Airlines (AFA)                              Mesaba Airlines (AFA)
3375 Koapaka Street G-350                       1000 Blue Gentian Road, Suite 200
Honolulu, HI  96819                                     Eagan, MN  55121
www.hawaiianair.com                               www.mesaba.com

Piedmont Airlines (AFA)                               Spirit Airlines (AFA)
5443 Airport Terminal Rd.                            2800 Executive Way
Salisbury, MD  21804                                   Miramar, FL  33025
www.piedmont-airlines.com                      www.spiritair.com

Pinnacle Airlines (IBT)                                   Virgin America (non-union)
1689 Nonconnah Blvd., Suite 111                  555 Airport Blvd.
Memphis, TN  38132                                     Burlingame, CA  94010
www.flypinnacle.com                                  www.virginamerica.com

                                                     US Airways (USW)
                                                     111 W. Rio Salado Pkwy.
                                                     Tempe, AZ  85281

Prepare for an Emergency – What to Wear for a Flight

In the unlikely event of an emergency, people don’t realize the clothes and shoes they wear can play a major role in their safety.  Often when people fly they wear clothes made of synthetic blend fabrics because they are easy to wear and maintain, and do not wrinkle when spending a long time seated.  However, they also ignite quickly, shrink, melt, and continue burning even after the heat source is removed.   

In the unlikely event that the aircraft is evacuated, even pantyhose can contribute to injuries as they melt and cause burns from the friction generated with contact on the escape slide.  Things like synthetic wigs, hairpieces, scarves, ties and underwear can also get very hot and melt causing severe burns.  Wearing clothes and other items made of natural fibers like cotton, wool, denim or leather are best.

Avoid leaving large areas of the body uncovered.  You want to try and keep a barrier between you and a fire and to help protect against burns.  Stay clear of shorts or skirts because they do not cover extremities.  Slacks, jeans, long-sleeved shirts and other long-sleeved tops are best.  Wear looser, non-restrictive clothing to allow for greater movement.

You can help prevent injuries to your feet in the event of an accident or emergency by wearing appropriate shoes. The best shoes to wear are fully enclosed leather low-heeled laced or buckled shoes, boots, or tennis shoes.  Avoid sandals and high-heeled dress shoes.  Keep your shoes on during the flight.  You don’t want to waste time trying to find your shoes in an emergency, and you’ll want to have them on during an emergency.  High-heeled dress shoes will have to be removed before using the escape slide.  Unprotected feet can slow your departure from the airplane once outside.  Imagine trying to walk or run through jet fuel, which possibly could be on fire, broken glass, or sharp metal fragments without shoes to protect your feet.

In Summary –

  • Wear looser, non-restrictive clothing and items made of natural, not synthetic fibers.
  • Cover as much of your body as you can.  Wear long pants and long-sleeved tops.
  • Wear enclosed low-healed leather laced or buckled shoes or boots, or tennis shoes.

Future Flight Attendants During Ditch Training

Can You Survive A Plane Crash?

Although flying in an airplane is known to be one of the safest forms of transportation, millions of people who fly each day believe otherwise.  They are terrified their airplane is going to crash and if it does, they are going to die.  The facts say otherwise.  The truth is, you can survive a plane crash.  Over 90% of airline accidents are survivable.  In the United States between 1983 and 2000, there were 568 plane crashes all together in commercial aviation, commuter, air tour, and medical services type flights.  Out of the 53,487 people onboard the planes that crashed, 51,207 survived.  According to the National Transportation Safety Board, in 2009 there were 52 fatalities in commercial aviation out of over 10,000,000 flight departures.  

Of those who do perish in a survivable plane crash, many of them do so after the aircraft comes to a complete stop, and in many cases it’s because they are unprepared for the crash.  So, how do you prepare for a plane crash and increase your chances of survival?

  • Know what kind of clothing and shoes to wear for the flight
  • Know what to do in the aircraft before the plane becomes airborne
  • Know what to do to before the moment of impact
  • Know what to do if there is a fire onboard
  • Know how to survive if your plane ditches in the water

We’ll have this and other information to help you survive a plane crash shortly.  Stay tuned…!

A Marriage Proposal

So, a fella asks his flight attendant girlfriend a surprise question at 35,000 feet in the air.  What was her answer? 

See the link below to find out!


Wages and Benefits

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wages of flight attendants in May 2009 were $40,010.  The middle 50 percent earned between $31,070 and $51,470.  The lowest 10 percent earned approximately $25,420, and the highest 10 percent earned $71,280.  New hires usually begin at the same level of pay, regardless of experience. 

Beginning pay scales for flight attendants vary by carrier, with the larger carriers usually paying higher wages.  Typically, carriers pay new hires while they are in training.  For instance, Delta Airlines currently pays new hires about $1,746 a month during flight attendant training. 

Some airlines offer incentive pay for working holidays, night and international flights, or taking positions that require additional responsibility or paperwork.  Flight attendants also receive a “per diem” allowance for meal expenses while on duty away from home. The per diem rate differs with each carrier. 

Flight attendants and their immediate families are entitled to free or discounted air fares on their own airline and reduced fares on most other airlines.  Some airlines require the flight attendant be with an airline for 3 to 6 months before taking advantage of this flight benefit.  Other benefits may include medical, dental, life insurance, 401K, sick leave, paid holidays, paid vacations, and sometimes tuition reimbursement. Flight attendants are required to purchase uniforms and wear them while on duty. The airlines usually pay for uniform replacement items.

For more information about flight attendant training and certification, check out our FAQs page: