The Life Of A Flight Attendant: 10 Fun Facts You Might Not Know – Simple Flying

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The job of a flight attendant is often seen as glamorous with long trips away, a smart uniform, and a good salary. Unfortunately, all is not what it seems! Although it can be quite a serious and demanding job and often with long hours, we like to laugh a lot too and enjoy our work. Here are ten things you might not know about flight attendants.


10 Image

Despite the image that most people see, we are all shapes and sizes, of different ages and nationalities, and not all are female! This impression of a flight attendant is outdated, although some countries do hold on to the old view of only young, slim, pretty females. As long as you are fit to fly, age should not be a factor, and we are very multicultural.

9 Background

Many flight attendants have professional backgrounds and are highly educated. There are ex-lawyers, nurses, teachers, accountants, and managers who decide to make the move to a flying career. Often flight attendants study part-time for their degrees or masters, and some train to be pilots.

8 Names

Flight attendants hate the phrase ‘trolley dolly’ as it is degrading and makes it sound as if we are stupid. It also implies that we are only there to hand out food. The primary role of a flight attendant is to be there for the safety and welfare of the passengers, including urgent medical assistance and dealing with emergency situations.

Service with a smile, but that’s not all a flight attendant knows! Photo: Qatar Airways

7 Training

Service training is a tiny percentage of what flight attendants do in training school. The other 98% covers topics such as safety and emergency procedures and equipment, aircraft specifics (interiors/location of equipment, etc.), security, aviation medicine, landing on water or land, fire fighting, survival, and human factors – just to name a few.

Flight attendants do hear the funniest things – a passenger asking if they can open a window, for example, or offering them a breakfast tray, and the response is ‘Yes, I’d like hot toast and butter, please!’ After a 12-hour long-haul flight, how about being asked if you are flying straight back to base. We still get asked ‘Where can I smoke?’ and sometimes, we’ll reply ‘out on the left wing’.

5 Smiles all round

Most flight attendants have a good sense of humor. It gets us through the long days and nights, and we’ll sometimes get creative in our chores to change things up. We love to laugh too, and a smile or a ‘Thank you’ goes a long way. Flight attendants, in general, are people pleasers and like to make the passengers happy, even though it’s sometimes challenging.

Flight attendants love to laugh and talk. Photo: Hawaiian Airlines

4 Nothing phases a flight attendant

Flight attendants work very closely (even though they might not know the rest of the crew) it’s just the nature of the job. We often have great friends who are also flight attendants, and we love to tell our stories and chat. It might be truth, rumor, or something outrageous – nothing phases a flight attendant. We see it all and hear it all…

3 Work is life

Most flight attendants love their work, and it’s not so much a job but a way of life. There are many challenges, but most crew would never change a thing, and of course, every day is different.

2 Flying is an addiction

Flying for a living is an addiction. If you survive five years as a flight attendant, it’s hard to do anything else and if you leave you always look skyward. Flying certainly gets into your bloodstream.

1 Languages

Many flight attendants speak more than one language, and most will know how to order a glass of wine or beer and a chicken salad in at least three languages!

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