10 secrets flight attendants will never tell you

Much of the theft takes place behind the scenes. There is a whole world of protocols, rules, secrets and codes that even the most seasoned travelers often ignore. The more you know about air travel, the safer you will be in your future decisions. Read on to learn more about what flight attendants don’t tell you.


We’ve all heard the warnings before every flight about wearing a mask before helping a child. What is not announced is that the oxygen flow will last between only 12 and 15 minutes. Before you panic, know that most pilots will take the plane to a lower altitude within this timeframe. The biggest risk, however, is in the first 30 seconds – this is the time you have to put the mask on yourself before you pass out.

woman with motion sickness in airplane

With some flights during the pandemic operating at reduced capacity, there may be room available in this emergency event; However, the norm, if a passenger dies while the plane is in flight, is for flight attendants to tie that person in their seat until landing, assuming there is no extra row. or empty seat available, depending on BBC.

flight attendant talking to male passengers about things that horrify flight attendants

Flight attendants use chimes to signal a host of things, from dwindling snack supplies to increased turbulence. Sometimes the chimes take on greater significance, alerting flight attendants to an emergency or a rerouting.

flight attendant talking to man

It’s a dirty secret in the airline industry that headsets and headphones are recycled after every flight, even those that come in plastic bags that you have to open. Airlines simply collect them, clean them, and repackage each pair.

four cans of diet coke

No other drink sparkles as much as this soda. Diet Coke takes longer to just wait for the bubbles to settle, so much so that during the time it takes to pour a Diet Coke, a flight attendant could pour three more drinks.

flight attendant helping first class flyer

The routine drink only fills half to three quarters of a plastic cup, but there’s no rule that you can’t have more. If you ask for the whole canister, nine times out of 10 the flight attendants will force you, depending on The HuffPost.

Boarding passes

Reading the codes on your boarding pass becomes more complicated. The most interesting and secret part of your ticket is the six-digit alphanumeric segment of coded text called PNR or passenger name reference, and it contains your frequent flyer number and future travel plans. Someone could use this information to access your account, even changing the PIN to prevent your future access, says CNN.

boarding card

Some things printed on the boarding pass are obvious, like the first two letters of the flight code are just the airline you booked on, like AA for American Airlines or NK for Spirit Airlines (OK, that one is a slightly less obvious). The last digit of the flight code indicates the direction of a flight, with odd flights directed to the south and west, and even flights directed to the north and east, according to Gizmodo.

flight attendant doing safety preparation

With constant circulation through two HEPA filters, the air inside the aircraft is cleaner than expected. Every two to three minutes it is refreshed with outside air. For this reason, planes are not responsible for many super-spreading events. That said, when a passenger sneezes, even with a mask on, these particles will spread to the few rows surrounding that person.


Before COVID, airplane tray tables were only wiped down once a month and were notorious for germs. Now cleaning crews are arriving to spray every seat, wall and vent with disinfectant, reports the New York Times. They also wipe down the trays, seat backs and armrests. As for the frequency, it depends on the airline. Some operators, like Delta, undertake to perform cleanings after each flight.

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