Flying Don’ts: Flight Attendants Spill the Beans

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Daniel is a copywriter who has well and truly been bitten alive by the 'travel bug'. After ticking off several North American National Parks and exploring Europe by train, his sights are now set on South East Asia. Usually with at least one camera locked and loaded, you'll find Daniel wherever there are mountains, lakes or beaches.

When it comes to air travel, flight attendants are the ultimate insiders. They’re the unsung heroes who ensure our safety, comfort, and overall flying experience. With countless hours spent in the skies, they have witnessed it all—the good, the bad, and the downright cringe-worthy.

Thanks to social media sites such as Tik Tok and Reddit, it’s now easier than ever to find out the hidden tips and tricks of life in the sky. So recline your seat, take off your sleep mask, and let’s hear some sage advice from flight attendants.

Never Wear Shorts

Airplane seats
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They might be comfier than putting on a pair of jeans, but flight attendant Tommy Cimota from Arizona took to Tik Tok to warn us against it.

He explains: 

“Don’t — or try not to — wear shorts. You never know how clean it’s gonna be, so if you have pants, you’re gonna have less germs.”

Airplane cabins are a paradise for little bugs and bacteria, and no one wants to start their vacation locked in their hotel toilet. One of the best ways to protect yourself against them is by covering your body. When wearing shorts or skirts, your legs will be brushing against both your own seat and the back of the seat in front of you (where the sick bag usually sits!). So throw on a pair of sweats or jeans next time you board a flight!

Don’t Touch the Food Cart

Flight Attendant Food Cart
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We get it; preparing for a flight is hungry work, but whatever you do, don’t just help yourself to the food cart. Flight attendant Tania shares her thoughts on this flight ‘crime’:

“Sometimes people think I’ve ‘forgotten’ to take their order and they go looking in the basket. Or they see what they want and think it’s quicker to grab it themselves. It just generates chaos and confusion.”

So, remember your manners and patiently wait your turn; you’ll get your Cheez-Its soon! 

Using the Seat Pocket

Plane seat pocket
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You might think that the seat pocket, conveniently placed and easily accessible, is the perfect spot to keep all your belongings organized during a flight. But is it really the best option? According to one Reddit user, you’ll never want to even consider using them again.

Although the pockets are cleared, they are very rarely ‘cleaned’ according to this flight attendant.

“I have seen all sorts been pulled out from there. Dirty tissues, sick bags, knickers, socks, gum, half sucked sweets, apple cores, and then next flight you go and put your phone, laptop or iPad in there.”

Next time you fly, just make sure to have enough room in your backpack to store your food or tech, as you’ll never look at a plane seat pocket the same again!

Grab a Flight Attendant

Flight attendant
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You’d think this final point would be a no-brainer, but many flight attendants have unfortunate stories of passengers tugging their sleeves or poking them to get their attention.

“Do not touch us. Stop touching us. Don’t poke me or tap me or wiggle your fingers on my arm. I have a name tag. ‘Ma’am’ and ‘excuse me’ also work really well.”

Just as you (hopefully) wouldn’t touch a stranger when terra firma, you should never touch a crew member who is just a stranger in the air!

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