Here is what flight attendants need you to find out about flying

(CNN) — It feels just like the summer season of journey chaos solely simply subsided, however the vacation journey season is now upon us, with tens of millions taking to the skies in one of many busiest stretches of the yr for journey.

Navigating the world of airports and airplanes right now could be worrying, but when anybody’s an knowledgeable in vacation journey, it is flight attendants.

Intrigued to search out out their ideas and tips, CNN Journey spoke to 2 veteran cabin crew, British flight attendant Kris Main and American Allie Malis, to get their takes on among the key journey questions.

What’s one of the best time for flying?

Some locations provide a number of flights all through the day, so is it finest to go early or go away it late?

Malis votes for very first thing within the morning when she’s making private journeys.

“That is my trick,” she says. “I do not know if I ought to truly be telling everybody. In any other case, they are going to take all my morning flights.”

Malis’ logic is climate is much less prone to disrupt flying very first thing, even when there have been delays the day earlier than, the system has often reset in a single day.

Relating to vacation journey, Malis — who can also be the federal government affairs consultant on the Affiliation of Skilled Flight Attendants, a union representing American Airways air crew — suggests leaving some buffer time should you’re in a position to.

As an example, flying on the day earlier than Christmas Eve, slightly than on the twenty fourth, offers you a little bit of leeway.

What can I do if my flight is delayed?

Vacationers at Denver Worldwide Airport on November 22, 2022. 4.5 million Individuals are set to journey by air over the Thanksgiving vacation.

Scott Olson/Getty Photographs

Delays occur and Malis reminds passengers that flight attendants and passengers are “on the identical workforce.”

Fellow flight attendant, Main, who’s labored lengthy haul and quick haul over his profession, and likewise serves as chair of the European Transport Employees Federation’s Joint Aircrew Committee, representing European flight attendants and pilots, echoes this.

“If we will not go, we will not go,” he says. “We can be doing every little thing we will in our energy to go — as a result of it is in our curiosity to.”

And opposite to what some passengers would possibly assume, flight attendants do not cover info from passengers. “There is no level,” says Main.

So should you’re sitting on a delayed flight, stressing about missed connections, do not hesitate to ask your flight attendant for all the knowledge you possibly can. Main says he’ll direct passengers to the correct desk to rebook a flight, and allow them to know “the questions it’s worthwhile to ask.”

How do you beat jet lag?

Should you’re crossing time zones, Main is an enormous believer in an influence nap upon arrival — with one caveat: hold it quick, after which keep up till evening falls.

“Do not simply fall asleep and simply sleep your means by means of, since you’re staying by yourself time, you are not serving to your individual physique clock to readjust your circadian rhythm,” he says.

That mentioned, typically flight attendants are solely in a vacation spot for twenty-four hours. If that is the case, Main says they will often keep of their residence time zone. And Malis reckons some vacationers would possibly discover that useful in the course of the vacation season.

“You would possibly solely be touring for a number of days, it should be jet lag if you regulate to the brand new time zone and jet lag if you get again a number of days later, so probably staying on your private home timezone is perhaps useful,” she says.

Malis additionally stresses the significance of “hydration, consuming nutritious meals, and train.” And “staying in sync along with your physique as finest you possibly can.”

“Actually the one means I’ve made it this far in my profession as a flight attendant, is by prioritizing relaxation,” she says.

“Being drained can have an effect on every little thing, the vacations could be worrying, so give your self one of the best probability of correct relaxation to benefit from the vacation season in probably the most constructive and celebratory methods.”

Do you ever improve passengers on board?

It is the situation most fliers dream of, being shifted out of your crowded financial system seat to one thing extra luxurious.

Malis explains upgrades are presupposed to occur on the bottom, not on board, however there are exceptions, and typically a floor agent will let flight attendants know sure vacationers could be upgraded.

“However there is a checklist,” she says. “And there is a technique to the insanity, the way in which that the checklist is ordered and prioritized.”

Generally flight attendants will even transfer passengers in order that households can sit collectively, or to resolve a seat duplicate state of affairs.

However as soon as the flight is within the air, passengers will solely be moved in distinctive conditions — corresponding to if one passenger is making one other uncomfortable.

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Can passengers swap seats?

“If a passenger desires to ask one other passenger, we will not cease them,” says Main, who says that in his expertise, vacationers are sometimes completely happy to swap to permit dad and mom to sit down with youngsters.

Flight attendants help this sort of switching about, however will strive to not intrude until there are points.

“It is in our curiosity to get folks collectively, as a result of you do not need the grief of individuals being separated,” he says.

Malis says she additionally strives to ensure dad and mom and children are collectively, however suggests these conditions ought to be resolved earlier than boarding if doable.

“It places a number of strain on us to ask favors of passengers to modify round and it is a very time-sensitive a part of flight after we’re boarding,” she says.

Folks transferring seats may also be controversial in the event that they’re transferring to an space of the airplane the place different passengers have paid extra to sit down there.

“From a sensible standpoint, I perceive…If in case you have three folks crammed in a single seat and an empty row up there, should not everybody simply be capable of unfold out? What a deal with that’s when the flight lets you,” says Malis. “However then additionally respecting that there is individuals who have paid further to be there and that somebody hasn’t and that is unfair.”

Malis additionally thinks it is a little bit ironic that the emergency exit rows are typically marketed as premium seating, with a free drink included.

“Folks which can be requested to be keen and in a position to help within the occasion of an emergency are possibly extra prone to have a few drinks in the event that they’re sitting there. However that is how it’s, that is how these seats are marketed,” says Malis. “Fortunately, we do not have a number of emergency evacuations.”

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Who has the correct to the center armrest?

Main jokingly describes the scramble for the center armrest as a “brutal combat,” however comes down firmly on the place that the particular person within the center ought to take it.

Malis agrees: “It isn’t written down anyplace so far as I am conscious, however I believe the unstated courtesy is that the particular person within the middle seat, within the center seat, will get the armrest.”

Ought to window blinds be saved closed or open?

Some folks need them up, some folks need them down. Main says window blinds is usually a contentious subject, notably on long-haul flights, however the reply is commonly fairly clear.

“If it is a evening flight, shut them,” says Main. “Only one particular person opening the blinds, the sunshine is available in and retains folks awake and it might actually have an effect on folks. You perceive it although — folks need to take a look down. Should you’re flying over the Himalayas, you need to take a look at Mount Everest. Why would you not?”

Blinds additionally should be open upon arrival as a consequence of security laws, a lot to the annoyance of some sleepy passengers. Main says if vacationers push again, he’ll attempt to clarify that the crew wants to have the ability to see out to regulate to the sunshine in case there are any issues.

“I believe folks cope with a proof an terrible lot higher than an order,” he says. “A proof — it offers some mutual respect.”

How do you deal with being in your toes all day?

Working as a flight attendant involves a lot of walking and standing.

Working as a flight attendant includes a number of strolling and standing.

Matt Hunt/SOPA Photographs/LightRocket/Getty Photographs

Working as a flight attendant is a bodily demanding job. Flying lengthy or quick haul, you could be in your toes for hours.

“I’ve obtained insoles in my footwear,” says Main, including it is more durable for feminine flight attendants, who’re typically anticipated to put on heels.

Those that can will decide the comfiest sensible footwear doable, says Main, who says Doc Martens are a well-liked alternative.

Malis says excessive heels, “positively add one other pressure to our toes,” however some flight attendants have inflight footwear they alter into, that are extra comfy.

“It is positively a job the place you get some good steps in. I believe standing is sort of simply as exhausting as strolling although, it may be exhausting on the decrease again,” she says.

What do you do in your downtime on flights?

Extremely long-haul flights embrace structured relaxation intervals for cabin crew. Flight attendants will retire to a separate space of the airplane throughout this downtime. Services range relying on the airline, route and plane.

“Some have beds, some are simply comfy seats in distant locations on the plane,” says Main. “What amenities they provide will rely upon how a lot relaxation you are presupposed to have — after which how a lot work you are able to do is predicated on that.”

Nonetheless, it is not all the time straightforward to sleep on a aircraft — even should you’re a flight attendant and it’s worthwhile to recharge earlier than getting again to work.

“I do know crew that do not, they usually’ll learn a e-book or watch a film on their iPad or one thing,” says Main.

Main says flight attendants engaged on low-cost carriers typically have extra downtime on board, as they do not serve a lot in the way in which of food and drinks. Cabin crew would possibly attempt to benefit from these pauses.

“Lots of people do increased instructional programs, they use the downtime in accommodations and locations like that, and even on the flights, to do the work,” he says.

Malis says she hardly ever has time to herself on her home US flights. If she does, she’ll eat a fast snack to refuel.

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Do flight attendants eat and drink the identical meals as passengers?

Malis and Main say flight attendants are in a position to eat and drink airline culinary choices, however might select not.

“Airplane choices aren’t all the time the meals which can be going to maintain me probably the most alert,” says Malis, who says she often packs mild snacks like hummus, apples and popcorn.

“I drink loads of airplane espresso I’ll say, however I often deliver my very own — not less than have one on my approach to work or on the airport that is a little bit stronger — and sip on that every one morning lengthy.”

Main says he avoids meals which may make him really feel bloated. His primary focus is ingesting numerous water on board.

“You will all the time discover the crew have gotten a bottle of water and a scorching drink someplace, they will have a tea or espresso.”

Main says some crew will even deliver their very own meals on board, usually as a consequence of dietary necessities, however his airline does not permit crew to warmth up meals from residence within the inflight ovens.

Malis says her airline does — in principle — permit flight attendants to warmth up meals introduced from residence, however you need to deliver the correct container and ovens could be unpredictable if you’re making an attempt to get the temperature proper.

On vacation flights, Malis says some crew members would possibly get artistic, bringing in meals so as to add to the festive vibe and “to cheer the crew up in the event that they’re lacking out on spending the day with their household.”

“There’s some fairly intelligent little issues that flight attendants can do within the galley,” she provides. “However for probably the most half, there’s not a number of time to be doing that. Principally flight attendants are simply looking for any spare moments to seize a chunk of meals to maintain occurring a few of these marathon days.”

How do you cope with nervous fliers?

Flying can be nerve-wracking, especially on busy flights. Pictured here: travelers waiting at Newark Liberty International Airport on November 22, 2022.

Flying could be nerve-wracking, particularly on busy flights. Pictured right here: vacationers ready at Newark Liberty Worldwide Airport on November 22, 2022.

Spencer Platt/Getty Photographs

For some passengers, it is the actual fact they are not in management. Different vacationers hate the unidentified noises that soundtrack the flight.

“After I discover somebody who’s petrified of flying, I attempt to discover out what is the driver behind it,” says Main. “Should you can speak to folks and discover out why they’re frightened, then you possibly can alleviate their fears, as a result of the possibilities of something mechanical making a state of affairs the place the aircraft would crash — it is past distant.”

Some folks discover studying extra in regards to the mechanics and logistics useful. Different passengers simply want distraction, and chatting with flight attendants would possibly assist.

“The crew, that is all the way down to their abilities to search out out what it’s that particular person must get them by means of the flight,” says Main.

If Main is chatting with an anxious passenger earlier than the plane takes off, there’s additionally one other layer at play — flight attendants need to keep away from somebody deciding to deplane on the final minute, which may delay the flight and imply the plane misses its takeoff slot.

Main and his workforce must resolve as rapidly as doable whether or not the passenger is ready to fly that day.

“That once more, comes all the way down to the talents of the crew,” says Main, who will all the time attempt to stay calm in these moments. “I do not need the passengers to assume my major concern is, ‘Are you going to delay me closing the doorways and getting this factor up within the air?'”

Malis advises that anxious fliers make themselves recognized to air crew. If she is aware of a passenger is nervous, she’ll attempt to hold tabs on them throughout the flight. She recommends respiration strategies, and likewise advises bringing alongside an engrossing e-book, or dropping your self in a TV present or film.

Main additionally advises bringing an iPad, coloring books or toys to entertain youngsters and hold them as calm as doable in the course of the flight.

Do you are concerned about dangerous turbulence?

When she’s working a flight, Malis views turbulence as “extra of a nuisance and inconvenience.”

“However it’s type of humorous, once I’m a passenger and I hit turbulence, I really feel like I am identical to each different passenger, which does not make any sense. I am all the time like, ‘What was that bump? Is every little thing okay?'”

It is a reminder {that a} bumpy flight is not nice for anybody — even when it is often nothing to fret about.

What do you do in an inflight medical state of affairs?

Main says that how crew strategy an inflight medical state of affairs will depend on a number of components, together with the character of the state of affairs and the preferences of the crew.

He does not typically go for the traditional “is there a physician on board?” callout.

“Within the UK, you may discover that almost all crews will not ask for a physician, they will do it themselves. We would not need somebody concerned that does not know our surroundings.”

Flight attendants have medical provides on board in case of emergencies, though they will solely administer sure medicine beneath the course of a radio name to the bottom.

“They’ll speak us by means of what we have to know if we have to,” says Main, who says he is by no means delivered a child on board, however has come shut.

“If somebody’s having a cardiac arrest, we have got the defib, we will do it. If a physician desires to assist us they will, however it relies upon what they’re a physician in.”

Malis says on her US-based flights, cabin crew will even put in calls to physicians on the bottom within the case of a medical emergency. However not like Main, she says “having a physician or a nurse on the flight is unquestionably preferable or useful.

“Personally, I would like to web page a physician on a aircraft. I believe they’re clearly one of the best educated for these sorts of circumstances. However we do have assets on the bottom and our personal fundamental coaching that covers a number of issues.”

What’s it like when there is a movie star on the flight?

Everybody has to discover a approach to get from level A to level B, even celebrities. Actually, Main says that on just about each transatlantic flight, there’s prone to be somebody not less than reasonably well-known among the many tons of of passengers.

Typically talking, the cabin crew aren’t given any warning {that a} movie star goes to be on board — they will often solely notice after they see their title on the passenger checklist.

There are a number of exceptions although.

“Generally you may be notified that there’s a VIP on board — that tends to be royal households,” says Main.

And sure, some celebrities have a repute for being impolite, and that repute will unfold amongst flight attendants.

Equally, some celebrities are recognized amongst cabin crew for being pleasant and charming.

Malis says different passengers usually do not know they’re rubbing shoulders with A-listers.

“Should you’re sitting at the back of a aircraft, there’s an excellent probability there is a movie star in first-class that you just by no means even knew about,” she says.

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Do you may have codes you utilize to consult with passengers?

Main says when he first began flying twenty years in the past, flight attendants would typically use the code “BOB” AKA “finest on board,” to consult with the passenger they deemed most handsome.

“It is only a little bit of enjoyable,” he says, including it is not as commonplace now. “We’re speaking years in the past.”

What do you assume when passengers applaud when the aircraft lands?

Main suggests it is a regional factor and it is extra frequent on European flights.

“Italians do it each single flight, each single time. Generally after dangerous turbulence you may get it. You perceive that one — persons are simply relieved to get there as a result of they do not actually perceive turbulence,” he says.

Malis says within the US, passengers often solely clap after a really bumpy flight.

“I suppose persons are stunned the aircraft landed, I am unsure? Most planes do land,” she says. “Personally, I believe it is type of tacky. I believe a number of flight attendants would agree with me on that.”

What unusual issues do folks go away behind within the cabin?

It is best to not go there.

“Every little thing your creativeness can drum up, we’ll have discovered it,” says Main.

Have you ever ever befriended a passenger?

Main as soon as gave a stranded passenger a carry in his automobile they usually’re nonetheless related on social media at the moment.

As for Malis, she says whether or not or not flight attendants join with passengers will depend on their private consolation degree, and limits ought to all the time be revered.

“There’s been situations of passengers stalking flight attendants and stuff like that. So it is vital that we do hold considerably of an expert line drawn,” she says.

However one time she ended up flying along with her fifth grade basketball coach, by pure coincidence, which was enjoyable.

And each Malis and Main know tales of flight attendants who’ve married passengers.

Are you able to settle for presents from passengers?

Main says flight attendants can solely settle for sealed packages, as a result of safety implications.

Malis says the crew genuinely respect tokens of appreciation.

“It actually does brighten our days when folks have the forefront to acknowledge us like that,” she says.

“We’re the recipients of chocolate, quite a bit. Starbucks reward playing cards are nice.”

Malis is not certain of the present coverage, however recollects at one time flight attendants had been informed to say no money thrice, however that they might settle for it on the fourth strive.

Whereas it is beautiful when crew are acknowledged with presents on the vacations, Malis says even only a smile makes an enormous distinction and may change the environment on board.

“You’d truly be stunned how many individuals simply ignore you, as you say good day, they usually do not even have a look at you or say something to you,” she says.

“I do not know if anybody’s first alternative is to be flying on the vacations. However we’re all type of all in it collectively.”

This story was initially revealed for Thanksgiving in November 2022 and was up to date and republished in December 2022

Prime picture courtesy atosan/iStockphoto/Getty Photographs

Author: ZeroToHero

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