From Checking out Cute Passengers to Sucking Up to the Captain — Flight Attendants Share Secrets

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jan. 9 2024, Published 3:26 p.m. ET

I'm convinced that something happens to people when they get on an airplane. Is it the cramped quarters, closeness to strangers, the altitude, or the innate fear that comes with the knowledge that you should not be in the sky? Whatever it is, decorum tends to go out the airtight window for some passengers. I actually find air travel to be relaxing, and am usually asleep seconds after the enormous metal bird has left the ground. This means I rarely interact with flight attendants.

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I have definitely witnessed people treating flight attendants poorly, and I find that behavior to be both gross and baffling. What does one hope to accomplish when they step on the human whose job it is to help make your flight more comfortable? I imagine flight attendants get all sorts of wacky requests, and thankfully two of them have addressed said queries in a hilarious TikTok. They're flight attendants, so please put your shoes and socks back on.

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They are flight attendants! So stop doing these things.

June Long, who goes by @thatcoolguy.25597 on TikTok, is a flight attendant whose job can be repetitive. If you are a passenger on a flight and you think you've got a question or a zinger June hasn't heard before, please don't bother. June and his co-workers have heard it all.

Jumping onto the viral TikTok trend of "we're such-and-such," followed by an obvious characteristic of that descriptor, June and a fellow flight attendant laid out some classic bits they hear way up in the sky. "We're flight attendants," he says. "Of course we're gonna say no if you ask to be on our 'buddy pass.'" For the uninformed, a buddy pass allows airline employees to get friends and families a free standby ticket if the flight isn't booked.

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This next one I can really get behind as it pivots to one of June's co-workers. "We're flight attendants," says a young woman strutting down the aisle of plane. "Of course we're gonna check seatbelts again if he says 4A is cute." She then gives an empty seat a flirtatious little glance. You have to look out for your friends! They want to see the hottie in 4A.

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Like many employees, flight attendants are no strangers to occasionally sucking up to the boss. That's why June and his work pals sometimes have to laugh at the captain's cheesy jokes in order to get a free meal. This begs the question, are flight attendants not getting free meals? It's not as if they can pop out of the plane for a quick lunch.

One person in the comments had the same question. What's up with the lack of meals? June didn't respond but another TikToker did. "We do at Delta but it’s repetitive and you just don't want it sometimes," said @claudayaa. I both understand and do not understand this. Sometimes I will eat the same meal every day for several weeks until I wake up and decide I'm over it. No need to look into why! I'm sure it's very normal.

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The question I was most interested in was when the other flight attendant, who I'm calling Lea based on someone in the comments claiming they knew her, said, "No, this isn't our regular route." She looked amused while giving a slightly withering stare and my takeaway is, this might be something a lot of guys are asking her. Fellas, don't hit on women when they are working and when they can't escape.

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The last one is vaguely reminiscent of people beeping in a traffic jam. Hear me out. Clearly tired of answering this question, June says, "No, we're not ready to board yet." Beeping won't make the traffic move and asking a flight attendant about boarding won't make the plane ready any faster. Please just wait for an announcement!

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In February 2022, Business Insider spoke with a former flight attendant about the questions they are asked the most. Some make sense such as favorite destination or how does one become a flight attendant. One was a bit shocking but only because of the answer. When asked about getting paid, this flight attendant said they are paid hourly but only while they are flying. "So all the time we spend going through customs, waiting by the gate, and managing delays on the ground is unpaid," they said. That's unacceptable.

This most bizarre and horrifying question sounds like a bit. Evidently flight attendants are often asked if it's safe to drink the coffee because a passenger heard it's made using the "same water as the toilet." Don't worry, there are different tanks for the toilet and the galley (kitchen). In other words, one tank is coach and the other is first class.

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