Ask the Flight Attendant
Updated: Oct 19, 2018
Q&A with top Flight Attendant on the most commonly asked questions from passengers.
I had a chance to sit down with a friend of mine who has been a flight attendant at Skywest for the last 13 years. We discussed some of her most memorable moments while at 30,000 feet in the air, as well as a few tips for travelers on what and what not to do to make your flight an enjoyable experience.
Q: So how long have you been working as a Flight Attendant?
A: I have been with my airline for the last 12..going on 13 years.
Q: In that time frame what is one of the strangest things you have ever encountered with a passenger while on a flight?
A: The time when I had to calm down a woman after she mixed her prescription medication with that pre flight alcoholic beverage. I learned later that she was currently on medication for bipolar and schizophrenia and when mixed with alcohol it can have very adverse affects. After speaking with her mom and learning this information I went above and beyond to make sure she made it off the plane, retrieved her luggage, and called her an uber to take her to her final destination.
Q: So in an instant like this is there usually a code between agents if there is ever something that seems out of the ordinary or if you are just needing to communicate amongst the other attendants?
A: If you hear 3 ding dong tones that usually means there is an emergency. Whether its with the captain and his crew or if in the cabin with the passengers. 1 ding dong is usually the captain calling the attendants and 2 ding dongs if it is attendants calling each other.
Q: What is your safety training like and what are the requirements?
A: We are required to be CPR and First aid certified. There is also an additional month of training we go through that explains what to do and how to handle emergencies if ever faced with them.
Q: Is there usually a routine you have or anything you do before taking off to ensure that all passengers feel safe? Or anything you do to feel safer?
A: That’s what the emergency announcements are for at the beginning of a flight. We also verify with passengers in the exit row that in the event of an emergency water landing that they are able to assist. Personally, before take off it is common practice to do a survey of the plane and look at potential passengers and evaluate who would be able to assert physical strength if needed. So we will locate if there are any military or officers on the plane and what seats they are in. So in the event of any sort of physical altercation, we as attendants have an idea of who is on our plane that could assist.
Q: Speaking of airline procedure is it really necessary to put all electronics in airplane mode or completely turning off while still in taxi? Does it really affect that much?
A: It is still suggested that you turn off electronics. A lot of time the pilots are communicating amongst each other while still on the jetway and all of the electronics from the passengers can disrupt frequencies.
Q: So in all this time you have been traveling what is the most annoying thing a passenger can do?
A: My absolute pet peeve is when passengers do not listen to the announcements then 15 minutes later ask me questions that were covered in the announcements! Probably that and people not sitting in their assigned seats. It makes it so hard for us flight attendants to keep tabs on our passengers when they are not in the right seat.
Q: So in other words take off the headphones and put down the phone and listen to the announcements so you know what is going on, right?
Q: Flying to different cities can be tiring but rewarding and exciting. What was the most exciting thing that happened to you while in flight?
A: I remember 2 moments where I had celebrities on my flight. I was flying from Chicago to Aspen and Jennifer Hudson and her entire family were on flight. I remember her being really down to earth and really nice. Another exciting moment was when I had former Vice President Dick Cheney and all of his secret service on the plane. That was one of my more memorable experiences.
Q: Do you prefer to fly into smaller or larger airports? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages?
A: I like the hospitality you get in a smaller airport. You save time and it's more convenient. The check in process is shorter and there is a feeling that you are flying private instead of commercial. Some of the disadvantage is that they don't offer as many flight times as the larger airports.
Q: And finally, if you could fly anywhere, where would you go and why?
A: Well, because I'm based in Chicago I'd go to Milwaukee because it literally takes 14 minutes to get there and for as long as I have been flying I have come to appreciate the short flights. International flights are fun and there is more to see but I have come to appreciate the shorter flights. I can just work and get my hours while still being able to spend time with my family.
Thank you so much to my friend for being part of this and answering questions I have personally wondered about. I'll keep you updated if she shares any tricks on how to get upgraded from coach to first class:) Happy #travel everyone!