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Cabin Crew Secrets

The Flight Side
Cabin Crew Secrets

7 things you have always been curious about as a passenger on-board a flight

Airline cabin crew and pilots have a job to look after passengers during a flight and to get them safely to their destinations. But with the huge number of passengers flying these days, that job is getting more demanding.

Cabin crew members, for example, not only have to serve meals and drinks during a flight, but they also have to deal with any on-board emergencies or even difficult customers at times.

As passengers, we have always been curious about some of their “secrets” and here are seven of them revealed.


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Do pilots and cabin crew eat the same food as passengers?

Although this varies from airline to airline, most crew members have different meals from passengers. And for sure, the pilot and co-pilot are not supposed to eat the same food at the same restaurant the night before a flight. This makes sense, as both the pilot and co-pilot cannot fall sick at the same time from food poisoning so eating foods from different sources would prevent this.


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How often do pilots switch to Auto-pilot mode?

Don’t be alarmed but it is standard procedure for pilots to switch to auto-pilot for most of the duration of the flight. Modern planes are now equipped with state-of-the-art technology and it is perfectly safe to be on auto-pilot mode.


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Do cabin crew sleep on long flights?

Constantly working long hours and travelling across different time zones can take a toll on the body. On long-haul flights, pilots and cabin crew work on shifts and are given time off to rest. After the meals are served on a long-flight, some of the cabin crew members may take time off for a snooze.


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Is it fun to travel around the world?

It may sound exciting for new staffs but for cabin crew who have worked several years, they will tell you that it is not as glamorous as it seems. Jet lag can upset the body’s biological clock and the stopover duration at a new city can be very short with just enough time to rest but not enough for sightseeing.


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When is the best time to fly?

Cabin crew are the ultimate frequent fliers and they will tell you that the best time to fly is early in the morning, especially the first flight out. Although the weather is unpredictable, the chances of turbulence are lesser in the early mornings. As the first flight out, there is also lesser chance of a flight delay while the seats and interior are also much cleaner.


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What do cabin crew like the least about passengers?

Cabin crew members are trained to be polite at all times, so it’s quite impossible to tell when they’re a little irked over a passenger’s antics. Some of the pet peeves include taking forever to decide what to eat or drink while meals are being served, leaving rubbish in the seatback pocket or talking to the crew while keeping the headphone on. Another difficult question that some passengers like to ask is whether the flight will be on schedule and, seriously, the cabin crew does not have the answer as this depends on many factors such as weather conditions and headwinds.


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Do cabin crew members get better discounts on duty-free items?

This varies from airline to airline but generally cabin crew members do get better discounts on items listed in the duty-free magazine after passengers have had their pick. Most cabin crew members also get special perks at airport duty-free shops and free memberships to clubs and entertainment joints at their stopover cities.

 

Photos © iStock by Getty Images

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