Once upon a time, a self-proclaimed Archaeology-Lifer got a job as a flight attendant. No one knows quite how it happened. Here's what happened next...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Flight Attendant's ABCs - D (delta) is for...

  • Dead-head -  Dead-heading is the term used whenever a member of an airline crew travels on another airline in order to be positioned for work.  There are two kinds of dead-heading crew.  The first is the conspicuous variety.  The FA will find ways to `casually` let everyone know that he or she is a flight attendant in the hopes of scoring perks or upgrades or general admiration from civilians.  The second category is slightly more incognito - they keep a more low-key profile.  That way they can silently judge other flight attendants at work on their safety demonstrations, uniforms, announcements, bad jokes and so on.  Personally, I only break out the `wings`if I suspect it will get me a free drink.
  • Diet Coke Products - Diet soda, particularly Diet Coke, is the devil at altitude.  Something about the carbonation and the chemicals make it impossible to pour without getting a huge head of foam.  Ice only makes the situation worse.  Sometimes pouring it like a beer down the side of the cup can help, but on the whole you will usually spend a good two minutes trying to pour a drink and looking vaguely incompetent while doing so.
  • Delays - How to piss off passengers, pilots, flight attendants AND ground staff all at one time.  Some passengers will act extremely put out whenever a flight gets delayed, and naturally assume that it`s a ploy devised by the airline just to make their lives difficult.  What they usually fail to realise is that everyone else is just as put out as them.  It means more time at work for everyone, and most people try to avoid it.  Often when the delays are due to weather or mechanical issues with the aircraft, I like to cheerfully remind people of the well-known quote - `It`s better be to on the ground and wishing you were in the air, than to be in the air and wishing you were on the ground.`
  • Dehydration - It`s a well known fact that an aircraft is mechanically designed to suck the hydration out of you.  And at altitude NOTHING ever seems to be a good substitute for water.  Soda will only make you more thirsty (not to mention give you jet-belly), and coffee makes you want to pee.  H2O is your friend.  


  1. OMG! I never got it before!...so all those scotch and WATER's I was having didn't help???? This whole time I seriously thought the problems arose from a diagnosis from my psychiatrist!!! He said I had a personality disorder! What the hecK?

  2. And to that last reply, I simply must add..LOL!!!!!!!!

  3. There is a third category of dead heading crew in the airline world: The ones that try to hide or pretend to sleep or appear to be extremely busy reading the airlines very non-interesting magazine, when the airplane is pushed out on time(so that the airplane could still depart on time and it looks good on paper and stats) then goes and sits on a taxiway or holding area of the airport and wait out the flow time(estimated departure clearance time, in other words waiting your turn for take off at departure airport so that the Air trafic controllers in larger busy airspaces do not get overwhelmed with the amount of aircraft entering their airspace). The usual cause being weather anywhere along the intended route of flight is the hardest thing to explain to passengers especially when the departure airport is exhibiting good weather. This deadheading crew who sits among a sea of disgruntled, pissed off, sighing every 5 minutes, rolling their eyes every 2 minutes passengers has the hardest job that day, even more than the pilots who are locked away in thier cozy cockpit, the FA who, although has to face the passengers and do the every so often water service to keep everyone semi-happy still has the galley where he/she can find some breakaway alone, recharge/rejuvenate time. But the poor deahheader in uniform is expected to have all the answers. Flyingbug!