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22 Things Your Flight Attendant Won’t Tell You

These secrets about air travel will make flying a happier, safer experience for all.


Want to start off on the wrong foot with me?

Put your carry-on in a full overhead bin, leave it sticking out six inches, then take your seat at the window and wait for someone else (me!) to come along and solve the physics problem you just created.


Yes, passengers are incredibly rude...

...but stealing a beer, cursing out passengers, and jumping out of a plane is not the way to handle it. You disarm an unruly passenger by introducing yourself, asking his name, and saying something like ‘I’ve been incredibly nice to you for three hours. Why are you treating me like this?’ Generally, that gets the other passengers on your side—and sometimes they’ll even applaud. By the way, this is what your flight attendant first notices about you.


We don't have a boyfriend in every city

And our median age these days is 44.


An all-too-common scenario?

I hand you a cup of coffee and say, ‘Cream and sugar?’ You say, ‘What?’ I say, ‘Cream and sugar?’ You say, ‘What?’ Come on, people. What do you think we’re going to ask after we’ve handed you coffee? Your favorite color? But in all honesty, you probably shouldn't order coffee on a plane.


If you’re traveling with a small child and you keep hearing bells, bells, and more bells...

...please look to see if it’s your child playing with the flight attendant call bell. These are the other things you should never do on an airplane.


The lavatory door is not rocket science

Just push.


If you have a baby, bring diapers

If you’re diabetic, bring syringes. If you have high blood pressure, don’t forget your medication. That way, I’m not trying to make a diaper out of a sanitary pad and a pillowcase or asking over the intercom if someone has a spare inhaler. Here are some other little flying etiquette rules you know.

iStock/Anna Bryukhanova

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, there are other people on the airplane besides you

So don’t clip your toenails, snore with wild abandon, or do any type of personal business under a blanket!


If you’re traveling overseas, do yourself a favor and bring a pen

You would not believe how many people travel without one, and you need one to fill out the immigration forms. I carry some, but I can’t carry 200. Here are some more tips to know before your next flight.


Passengers are always coming up to me and tattling on each other

"Can you tell him to put his seat up?" "She won’t share the armrest." What am I, a preschool teacher?

View Slides 11-20
Originally Published in Reader's Digest