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What it means if a flight attendant thinks you are a ‘BOB,’ and different journey secrets and techniques

(CNN) — It feels just like the summer time of journey chaos solely simply subsided, however the vacation journey season is now upon us.

Navigating the world of airports and airplanes right now may be nerve-racking, but when anybody’s an knowledgeable in vacation journey, it is flight attendants.

Intrigued to seek out out their suggestions and tips, CNN Journey spoke to 2 veteran cabin crew, British flight attendant Kris Main and American Allie Malis, to get their takes on among the key journey questions.

What’s the perfect time for flying?

Some locations supply a number of flights all through the day, so is it finest to go early or depart it late?

Malis votes for very first thing within the morning when she’s making private journeys.

“That is my trick,” she says. “I do not know if I ought to really be telling everybody. In any other case, they are going to take all my morning flights.”

Malis’ logic is climate is much less more likely to disrupt flying very first thing, even when there have been delays the day earlier than, the system has often reset in a single day.

With regards to vacation journey, Malis — who can also be the federal government affairs consultant on the Affiliation of Skilled Flight Attendants, a union representing American Airways air crew — suggests leaving some buffer time in the event you’re in a position to.

As an example, flying on the day earlier than Christmas Eve, moderately than on the 24th, offers you a little bit of leeway.

What can I do if my flight is delayed?

Travelers at Denver International Airport on November 22, 2022. 4.5 million Americans are set to travel by air over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Vacationers at Denver Worldwide Airport on November 22, 2022. 4.5 million Individuals are set to journey by air over the Thanksgiving vacation.

Scott Olson/Getty Photographs

Delays occur and Malis reminds passengers that flight attendants and passengers are “on the identical workforce.”

Fellow flight attendant, Main, who’s labored lengthy haul and brief haul over his profession, and likewise serves as chair of the European Transport Staff Federation’s Joint Aircrew Committee, representing European flight attendants and pilots, echoes this.

“If we will not go, we will not go,” he says. “We shall be doing all the things we are able to in our energy to go — as a result of it is in our curiosity to.”

And opposite to what some passengers may assume, flight attendants do not cover data from passengers. “There isn’t any level,” says Main.

So in the event you’re sitting on a delayed flight, stressing about missed connections, do not hesitate to ask your flight attendant for all the data you may. Main says he’ll direct passengers to the proper desk to rebook a flight, and allow them to know “the questions you must ask.”

How do you beat jet lag?

Should you’re crossing time zones, Main is an enormous believer in an influence nap upon arrival — with one caveat: hold it brief, after which keep up till evening falls.

“Do not simply fall asleep and simply sleep your manner by, since you’re staying by yourself time, you are not serving to your individual physique clock to readjust your circadian rhythm,” he says.

That stated, generally flight attendants are solely in a vacation spot for 24 hours. If that is the case, Main says they will often keep of their house time zone. And Malis reckons some vacationers may discover that useful through the vacation season.

“You may solely be touring for a couple of days, it should be jet lag whenever you modify to the brand new time zone and jet lag whenever you get again a couple of days later, so probably staying on your private home timezone is likely to be useful,” she says.

Malis additionally stresses the significance of “hydration, consuming nutritious meals, and train.” And “staying in sync along with your physique as finest you may.”

“Actually the one manner I’ve made it this far in my profession as a flight attendant, is by prioritizing relaxation,” she says.

“Being drained can have an effect on all the things, the vacations may be nerve-racking, so give your self the perfect probability of correct relaxation to benefit from the vacation season in probably the most optimistic and celebratory methods.”

Do you ever improve passengers on board?

It is the state of affairs most fliers dream of, being shifted out of your crowded financial system seat to one thing extra luxurious.

Malis explains upgrades are presupposed to occur on the bottom, not on board, however there are exceptions, and generally a floor agent will let flight attendants know sure vacationers may be upgraded.

“However there is a checklist,” she says. “And there is a technique to the insanity, the way in which that the checklist is ordered and prioritized.”

Typically flight attendants will even transfer passengers in order that households can sit collectively, or to resolve a seat duplicate state of affairs.

However as soon as the flight is within the air, passengers will solely be moved in distinctive conditions — resembling if one passenger is making one other uncomfortable.

Can passengers swap seats?

“If a passenger needs to ask one other passenger, we will not cease them,” says Main, who says that in his expertise, vacationers are sometimes blissful to swap to permit dad and mom to sit down with children.

Flight attendants assist this type of switching about, however will strive to not intrude except there are points.

“It is in our curiosity to get folks collectively, as a result of you don’t need the grief of individuals being separated,” he says.

Malis says she additionally strives to ensure dad and mom and children are collectively, however suggests these conditions needs to be resolved earlier than boarding if doable.

“It places a number of strain on us to ask favors of passengers to change round and it is a very time-sensitive a part of flight once we’re boarding,” she says.

Folks transferring seats can be controversial in the event that they’re transferring to an space of the airplane the place different passengers have paid extra to sit down there.

“From a sensible standpoint, I perceive…When you’ve got three folks crammed in a single seat and an empty row up there, should not everybody simply have the ability to unfold out? What a deal with that’s when the flight permits you to,” says Malis. “However then additionally respecting that there is individuals who have paid further to be there and that somebody hasn’t and that is unfair.”

Malis additionally thinks it is a little bit ironic that the emergency exit rows are generally marketed as premium seating, with a free drink included.

“Folks which are requested to be prepared and in a position to help within the occasion of an emergency are possibly extra more likely to have a few drinks in the event that they’re sitting there. However that is how it’s, that is how these seats are marketed,” says Malis. “Fortunately, we do not have a number of emergency evacuations.”

Who has the proper to the center armrest?

Main jokingly describes the scramble for the center armrest as a “brutal combat,” however comes down firmly on the place that the particular person within the center ought to take it.

Malis agrees: “It isn’t written down wherever so far as I am conscious, however I believe the unstated courtesy is that the particular person within the heart seat, within the center seat, will get the armrest.”

Ought to window blinds be stored closed or open?

Some folks need them up, some folks need them down. Main says window blinds could be a contentious concern, significantly on long-haul flights, however the reply is usually fairly clear.

“If it is a evening flight, shut them,” says Main. “Only one particular person opening the blinds, the sunshine is available in and retains folks awake and it might actually have an effect on folks. You perceive it although — folks need to take a look down. Should you’re flying over the Himalayas, you need to take a look at Mount Everest. Why would you not?”

Blinds additionally should be open upon arrival because of security rules, a lot to the annoyance of some sleepy passengers. Main says if vacationers push again, he’ll attempt to clarify that the crew wants to have the ability to see out to regulate to the sunshine in case there are any issues.

“I believe I believe folks cope with a proof an terrible lot higher than an order,” he says. “A proof — it offers some mutual respect.”

How do you deal with being in your toes all day?

Working as a flight attendant involves a lot of walking and standing.

Working as a flight attendant includes a number of strolling and standing.

Matt Hunt/SOPA Photographs/LightRocket/Getty Photographs

Working as a flight attendant is a bodily demanding job. Flying lengthy or brief haul, you may be in your toes for hours.

“I’ve acquired insoles in my sneakers,” says Main, including it is tougher for feminine flight attendants, who’re generally anticipated to put on heels.

Those that can will decide the comfiest good sneakers doable, says Main, who says Doc Martens are a preferred alternative.

Malis says excessive heels, “undoubtedly add one other pressure to our toes,” however some flight attendants have inflight sneakers they modify into, that are extra comfy.

“It is undoubtedly a job the place you get some good steps in. I believe standing is nearly simply as exhausting as strolling although, it may be onerous on the decrease again,” she says.

What do you do in your downtime on flights?

Extremely long-haul flights embody structured relaxation intervals for cabin crew. Flight attendants will retire to a separate space of the airplane throughout this downtime. Amenities range relying on the airline, route and plane.

“Some have beds, some are simply comfy seats in distant locations on the plane,” says Main. “What amenities they provide will depend upon how a lot relaxation you are presupposed to have — after which how a lot work you are able to do relies on that.”

Nonetheless, it isn’t all the time simple to sleep on a airplane — even in the event you’re a flight attendant and you must recharge earlier than getting again to work.

“I do know crew that do not, they usually’ll learn a ebook or watch a film on their iPad or one thing,” says Main.

Main says flight attendants engaged on low-cost carriers generally have extra downtime on board, as they do not serve a lot in the way in which of food and drinks. Cabin crew may attempt to take advantage of these pauses.

“Lots of people do greater academic programs, they use the downtime in resorts and locations like that, and even on the flights, to do the work,” he says.

Malis says she not often has time to herself on her home US flights. If she does, she’ll eat a fast snack to refuel.

Do flight attendants eat and drink the identical meals as passengers?

Malis and Main say flight attendants are in a position to eat and drink airline culinary choices, however might select not.

“Airplane choices aren’t all the time the meals which are going to maintain me probably the most alert,” says Malis, who says she often packs gentle snacks like hummus, apples and popcorn.

“I drink loads of airplane espresso I’ll say, however I often convey my very own — at the very least have one on my option to work or on the airport that is a little bit stronger — and sip on that every one morning lengthy.”

Main says he avoids meals which may make him really feel bloated. His foremost focus is consuming a lot of water on board.

“You may all the time discover the crew have gotten a bottle of water and a scorching drink someplace, they will have a tea or espresso.”

Main says some crew will even convey their very own meals on board, usually because of dietary necessities, however his airline would not permit crew to warmth up meals from house within the inflight ovens.

Malis says her airline does — in principle — permit flight attendants to warmth up meals introduced from house, however you must convey the proper container and ovens may be unpredictable whenever you’re making an attempt to get the temperature proper.

On vacation flights, Malis says some crew members may get inventive, bringing in meals so as to add to the festive vibe and “to cheer the crew up in the event that they’re lacking out on spending the day with their household.”

“There’s some fairly intelligent little issues that flight attendants can do within the galley,” she provides. “However for probably the most half, there’s not a number of time to be doing that. Principally flight attendants are simply looking for any spare moments to seize a chunk of meals to maintain happening a few of these marathon days.”

How do you cope with nervous fliers?

Flying can be nerve-wracking, especially on busy flights. Pictured here: travelers waiting at Newark Liberty International Airport on November 22, 2022.

Flying may be nerve-wracking, particularly on busy flights. Pictured right here: vacationers ready at Newark Liberty Worldwide Airport on November 22, 2022.

Spencer Platt/Getty Photographs

For some passengers, it is the very fact they don’t seem to be in management. Different vacationers hate the unidentified noises that soundtrack the flight.

“After I discover somebody who’s fearful of flying, I attempt to discover out what is the driver behind it,” says Main. “Should you can discuss to folks and discover out why they’re frightened, then you may alleviate their fears, as a result of the possibilities of something mechanical making a state of affairs the place the airplane would crash — it is past distant.”

Some folks discover studying extra concerning the mechanics and logistics useful. Different passengers simply want distraction, and chatting with flight attendants may assist.

“The crew, that is all the way down to their expertise to seek out out what it’s that particular person must get them by the flight,” says Main.

If Main is chatting with an anxious passenger earlier than the plane takes off, there’s additionally one other layer at play — flight attendants wish to keep away from somebody deciding to deplane on the final minute, which may delay the flight and imply the plane misses its takeoff slot.

Main and his workforce need to resolve as shortly as doable whether or not the passenger is ready to fly that day.

“That once more, comes all the way down to the talents of the crew,” says Main, who will all the time try to stay calm in these moments. “I do not need the passengers to assume my major concern is, ‘Are you going to delay me closing the doorways and getting this factor up within the air?'”

Malis advises that anxious fliers make themselves recognized to air crew. If she is aware of a passenger is nervous, she’ll attempt to hold tabs on them all through the flight. She recommends respiratory strategies, and likewise advises bringing alongside an engrossing ebook, or shedding your self in a TV present or film.

Main additionally advises bringing an iPad, coloring books or toys to entertain youngsters and hold them as calm as doable through the flight.

Do you are concerned about unhealthy turbulence?

When she’s working a flight, Malis views turbulence as “extra of a nuisance and inconvenience.”

“Nevertheless it’s sort of humorous, after I’m a passenger and I hit turbulence, I really feel like I am identical to each different passenger, which does not make any sense. I am all the time like, ‘What was that bump? Is all the things okay?'”

It is a reminder {that a} bumpy flight is not nice for anybody — even when it is often nothing to fret about.

What do you do in an inflight medical state of affairs?

Main says that how crew strategy an inflight medical state of affairs is determined by a number of components, together with the character of the state of affairs and the preferences of the crew.

He would not typically go for the traditional “is there a physician on board?” callout.

“Within the UK, you may discover that almost all crews will not ask for a physician, they will do it themselves. We would not need somebody concerned that does not know our surroundings.”

Flight attendants have medical provides on board in case of emergencies, though they will solely administer sure medication underneath the course of a radio name to the bottom.

“They will discuss us by what we have to know if we have to,” says Main, who says he is by no means delivered a child on board, however has come shut.

“If somebody’s having a cardiac arrest, we have the defib, we are able to do it. If a physician needs to assist us they will, however it relies upon what they’re a physician in.”

Malis says on her US-based flights, cabin crew will even put in calls to physicians on the bottom within the case of a medical emergency. However in contrast to Main, she says “having a physician or a nurse on the flight is certainly preferable or useful.

“Personally, I would favor to web page a physician on a airplane. I believe they’re clearly the perfect skilled for these varieties of circumstances. However we do have assets on the bottom and our personal primary coaching that covers a number of issues.”

What’s it like when there is a movie star on the flight?

Everybody has to discover a option to get from level A to level B, even celebrities. The truth is, Main says that on just about each transatlantic flight, there’s more likely to be somebody at the very least reasonably well-known among the many tons of of passengers.

Typically talking, the cabin crew aren’t given any warning {that a} movie star goes to be on board — they will often solely understand once they see their title on the passenger checklist.

There are a couple of exceptions although.

“Typically you’ll be notified that there’s a VIP on board — that tends to be royal households,” says Main.

And sure, some celebrities have a repute for being impolite, and that repute will unfold amongst flight attendants.

Equally, some celebrities are recognized amongst cabin crew for being pleasant and charming.

Malis says different passengers usually don’t know they’re rubbing shoulders with A-listers.

“Should you’re sitting at the back of a airplane, there’s an excellent probability there is a movie star in firstclass that you just by no means even knew about,” she says.

Do you’ve codes you utilize to consult with passengers?

Main says when he first began flying 20 years in the past, flight attendants would generally use the code “BOB” AKA “finest on board,” to consult with the passenger they deemed most handsome.

“It is only a little bit of enjoyable,” he says, including it isn’t as commonplace now. “We’re speaking years in the past.”

What do you assume when passengers applaud when the airplane lands?

Main suggests this can be a regional factor and it is extra widespread on European flights.

“Italians do it each single flight, each single time. Typically after unhealthy turbulence you may get it. You perceive that one — persons are simply relieved to get there as a result of they do not actually perceive turbulence,” he says.

Malis says within the US, passengers often solely clap after a really bumpy flight.

“I assume persons are stunned the airplane landed, I am unsure? Most planes do land,” she says. “Personally, I believe it is sort of tacky. I believe a number of flight attendants would agree with me on that.”

What unusual issues do folks depart behind within the cabin?

It is best to not go there.

“All the pieces your creativeness can drum up, we’ll have discovered it,” says Main.

Have you ever ever befriended a passenger?

Main as soon as gave a stranded passenger a elevate in his automotive they usually’re nonetheless related on social media right now.

As for Malis, she says whether or not or not flight attendants join with passengers is determined by their private consolation stage, and bounds ought to all the time be revered.

“There’s been cases of passengers stalking flight attendants and stuff like that. So it is essential that we do hold considerably of an expert line drawn,” she says.

However one time she ended up flying together with her fifth grade basketball coach, by pure coincidence, which was enjoyable.

And each Malis and Main know tales of flight attendants who’ve married passengers.

Are you able to settle for items from passengers?

Main says flight attendants can solely settle for sealed packages, as a result of safety implications.

Malis says the crew genuinely recognize tokens of appreciation.

“It actually does brighten our days when folks have the forefront to acknowledge us like that,” she says.

“We’re the recipients of chocolate, so much. Starbucks present playing cards are nice.”

Malis is not positive of the present coverage, however recollects at one time flight attendants have been informed to say no money thrice, however that they may settle for it on the fourth strive.

Whereas it is pretty when crew are acknowledged with items on the vacations, Malis says even only a smile makes an enormous distinction and may change the environment on board.

“You’d really be stunned how many individuals simply ignore you, as you say hi there, they usually do not even take a look at you or say something to you,” she says.

“I do not know if anybody’s first alternative is to be flying on the vacations. However we’re all sort of all in it collectively.”

Prime picture courtesy atosan/iStockphoto/Getty Photographs

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