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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 season of journey chaos solely simply subsided, however the vacation journey season is now upon us.

Navigating the world of airports and airplanes presently will be disturbing, but when anybody’s an skilled 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 most effective time for flying?

Some locations supply a number of flights all through the day, so is it greatest 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 truly be telling everybody. In any other case, they’ll take all my morning flights.”

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

In relation 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 for those who’re capable of.

For example, flying on the day earlier than Christmas Eve, fairly than on the 24th, provides 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 People are set to journey by air over the Thanksgiving vacation.

Scott Olson/Getty Pictures

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

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

“If we won’t go, we won’t go,” he says. “We can be doing all the pieces we will in our energy to go — as a result of it is in our curiosity to.”

And opposite to what some passengers would possibly assume, flight attendants do not disguise data from passengers. “There is no level,” says Main.

So for those who’re sitting on a delayed flight, stressing about missed connections, do not hesitate to ask your flight attendant for all the data you possibly can. Main says he’ll direct passengers to the fitting desk to rebook a flight, and allow them to know “the questions you should ask.”

How do you beat jet lag?

Should you’re crossing time zones, Main is a giant believer in an influence nap upon arrival — with one caveat: preserve it quick, 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 mentioned, generally flight attendants are solely in a vacation spot for 24 hours. If that is the case, Main says they will normally keep of their residence time zone. And Malis reckons some vacationers would possibly discover that useful in the course of the vacation season.

“You would possibly 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 could be useful,” she says.

Malis additionally stresses the significance of “hydration, consuming nutritious meals, and train.” And “staying in sync together with your physique as greatest you possibly can.”

“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 pieces, the vacations will be disturbing, so give your self the most effective probability of correct relaxation to benefit from the vacation season in essentially the most constructive 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 economic 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 will 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.”

Generally flight attendants can 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 — comparable to if one passenger is making one other uncomfortable.

Can passengers swap seats?

“If a passenger desires to ask one other passenger, we won’t cease them,” says Main, who says that in his expertise, vacationers are sometimes completely satisfied to swap to permit mother and father to sit down with children.

Flight attendants help this sort of switching about, however will attempt to not intervene except there are points.

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

Malis says she additionally strives to verify mother and father and youngsters are collectively, however suggests these conditions ought to be resolved earlier than boarding if doable.

“It places lots of stress on us to ask favors of passengers to change round and it is a very time-sensitive a part of flight after 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…In case you have 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 means that you can,” 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 slightly ironic that the emergency exit rows are generally marketed as premium seating, with a free drink included.

“Folks which might be requested to be prepared and capable of help within the occasion of an emergency are possibly extra prone 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 lots of emergency evacuations.”

Who has the fitting 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 is not written down wherever so far as I am conscious, however I feel 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 problem, notably on long-haul flights, however the reply is commonly 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 will possibly 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 as a result 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 feel I feel folks cope with an evidence an terrible lot higher than an order,” he says. “A proof — it provides some mutual respect.”

How do you address being in your ft all day?

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

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

Matt Hunt/SOPA Pictures/LightRocket/Getty Pictures

Working as a flight attendant is a bodily demanding job. Flying lengthy or quick haul, you will be in your ft for hours.

“I’ve received insoles in my footwear,” says Main, including it is more durable for feminine flight attendants, who’re generally anticipated to put on heels.

Those that can will choose the comfiest sensible footwear doable, says Main, who says Doc Martens are a preferred selection.

Malis says excessive heels, “positively add one other pressure to our ft,” however some flight attendants have inflight footwear they modify into, that are extra snug.

“It is positively a job the place you get some good steps in. I feel standing is sort of simply as exhausting as strolling although, it may be exhausting 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. Services range relying on the airline, route and plane.

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

Nonetheless, it isn’t all the time straightforward to sleep on a aircraft — even for those who’re a flight attendant and you should recharge earlier than getting again to work.

“I do know crew that do not, they usually’ll learn a guide 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 would possibly 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 hardly ever 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 capable of eat and drink airline culinary choices, however could select not.

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

“I drink loads of airplane espresso I’ll say, however I normally deliver my very own — not less than have one on my option to work or on the airport that is slightly stronger — and sip on that every one morning lengthy.”

Main says he avoids meals which may make him really feel bloated. His primary 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 sizzling drink someplace, they will have a tea or espresso.”

Main says some crew can even deliver their very own meals on board, usually as a result of dietary necessities, however his airline does not permit crew to warmth up meals from residence within the inflight ovens.

Malis says her airline does — in concept — permit flight attendants to warmth up meals introduced from residence, however you need to deliver the fitting container and ovens will be unpredictable whenever you’re making an attempt to get the temperature proper.

On vacation flights, Malis says some crew members would possibly 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 essentially the most half, there’s not lots of time to be doing that. Largely flight attendants are simply looking for any spare moments to seize a chew of meals to maintain occurring 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 will be nerve-wracking, particularly on busy flights. Pictured right here: vacationers ready at Newark Liberty Worldwide Airport on November 22, 2022.

Spencer Platt/Getty Pictures

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

Some folks discover studying extra in regards to the mechanics and logistics useful. Different passengers simply want distraction, and talking to flight attendants would possibly assist.

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

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

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

“That once more, comes right 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 preserve tabs on them in the course of the flight. She recommends respiratory strategies, and in addition advises bringing alongside an engrossing guide, or shedding your self in a TV present or film.

Main additionally advises bringing an iPad, coloring books or toys to entertain youngsters and preserve them as calm as doable in the course of the flight.

Do you are worried about dangerous turbulence?

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Within the UK, you will discover that the majority 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’ll solely administer sure medication below the course of a radio name to the bottom.

“They will speak 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 got the defib, we will do it. If a physician desires to assist us they’ll, nevertheless it relies upon what they’re a physician in.”

Malis says on her US-based flights, cabin crew can 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 unquestionably preferable or useful.

“Personally, I would like to web page a physician on a aircraft. I feel they’re clearly the most effective skilled for these kinds of circumstances. However we do have assets on the bottom and our personal fundamental coaching that covers lots of issues.”

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

Everybody has to discover a option to get from level A to level B, even celebrities. In truth, Main says that on just about each transatlantic flight, there’s prone to be somebody not less than reasonably well-known among the many lots of of passengers.

Usually talking, the cabin crew aren’t given any warning {that a} superstar goes to be on board — they will normally solely notice after they see their identify on the passenger checklist.

There are a couple of exceptions although.

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

And sure, some celebrities have a fame for being impolite, and that fame 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 behind a aircraft, there’s an excellent probability there is a superstar in top notch that you simply by no means even knew about,” she says.

Do you might have codes you utilize to consult with passengers?

Main says when he first began flying twenty years in the past, flight attendants would generally use the code “BOB” AKA “greatest 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 aircraft lands?

Main suggests it is a regional factor and it is extra frequent on European flights.

“Italians do it each single flight, each single time. Generally after dangerous turbulence you will 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 normally solely clap after a really bumpy flight.

“I suppose persons are stunned the aircraft landed, I am undecided? Most planes do land,” she says. “Personally, I feel it is type of tacky. I feel lots 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.

“Every little thing 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 automobile they usually’re nonetheless related on social media at present.

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

“There’s been situations of passengers stalking flight attendants and stuff like that. So it is necessary that we do preserve 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 presents from passengers?

Main says flight attendants can solely settle for sealed packages, because of the safety implications.

Malis says the crew genuinely admire 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, lots. Starbucks reward playing cards are nice.”

Malis is not certain of the present coverage, however remembers at one time flight attendants have been advised to say no money thrice, however that they may settle for it on the fourth attempt.

Whereas it is beautiful when crew are acknowledged with presents on the vacations, Malis says even only a smile makes a giant distinction and might change the ambiance on board.

“You’d truly 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 selection is to be flying on the vacations. However we’re all type of all in it collectively.”

High picture courtesy atosan/iStockphoto/Getty Pictures

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