15 Flight Crew Members Share the Things That Happen Mid-Flight That Only They’re Aware Of

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Depending on how nervous of a flyer you are, you might not want to know. Fair warning if you want to take the chicken exit now!

#15. Weekend at Bernie’s.

“Not sure if it’s been mentioned already.

I was learning to be cabin crew at college and in the event that someone dies onboard, the CC (Cabin Crew) make it less obvious that they have passed.

Put glasses on them, maybe a hat. Essentially dress them up as subtle as possible to not alert and or panic the other passengers.”

#14. We’re just as annoyed as you are.

“Pilot here.

We only get paid when the doors are closed and the push back has commenced. If we’re delayed or sitting with the door open, we’re just as annoyed as you are.

At altitude we’re constantly in contact with air traffic control and change to different “center frequencies” (or control for other than US locations)

We’re also doing fuel checks to make sure the fuel burn isn’t abnormal, dodging weather, and probably bitching about scheduling”

#13. Temperature control.

“Ex airline employee here. Often we’d have someone on board with terrible body odor. You can set the temperature in one end of the cabin hotter and it localized the smell to one part of the plane. If you see coffee filter bags hanging anywhere its because someone smells like open a** somewhere on the plane.

FAs often talk about the “hot guy in 23B” or whatever seat he’s in.

Pilots f**k around a lot up front. They’ll take pictures, post on FB, watch movies, automation has taken over a lot of the work on long flights.

Edit: Not really on topic, but don’t ever walk barefoot or in socks on an airplane. The same mop that mops the lav, mops the galley.”

#12. Dodging thunderstorms.

“Not an airline pilot yet (just got hired by my first airline and start class next month) but I’ve been a pilot for 6 years. I primarily teach Chinese airline pilots how to fly but I’ve done some passenger operations in business aircraft on the side.

First of all, all the comments about pilots making cat sounds and Chewbacca noises is 100% true. Also, whenever someone leaves an area and switches frequencies, they yell “SEE YUH” and then a dozen other pilots will key up yelling “SEE YA” one after another. We also enjoy talking s**t about people who say “with you,” “got em on the fish finder,” “any traffic please advise,” and “tree” and “fife.”

Also, the things that scare passengers don’t phase the pilots one bit. We don’t give a s**t about turbulence or having to do a go-around. The things I don’t like are things you generally won’t know about – thunderstorm dodging, microburst alerts, ice, maintenance issues, etc.”

#11. You’re not being given the full answer.

“Pilot here, most of the time the passengers are not given the full answer on why a flight is delayed or cancelled.

Airlines will typically blame cancellations on unrelated events (weather) instead of mechanical issues so they don’t have to pay for hotel rooms/meals etc…

Also, chemtrails are not real. For those of you who believe they are real, give your head a shake.”

#10. Constantly swearing.

“As an Air Traffic Controller we are constantly swearing and yelling at pilots when we’re not on the frequency and then when we key up we use our nice guy voices.”

#9. Gets me every time.

“The scariest moment of my day is when the FA opens the internal bag door (the closet we all throw our overnight bags in) without calling us in the flight deck first.

That ding and master caution gets me every time….”

#8. All the time.

“Pilots are on their phones or reading the newspaper all the time.”

#7. A dead body in the cargo hold.

“As said before in the last thread, there is a large list of things that can be broken but the aircraft can still fly.

Often there will be a dead body in the cargo hold.

There is a crash axe just laying around in the cabin. It’ll spilt open your skull (not tested) but it won’t actually get through the aircraft skin or windows (tested).

Lavatory doors can be opened from the outside by lifting the metal plate saying “lavatory” and pulling the pin under it.

Both pilots may not eat the same meal, but they might be eating at the same time while the plane flies itself.”

#6. In quarantine.

“This started off with us blissfully unaware…ended with mild pant s**tting.

I was flying to France in one of those planes with the TV screen up front to show the flight path and where you currently are.

I was just about to fall asleep when the captain asked over the PA if there was a doctor on board and if they could go to seat #.

I knew this was bad. The flight path changed to Canada and we had to make an emergency landing. We were stuck there for 2 hours. When we finally got to France his entire row was quarantined off.

I have no idea what the f**k happened.”

#5. Mid-flight mess.

“A lady who was feeling very ill crapped her pants mid flight.

A very kind FA managed to get her covered in a blanket and into the bathroom with barely anyone noticing and then gave her a pair of her own pants to wear so she wouldn’t be embarrassed.”

#4. You’re on guard.

“I’ve got an original one for you all.

There is a radio frequency we all are required to monitor. Its called Guard. It’s for emergency use and is designed for maydays, and for Air Traffic Control to reach aircraft that may have lost radio contact, or to relay messages from aircraft to other aircraft, etc. every day this frequency is abused. You will hear hundreds of professional aviators meowing, yelling obscenities at each other, and making fun of one airline or another. Often times what will start it is some poor guy accidentally transmitting his PA announcement to passengers on the guard frequency, followed by the very “mature” outbreaks for about 5-10 minutes.

It’s the worst on the east coast.

Edit: just today I heard an airline aircraft trying to relay info about a medical emergency on this frequency through one of their fellow company aircraft. They couldn’t finish any of their sentences without people yelling “YER ON GUUUARD” “HEY NOBODY CARES ABOUT YER PASSENGER” “HEY YOU’RE ON GUARD TOO EH”

#3. Emergency backup.

“I was only a month or two out of IOE (initial operating experience) at my first airline job, flying right seat in a Regional Jet. I had just come back from the bathroom, when the captain pointed that several flight instruments on his side had failed, and he had reverted to using data from my side (basically told his main flight display to start using data from the second independent system).

Soon, however, THAT went bad too, the autopilot disconnected, and here we were at 25,000 ft or so, in icing, hand flying off a tiny little combined last-ditch backup instrument called an IESI (integrated electronic standby instrument, if memory serves).

We declared an emergency, asked ATC to point us in the direction of better weather, and tried to figure out what the hell was happening. Icing on BOTH primary pitot tubes maybe, though that shouldn’t happen (they are heated).

In any case, we ended up making a perfectly safe landing after a diversion, and the passengers never had any idea that, for a few minutes, I was really concerned that things were about to turn very, very bad and that we were down to our emergency backup gauge.

That’s the shortened version without most of the techno-babble anyway.”

#2. We weren’t hired for people skills.

“Pilot here. Late to the party as usual. But, sometimes the passengers may be having a nice quiet flight in the back while the pilots are upfront dodging thunderstorms and yelling their heads off.

We will not only transport dead bodies, but also live transplants, like hearts and lungs. I particularly like the live transplants because we get to cut to the front of the line for takeoff and we get all the short cuts to our destination.

Tip for those who get motion sickness: try not to move your head around. Pilots move their eyes instead of their heads to look at the instruments in the flight deck. Also try to sit in a seat over the wing. This area of the plane doesn’t rotate as much during climbs and descents.

Flight attendants can’t do pilot’s job, but pilots can’t do flight attendant’s jobs for sure. We aren’t hired for our people skills.

Don’t take off your shoes to go to the bathroom. People pee on the floor all the time.

Edit: Wow y’all rock! Thanks for the gold guys! Blue skies and tail winds!”

#1. The pilots are necessary.

“My uncle was a pilot.

He says that most people don’t understand how much of the airplane is run by computers.

The pilots are necessary but a lot of the elements of flying are automated nowadays.”

I never would have guessed! Did you?

If you have any crazy stories like this or if you just want to tell us what you think… do that in the comments!

Thanks, fam!