By The Secret Traveller
They’re your smiley, helpful friends in the air, the bringers of food and the fixers of problems. But airline hosties have a few secrets…
These will vary from airline to airline, but I’ve heard a few great ones. For example, if you hear a hostie referring to a passenger called “Bob” – as in, “I see Bob is in five-delta” – then they’re probably talking about the person they’ve judged “best on board”. As in the best-looking passenger. Who’s sitting in seat 5D. Another code is to work it into travel talk. “I’m going to spend seven days in California,” is a way of drawing attention to the passenger in 7C.
You think you’re knackered on a long flight? Imagine having spent the last 10 hours waiting on people hand and foot, cleaning toilets and trying to calm babies, fetching drinks and solving problems. They might be soldiering on gamely, but you can bet the hosties are a lot more tired than you are.
This ain’t pretty, but the combination of high altitude and weird food can really mess with a person’s intestinal system, causing a fair bit of unwanted gas. And there are hosties out there who have figured out the best way to get rid of it: casually wander past that passenger who’s been complaining the whole flight and silently let one rip.
You see them swishing through the airport in their fancy uniforms, off to somewhere exotic, all smiles and smart attire, and you figure that must be one of the most glamorous jobs around. But so much of what a hostie has to do isn’t pretty. It’s cleaning vomit off bathroom walls. It’s scraping food off the floor. It’s waiting on annoying passengers. It’s fast turnarounds and constant jet-lag. That’s not glamorous.
Think you’re the first person to ever hit on a hostie at 30,000 feet? Think again. Randy business travellers and people of all creeds seem to fancy their chances with the airline staff, and treat them to all manner of dodgy pick-up lines. No, they don’t want to join the mile-high club with you.
They might not be interested in the advances of sweaty businessmen, but that doesn’t mean the airline hosts are angels when they’re travelling. This is a profession that almost seems custom-built for extra-marital dalliances among the staff – it’s all short layovers, far from home, in nice hotel rooms with plenty of booze in the mini-bar. This is a nudge-nudge, wink-wink sort of arrangement. What goes on tour stays on tour.
It might not be beer. Maybe it’s wine, or spirits, or packets of nuts, or whatever it is that your heart desires. Hosties don’t have a lot of power, but one thing they can do if you’re getting drunk – or just extremely annoying – is pretend that they’ve run out of the things that you’re asking for. Don’t take this to heart. Take it as a sign that you’re being a pain in the arse.
It’s part of the job – hosties have to be nice. They have to be smiley and polite. They have to greet you like an old friend. They have to be courteous at all times. That doesn’t mean that actually like you, or want to have anything to do with you. It just means that they’re good at their job.
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