10 Confessions From Flight Attendant Heather Poole

Heather Poole, who just wrapped up the book “Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet,” recently dished in a Mental Floss article on the inside world of the airline industry and on how flight attendants act when things get turbulent (or when they catch someone trying to join the mile-high club). It starts:

1. IF THE PLANE DOOR IS OPEN, WE’RE NOT GETTING PAID.

You know all that preflight time where we’re cramming bags into overhead bins? None of that shows up in our paychecks. Flight attendants get paid for “flight hours only.” Translation: the clock doesn’t start until the craft pushes away from the gate. Flight delays, cancellations and layovers affect us just as much as they do passengers – maybe even more.

Airlines aren’t completely heartless, though. From the time we sign in at the airport until the plane slides back into the gate at our home base, we get an expense allowance of $1.50 an hour. It’s not much, but it helps pay the rent.

You can read the rest of the article over on Mental Floss, and see other stories from Heather’s adventures over at the Galley Gossip column on Gadling.

[Photo by Chalmers Butterfield, Wikimedia Commons]

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