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Flight Attendant Confidential: What They Wish You Knew About Flying First Class

Flight Attendant Confidential: What They Wish You Knew About Flying First Class

There’s First Class, and then there’s FIRST CLASS. There’s a huge disparity between First Class on United Airlines versus First Class on Emirates. And there might be a huge income disparity between you and the celebrity or captain of industry sitting next to you. While the average income of First Class flyers is just south of seven figures, there’s a large percentage of First Class passengers who are upgraded due to their cumulative business travel miles, or they are airline employees flying on standby.

Regardless of which airline you fly for your business travel, or the reason you’re flying in First Class, there’s a certain level of decorum that all flight attendants want to believe of their First Class passengers. Here are six tips for being that model First Class passenger:

  1. Treat your flight attendant with respect. One of the greatest “tells” when you’re qualifying a new employee or a potential life partner is the level of respect with which they treat the wait staff at a restaurant, or their flight attendant. In those brief encounters, you will be armed with all of the information you’d ever need to know about that person. Remember, your flight attendant is also attending to the other half of the cabin, so be patient and understanding. Realize they are not mind readers.
  2. Don’t drink to excess. If the flight attendant is lucky, a passenger who drinks too much will simply fall asleep, but more often than not, they get loud and belligerent, or downright mean. Don’t act as if you’ll never see alcohol again if you don’t drink it all during this flight. And remember, it’s been disproven multiple times that your blood doesn’t absorb alcohol faster at higher altitudes, so flying won’t cause you to get drunk any sooner than you would while imbibing on terra firma. If you have jet lag, drinking alcohol will only exacerbate it.
  3. You won’t always get your first choice meal. While the airline personnel ordering the food are using predictive analytics data to determine which percentage of meals will be requested on any given flight, you might be the anomaly. Or perhaps there was a shortage of black Périgord truffles because of a dry summer, so the number of meals with that ingredient was curtailed on your flight. Don’t behave like Veruca Salt; it won’t engender any affinity from your flight attendant for future requests.
  4. Don’t abuse the free stuff. It’s a tell that you’re not a typical First Class flyer when you’re ordering everything off of the menu. The food and drink are clearly an upgrade from coach, but there’s no need to demonstrate survivalist tendencies, hoarding food and drink like you’re prepping for the next big market crash.
  5. Be considerate of your seatmate. A perfunctory greeting is fine, but don’t ingratiate yourself on someone who clearly wants to be left alone to read, watch their movie, write the next great novel, or sleep.
  6. Avoid the selfies. Again, selfies are a dead giveaway that you’re not a regular, which is something you don’t want to be telegraphing to your fellow First Class passengers.

For the most pleasurable, memorable First Class experience, remember these tips, lifted directly from the many flight attendants we interviewed for this piece. In so doing, you might find yourself relating to the words of Amelia Earhart: “I have often said that the lure of flying is the lure of beauty.”

 

By: Denise D.

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