The Secret Language of Flight Attendants


You have a long flight and you begin to feel bored. The entertainment options on board don’t look interesting. The person sitting next to you speaks just his mother language and he doesn’t understand what you are trying to say. We have good news! All problems have the solution! When you don’t know what to do during your flight try to follow what the flight attendants are saying to each other. The conversation between flight attendants might sound mysterious. This happens due to the secret language of flight attendants and because of abbreviations. Thus, you can use this article like the mini dictionary to decode the secret language of the flight attendants. 

The BIRD is an abbreviation for aircraft in flight attendants’ language. Don’t worry if your flight attendant talks about birds. It most likely doesn’t mean there is a risk of birds for the aircraft engines.

If you think that aircraft abbreviation is weird, what about passenger’s nickname – PAX. It means the goddess of peace or the kiss of peace in English.

The COWBOY not always means the man riding a horse while wearing a funny hat.  In this instance, Cowboys are the cargo plane pilots. 

ALL CLEAR: don‘t be scared when you hear this in the conversation of cabin crew because it doesn‘t have anything related to the signal of danger or difficulty. Conversely, it means that the crew can visit the lavatory.

BLUE ROOM is the flight attendants’ code for the lavatory.

The TROLLY DOLLY is the code for a flight attendant pulling a carry-on bag.

The SCREAMER expresses an upset passenger in the cabin crew’s slang.

STEERAGE definition generally refers to the part of ship providing accommodation for passengers with the cheapest fares. Therefore, this word is used for travelers in the economy class seats at the aircraft. Moreover, the work in the economy class can be described by using other words. For example, by saying: working in the VILLAGE or in the COACH CLASS

A COACH ROACH is a flight attendant who prefers to work in the economy class. What type of answer can you get from the flight attendant who enjoys working in coach class?

–    Would you like to work in the business class?

–    The business class? No thanks. I’m a coach roach all the way, baby!

CROTCH WATCH is the moment when flight attendants walk through the cabin and make sure that your seatbelt is fastened. Another often used nickname of this process is a GROIN SCAN

SLAM-CLICKER is a crew member who stays at the hotel room and doesn’t come out until the time comes to depart for the airport (slam the door, click the lock).

CONCOURSE SHOES is the high-heeled pumps flight attendants wear to walk through the airport and change them in the comfortable and usually ugly flats during the flight.

JUMPSEAT is a flight attendant’s fold-down chair which needs to be used during the take-offs, landings or turbulence.

SHARON STONE JUMPSEAT is a fold-down chair which faces passengers. It isn’t the most comfortable seat for the flight attendants, especially when wearing a dress.

DEADHEAD – this nickname sounds very strange at first. It means the flight attendant flies as a passenger and doesn’t work. The process occurs when the airline needs to get the deadhead from one location to another for the job.

GATE LICE – is the code in flight attendant’s language which describes the people which create the cluster around the gate, because they want to get on the plane first.

If you heard a flight attendant saying word DEPLANE after landing, it can have just one signification: get yourself out of the airplane QUICKLY, please!

LANDING LIPS is a very feminine expression. It means that the flight attendant needs to refresh her makeup before landing.

LAYOVER – means the overnight sleep somewhere for cabin crew.

SIT TIME is the time between flights when cabin crew is waiting at the airport.

TWO-FOR-ONE SPECIAL is the operation when the plane approaches the runway too hard and it both bounces and touches the runway twice. This jump is very scary for passengers as it feels that something is wrong. The crew is used to such landings and knows that this does not damage the plane.

We hope that this brief introduction to the secret flight attendants’ language will help you in the future flights!