Lets Travel

a travel reference

Flight Attendants Secret Language That You Didn’t Know About

3 min read
Flight Attendants Secret Language That You Didn't Know About

What type of secrets are flight attendants keeping out of passengers? It turns out; it’s all hidden in the way they speak.

You have probably noticed that flight attendants use a particular vocabulary when they speak to each other in flight. Certain words such as”red-eye” or”deadhead” may be well known amongst experienced travellers, but there are a couple of words that may be unfamiliar.

For those people who are unaware,”red-eye” refers to flights which are overnight and”deadhead” is an airline employee who’s onboard a flight but is off duty. Mystery solved.

After studying these terms, you might be curious to learn more of the secret language flight attendants use to communicate. Well, they are just using a short-hand language that other flight attendants are acquainted with to get the job done as efficiently as possible. Sometimes, these conditions allow flight attendants to communicate about some of the less-glamorous facets of the job without bothering passengers.

If you are truly curious about these conditions, it is easy to find definitions throughout the internet — some supplied by actual flight attendants. Some of these terms have efficient uses, while others are more of a personal joke among people working in the “friendly skies.”

Here are some terms that flight attendants use to speak to each other while they are in the air. The next time you hear these words, be very happy that you are officially in the know.

Galley and galley queen

A galley is the aeroplane kitchen. It is where flight attendants prepare foods, drinks, and set up other services for the passengers. A”galley queen” is a slang term for a flight attendant who’s particularly territorial over this region and doesn’t like others intruding in this space.

Jump seat

According to the BBC, the jump seat is a unique, smaller chair that flight attendants use during take-off, landing, and turbulence.

Spinners and runners

These terms are utilized to identify a veteran flyer’s least favourite passengers, according to BBC. A spinner is a passenger who arrives at the last minute with no seat assignment, so they’re advised to board the aeroplane and try to find a seat.  Passengers that are usually found running through the airport to catch the flight are called “runners”. They are generally late or are coming from a different plane. 

Miracle flight

Slightly mean spirited, but “miracle flight” is a phrase used for a passenger who desires the aid of a wheelchair to board the flight but “miraculously” doesn’t need it to deplane. Some passengers abuse the system with a wheelchair to get on a plane early.


It is generally before the first row and is also where you can frequently find the lavatories and galley.


What are all those dings you hear during your flight? Flight attendants call them “chimes”.

Pink eye

A pink eye is a flight that is slightly earlier than a red-eye flight: late at night, but not overnight. This flight usually does not land much later than midnight.

Crotch watch

A flight attendant who is responsible for checking for seat belts is called a “Crotch watch”.


When you hear this, it means flight attendants need to double-check aircraft doors to be sure they are armed and prepared in case of an evacuation.

Lips and tips

This expression refers to a flight attendant who is wearing lipstick and nail lacquer. It is a subtle reminder that even amid a stressful day of flying, they must appear proper and polished.