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The Slang of the Skies: Understanding the Flight Crew

Wed, 09/28/2016
Air Hostess

Back in 2008 the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) made it compulsory for all air traffic control and pilots to speak English. The changes were made so that staff, whether in the air or on the ground, could understand what is going on around them and avoid dangerous situations. As it is an important language in the tourism sector, the go-to for all kinds of travellers, English is probably the language your flight attendant will speak too. However they might also use a few words and phrases even most native speakers wouldn’t understand...

As in many industries, airline staff will use their own terms and seem to be speaking in code with one another, but in fact the jargon of the skies isn’t all that hard to get to grips with. Get Paid When Delayed has compiled a flight glossary; try using some of it on your next flight to impress the crew- you might be rewarded some extra special treatment!

Blue Juice – toilet water

Crashpad – a shared apartment for crew members to save money on hotels between shifts

Crotch Watch – checking that all passengers are wearing their seatbelts

Crumb Crunchers - children

Deadheading – when a crew member flies as a passenger in order to get somewhere for work duties

Gate Lice – passengers who gather around the gate with the aim of boarding the plane first

George – autopilot

Jumpseat – the fold down chairs flight attendants sit on

Landing Lips – freshly applied lipstick ready for landing and greeting the passengers once more before they leave the plane

Pax – short for passengers

Spinners – people who board the plane last and can’t find a seat

2-for-1 Special – the act of landing ‘twice’ (when the plane touches the ground, briefly bounces back up and then touches down again)

Working in the Village – working in economy class

If you’re delayed, a flight has been cancelled or you’ve been denied boarding, try not to take it out on the crew. They are probably just as frustrated as you are, after all they only get paid whilst in the air. You can Get Paid When Delayed by going to our site and starting the claims process. You’ll keep 100% of your compensation because we never charge a fee and never take commission.

If you are unsure about your claim or have trouble using the site, Get In Touch!

Go to Lost&Found for lost, delayed or damaged hand luggage or checked baggage!