Do flight attendants know your name

Travel: The secret language of the stewardesses - what does "Baby Jesus" mean?

Whether "Pax", "Hugo" or "Galley": flight attendants use terms that most passengers do not know. Read here what is behind these code words.

The job of flight attendants is not always easy: whining children, party tourists, unfriendly passengers and working in confined spaces. Stewardesses and stewards must remain calm even in stressful situations and must not lose their smile.

In order not to be understood by the "Pax" - the passengers - many flight crew members use a kind of secret language. With their own vocabulary and abbreviations, they can exchange ideas and regulate everyday work on board.

Airlines use their own code words

The US edition of the "Huffington Post" has deciphered the English code words of flight attendants, some of which are also used in German-speaking countries. For example, the "galley" is the galley and the "bin" is not the trash can, but the overhead bin above the seats.

But before the aircraft doors are even opened, the stewardesses and stewards have to say: "All faces in flight!". This announces boarding. The flight attendants get ready to greet the passengers and put on their friendly smiles. Stewardesses wear their so-called "boarding shoes", pumps with high heels. After the start they switch to flat and comfortable "galley shoes".

"Crotchwatch" and "wasten" go - the duties of a flight attendant

After all passengers have found their place - whether in "Busy" (Business Class) or "Eco" (Economy Class) - the first stewardess goes through the aisle and checks at the "Crotchwatch" (translated: look into the Step) that all adults and children are buckled up.

As soon as you are above the clouds, the "Galley Queen", the stewardess who is responsible for catering on board, takes care of the food. Passengers who have ordered a special meal receive their "SPML" (the abbreviation for special meal). The flight attendants then go to waste. That simply means: you collect the garbage.

Shortly before landing, the "Landing Lips" are on the plan. The stewardesses quickly freshen up their make-up to see the passengers off with a perfect look. The change to the high-heeled "boarding shoes" also takes place.

There is a signal word for dead passengers

Regardless of whether there is an emergency or a corpse is on board - flight attendants must not cause panic on the plane. For this reason they use the code name "Hugo" for a deceased passenger. In airline circles, the abbreviation stands for "Human Gone" or in German: "Object died unexpectedly today".


Overview of other secret language words:

  • "Baby Jesus":What sounds like a compliment at first is actually the title for a crying baby that is pampered by its parents on the flight. The parents are also considered to be particularly rude.
  • "Deadhead":Flight attendants refer to a crew member who is a passenger on a flight and therefore does not have to work. The person travels to an airport to be deployed there.
  • "Miracle Flight":Translated this term means "miracle flight". Flight attendants speak of this in connection with certain older passengers. They often need help when boarding and can be brought to the plane in a wheelchair. After landing, they run out of the plane themselves - miraculously healed.
  • "Senior" or "Senior Mama": An experienced crew member is referred to as a "senior". Older stewardesses are sometimes jokingly called "Senior Mama" among flight attendants.

The on-board crew not only uses the code words to exchange ideas about professional tasks, but also to talk about the behavior of individual passengers. Much of this is done through facial features and other non-verbal gestures. And if the employees do have to withdraw for a private conversation, they do so behind the curtain of the galley.