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Flight attendants spend a good portion of our lives in hotels. We sleep there, we eat there, we organize our finances and conduct our zoom meetings there. We do our homework and talk to family and microwave our dinners. Sometimes a hotel starts to feel as much like home as, well…home.

And other times it is wayyyyy different. There are some things I do in a hotel that I would never do at my own house. And I knew I couldn’t be the only one. I have conducted a very scientific survey of an unspecified number of flight attendants to find out what really happens at layover hotels. The results were shocking.

Just kidding, they were pretty much in line with expectations. So, without further ado, here are the top things flight attendants do at hotels that we would NEVER do at home. Some are my personal brand of “you’re the worst”, and some came from friends. If you’re a flight attendant, take comfort that there are others just like you. Doing the same gross sh*t you do. And if you’re not, read on anyway for a sneak peak into the lives of flight attendants, first stop Layover Land. All aboard!

(I’m sorry, it seems I’ve got my transportation themes mixed.)

10 Things Flight Attendants do at Hotels they would Never do at Home

1. Eat in bed

Some of y’all nasty-wastys do this at home, but in my house this is a no-go. I will sip coffee in bed the whole day through, but when it comes to food it is not happening. I’ll be at the table like a human being, thank you very much.

On layovers? All bets are off. Pull up a comfy spot in bed and lay out all your snacks in a smorgasbord atop the comforter. Crumbs? Who cares, the bedding will be washed anyway. The great thing is that a standard hotel room either has two beds—one for eating and one for sleeping, HELLO!—or one bed large enough that you can eat on one half and sleep on the other. No cross-contamination necessary! Countless flight attendants have called eating in bed, especially while watching TV, one of their favorite layover pastimes.

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2. Exfoliate

I have this caffeine exfoliating body scrub that I loooove using…but not at home. You see, this stuff is real gritty, grains of coffee and sand. I get a little worried about the plumbing in my 100-year-old house and try not to put anything down my pipes that doesn’t absolutely have to go there. Hotels, on the other hand, have commercial-grade heavy-duty plumbing enough to accommodate hundreds of people flushing, brushing, and showering daily. What harm could a little caffeine scrub do? The other thing is doing this little exfoliation routine at home would cause me to have to clean my bathtub more. Guys, I can feel the judgement coming through the screen, from the future! I KNOW! Okay?

But I also know I’m not the only one. This is a common hotel-only routine for other FA friends and colleagues.

3. Dye our Hair

Next on our list of things flight attendants do at hotels but not at home…

Why risk getting hair dye on your own bathmat when you could do it in a hotel? I personally don’t dye my own hair– I haven’t dared since my unfortunate Corona color-job last year. But I know some of us do. And when we do, it isn’t at home.

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Take a towel. Take six!

4. Use alllllllll the towels

It turns out a lot of the things flight attendants do in hotels that they’d never do at home take place in the bathroom. Go figure.

At home the same towel will last me several days up to even a week. But in hotels…

In hotels it goes something like this:

Two hand towels are used to wrap my food before putting it in the refrigerator. Hotel refrigerators have a tendency to freeze everything, whether you adjust them or not. The towels help to insulate my food so that it doesn’t freeze, rendering me an angry, starving, psychopath before my next work shift. (Read more about what I pack for food on work trips here.)

One facecloth, therefore, becomes my hand towel to use after I’ve washed my hands.

One facecloth becomes my napkin, while I’m snacking in bed.

One bath towel is for bathing, of course.

And one bath towel serves as a substitute yoga mat in my room. Sometimes, this towel serves instead as a beach towel or a picnic towel.

And that adds up to… ALL of them. As you can see, my in-hotel towel use is not frivolous, each one serves a specific and essential purpose.

5. Manscaping. Or ladyscaping or themscaping or whatever.

When it’s a big job, you save it for the hotel. From what I hear. (I oscillate between having hair ripped out from my body in the most painful way possible and just letting it grow and ‘find itself’.)

No one wants clogged pipes at home. And a layover provides the perfect downtime, free from distractions, to tackle an overgrown situation. Plus the lighting in hotel bathrooms is usually really good.

6. Get In bed dirty

I am pretty particular about my bed at home, and as someone who loves showering more than almost anything, it is rare that I would ever go to bed dirty. But every once in a while on a layover…

Every once in a while on a layover I find myself laying in bed sandy and slathered in SPF after a trip to the beach. Every once in a while I am so exhausted after a run that I lay across my hotel bed while I finish the text conversation I was having. I’ve laid in bed to take a nap after hanging by the pool at a hotel. (For those of you who think a pool is the same as bathing, no it is not. There are SOME people who think it is a toilet. So, yes, showering is required after the pool.) These are things I would never do at home. Word on the street is other Flight Attendants feel this way too.

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This might be taking it too far.

7. Make it Greasy

Where at home we might use some quick-dry regular-degular lotion, in a hotel we are lubing up with straight OIL. Coconut oil, one flight attendant said, right out of the jar. “My skin feels bomb and the air conditioners be drying my ass out.”

I guess that’s that.

These are affiliate links. Purchasing through them will support me with a small commission, and, more importantly, that flaky skin of yours.

8. Eat Muffins

This could be any food, and the specific one will be different for every flight attendant. But for me it’s muffins. One of our hotels has a lounge set up for airline crew that contains microwaves for heating our meals, carafes with (Starbucks!) coffee, and some grab-n-go snack items—fruit, yogurts, and of course muffins. They have blueberry, chocolate, sometimes even banana nut.

So what’s so harmless about a muffin?

Absolutely nothing is wrong with eating a muffin. But at home I almost NEVER eat them. When I’m in San Diego? I ALWAYS eat them. And not just one, and often not just two. There is something about free food that just really gets us airline folk. In real life, even when indulging in pastries or baked goods I just wouldn’t pick a muffin. Bagel? Check! Croissant? Yes. Chocolate croissant? Even better. But when a food item is free and when you are far away from home, there is some psychological phenomenon that takes place that forces you to eat it. For some people this is M&Ms. Legend has it we had a pilot who was so greedy with the free M&Ms at one of our crew hotels that the hotel removed the M&M dispenser from the lobby. Thanks, jerk. But I can kind of relate. I have totally entertained guests with my free San Diego mini muffins while in town, and I have on more than one occasion eaten my final muffin on my drive home to Rhode Island the next day.

The point of this is not the muffins. There is something about free food and drinks that makes us airline people go a little wild, maybe break our own food boundaries, maybe eat things that aren’t our favorite. Or maybe become an M&M thief, the stuff of legends and lore in the sky.

Just one more thing we do in hotels that we don’t do at home.

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When you just can't say no...have more.

9. Wear our shoes inside

If you’re someone who wears shoes in your house, then you’re not allowed to judge for any of the aforementioned items. But even the neatest, cleanest, most shoes-in-the-house-hating flight attendant can get wavy on this boundary in a hotel room. I guess everything changes when you’re not paying the mortgage and mopping the floors.

10. Sex is….different

Several of the interview subjects reported having wilder or messier sexual relations in a hotel than at their own home. “Fluids are everywhere,” stated one eager-to-share Flight Attendant. I’ll abstain from giving my personal opinion, but the amongst the sky workers I interviewed there seemed to be vast agreement. ‘Not my sheets, not my problem.’

And that’s a wrap, folx. I hope you enjoyed reading about the 10 things Flight Attendants do at hotels that they never do at home. All of the interview subjects involved assured me that they clean up their messes, place towels in a neat pile, use only one trash can instead of the two provided, and generally keep it respectful. One subject said she left a $5 bill and an apology note when an unexpected period happened in a hotel. You see, we’re not trying to be jerks or slobs. The fact is sometimes our personal habits can get a little flexible on the road. It happens to the best of us, and as long as you’re not making housekeeping’s job more difficult or causing a ruckus, then I say let yourself off the hook. Live a little.

Flight attendants and frequent travelers: What are some things you do in hotels that you NEVER do at home? Leave it in the comments. We totally won’t judge you! No judgement allowed!

 

Have a happy weekend everybody. Until next time!

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Comments:

  • Rae

    October 23, 2021

    Eating in bed was what came to mind first, fo sho. Honestly everything else is the same, I’d I don’t do it at home, I don’t do it in a hotel. Guess I should live a little!
    Also. WHAT? A crew room in SAN? I never knew this :’(
    PS rude to not include me on your survey.
    Love ya!

    reply...
    • Dasha

      November 2, 2021

      I thought this exact thing… where are the free muffins in SAN?!!

      reply...

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