Flight attendants are not “totally” having sex on planes

35,000 FEET — Have you ever asked a sushi chef about his sex life? Have you ever seen a Starbucks barista in lingerie — on television?

Have you ever wondered if the cashier at your grocery store has been hooking up with the other cashiers in the freezer, or maybe behind the deli counter?

No? Then why can’t we shut up about flight crew’s sex lives?

My job has been sexualized so much over the years that when there are studies about how often flight attendants have sex nobody even seems to think it’s weird. In a survey covered by both The Telegraph and Travel + Leisure, responding flight crew apparently revealed their most dishonest behavior. The survey — with questionable methodology — was about a number of behaviors, but of course Travel + Leisure focused on how often flight attendants hook up on planes. It was the headline that really got me going: “Study: Airline crewmembers totally have sex on flights.”

Totally? Like this is something happening all the time? I don’t think so.

“Twenty-one percent of 718 surveyed have had sex in flight?” a pilot wrote after I shared the article on Facebook. “Sounds like 21% had a good sense of humor during the survey.”

And a flight attendant joked, “Oh yes! We are all just having sex in between beverage services. I personally make it part of the in-flight service. Just tonight I had sex with a coworker before landing.”

Now, the airline industry is obviously guilty of creating an image over the past half century or so that makes this kind of story seem normal. Flight attendants have been used as marketing tools for a long time, and the image of a sexy, mini-skirt wearing 20-something was no accident.

But it’s 2016. Can we move on?

Whenever I go to a party and meet someone for the first time, one of the first things they ask about is the mile-high club. Sometimes they’ll even ask if I’m a member. (Not that it’s any of your business, but the answer is no. God no. Those bathrooms are filthy. Hello, that’s not water on the bathroom floor.)

My job has nothing to do with sex, and yet it always comes back to the mile-high club. That, or hooking up with pilots. Or both.

Let me give you an idea of what life is really like for those sexy flight attendants you see on your flight.

While some of you may see us only as potential characters in your own personal porno, the professional you’re looking at on that morning flight got up three or four hours before you did — after maybe six hours of sleep on a short layover — to be at the airport in time to get to work. In a single day, that flight attendant you want to screw has traveled countless miles while picking up after hundreds or even thousands of usually indifferent and occasionally rude passengers. Over the course of 12 hours, that flight attendant will sweat, ache, have food spilled on them — and probably end up with a headache. And that’s on a good day, when passengers aren’t screaming at us for something beyond our control, when there’s not a medical emergency, or a reason to grab a bottle of halon or a fire extinguisher.

We might look good greeting you at the boarding door, but I can tell you we’re not always feeling so hot. Sex is often the last thing on our minds.




  1. It is time to give these very hard working people a break. I have spent many hours in the air sitting in a pressurised tube, and how some of the flight attendants get treated is horrendous. Yes, they look fabulous when you board the plane are very polite … but that does not mean they want to jump on your bones and it does not give you the passenger the right to intimidate, make sexual advances or slap them on the backside. Try saying Thank you instead …

  2. Enjoyed reading it. Good post. I agree you may not be having sex, at 35000 feet. But then seen from the public’s eyes, it seems like that. The work dress is sexy! Keep up the good work.

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