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11 Flight Attendant Code Phrases Explained

Ever felt awkwardly out of touch when a pilot or the flight assistants scream out those code phrases all over the plane on the loud speakers? You may rest easy as you are not the only one. To most people, air travel has always remained an enigma. This as fancy-dressed attendants and pilots speak stuff we are seemingly not meant to understand.

What if we were to get someone  shed us some light on what exactly these phrases stand for? That would be an impossible task, right? Wrong!

Patrick Smith of the website Ask the Pilot attempts to help educate us on the airline jargon that may still be (up until now) a mystery to us.

You’ll realize that while some may be as sophisticated as the piloting job is, some of the code phrases are actually just ludicrous and comic as they sound.

Here are the best 11 we managed to select for you.

  1. All-Call


Pilots voice this short encryption tag via intercom to the attendants when asking to have them report to a kind of a conference. It’s a part of a door arming or disarming procedure that we will discuss in the next encryption phrase.

  1. Doors to arrival and crosscheck

Doors to arrival and crosscheck

Pilots or lead attendants use this together with ‘all-in’ when asking the flight attendants to confirm that the emergency exits have been disarmed before landing. That’s in order to ensure the emergency slides don’t inflate automatically soon as the doors open. You will most likely here the lead attendant say via intercom “Doors to arrival, crosscheck and all-in”

  1. Holding Pattern

Holding pattern

This is a flight pattern used when the aircraft(s) is/are waiting for the permission to land. That could be because of weather or any other delays to normal landing. The patterns are always clearly shown in aeronautical charts. Pilots could however always improvise this whenever the situation requires.

  1. Last minute paperwork

Last minute paperwork

Just like in any other noble profession, the aerospace world had to formulate a polite way of saying ‘we are going to delay you for quite a while.’ And so they chose the famous “…last-minute paper work, but we will be underway shortly…” line. This, with a polite smile on the pilot’s face, always seem to do the trick as the airline awaits the results of the plane’s balance record or simply the logbook put in order.

  1. Ground Stop

Ground stop

Next time the pilot or lead attendant says “Sorry folks, there’s a ground stop on all flights” please don’t think he’s turning your airline into a bus. He’s merely passing the sad news that your flight will have to delay because of a traffic logjam somewhere  in the direction your flight is meant to take. So therefore you will have to wait a couple more minutes, or hours, before departure.

  1. Air Pocket

Air pocket

This code word  warns you of a little bit of an in-flight turbulence. When you hear this then you maybe should consider fastening your belt, you may be in for some bumpy ride, just may be!

  1. Equipment


Well, you probably don’t always call your car ‘my car’ either. The sky-rollers, Smith says, prefer to refer to it as the Equipment! Like “Equipment will set-off in 5 minutes now.”

  1. Final Approach

Final approach

This phrase is just as direct as you’re thinking! Yes, you are right; it’s the final stretch into your landing. It specifically refers to the very last straight taken by the airline that aligns directly with the center-line of the airport’s runway. The excruciating trip for some, and splendid one for most first-classers, is finally ending.

  1. Deadhead

Delta Airlines Crew

When the airline requests a travel assistant or pilot who was initially on personal travel to reposition into duty, then the pilot or attendant is deadheading. The slang they use sometimes is “Disembark” but that’s rather clumsy despite being a bit less alarming sounding.

  1. Direct Flight

Direct flight

Contrary to what you may be thinking now, this does not simply mean a flight with only one stop from the start to finish. Rather, the flight goes from point A to point B without changing its flight number. The flight could still have scheduled stops for more passengers or refueling. The one you were thinking of – with no intermediate stopovers – is actually called a non-stop flight.

  1. The Ramp

A relic Encryption slang

This refers to the space nearest to the terminal which may be serving as loading zones. It is the space nearest the booking station where the vehicles and planes can be active. It originally was known for the seaplanes as the area on the shores where the seaplanes could rest when inactive. These days you can hear statements like “Passenger in Boeing 777 watch out for your luggage at the ramp.”



Images by Business Insider

Originally posted 2017-04-24 07:07:55.

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