Airline Slang

In the military or in the private sector, every subculture has its own language.  Airlines are no exception.

Baby Jesus

An infant passenger whose parents treat it with utmost importance, which may result in a lack of polite behavior like incessant crying..


Blue Juice
The lavatory water is blue. So when we call the pilot to say, “The lav is out of blue juice,” you may want to hold it. The Blue Juice was emptied and serviced after each flight.  When I had the duty, blue Gatorade or Kool-Aid in a clear bottle was my favorite.

Blue Room

In airline slang, it is used to refer to the lav/bathroom, due to the other popular term, “blue juice.” The Blue Room can also refer to the airport lounge of the Virgin Australia airline, as it was once named Virgin Blue.

Bottle to Throttle 

Curfew hours. In airline parlance, it is the time that a person has between the time they must not have another alcoholic beverage and the time of their next flight; often 12 hours.



A crew member has to take a flight to the base for work. These are tired crew members.

Concourse Shoes
The high-heeled pumps flight attendants wear to walk though the airport and changed out for comfortable flats once in the air. 


Crop Dusting

When a flight attendants walk down the aisle and farts.

Crotch Watch

Also referred to as a “groin scan,” this is the rounds that the flight attendants make prior to liftoff and descent that ensures that all passengers’ seat belts are on and properly fastened.

Flying as a passenger on company business to get to work. (Nothing to do with The Grateful Dead.) You may have to deadhead to New York to work a flight back to Los Angeles so you are deadheading to New York. We like deadheading!


Short for “Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport.”

Really senior flight attendant. Just about every flight attendant starts off thinking they will only fly a few years. But as the years go by, the time off, and the flexible schedule and travel perks just get better and better, so you end up sticking around (forever and ever).


Passengers must have seat belts fastened before the aircraft is pushed back from the gate for departure. But what about larger passengers who cannot connect the buckle and the tongue of a standard lap belt? They receive a seatbelt extension — “extender” for short — which augments belt length by about 25 inches.  When the attendants show you how to fasten your seatbelt, they’re using the “Fatbelts”.

Gate Lice

The term used for the crowd of people who amass around the gate and gate agents when anticipating boarding the plane. When the gate lice are thick, that means that this crowd is not letting others board first by blocking the gate.

Kettle Class

A mocking term for economy or coach class, taken from the hillbilly characters of Ma and Pa Kettle.

Landing Lips
The snappy gorgeousness you see after we reapply lipstick before landing in order to look fresh for the “buh byes.”

Lounge Lizard

A flight attendant who would skip the use of a crash pad, instead sleeping in the lounge at the airport, usually to save money.

Mini Me
A small trash cart that is half the size of the big trash cart. Crew members have been known to climb into the big trash cart to scare passengers!

Miracle Flight

When elderly passengers require assistance to board the plane but “miraculously” do not need wheelchairs anymore when it’s time to leave.


Ground crew.  The guys who wave those lighted wands, the dude who “pushes back” the airplane from the gate.  The crew that cleans the interior between flights.


Last minute passengers that are literally running to the plane.  Some airlines wait for runners, others don’t.

Sharon Stone Jump Seat
The jump seat that faces the passengers. This goes back to the movie Basic Instinct, where the actress crosses and uncrosses her legs. Extra caution is required to sit here while wearing a dress.


Term used by flight crew to denote a kind of unwanted passenger. For some, a “spinner” is one who gets on late and doesn’t have a seat assignment or know which seat is theirs, so they “spin around” looking for it. Some use the term to denote a passenger who, upon exiting the plane and entering the airport after the jetway, “spins around” to get their bearings as they don’t know where to go. Another definition states that a spinner is one who is unhappy with their seat assignment, and thus walks down the aisle of the plane looking for a better option, “spinning around” at the very end and making their way back. In all cases, “spinners” are all but unwelcome.


Unaccompanied minors.  Those wonderful children of Divorce.  Usually bribed with M&M’s to take a damn nap.

Working the Village

Working in coach or economy class; airline employees aren’t the most diplomatic of people, apparently.







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