Last week, we received a huge response from readers when we posed the question of whether or not pilots hop in bed with flight attendants regularly while flying together. My friend, Pilot Mike said he'd never really witnessed it, but many of you replied and said otherwise. Let's look at some of your responses.
Yes, they do hook up:
Abacaxi: As a former flight attendant who recently resigned: Yes, they do hook up with flight attendants frequently. I can't believe he said he has never seen it. Not only do pilots hook up with the attendants but also passengers they meet on the flights, random women at bars hotels etc. Same goes for flight attendants, quite a lot of whom have multiple guys they see in different places. We were warned in training how often this happens and that in smaller companies, assume everyone will know about it. Its a stressful lifestyle and a lonely one, prone to a lot of drinking on layovers. Also, it seemed like most of the pilots who were married- were actively cheating or trying to cheat on their wives. I learned that one airline, the pilots wives came together to pressure the company into booking different hotels for Attendants and pilots to avoid this.
MisterHippity: My brother is an airline captain and I spent a lot of time hanging out with professional pilots, and this has been been my impression. I shared an apartment with him and partied with his pilot buddies, and I can testify that these guys and flight attendants hook up all the time. As a general rule, they all liked to drink and have sex, a lot.
astrongcupofjoel: An ex got a job as a flight attendant for Delta about two years back. Said pilots and flight attendants were hitting on each other pretty openly. Most of the people she worked with were pretty old and we thought it kinda funny that so many of them partied so hard and sexed it up so much. Once while on the phone after one of her flights, I overheard her saying goodbye to the other attendants and pilots and one of the pilots told her to come to his room later for a drink. Sounded pretty out in the open to me...
VTECkickedinBRO: I'm betting the male/male flight attendant/pilot hookups happen waaaaaaaaaay more than the male/female hookups do.
kingcaii: I had a co-worker who became a good friend of mine. Her (now ex-) husband was a commercial pilot for a major company. She came to find out that he cheated on her, many times, with one of the flight attendants that flew with him. It was like a fictional story— when he and the FA in question landed anywhere except their home port of SeaTac, WA, they acted like they were a couple. Even in the airport. One of my co-worker's friends happened to be at one of those other airports and informed her. So.... yeah, it happens.
Jesus Diaz: There's plenty of pilots and flight attendants hooking up for both long term relationships and one-night stands in Iberia airlines. I'm told (by pilots) it's the same for any other airline in Europe. There are also cases of pilots having double lives and two families (in Spain and in Miami or Cuba or some South American country) back in the days when the flight crews had to stay at their destinations for a few days. Neither family knew about each other.
toecutter: My mom worked housekeeping at an airport motel. A lot of pilots and flight attendants stayed there. She said it was like a Roman orgy.
J-box25: I worked as a driver for a Hilton hotel for a few years and let me tell u they definitely hook up lol. We would pick up the flight crews and bring them to the hotel. They are like kids on a school bus once the plane lands.
Flight attendants from various airlines at the Boeing 737 dedication. [Getty]
You said they also hook up with other strangers:
sorbo1980: They don't hook up with the crew; they hook up with the hotel staff (usually a bartender or waiter) where they're staying. Also, tends to happen with airlines with younger staffs. I write from experience.
TheTroof: You should have asked how often they have random hook-ups and one night stands during their overnight stays in different cities. If you live near a big airport, just troll the nearby hotel lobby bars, or local watering holes, and trust me…you've got a pretty good chance of banging a flight attendant that night LOL. ;)
TaterNutsAnon: In university I was in a crappy bar one night with a friend. Next table over was 4 flight attendants and a pilot. All in their uniforms and getting very drunk. We ended up joining our tables together and getting absolutely wrecked. I was looking to head back to the hotel with 1 (or 2! [Ahhh, youth]) of the ladies when the pilot suggested, why don't we move this back to the hotel, I got upgraded to a room with a king bed and a Jacuzzi. The girls seemed interested, but it was just too weird for me. My buddy went with them, and passed out in the cab on the way to their hotel. They left him in the cab.
Reborn Pyrrhic: From personal experience I find that most of the hooking up by the flight crews is done with strangers over Craigslist.
TSZ2788: So some of these people are practically like pirates. Where every port they went to they had a girl to f**k with.
They may hook up, but it's a bad idea:
Tony: Because you have to work with that person again. And it's awkward if everyone knows you did the nasty and is trying not to comment on it and you're trying to pretend that nothing happened. Just because it's an office at 35,000 feet doesn't mean it's not an office!
gla2yyz: In my experience flying as a passenger on US regional carriers, hooking up with a member of the cabin crew wouldn't be something to brag about. I'm sure they're all lovely people who most definitely work in very challenging conditions but the photo above isn't EXACTLY representative of who will be serving you pretzels and a thimble of Sprite on your typical Colgan or Comair flight.
Diesel: I saw a documentary about a pilot hooking up with his stewardess. It didn't end well for either of them.
By the time most flight crews are done for the day, they're too tired to have much fun. [pic by Sebastian Oliva on Flickr / Creative Commons commercial license]
These people are full of it:
LeeTunnell: As a pilot for one of the largest US airlines (probably the most hated too) Here is my version..Maybe I'm jaded from the years….Hookups…Ha Have you seem most crews walking around? That would make for the worst porn movie in the world. Here is what it would happen. Old pilot tells tales of his flying stories or high school football days "Glory Days" and flight attendant shows pictures of her cats. Then they fall asleep at 7 pm. I guess between our cat loving grandmas in the back and the grumpy old farts up front I don't think much is happening but hey you never know throw a long layover in there with some booze.
colorfulyawn: Maybe I'm naive, but I expect flight attendants and pilots to behave in a professional and respectful manner toward each other, and would be surprised if the salacious cliches were true about them "hooking up" with each other.
figbash > colorfulyawn: You're not really that naive. Most pilots and flight attendants are too damn tired when they reach their destinations to do any major hooking up, and even if they had the energy, they usually don't want to hook up with the people they work with. They want sleep, not a roll in the hay.
Thanks to everyone who responded with anecdotes, either first-hand of from acquaintances. As you can see, there's not a general rule here — but the lifestyle makes it possible to have frequent non-committal encounters, if you're into that sort of thing.
Top photo: AvgeekJoe on Flickr [Creative Commons commercial use]