Secret language flight attendants use – from undergrowth to Bob and what it all means

Flight attendants are extremely busy so to save time they have their own language for speed and efficiency.

Ever heard cabin crew use the words “dairy fairy” or “gash cart” on a flight and wonder what they meant?


Flight attendants have their own language to communicate with each other in the airCredit: Getty

We reveal what some of the weirder sounding terminology stands for.

You may have craned your neck or strained your ears to be aware of a rhino.

If that’s you, read on to learn more.

Dairy Fairy

After a meal service on most flights, the cabin crew will potter around the tea and coffee.

The “dairy fairy” is the cabin crew member responsible for bringing an extra tray of milk, sugar, and stirrers.

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Mesh cart

This is a combination of the words garbage and trash and refers to all the garbage in the cabin.

When the “Gash Cart” is deployed, that’s the cabin crew collecting trash with one of their trolleys in tow.

Slam click

A “slam-click” is used to refer to a cabin crew member who is reluctant to socialize after a flight.

The phrase quite literally refers to the sound of a hotel door slamming shut and the key turning in the lock.


Flight attendants have a special language they use to talk about passengers, including those they find attractive.

According to the late cabin crew member Owen Beddall, who wrote the book Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant, his colleagues used the word “Bob” to refer to handsome travelers.

The term stands for ‘Best on board’ and staff use it to point out a passenger to others without warning the public.

Dust off

This is a rude one, used by cabin crew. “Cropdusting is a disgusting, if very common, method of retaliation,” said flight attendant and author of the Crewed Talk column on Amanda Pleva.

“If a passenger is very rude and troublesome, then it’s not unheard of for a flight attendant to blow wind and ‘harvest dust’ past the offender.”

“Childish? Yes. Satisfying? Also yes.”


Ex-cabin crew member Kat Kamalani explained that KCM stands for Known Crew Member, which means they get a lot of benefits from the job.

She also admits it means going through a lot of checks beforehand, including background checks and fingerprint scans.

However, all this gives them exclusive access at the airport – and a secret door through security.

She said, “We can actually go through a secret little door, show our badge, show our known crew member, it’s scanned and we just walk through, we don’t have to do any security.”

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Meanwhile, this flight attendant has revealed three things they shouldn’t do on the job.

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Flight attendants have a special language they use to talk about passengers, including those they find attractive


Flight attendants have a special language they use to talk about passengers, including those they find attractiveCredit: Getty

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