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Secret language flight attendants use – from gash cart to Bob & what it all means

FLIGHT attendants are extremely busy, so to save on 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 wondered what they meant?

Flight attendants have their own language to communicate with each other in the air

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

You might’ve craned your neck, or strained your ears to be a nosey-nelly in the know.

If that’s you, read on to find out more.

Dairy Fairy

After a meal service on most flights, the cabin crew will whisk around the teas and coffees.

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

Gash cart

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

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


A “slam-click” is used to reference a member of cabin crew who doesn’t like to socialise after a flight.

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


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

According to the late cabin crew member Owen Beddall, who wrote the book Confessions of a Qantas Flight Attendant, his colleagues would use the word ‘Bob’ to refer to good-looking travellers. 

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


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

“If a passenger is being very rude and difficult, then it’s not unheard of for a flight attendant to break wind and ‘cropdust’ 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 perks of the job.

She also admits it means having to have a lot of checks beforehand including background checks and fingerprint scans.

However, all this allows 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 gets scanned and we just walk right through, we don’t have to do security.”

Meanwhile, this flight attendant has revealed three things they’re banned from doing on the job.

Another cabin crew member swears by this £16 item.

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

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