Flight Attendant Terminology : the Jargon we use

The following is a list of terms I may have used in previous posts, although I haven’t used them all. I figured it’d be a fun explain some airline terms that you may not already know! Keep in mind that not all of these are official.


pax – passenger

layover – A period of rest time given to a crew member during a trip

deadhead – To transit from one location to another, while on duty, in order to operate a flight.

pairing – a predetermined combination of flights to be operated over a number of days

bulkhead – an internal dividing wall in the cabin of an aircraft. Often used to divide classes or galleys.

reserve – a designated period of time in which a crew member must be ready an able to operate a flight if called in to do so.


PSU – Passenger Service Unit. Where the reading lights, FA call button, oxygen masks, etc are.

turnaround – to operate a flight to one destination, then “turn around” right away and operate a flight back to your home base.

FA– Flight Attendant

FO – First Officer, Co-Pilot

CM – Cabin Manager

PC – Pilot in Command, Captain

5 Star – A 5 star FA provides amazing service. A 5 star passenger requires amazing service.


Okay, so maybe I wrote this whole list because I wanted to share the “5 star” one. Big whoop, wanna fight about it?

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