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Flight attendant shares the one sound you never want to hear mid-air

Emily Brown

| Last updated 

Flight attendant shares the one sound you never want to hear mid-air

A flight attendant has revealed one sound that passengers never want to hear when you're travelling mid-air on certain flights.

Okay, there are a lot of sounds you don't want to hear while in mid-air, but most of them are pretty obvious. The sound of the engine stopping, for example, or the pilot announcing plans to make a crash landing.

If you hear either of those, panic would be a reasonable response. But a flight attendant has revealed a more subtle sound that could also indicate danger.



In a viral video posted on TikTok, flight attendant Tommy Cimato offered up explanations for a few sounds that are commonly heard on flights.

If you're someone who loves a free drink, you might be familiar with the one-tone bell that occurs when you hit the 'call' button above your seat. Tommy explained that the one-tone bell indicates to staff that a passenger has either called them from their seat, or from the toilet on the plane.

There's also a two-tone sound featuring a higher chime and a lower chime; a sound which you might associate with the seatbelt sign going on and off.

According to Tommy, this bell can mean two things - either one flight attendant is trying to call another flight attendant, or the flight deck is attempting to call the flight attendants.


During his video, Tommy dropped in another interesting piece of information related to a sound which is much less common to hear. It still involves the two-tone sound, but this time the meaning comes when the bell sounds three times.

Tommy offered insight to what the different chimes mean. Credit: @tommycimato/TikTok
Tommy offered insight to what the different chimes mean. Credit: @tommycimato/TikTok

Tommy explained: "If you hear three of those, that means it's an emergency."

Evidently someone who has a lot of faith in planes, Tommy added: "but you never will have to hear that."


The TikTok has racked up more than 12 million views and became Tommy's most viral video in 2021 as intrigued viewers sought to learn all about the inner workings of plane travel, however some viewers responded to point out that the sounds aren't the same across the industry.

After coming across Tommy's clip, one TikTok user responded: "Heads up, though, each airline’s chime systems are different. My airline used to use the three chimes to notify the FA’s that we were about to land."

Another viewer responded to to say that three chimes on the aircraft they work on indicates a call to 'the purser specifically', so it's clear the meaning changes depending on the plane.

Context clues will no doubt be a big help here, so if you hear three chimes but don't see anyone panicking, chances are you're going to be fine.

Featured Image Credit: TommyCimato/TikTok/ David Gee 2 / Alamy

Topics: Travel, TikTok, Viral

Emily Brown
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