A Flight Attendant Shared What Those Chimes You Hear On Planes Mean & I Wish I Could Unlearn It

Screenshot from TikTok of flight attendant ringing bell saying "Have YOU heard this sound on a plane before?" and Alex and Marty from Madagascar 2 during plane crash scene

A flight attendant has dished BTS tea on what those melodic, doorbell-ass sounds you hear on the plane mean and I hate it.

You know the sounds I’m talking about. Like, you’re just sitting down watching Everybody Loves Raymond or another obscure, old sitcom on the inflight entertainment and suddenly you hear a chime from above. It’s enough to send shivers down your spine and make you spill your ginger ale (a beverage which, as we all know, hits different on a plane).

American flight attendant Tommy Cimato spilled the beans on TikTok.

“Have you ever heard *this* sound on a plane before?” he asked, before playing The Chime™.

“A high/low chime like that means one flight attendant is trying to call the other flight attendant, or the flight deck is trying to call us.”

The flight deck, as I have just learned, is also called the cockpit. A truly exciting cultural difference between Australia and the US.

Now, let the record show, the sole chime is not what has gotten me in a tizzy. It is the next auditory explanation which has freaked me out.

“If you hear three of those that means it’s an emergency — but you never will have to hear that,” Cimato continued.

“And if you hear one tone that means that a passenger is calling one of the flight attendants from our seat, or they could be calling us from the lavatory — either one.”

@tommycimato #fyp #flightattendant #airline #aviation #travel #explore ♬ Vacation – Dirty Heads

I’m sorry but I don’t like that. I want to go back to a better, simpler time when I didn’t know what an impending plane crash sounded like. I’m catching a flight on Tuesday and will have to stop myself from screaming every single time I hear that damn ding-dong. If I hear three chimes, so help me God but I will lose my mind.

Emergency signal aside, I do have some other questions about this whole communication system. For example, how TF are flight attendants meant to differentiate the meaning behind the sounds? For example, the high/low chime — how do they know if the cockpit is calling them or it’s another flight attendant wanting a chingwag about the absolute bozo in seat 31B?

Or what about the toilet versus seat situation — how do they know where the call is coming from? It must be coming from inside the house, if the house were a Boeing 737, but where exactly?

Finally, what if said dumbass in seat 31B ring his bell thrice, as if to simulate the emergency ding-dongs?

So many questions, so little time. I don’t even want to know what four chimes mean.