Flight Attendants at one time were there to look pretty and prance about the cabin on-board… but not any more! Although it’s still a fantastic lifestyle, but it’s also hard work (at least while you’re on the aircraft – but not when you’re lying on a beach in Sydney or shopping in Hong Kong on your stopover!)
So, it’s like this, nowadays you’re expected to be a Jill-of-all-trades… literally! As a Flight Attendant you’ll be expected to be:
– a first-aider
– a waitress
– a bartender
– an emergency coordinator
– a customer service champion
– a duty-free sales person
– an airline ambassador
All in the same job role for your airline without a single hair out-of-place, or lipstick smudged, even after a 12-hour flight (and having walked around 7 miles across the globe)… and all with a dazzling smile!
Of course, it goes without saying that the main reason Flight Attendants are on-board is for the safety and comfort of the passengers. They also provide on-board services. But let’s look at some of the typical duties you’ll be expected to perform if you’re lucky enough to be selected and get through the tough airline job interview process:
- Attend pre-flight briefings on details of the flight
- Ensure that adequate supplies of refreshments and emergency equipment are on board
- If requested, assist in cleaning the cabin between flights
- Demonstrate the use of safety and emergency equipment
- Ensure all passengers have seat belts fastened and ensure other safety requirements are met
- Serve, and sometimes sell, beverages, meals, or snacks
- Take care of passengers’ needs, particularly those with special needs
- Reassure passengers during flight, such as when the aircraft hits turbulence
- Administer first aid to passengers or coordinate first aid efforts, when needed
- Direct passengers in case of emergency
- Airlines are required by law to provide a certain number of flight attendants or cabin crew members for the safety and security of passengers on-board. The primary job of the crew is to keep passengers safe and to ensure that everyone follows security regulations. They are also there to make flights as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for passengers.
Before the aircraft is ready for boarding, the Captain (pilot) informs attendants about evacuation procedures, the length of the flight, and weather conditions. Flight Attendants must ensure that emergency equipment is working, the cabin is clean, and there is an adequate supply of food and beverages on board. They also greet passengers as they board the aircraft and direct them to their seats, assisting as needed.
Before the plane takes off, they’ll be going through the safety demonstration, either by playing a video recording or demonstrating its use in person (watch out for other Crew members playing tricks if it’s your first time doing a live demo). They also ensure that seat belts are fastened, seats are locked in the upright position, and all carry-on items are properly stowed in accordance with international law and company policy.
As I mentioned previously, it goes without saying that the F/As are employed primarily for the safety of the passengers. This responsibility ranges from dealing with unruly passengers to administering first aid, fighting fires, and directing evacuations. They are also required to provide excellent standards of customer service by answering questions about the flight, attending to passengers with special needs, help anyone needing assistance, and generally assist all passengers as needed.
Before the plane lands, flight attendants once again ensure that seat belts are fastened, seats are locked in the upright position, and all carry-on items are properly stowed.
After the plane has landed and all passengers have left the aircraft, flight attendants take inventory of headsets, alcoholic beverages, duty-free sales and payments. They also submit reports to the airline company on the condition of the cabin, as well as on any medical problems that may have occurred during the flight.
Then they go shopping and partying in some fantastic location worldwide! After all, that’s why you want to join an airline, right? That’s what it’s all about!