Danielle's Cabin Crew Blog
Flight attendants or cabin crew (historically known as stewards, air hosts/hostesses, or stewardesses) are members of an aircrew employed by airlines to ensure the safety and comfort of the passengers aboard commercial flights as well as on select business jet aircraft.

The first flight attendant, a steward, was reportedly a man on the German Zeppelin LZ1 Schwaben in 1911.

The primary and overriding responsibility of flight attendants is passenger safety. They are often tasked with the secondary function of seeing to the care and comfort of the passengers, insofar as this does not interfere with their safety responsibilities. They are often perceived by the flying public as waiting staff or servants because there is not a full understanding of the career, the majority of their regular and rare duties are safety related and are the priority above customer service.

The majority of a flight attendant's duties are safety related. Prior to each flight, flight attendants attend a safety briefing with the pilots & purser. During this briefing they go over safety and emergency checklists, the locations and amounts of emergency equipment and other features specific to that aircraft type. Boarding particulars are verified, such as special needs passengers, small children travelling as unaccompanied minors or VIP's. Weather conditions are discussed including anticipated turbulence. Prior to each flight a safety check is conducted to ensure all equipment such as life vests, flashlights and firefighting equipment are on board, in the right quantity, and in proper condition. Any unserviceable or missing items must be reported and rectified prior to takeoff. They must monitor the cabin for any unusual smells or situations and maintain certain precautions such as keeping doors disarmed or open during fueling on the ground. They assist with the loading of carry-on baggage, checking for weight, size and dangerous goods. They then must do a safety demonstration or monitor passengers as they watch a safety video demonstrating the safety features of the aircraft. They then must "secure the cabin" ensuring tray tables are stowed, seats are in their upright positions, armrests down and carry ons stowed correctly and seatbelts fastened prior to takeoff.

Flight attendants must conduct cabin checks every 20-30 minutes, especially during night flights to check on the passengers, and listen for any unusual noises or situations. Checks must also be done on the lavatory to ensure the smoke detector hasn't been deactivated, there are no issues with the equipment, nobody having trouble in there or smoking, and to restock supplies as needed. Regular cockpit checks must be done to ensure the pilot's health and safety. They must respond immediately to call lights dealing with special requests and smaller emergencies including a wide variety of in-flight emergencies that do happen from time to time and special requests. During turbulence crosschecks must be conducted and during severe turbulence all service equipment must also be stowed. Prior to landing all loose items, trays and garbage must be collected and secured along with service and galley equipment. All hot liquids must be disposed of. A final crosscheck must then be completed prior to landing. They must remain aware as the majority of mechanical emergencies occur during takeoff and landing. Upon landing, flight attendants must remain stationed at exits and monitor the airplane and cabin as passengers disembark the plane. They also assist any special needs passengers and small children off the airplane and escort children, while following the proper paperwork and ID process to escort them to the designated person picking them up.

Flight attendants are highly trained for a wide variety of emergencies and how to respond. More frequent situations may include a bleeding nose, illness, small injuries, intoxicated passengers, aggressive and anxiety stricken passengers. Emergency training includes rejected takeoffs, emergency landings, cardiac and in-flight medical situations, smoke in the cabin, fires, depressurization, onboard births and deaths, dangerous goods and spills in the cabin as well as land and water landings including the preparation of passengers and the cabin, the evacuation with slides or rafts and then the follow-up survival skills which include environments as open water, jungle, water, tropical and Arctic climates, along with a variety of emergency equipment.

Many regions mandate the presence of flight attendants on commercial aircraft, based on the passenger capacity of the aircraft and other factors. This mandate generally relates only to their function as safety technicians.

The main and always primary duty of a flight attendant is for safety but they do also provide a care giving and customer service role on board commercial flights. Customer service duties include the preparation and serving or selling of onboard food and beverage. Flight attendants also offer comfort items including blankets, pillows, hot towel service, handing out headsets, magazines, newspapers, amenity kits, games and on certain airlines hand out pajamas and set up and make the lie flat beds. They also distribute customs forms on international flights and assist passengers with their proper completion prior to landing.
1 Response
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Helped me with my college assignment and made me more aware of the type environment that cabin crew members have to work in. Thanks very much for your help. :)


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