As passengers step onto an airplane, they often have a mental checklist of what to expect during their flight. From comfortable seats to in-flight entertainment or where they may be seated are probably on their list. However, have you ever wondered what flight attendants look for when you board the aircraft? In this blog post, I share the hidden aspects that flight attendants assess as passengers enter the plane. Flight attendants are trained to make observations during the boarding process. Their observations ensure the safety, security, and comfort of all passengers on the aircraft. Their keen observations and proactive approach contribute to a smooth and secure flying experience for everyone on board. This post is a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their world.
Boarding Pass Verification:
As you enter the aircraft, the flight attendants will typically check your boarding pass to ensure you’re seated in the correct cabin and have a valid seat assignment. This attention to detail helps maintain order during boarding and ensures everyone is in their designated areas. It also gives the flight attendant an opportunity to observe if you may be a problem passenger, under the influence, or can be of help in the case of an emergency.
Luggage and Personal Items:
Flight attendants keep a watchful eye on passengers’ carry-on luggage and personal items. They look for oversized bags, items blocking aisles, and passengers attempting to stow luggage in overhead bins that may be designated for other rows. Although overhead bin space is shared space, passengers with priority seating or first/business class may have designated overhead bin space. Boarding time is limited, and flight attendants can gauge if they have reached a point where there is no longer any space for onboard luggage. Often, there is communication between the flight attendant with a forward view at the back of the airplane and the flight attendant at the boarding door, noting carry-on luggage.
Behavior and Disposition:
Attentive flight attendants are skilled at reading the overall demeanor of passengers. They look for signs of nervousness, discomfort, or passengers who may require extra assistance during the flight. Interaction with the flight attendant is important, especially before the airplane door closes. Flight attendants watch for any signs of disruptive behavior. Passengers who may be unruly or under the influence can pose safety risks. Flight attendants are trained to address such situations promptly and professionally. Though you may have boarded the airplane, the flight crew is the final determination as to whether you can fly or not. Disruptive behavior or a negative disposition can make for closer observation and possible removal from the airplane.
Passengers with support needs:
Flight attendants are keen to identify passengers who may need extra support. Passengers such as unaccompanied minors, passengers with disabilities, or those who may need assistance with medical conditions are noted. They discreetly communicate this information to other crewmembers, ensuring these passengers receive proper care. This identification is also important because a flight attendant’s primary role is safety. Knowing who has support needs helps them plan for any emergency.
In international flights, flight attendants assess the language proficiency of passengers, especially when multiple languages are possible while on board. Knowing this helps in effective communication during the flight. Often, if the flight is going to a foreign destination with passengers who speak another language, the airline tries to have a language proficient crewmember on board. Knowing language proficient or deficient passengers helps them to plan for any eventualities during flight.
So, keep note of these insights the next time you step onto an airplane. Remember that the flight attendants diligently work behind the scenes to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey for all. Their silent observations, attention to detail, and commitment to passenger safety make flying a smoother and more secure experience. So, as you settle into your seat, rest assured that you’re in good hands. Your flight attendants are prepared to take care of your needs throughout the journey. But also remember that the flight attendant may have the final decision of whether you stay on board the airplane. Safe travels!