Secret Insights: 5 observations Flight Attendants make When You Board an Airplane.

Secret Insights: 5 observations Flight Attendants make When You Board an Airplane.

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.

Language Proficiency:

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!

Traveling with pets.

Traveling with pets.

For travelers with pets, considerations must be made when making travel plans.  For many, pets are a part of the family, and traveling decisions are made around the pet’s needs.  Can the pet be taken on the trip?  Will they have to board the pet?  How long can they make a trip?  How will the pet travel?  These and many more concerns need to be well thought out.  Here are a few thoughts for travelers with pets.

Traveling with a pet.

Traveling with a pet locally is not as cost prohibitive as traveling with a pet internationally.  Most small pets can travel with the owner in an approved pet carrier when traveling domestically for a small fee.  For larger breeds, travel must be in the cargo area and will require a specially designated approved pet crate.  Some pets can also fly at no charge if they are fully trained service animals.  When traveling internationally, your pet needs to have a health certificate to prove that they are in good health and free from parasites or any contagious diseases.  In addition, based on the country’s destination, other paperwork, including a picture of your pet, microchip information, as well as health and vaccination records, are required.

Pet documentation.

Pet owners should ensure their pets have a sturdy leash and collar with current identification.  In addition to having a recent picture of your pet and copies of your pet’s health and vaccination records.  It is prudent to have your pet microchipped and access to that information with you when you travel.  It is not uncommon for pets to become alarmed and run off when in unfamiliar surroundings.

Boarding costs.

The average cost of boarding a pet in the US averages $30 to $50 per night.  Rates can vary based on the size of your pet, the length of stay, or boarding accommodations.  Depending on your dog’s age, other special considerations and needs will have to be addressed, and if you want your pet to socialize daily, this may also add to the boarding costs.  In addition, the pet must be current on vaccinations as they will be exposed to other dogs.

Pet accommodations.

Not all hotels have pet accommodations, so travelers must ensure that their hotel will allow them to have their pets on the premises.  Like when traveling with babies or toddlers, pet owners should ensure the hotel is free from any hazards that could harm the pet.  In addition, consideration must be made on whether the pet can stay in the room without supervision or if it needs to be always with the owner to prevent costly damages to the room.

Travelers need to take many other travel considerations, including your pets’ food and water, potty breaks, exercise, and even travel sickness.  In addition, any delay or cancellation of your travel plans will also affect any accommodations you have made or will have to make for your pet.  If you plan to travel with your pet, I hope you think it through as much as you do for yourself and your family.  For me, pets are like family too.

What your flight attendants may know about you when you board an airplane?

What your flight attendants may know about you when you board an airplane?

 In my years as a flight attendant, I have had passengers try to claim premium seats, embellish their airline status, and even claim to have paid more for their ticket than they did.  Passengers do not realize that the flight crew is provided a passenger information list (PIL) or passenger manifest list before the plane leaves the gate.  That PIL has a wealth of information on passengers.  Here are a few things your flight attendants may know about you when you board the airplane.

Name.

You must provide identification before boarding an airplane.  Before that airplane leaves the gate, a passenger list is provided to the flight crew listing everyone on board by name.  This information is often utilized in premium cabins to personalize the flight experience, but it is available for everyone on the airplane.  Immigration also uses this information to prescreen arriving and departing passengers.

Seat assignment.

Recently a flight had to be returned to the gate because passengers refused to leave premium cabin seating.  Although there may be empty seats on the airplane, they are not for the taking.  Seat assignments are allotted by ticket pricing, airline status, and other factors.  Flight attendants do not assign seating, the gate agents do, but flight attendants have some leverage in reassigning seats while on board.  Often passengers are asked to accommodate other passengers traveling together.  However, once you are assigned a seat, you do not have to give up that seat assignment unless requested by a flight crew for a specified reason.

Airline status.

Depending on your airline status, you may be entitled to certain perks onboard the airline.  Many were the days when I had passengers declare themselves to be “million” milers, platinum passengers, or VIPs demanding a particular service.  That information is available on the passenger manifest, so claiming a status you are not is often a waste of breath.

Flight itinerary.

One of the initial reasons for the passenger information list was to assist passengers with connecting flights while onboard.  Before landing, the flight crews are provided with connecting gate information.  When traveling in a premium cabin, passengers are often individually given connecting gate information before the list is relayed to main cabin passengers.  This list also helps flight attendants request other passengers’ patience to allow connecting passengers to deplane first.  In some cases, if seats are available, the flight crews can move passengers closer to the front of the airplane for faster deplaning.

Travel status.

With the many security matters that have arisen since 9/11, flight crews now can know if you are traveling alone or with a group, if you have or need medical assistance while onboard the aircraft, or even if you have been a problem passenger on a previous flight.  If a problem arises and authorities meet the flight, they will already have your information when the flight lands.

I hope you realize that you are far from anonymous when you board an airplane or travel in general.  The flight attendant can note your behavior, bad or good, in your flight itinerary.  It’s not all to your detriment however, I remember wishing passengers a happy birthday, congratulating couples on their wedding or anniversary, even upgrading passengers for special milestones, or assisting grieving passengers.  Were you aware of how much your information is shared?  Please comment below and let me know.

How to apply for a US passport?

How to apply for a US passport?

Traveling expands your life more than anything else, whether domestically or internally.  The US is a beautiful country, and there is plenty to see and do, but if you want to travel internationally, you must have a US passport.  If you already have a US passport, take a minute to check its expiration date.  You must have at least six months of validity on your passport to travel.  If you don’t already have a US passport, here are the steps to making sure you have one.

The first step.

If this is your first time applying for a passport, you must apply in person.  You can find an application on the US Department of State website that can be downloaded in a PDF or filled out and downloaded online.  In addition to the application, you will need proof of citizenship, an original ID and a copy, a recent photo, and payment.  If you renew your passport, you can complete the process online unless you are under 16, you got your passport when you were under 16, your passport was lost, stolen, or damaged, or if your passport was issued more than 15 years ago.

Be informed.

The first step in getting information for your passport is looking up the US Department of State, travel.state.gov.  Here you will find all the information on what to expect if you are applying for your first passport, renewing your passport, or need to get an appointment at a passport agency.  Many services will charge you a fee to process the passport application, but the application is simple and requires the same information you would provide to a service.

Processing times.

Due to Covid, the timing to receive your passport varies.  The Department of State website currently estimates 8 to 11 weeks for a routine application.  You can have an expedited service; the timing is at 5 to 7 weeks.  To get a passport within three days for a life-or-death emergency, you must have an international travel itinerary within three days, and you must complete the application at an agency by appointment only.

Passport fees.

Passport fees for an applicant over 16 are currently $130 for a passport book and $30 for a passport card.  If the applicant is under 16, the price for the passport book is $100, and the passport card is $15.  To get your passport faster, you can pay $60 for an expedited fee.  There is also an option for quick delivery by first-class mail for $18.32 to have your passport delivered in 1 to 2 days after the passport has is ready for delivery.  Payments can be by c personal, certified, cashiers, or travelers check.  You can use credit and debit cards except for expedited services.  Always check with the agency to confirm payment options.

Whether you plan to travel or not, I highly suggest getting your passport.  It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.  In addition, consider a passport card.  It’s better to walk around with your passport card than your actual passport.  I hope this information helps and encourages you to either get your passport or make sure it’s valid or renewed.  Please let me know if you find this information helpful.

What do travelers not realize about checked luggage?

What do travelers not realize about checked luggage?

I recently read a recent article about someone finding their packed luggage filled with Christmas gifts, stolen, and replaced with trash and dog food.  I don’t know the facts of the situation, but the story made the news.  I have heard of items missing from luggage and even had my misplaced baggage issues.  Here are a few tips to help you with lost luggage or missing items from your checked baggage.

Lock your luggage.

From the time you hand your luggage off when checking in for your flight, it goes through many different hands.  The reality is that not all those hands are honest.  Travelers should think about what items they place in their luggage and if they are willing to face the reality of not all their packed luggage being returned to them.

Use a TSA lock.

Baggage goes through a lot of screening behind the scenes. Travelers should always use a TSA-compatible lock.  If your luggage is selected for screening, TSA agents will be able to open your baggage without breaking the lock.  It is within their rights for TSA agents to break nonTSA compatible locks, even locks built into the luggage if chosen for extra screening.

Have your luggage stand out.

Yes, many bags look alike, and bags are often mistaken by an honest mistake. The chances of someone walking off with a brightly colored bag or a bag with clearly distinguishable stickers is much lower than a standard piece of black luggage. It’s best to have a unique way to recognize your luggage instantly. Try to find a quirky bag tag or brightly colored ribbon to attach to your luggage and make it easily identifiable.

Leave valuables at home.

Within the fine prints of the airline ticket is the fact that, in many cases, the airline is not liable to replace all the items that may have gone missing from your luggage.  Many US airlines only provide an average of $3,000. for lost, damaged, or delayed baggage.  In some cases, the limits can be as low as $1,500. per checked bag. Additionally, electronics, cameras, jewelry, and computers, are not covered by most airlines.

Travel insurance.

Many travelers’ insurance or even homeowners’ insurance can cover lost or damaged luggage.  In addition, certain credit cards will provide limited coverage for lost or damaged items if used when purchasing from the airline.  Some airlines will sell excess valuation coverage that may increase the compensation they will provide.  It’s best to have travel insurance and ensure it covers loss or missing luggage.

There’s not much that travelers can do once their luggage is lost or misplaced.  Taking photographs of your items beforehand might help when filing a claim, but few people do so.  Even fewer people keep a record of the things they pack.  Have you ever had items from your luggage lost or missing? I’d like to know. Comment below.

 

https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/nh-woman-finds-xmas-gifts-stolen-swapped-with-dogfood-trash-after-flight-to-boston/2598545/

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