Flight attendant travel an average of 95 hours in a month to different cities and countries plus 50 or more hours on the ground for preparations. In average, they work 12 or 14-hour shifts daily.
Flight attendants should be prepared to deal with difficult and stressful passengers. There are people who complain about anything: from food to the comfort of the chair or the cabin service. The best thing to do in these situations is to assure passengers that the airline is doing the best that they can.
This sounds like a lot of work but that is what their job entails plus a whole lot of other duties. So, what does a flight attendant do?
- Check if the aircraft has the necessary supply of food, drinks and medical equipment for emergencies. Also, they make sure that every seat belt in the aircraft is working fine.
- Welcome passengers into the aircraft and collect their boarding passes. Flight attendants should double check tickets since there have been cases when passengers board the wrong plane due to overlooking boarding pass details. (i.e. aircraft or gate number)
- Guide passengers to their seats and accommodate special requests if there are any.
- Assist passengers in putting their luggage in the overhead bins.
- Demonstrate the proper use of safety belts, oxygen bags, vomit bags and life vests in case of any emergency. Attendants also inform passengers where the safety exit doors are located. Flight attendants also remind passengers that playing with or using any of the safety equipment without purpose is punishable in accordance to state laws.
- Offer in-flight entertainment options such as TV, radio or magazines.
- Distribute meals to passengers. Special meal requests for specific diet plans are made upon booking of flights so you should check meal specifics before taking off.
- Offer blankets, neck rests and pillows
In any case of emergency, flight attendants will be the one to inform the passengers. They are responsible of asking the passengers to remain as calm as they can and will wait for further instructions from the captain.
There have also been numerous cases of women giving birth on the aircraft. These events are the reason why training in first aid and medical procedures are very important. Flight attendants extend their duties by assisting in the delivery and making sure that both the mother and the child is safe and brought to the hospital as soon as they landed. This is the case for other medical emergencies as well. It is not always the case that there would be a doctor on every flight, so flight attendants must be prepared for every scenario, from heart attacks to panic attacks.
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