When you board a flight, you generally find members of the cabin crew waiting by the airplane door. They welcome you aboard (usually), and then you head to your seat (sometimes with their help), you put away your bags, and you settle in for the hours ahead. But have you ever wondered what the crew is thinking during all that? What are the things that flight attendants notice when you board a plane?
A popular Quora thread from a couple years ago drew some great answers to this question, which Travel + Leisure rounded up in a post. It sheds some good light on the job of a flight attendant and the in-flight experience. One thing flight attendants look for first, for example, is whether you’re inebriated. “According to Sjaak Schulteis, who was a cabin attendant for Lufthansa for 30 years, drunk passengers can be refused entry aboard the aircraft. ‘If a guest coming aboard is drunk or intoxicated by any drug, it can happen that he or she is not allowed to enter the plane. […] The first impression is often the right one, and we do refuse passengers who might be a danger for the safety of that flight. So far I have refused four passengers and was luckily backed up by the purser and captain. All of these were drunken passengers.'”
More things that flight attendants notice first
Here are a few more of the things that flight attendants notice first, as shared by T+L:
They check to see if you’re buff
“If I see someone who is muscular, powerful, strong, physically fit, I memorize his/her face and make a mental note of where they are sitting,” said Janice Bridger, a flight attendant of 27 years.
“I consider this person a resource for me. In the event of an attack on the flight or on me, these are my ‘go-to’ people. If a situation looks like it could develop, I’ll privately and discreetly ask one of these people if they would be willing to help us if necessary. Help might involve subduing or restraining an unruly passenger. We hope it never happens, but we will prepare just in case it does.”
They check to see if you’re scared or anxious
Bridger says flight attendants keep an eye out for anyone who might be afraid of flying, “and need a word of comfort and encouragement.”
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