Flight attendants are one of the warmest people that you will come across, always have a smile on their faces and show concern. But beyond the warmth and smile though, they are tasked with making a snap-judgment to ensure safety. So while you are trying to check your outfit for the perfect impression or just trying sneak in some extra luggage, have in mind that flight attendants are trained to keep passengers safe and that’s the only impression you need to make.
A Quora thread seeks to find out what exactly the flight attendants notice about passengers at initial contact.
Janice Bridger, who has been a flight attendant for 27 years, reveals “Air travel is fraught with inherent danger […] — one must be constantly alert and aware of one’s situation. So when I greet people, you better believe that I’m always very aware of each passenger who steps through the door of the aircraft.”
So what exactly do the flight attendants look out for?
They check if you are inebriated
Sjaak Schulteis, a cabin attendant with Lufthansa for over 30 years, divulges that drunk passengers can be denied entry aboard the aircraft.
He notes that if a guest is drunk or intoxicated by any drug, there’s a high probability that they will not be allowed to board 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.” In his illustrious career Sjaak has refused four passengers, all drunk, and luckily in all the occasions he was backed up by the purser and captain.
Bridger expounds further, “If someone appears to be intoxicated, we don’t want them on the plane. The potential for future problems is too great.”
Amar Rama, also a flight attendant, agrees noting that, in a scenario in which there may be need to evacuate the aircraft, which should be done in 90 second, you wouldn’t want to unnecessarily risk your life or the life of others just because a drunk or a high person is being uncooperative.
They check to see if you’re ripped
If you are a muscular, strong, powerful or just physically fit, the flight attendants will memorize your face and even take note of where you sit, you are an asset.
Bridger notes that “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 by any chance a situation develops, one of these people might of help but only on their own volition. She says “Help might involve subduing or restraining an unruly passenger. We hope it never happens, but we will prepare just in case it does.”
They to see whether you might be an airline employee
Flight attendants do try to learn if there are any passengers on board who are airline employees and more specifically crew members who are well versed with the in-flight procedures. However, in most cases fellow flight attendants often out themselves by bringing chocolates.
Bridger notes that, “They’ve been trained in what to do in an emergency, whether medical, mechanical, etc. They know how to handle the situations as well as I, and are trained to become an instant ‘team member,’ fitting right in immediately if needed. They are an invaluable resource for me, and I like to know who they are and where they’re sitting.”
They check to see if you’re sick
“I check if they are drunk, drugged, sick, angry or afraid. That is extremely important as if I have the possibility to avoid any kind of troubles over the Atlantic, then I address it on ground. I say hello, welcome on board… and listen to how they respond,” reveals Myriam Mimi, who has been a flight attendant at Condor since 1994.
Bridger divulges that whenever she has comes across passengers who look pasty and pale, deathly ill she has had to remove them to avoid complications in the timeline of the flight.
Rama notes that she would rather have medical issues occur on the ground rather than in the air. She has had a personal experience where a woman experienced a heart attack at the gate and she was so thankful it happened on the ground and not in flight. As much as flight attendants are trained on medical emergencies she says, “Flight attendants are all trained in CPR, Automated External Defibrillators, basic first aid emergencies, but we cannot diagnose you nor have the expertise, experience or treatment as doctor.”
Flight Attendants c
ould only be looking out for disabilities
“I watch for disabilities that may disqualify someone from sitting in the exit row. They need to be able to physically lift a heavy hatch (up to 60 lbs) or open a heavy door (several hundred pounds),” reveals Bridger
Rama explains further by noting that they always take note of passengers that might need some assistance during an emergency. Therefore if anything were to happen they will have to ensure they are not left behind.
They look out for anxiety & flight phobia
For some people, the smile and warm welcome does not ease their anxiety or flight phobia. The flight attendants do keep an eye out for anyone who might need some more comforting or even encouragement.
They may be checking to see if you’re to do anything Illegal
Humans are naturally drawn to mischief and this is an area in which almost all flight attendants have had an experience with. Bridger reveals that, “I’ve had people try to smuggle pets in their purses or handbags, bottles of booze in their briefcases (booze is allowed as long as it stays capped. You just can’t drink your own liquor on the plane). So yes, I need to be vigilant and aware, all behind my ‘greeting face’ of smile and pleasant, comforting welcome!”
Its definitely not all about the smile and comforting welcome, there is a lot of vigilance and decision making involved, all done within a period of 3-4 seconds. Isn’t it just amazing how much information these people gather in a few split seconds! These are the secrets of Flight Attendants.
Images via Business Insider
Originally posted 2017-04-25 06:46:56.