The Duties of a Stewardess

Flight attendants serve food and drinks to passengers.

Flight attendants serve food and drinks to passengers.

Imagine flying to Hawaii, Tahiti, Europe and Florida -- and getting paid for it. Airlines offer flight attendants that very opportunity. As an airline employee, you may visit cities all over the United States and abroad, often enjoying free time to explore a destination during layovers. A career as a flight attendant -- formerly known as a stewardess -- is hard work, but for many, the rewards more than make up for it.

Preflight Duties

Before a flight leaves the ground, flight attendants attend a briefing on the length of the flight, weather conditions and evacuation procedures. You also test the emergency equipment to ensure that it is working properly, and check on food supplies to make sure there is enough food for all the passengers. Making sure the cabin is clean and in order is also on the list of preflight duties.

Takeoff Duties

As passengers board the plane, you greet and direct them to their seats. Once all passengers are on board and the plane door is sealed, you are responsible for making sure that all passengers are in their seats and have their carry-on bags secured under their seats or in the overhead compartment. Once the plane begins to taxi to the runway, a flight attendant demonstrates the proper use of emergency equipment, such as oxygen masks, and makes sure all passengers have their seat belts fastened and the tray tables are in the proper position.

Serve Refreshments

During the flight, usually when the plane reaches its cruising altitude, flight attendants take orders for refreshments. They collect money for alcoholic drinks and premium food and beverages, and serve them along with complimentary snacks and beverages. Don’t be afraid to smile and chat with your passengers, but make sure you don’t spend too much time with any one passenger because you have limited time to get food orders to passengers.

Assist Passengers

Sometimes the plane will experience turbulence. When this happens, reassure your passengers that this is normal and that they are not in danger. Do remind them to fasten their seatbelts during this time for their own safety. You may also assist passengers with medical issues or who just need reassurance that flying is safe. Your overall duty is to make sure your passengers feel safe and comfortable during the flight. A friendly smiling face, along with a cheery disposition, goes a long way toward providing comfort for your passengers.

About the Author

Liz Jones is a freelance writer with extensive experience in a variety of areas, including digital imaging and the food industry. Jones has been writing professionally for three years. She attended the Pennsylvania State University where she majored in Astro Physics.

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