Flight attendants meet people from different walks of life and see new parts of the world every day at work. Along with these exciting job benefits, though, come the important responsibilities that come hand-in-hand with working on an aircraft. Flight attendants are in charge of both the comfort and the safety of airline passengers, meaning they have a number of responsibilities to address before and during flights.
Before a trip, flight attendants must check into their flight and meet with the flight crew. Flight attendants then meet in a crew room, where members of the cockpit and the aircraft staff will review and discuss the flight itinerary and safety regulations. Communication between the pilots and crew is crucial in maintaining safety on the flight, so crew briefings are an important part of the job.
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Preparing the aircraft, crew and passengers for flight can be a tedious but necessary ask to keep everyone safe. Once passengers begin to board, flight attendants start to make safety checks, taking inventory of catering supplies, checking emergency equipment and helping passengers with getting seated or stowing luggage. As a flight attendant greets passengers to make them feel welcome, he begins preparing in-flight refreshments and snacks. Once everyone is on board, flight attendants consult with passengers seated in the window exit row of their ability to assist in an emergency if necessary, as well as inform the passengers of safety rules and emergency procedures and demonstrate the use of the safety equipment. A crew member will then shut and secure the aircraft door.
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Flight attendants have a wide range of responsibilities once the plane has taken off and has reached a safe altitude. To make the passengers comfortable, flight attendants will serve refreshments and snacks, bring blankets or napkins and help the passengers in any way they can within reason. From the perspective of safety, flight attendants monitor the passengers and check that seat belts are fasted when necessary, lines for the restroom are managed and luggage remains properly stowed. Once the captain notifies the cabin that the aircraft is making its descent, flight attendants prepare the passengers for landing by discarding passengers' trash, checking for fastened seat belts and securing loose equipment or luggage.
Once the aircraft has landed and final announcements have been made, flight attendants tidy up the aircraft. If this is the plane's final destination, the flight attendant's shift is over, and she is able to clock out and go home or to a hotel. If the plane has making a stop, the flight attendants on the flight will repeat the pre-flight steps necessary to prepare for another safe and successful flight.
Jennifer Kimrey earned her bachelor's degree in English writing and rhetoric from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. She's a regular contributor to the "Houston Chronicle" and her work has appeared on Opposing Views Cultures, The Austin American-Statesman, The Red Vault, The Western Vault and various other websites and publications.