Things Flight Attendants Notice About You When You Board a Plane from Things Flight Attendants Notice About You When You Board Your Plane
Things Flight Attendants Notice About You When You Board Your Plane
Things Flight Attendants Notice About You When You Board a Plane
The Active Times asked the Flight Attendant Prep Academy to conduct an online poll asking current flight attendants one question: “As a Flight Attendant, what is the first thing you notice about passengers as they are boarding the flight?” These are their answers.
It’s a BIRD, it’s a PLANE, no, it’s the ABP’s! Even though flight attendants go through weeks and weeks of intense safety and evacuation training, they are trained with a keen eye to spot ABP’s, also known as “Able-Bodied Passengers.” They call these passengers their superheroes as they assist during an emergency crisis. They are extremely important during an emergency situation as they will be the first person flight attendants will call for assistance or if needing help in the cabin. They would also call on the ABP’s if the crew needs help restraining an unruly passenger.
Dressed to impress?
Flight attendants can usually tell what city or region you are flying to by the way you are dressed. “No, we are not talking about whether or not you are wearing a Versace suit, but rather how an individual carries themselves and if they are dressed appropriately in case of an evacuation,” Lia Volpe, flight attendant and owner of Flight Attendant Prep Academy, says. “If you are wearing high heels or any type of shoes that will make it difficult for one to evacuate the airplane quickly, we will take note.” Per FAA, flight attendants are required to evacuate the entire aircraft in 90 seconds or less, so if they see high heels or anything that will prevent this process from going smoothly, they will keep that passenger in mind, Volpe adds.
“We also notice the type of earrings that you are wearing, any sort of clothing that is hanging that could get caught while exiting or if the material is flammable,” Volpe says. In case of an emergency, flight attendants don’t want your scarf to catch on fire or have an earring ripped off while sliding down a slide, she adds.
Attitude is everything
Flight attendants notice different types of mood passengers are in. The crew can tell if people are happy, grumpy, sad or disgruntled. Flight attendants want to make sure that your overall experience is wonderful during their flight and will do what they can to cheer you up. They also notice the passengers’ demeanor and if they may cause trouble in the cabin later.
Too much to drink?
One of the most crucial things flight attendants look out for is if a passenger is intoxicated and has had too much to drink. Inebriated passengers are a safety risk and are not allowed to fly. This is for their safety as well as the safety of the passengers around them. Although everyone always attempts to conceal being “loosey goosey,” crew members always notice.
Flight attendants notice a passenger’s body language or any suspicious behavior as they board the flight. If a passenger looks nervous or if they are acting “strange,” crew members have to keep an eye on them for the duration of the flight to make sure that everything goes smoothly. If the passenger is just nervous or afraid if flying, for example, flight attendants try to calm him or her down as much as possible.
Smile and eye contact
One flight attendant joked that one of the first things she notices about a passenger is “if they are hot.” Joking aside, they really do notice your smile and confidence while you are boarding the aircraft. They are more apt to respond to happy, smiling passengers than those that are rude or ignore them because you are overly absorbed in your phone. Eye contact is also a major thing flight attendants notice as it shows them that you respect their presence. They really do appreciate that.
Need special attention?
Flight attendants notice if people will need a “helping hand” while boarding, particularly elders. If it looks like someone is having a hard time finding their seat or getting their luggage in the overhead bin, the crew will gladly assist them during boarding. They notice all elderly passengers and passengers who are in a wheelchair and who need special assistance. It is very important for a flight attendant to keep an eye out on an individual who is in a cast or is walking with a cane as they will need special assistance with not only boarding but in case the plane needs to be evacuated.
Flight attendants are “sizing up” your baggage and trying to evaluate if it will indeed fit in the overhead bins. On most regional jets, your normal sized luggage will not fit in their smaller sized overhead bins and will need to be gate-checked and ready for pickup when you land. Flight attendants are also checking to see if there are any special items coming on board such as pets, wedding dresses or musical instruments.
Families with small children
Families with small children are being watched very carefully; the crew wants to make sure they are all seated together or if they need any special attention during their flight. Any child under the age of 2 can sit on their parent’s lap. Flight attendants also need to make sure they are sitting on the right side of the aircraft as some specific planes have oxygen masks located on a particular side.
Among safety related things, Volpe always looks out for pregnant women. “I notice how many weeks they are along and if they should be flying.” Pregnant women after so many weeks are required to have a special note from their doctor explaining that they are safe to fly, Volpe adds. “I have once had to deliver a baby on board and we made an emergency landing.” Luckily, there was a nurse and a doctor on board to help with the delivery.