It’s not uncommon for flight attendants to start their day in the wee hours of the morning. Since you have to be well-prepared before take-offs, flight attendants need to get up early and should be ready to go at least two hours before their flight. It’s not just so they can spend some serious time perfecting that primed flight attendant look! All cabin crew members also have to go through a customary briefing before boarding the plane.
Crew members run through topics such as safety, security, and first aid. Then, there’s a quick Q&A test before the flight attendants are allowed to operate the flight. After which, they are given flight details such as what specific meals are loaded in the plane, passengers that need special care, and if there are any turbulences to expect during the flight. Finally, flight attendants are assigned to specific positions which determine their responsibilities on the day’s flight.
The first task required of flight attendants while onboard the aircraft is to make sure that the aircraft is ready for onboarding. They start by checking all the necessary emergency equipment (safety cards, life jackets) and making sure each seat has a complete kit in usable condition. They then test the entertainment system and ensure lavatory equipment is functioning and that supplies are ample.
Since flight attendants are given designated tasks according to your role for the day, responsibilities may vary. You could be the one assigned in the aisle section or you could be tasked with counting all the meals and trays for the flight. You may also need to document the locations for inflight service items and ensure the total amount of supplies are enough for the total passenger load. We know, it’s a lot of responsibilities! But not to worry—flight attendants work as a team. The success of the flight doesn’t solely rely on just one person, it relies on the overall cooperation of each team member!
The cabin manager who leads the cabin crew then calls for boarding and the rest of the flight attendants make their way to their boarding positions. While passengers aboard the aircraft, flight attendants can help passengers with their load. Though not a required procedure, it’s always a nice gesture to offer a lending hand to families - especially those with children, to carry and lift their bags so that other passengers can get to their assigned seats faster.
Once everyone is settled, the flight attendants close the overhead bins, close the doors, and prepare to head to their demo positions. They will demonstrate aircraft emergency procedures and safety features to passengers. After the demo, flight attendants will check the seatbelts and make sure passenger are seated safely. Once they finish their respective sections in the aircraft, they head on to aft galley and the cabin manager lets the captain know that cabin is secure.
As the seatbelt sign turns off, the flight attendants can begin their service. They make their way to the aisle to turn on the entertainment system and start distributing customs cards to passengers. After that, they start to serve the passenger meals, followed by rolling out the beverages.
Next, they come back out with the empty carts from meal services and collect all the rubbish. Some passengers will request for different beverages after the meal service. Flight attendants are also tasked to process credit cards and passenger’s change as they run orders. It’s all hard work! But at the end of bar service, it’s usually break time for the crew!
After the seatbelt signs are turned off, flight attendants help passengers get off the aircraft. The cabin members stand alongside the captain at the front of the aircraft and bid farewell to the passengers.
Depending on a flight attendant’s flight schedule, there may be enough time for downtime where they can hang out, take a nap, work out, or have a sit-down meal. Other times, in-between flight schedules are just too tight that they go straight from one gate to the next. But it’s okay, some trips will allow you days off in a new country which gives you more time to explore and become a tourist yourself!
Being a flight attendant doesn’t limit you to flying the same schedule you have flown countless times. It’s not routine work, nor is it a 9 to 5 job. Each day looks different when you’re a flight attendant. You never know what to expect or who you will meet on a particular day. And that is why each day demands a fair share of mental, physical, and emotional preparation. There is paperwork to finish, demanding passengers to deal with, unexpected situations to overcome, and routine preparation to accomplish. Yet, along with it comes some of the most memorable and meaningful experiences you will take part in. You will explore new places, get to meet new people, and experience soaking in different cultures! Each day holds a different kind of surprise but expect tons of lessons to pick up en route to every destination!
Ready to fly high?
Crown Institute of Studies offers the best courses in tourism New Zealand has to offer! We can help shape you to become a professional in your chosen career path including flight attending! Crown also provides business and other hospitality courses that will help you succeed in your chosen industry. Dream big and soar high. We’ll help you get there!