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The Role of a Flight Attendant

The words 'flight attendant' brings to my mind a very clear image of what I expect: the industry has developed a very clear and defined role which is generally met across the board. This article will seek to outline from personal experience what the role of a flight attendant is, how it varies and what makes a 'good' flight attendant.

The reputation of an airline will make or break it. The most obvious role of cabin crew is to be well presented, be professional and make a good impression on travellers to encourage them to use the same airline in the future. I've seen first hand how true this is: people who experience bad customer service from flight attendants change their airline - simple as.
Further to this, attendants are responsible for the safety, comfort and wellbeing of their passengers. 'Back in the day' they had to be trained nurses in case of an emergency although that's not true nowadays. 


Still though they must be able to cope with emergency procedures whatever they may be. While air travel is very safe way to travel nowadays, 
there is still the potential for problems which all staff onboard need to be able to cope with.
Ensuring the comfort of passengers is extended to being the main point of contact between the traveller and the airline during the flight. Passengers, of course, can't get up and go and talk to the pilot but they can speak directly to the cabin crew, which is essential to developing trust and mutual respect.

The role of supervisor is another key responsibility of theirs. Airplanes contain a number of very different people in a confined space which must be kept in a comfortable, orderly and appropriate state.

There is of course, in addition to the aforementioned roles, the necessity of mundane duties such as checking tickets, giving out flight information, helping with carry-on luggage, using in-flight entertainment, etc.

I hope this article has given a quick but accurate view of the roles and responsibilities of a flight attendant for anyone interested in the moving their career in that direction or researching their own role for professional development. After talking with a number of other busy travellers I'm assured my points are fair things to generally expect from cabin crew and 'industry standards' of the role. What is clear is that there's much more to it than "the exits are here, here and here" and there's more to it than the cult classic 'Airplane' might suggest...

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