Aviation security has only continued to enhance, which makes the role of flight attendants much more complex than simply ensuring that passengers are refreshed and have been given a demonstration on the use of emergency equipment.
Flight attendants are First Responders and the last line of defense in aviation security. With this, flight attendants are trained to be incredibly observant to make sure that no potential threats slip by.
Here are 7 things flight attendants revealed that they notice when a passenger boards the plane.
1. Passenger’s Level of intoxication. Jay Robert of Fly Guy revealed that intoxication can be an immediate threat, especially when the passenger appears to be aggressive. Flight attendants will try their best to identify these passengers right at the doors. “We are trained in basic taekwondo techniques to handle acts of aggression in the sky, but stopping them before they get up there is our main goal,” Robert revealed.
2. If a passenger is pregnant. There’s a certain point during pregnancy where women are required to have a doctor’s certificate in order to travel and every airline has different rules as to when. However, some women will try and bypass this. “I’m searching women to see if they are hiding baby bumps with loose clothing,” Jay Robert said.
3. Nice people. Being nice apparently pays off as Heather Poole of American Airlines revealed, “When I say hello and a passenger responds back, I notice and think, ‘wow, that person is really nice.’ … I’ll probably go above and beyond the call of duty for a nice passenger.”
4. Fit people. Zac Ford revealed that he seeks out people who are in shape to potentially help assist with any security problems that may occur mid-flight. “Typically, this is someone who is traveling alone and in street clothes, looks like they are in above average physical shape or is known emergency service personnel.”
5. Eye contact. A lack of eye contact can be a major indicator that something is wrong. Stephanie Mikel of Southwest Airlines revealed, “More often than not, the ones who don’t make eye contact make me investigate. Are they scared of flying? Are they feeling okay? These are things people don’t tell you outright.”
6. Passengers feeling under the weather. It’s crucial that flight attendants ensure that all of their passengers boarding the plane are fit to fly. Claudia Sieweck of TUIFly said, “Once all doors are closed and we’re airborne, it can get very challenging to handle medical emergencies.”
7. Passengers who look uncomfortable. Claudia Siewick also revealed, “I ask passengers if everything is alright if I have the feeling something isn’t perfect. Passengers with fear of flying get my special attention. I love to care for them and to make them feel comfortable.”
Flight attendants have a lot more responsibility than most people give them credit for. As First Responders, it’s not just their duty to ensure the comfort of the passengers, but the safety as well.