The Before, During, and After Duties of a Flight Attendant

Working as a flight attendant is much more than customer service in the air. Safety is the key area, crucial for a successful flight, and that’s where you’ll spend the most time in training, being taught about, before you become a flight attendant.

Once in the job though, it’s not all about touring the world, getting flight privileges, stop offs to tour the destinations you’re arriving at, and all the other perks you get from travelling the world, as part of your career. In fact, when you arrive at the different destinations, there may be some flights where you don’t get much of a break to see anything in the country, before you have to depart on your next return flight. Of course, that’s dependant on where you’re flight takes you.

The reason for this is due to other roles a flight attendant has, outside the realm of in-flight services.

The Before, During, and After Duties of a Flight Attendant

What a flight attendant does before taking off

Before hitting the skies, you have to be at the airport, ready to meet the crew you’ll be flying with. That includes the flight captain. This for a briefing on the flight plans, to keep you informed of any stop over plans, the safety protocols, in the event of low fuel where you’ll be landing.

The reason for the brief is to help you on the flight to remain calm as you’ll know what the procedure is and not be left in the dark, wondering what’s happening.

Once you’ve been briefed, you’ll then have to check all the safety and emergency equipment onboard the plane, ensuring everything is working, before you can board any passengers. It’s once you’ve carried out those safety checks, that passengers will be allowed to board. At that stage, you’ll be meeting passengers at the door, and directing to their seats.

The last thing you’ll do before the flight takes off, is the safety protocol. The one you’ve probably had a go it even before your training.

In flight duties

Once you’re in the air, it’s then that your customer services are going to be at work the most.

You’ll be serving to needs of passengers, bringing beverages to their seats, and serving meals. Any duty free items for sale, you’ll be responsible for that service as well.

Besides serving foods and beverages, selling duty free, you’ll also have to maintain your appearance to passengers, ensuring that if they’re requiring anything…that you’re there to meet their needs. That could be to get anything from an extra pillow, to complicated requests about moving seats.

In terms of keeping the passengers informed during the flight, you’ll be responsible for making announcements to passengers that’s relayed from the pilot. Should the worst happen, it’s the voice of the flight attendant, which is on the tannoyed to keep the passengers calm, while guiding them through the emergency protocol.

After the flight has landed

The last part of your shift will see you ensuring all passengers exit the plane safely.

The final part of your security check will be at this stage too, as you’ll need to ensure that all passengers have their hand luggage with them, and nothing left behind on the flight. Once all passengers have left, then the paperwork begins. This is when you have to write your reports of anything that’s happened during the flight, including any passengers, who have tried to join the mile high club, raising complaints from other passengers.

The other part of your report will involve numeracy skills as you’ll be tallying up the sales made of food, drink and duty free, so the stock can be replenished prior the next flight. In between all those duties, there will usually be some time for getting a sneak peak of the places you’re flying to.

Most flights though, by the time you have:

  • Attended the brief
  • Carried out security and safety checks
  • Served passengers in flight
  • And then completed the written reports afterwards

You will probably find the time you have when you land, that you’ll be ready just to kick back and relax, before your next flight is due, rather than exploring wherever you land. It’s all in a days work, when you become a flight attendant.

For the longer stay over flights, you’ll most likely find that you won’t get those until you’ve a bit of experience. It can be hard going, but it’s a worthwhile career for those who can make the grade and stick the job out.