When cabin crew members slip into their uniforms and pin their wings, they are ready to play 10 roles inside the aircraft and you may not be aware of some of them. Your cabin crew are friendly and they do practice stress management a lot, which eventually develops their emotional quotient. Here, we present to you the 10 major roles your cabin crew play in which some of them you didn't know.
1. Life Guards or Safety Professionals
This is what they trained hard for. They went through countless hours and sleepless nights just memorizing, practicing, and simulating all safety procedures incase of an emergency. They also trained with basic aviation first aid procedures. There are in fact even some cabin crew members who are able to birth a baby at 40,000ft, with of course at most times, the assistance of a doctor onboard. They know what to do when you are dizzy or not feeling well. Most importantly, they are the last to leave the aircraft during an emergency situation, making sure all passengers are out. If there are injured passengers who cannot move, they are ready to carry them off the aircraft. Okay, so you might be thinking "carry injured passengers if they can't lift our bags unto the overhead bins?" Well your personal belongings are replaceable. They are material. Lives are not. Once one is gone, it's gone. Your cabin crew's primary responsibility is to ensure your safety and security on board. They also know basic self defense and how to restraint a hostile passenger that may put the lives of others at risk. Most importantly, they are ready to put their lives on the line just to make sure passengers are safe.
In a home, a host will welcome his or her visitors, serve them, to make sure that they are comfortable and at ease. Same role is played by cabin crew members. They will welcome you on board, point to your seat, set the rules, and make your flight a comfortable and enjoyable one. They will serve you your meals properly, they will fix your blanket incase they noticed that you are sound sleep but feeling cold, they will check on you one by one. They do rounds especially after meal service during long haul flights to make sure each and everyone are okay. They also can entertain you with a short conversation or so.
Airlines just do not select any wine in the market to be served at 40,000ft. Due to the change in pressure, our taste buds perceive flavor differently. Hence, the wine the airlines serves have to taste good at even a low pressure environment. Cabin crew members are trained to help you choose which wine would best suit your taste and expectations. They will describe how each differs in terms of flavor and aroma. Well, that's incase you can't go on a flight without any wine.
Did you know that the very first set of cabin crew were actually flying nurses? Since air travel during the 30s and 40s were new, people felt uncomfortable and airlines thought that having flying nurses would be the solution to make passengers feel comfortable. Fast forward to today, cabin crew members still play that role. Not feeling well? They will check on you, sometimes get your temperature, and if they have generic medicines on hand like paracetamol which you also take, they may give you. They will check on you and your condition from time to time. Some even goes beyond their call of duty. One time aboard a Philippine Airlines flight, we posted a photo of F/A Pamela Torre feeding an unaccompanied passenger who was a stroke victim. In fact, being a registered nurse has its own advantages when applying as a cabin crew.
5. Tourism Ambassadors
Cabin crew members do "market" their home countries to the passengers during those light conversation moments in the middle of the flight. They share to foreign passengers what cuisine to try at their home countries, the culture, way of life, tourist spots, what to do, and much more. Foreign passengers headed to the airline's home country are the best people to promote tourism to, and the cabin crew members are able to fulfill this role in a more personal and direct manner. Also, an airline carries with it it's country's culture and flight attendants are guided by that certain culture the airline wants them to represent.
6. Specialist and Professional on a Certain Field
More than just a job, being a cabin crew is also a calling meant for only a few. This is the reason why many cabin crew members may have different professions. Some are beauty queens, some are DJs, some are registered nurses, some are entrepreneurs, some are professional photographers, some are singers, and some are even music artists.
7. Brand Ambassadors
Cabin crew also carry with them the branding of their airline and this only does not end with the uniform. Yes airlines spend a lot on their flight attendant uniforms, but included in the whole "branding uniform" are their smiles, the way they fix themselves, the way they move, the way they talk to passengers and all. They basically represent the airline's culture, vision and mission.
Though some airlines do already have dedicated interpreters but there are still plenty of regular cabin crew who can speak a third and fourth language. Everything have to be communicated well to the passengers especially when it is about safety, hence, being able to play the role as an interpreter at any time does help bring down the language barrier.
They travel the world, learn different cultures, habits, and lifestyles. Inside an aircraft, they have to deal with more than a hundred different people and personalities per flight. These experiences are able to equip cabin crew members to deal with almost everyone in a sensitive but effective way.
10. Tourist Guide
With all the travelling they have done, we are pretty sure that they make the best tourist guides in any part of the world. Passengers would definitely ask their cabin crew for recommendations where it is nice to go to do bargain shopping, to see historical sites or experience the best beaches. So incase it is your first time at a certain country, it would be best to ask tips from your cabin crew. They would be the best resource.
So now basically you know what are the 10 roles cabin crew members play when they slip into their uniforms. We will also make a post what they are not, for everybody's information.