Flight attendants might look happy and calm but don’t be fooled by their friendliness. They are not only trained to provide good customer service but also to keep a close eye out for any threats. From the moment you board a plane, you are under constant watch. Flight attendants are responsible for eliminating a large number of threats as well as ensuring the safety of other passengers. Without further ado, here are the top 7 things flight attendants notice about passengers as they board the plan.
1. If you smile and make eye contact with them.
Flight attendants pay close attention to how a person interacts with them while they meet for the first time. They are more apt to respond to happy, smiling passengers than those that are rude or ignore them. Eye contact is also a major thing since it not only shows respect to their presence, but it also reveals one’s intentions. People with negative intentions have a hard time keeping eye contact.
″[I notice] who makes eye contact with me and who doesn’t. More often than not, the ones who don’t make eye contact make me investigate… Are they scared of flying? Are they feeling okay? Are they dealing with a personal issue? These are things people don’t tell you outright, and a facet of my job is making sure everyone is having a comfortable flying experience.” ― Stephanie Mikel, Southwest Airlines
2. If you’re intoxicated.
One of the most crucial things flight attendants look out for is if a passenger is intoxicated. Most cabin crew members are trained in basic taekwondo techniques to handle acts of aggression in the sky, but stopping them before they get up there is their main goal. Intoxication and aggressive passengers are prime suspects. No matter how hard someone tries to conceal their drunkenness, crew members always notice. Inebriated passengers are a safety risk and are not allowed to fly.
3. If you are an able bodied person.
Flight attendants are always on the lookout for able bodied persons who can assist them with security problems inflight, as well as someone who appears willing and able to assist in an emergency evacuation. Typically, this is someone who is traveling alone and in street clothes, looks like they are in above average physical shape or is a known emergency service personnel.
4. If you’re pregnant or flying with a child.
Flight attendants are always searching women to see if they are hiding baby bumps with loose clothing. After a certain point in a pregnancy, women are required to present a doctor’s certificate in order to fly, while some are not allowed to fly at all when the pregnancy reaches the third trimester. Some women, however, try to hide their pregnancy by wearing extra clothing. Flight attendants are also trained to deliver babies mid-flight, so they keep an eye on expecting mothers.
Also, if you are travelling with children, they pay close attention to you. It’s not because they think you or your child would cause nuisance to others, but because they consider you both as their main priority in the case of an emergency situation.
5. How you behave as well as your body language.
“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.” ― Claudia Sieweck, TUI fly according to HuffPost
6. If you engage in conversations with them.
Flight attendants try to say “hello” and engage in conversations with everyone. They do this in order to determine whether a passenger is nervous or not. Based on the way a person responds, they analyze their demeanor to make sure they do not bring any kind of discomfort to his/her fellow passengers. Overall, they appreciate nice passengers and pay special attention to them.
7. The type of clothes you are wearing as well as earrings.
They also notice the type of earrings that you are wearing and any sort of clothing that is hanging that could get caught while exiting, in case of an emergency. In a scenario where the plane needs to make an emergency landing and evacuate the passengers, they don’t want your scarf or earrings to get caught and make it difficult for you or others.
If you are wearing high heels or any type of shoes that will make it difficult for one to evacuate the airplane quickly, they will take note. Per FAA, flight attendants are required to evacuate the entire aircraft in 90 seconds or less, so if they see high heels or anything that will prevent this process from going smoothly, they will keep that passenger in mind.