British Airways cabin crew explains what flight attendants always look out for

Flight attendants have a very important role of making sure their passengers are happy.

They serve food, perform important safety demonstrations and keep flyers calm during any travel delays.

But cabin crew members aren’t just there to smile at customers coming through the doors.

According to former British Airways flight attendant Simon J Marton, there’s a little more they do when they first lay eyes on passengers.

Writing in his book, Journey of a Reluctant Air Steward, the staff member said: “When we greet you, it’s both a welcome and an analysis of several things.

“[They are looking for] your boarding pass certainly for several reasons, your physique/travel status (if a sole traveller, could we use you as an ABP – able-bodied person – in case of evacuation?), but also your character and anything that might suggest trouble.”

Cabin crew often make a mental note of anything concerning and raise the alert if needs be.

Simon added: “Rudeness is picked up on immediately, and any signs of a bad attitude, aggression or even danger are flagged mentally at that point.

“The commander is informed in the flight deck pre-departure of anything – no matter how slight – that could threaten the safety of the flight.

“This occasionally included things on the airframe (body of the aircraft) that a pax [passenger] has spotted during boarding, and there have been many occasions when the F/O [First Officer] has come into the cabin to take a look for himself.

“We do use pax knowledge, or just plain eyesight, and most things turn out to be fine. It’s the one occasion when you don’t take it seriously that could be that time.”

Simon recalled the moment when he had to deal with a passenger’s comment while boarding.

He wrote: “Nicki, my trainer at Air 2000 told us a story about a guy who made a ‘comic’ throwaway comment about having a bomb in his suitcase while boarding a holiday flight.

“Even though it was obvious he didn’t mean it, she looked at him and replied, ‘You’re going to really wish you hadn’t said that, sir…’

“The police were called, the guy was taken off and questioned and the baggage offloaded for 233 pax, delaying the flight for about three hours.

“That’s how you make yourself the most unpopular person on a plane.”

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