Flight Attendant safety demo on-board

Flying Heroes: What Flight Attendants Really Do!

When you step onto an aircraft and take your seat, have you ever wondered about the crucial role played by the flight attendants on board? and what are exactly the flight attendant duties ?

Often, people perceive us as friendly faces who serve snacks and beverages. But the flight attendant’s duties and responsibilities go far beyond that.

In this comprehensive article, we will delve deep into the multifaceted role of flight attendants in the aviation industry. We will focus on their primary duties:

  • ensuring passenger safety and security
  • providing excellent customer service
  • maintaining the overall well-being of passengers during flights

Flight Heros: What Flight Attendants Really Do! Jump to…

Flight Attendant Duties: Ensuring Passenger Safety and Security

Flight Attendant performing one of her duties: Demonstrating how to fasten the seatbelt in the middle of the aisle in front of passengers.

The Highest Priority Flight attendants are, first and foremost, responsible for the safety of passengers and crew on board. Safety is a paramount concern in aviation, and flight attendants are the first line of defense in the event of an emergency.

Here’s how they fulfill this critical duty:

Pre-Flight Safety Briefings

Before takeoff, is the flight attendant´s duty to provide essential safety information to passengers. This includes instructions on seatbelts, oxygen masks, life vests, and emergency exits. This briefing ensures that passengers are ready for any unforeseen circumstances.

We all know what you all are thinking:

“Is it not embarrassing to stand in the middle of the aisle with a bright inflatable yellow jacket, moving your arms in random directions, while everyone is looking at you?”

To be honest, IT IS!!!

But thanks to today’s technology, passenger seat screens have replaced that task, displaying safety videos. However, on smaller regional or low-cost airlines, or due to technical issues preventing video playback, cabin crew must conduct manual safety demonstrations. In these situations, we all hope to avoid finding ourselves in the position of a colleague who once had a laughing fit during her safety demonstration, courtesy of an amusing group of football fans:).

Emergency Equipment Expertise

Flight attendants receive extensive training in the use of emergency equipment such as fire extinguishers, evacuation slides, first aid kits, and so on. They must be ready to respond swiftly and efficiently to any onboard emergencies. We are going to go really deep into any of these matters in later posts and give you more details about the Emergency Equipment onboard the aircraft.

Crisis Management

In the rare event of an emergency landing or onboard incident, flight attendants undergo training to handle crisis situations actively, keep passengers calm, and, if needed, coordinate evacuations.

First Aid and Medical Assistance

Flight attendants are also certified in basic first aid and CPR. They can provide initial medical assistance and communicate with medical professionals on the ground in case a passenger falls ill during the flight.

Security Protocols

Flight attendants undergo training to actively identify and respond to potential security threats, ensuring the safety of everyone on board. They work closely with law enforcement and security personnel when needed.

Evacuation Procedures

 Flight attendants are responsible for demonstrating and supervising the evacuation of passengers during an emergency landing or ditching. They ensure that passengers exit the aircraft safely and efficiently.

Cabin Checks

before, after, and throughout the flight, flight attendants conduct routine cabin checks to ensure all crew and passengers’ safety and security.

Among the flight attendant duties, there is one called: “SECURE THE CABIN”. This task is performed when all the passengers are seated, the bags are safely stowed and the safety demonstration has been performed. These checks typically include:

1. Seatbelt Check: ensuring that all passengers are seated and fastened their seatbelts.

2. Seatback and Tray Table Upright: Checking that seatbacks and tray tables are in the upright position.

3. Window Shades: Ensuring that window shades are open during takeoff and landing.

4. Electronics Off: Verifying that all passengers power off their electronic devices or switch them in airplane mode.

5. Overhead Bins: Checking that overhead bins are securely closed.

6. Aisles Clear: Ensuring the aisles are clear of obstructions.

6. Galleys and Lavatories: Checking that galleys and lavatories are secured.

7. Cabin Lights: Confirm that cabin lights are in the appropriate setting (usually dimmed for takeoff and landing).


Did you know?


The reason for dimming cabin lights during takeoff and landing is mainly for passenger safety. Here’s why cabin lights are dimmed during these critical phases of flight:

Passenger Focus: Dimming cabin lights helps passengers adjust their eyes to low light conditions, which is important in case of an emergency evacuation. If the cabin is dark during these phases, it’s easier for passengers to see and follow the illuminated escape path markings on the floor and locate emergency exits.

Reducing Glare: Bright cabin lights can create glare on the cockpit windows, making it difficult for the pilots to see outside during critical moments like takeoff and landing. Dimming the cabin lights reduces this glare, which is more about cockpit visibility than improving it.

Enhanced Crew Communication: During takeoff and landing, cabin crew need to be able to communicate effectively with passengers and each other. Dimming the lights can create a quieter, more focused atmosphere for these important safety announcements and instructions.

8. Cabin Secure Announcement: Making an announcement to passengers to prepare for takeoff and informing them of cabin safety procedures.

9. Cabin Crew Seats: Ensuring that cabin crew members are seated in their designated seats for takeoff and landing.

These checks are essential for passenger safety and ensuring a smooth takeoff and landing. Cabin crew typically perform these tasks diligently to secure the cabin and prepare for departure.

Flight Attendant Duties: Providing Exceptional Customer Service

The Friendly Face of the Skies

Flight attendant performing one of her duties. walking in the aisle of the airplane with a cart providing Exceptional Customer Service

In addition to their crucial safety role, flight attendants are also the face of the airline. They are responsible for delivering excellent customer service. Here’s how they make the passengers’ journey as comfortable and enjoyable as possible:

In-Flight Service: Flight attendants serve meals, snacks, and beverages during the flight. They cater to passengers’ dietary preferences and ensure that everyone’s needs are met.

Cabin Comfort: They assist passengers with finding their seats, stowing their carry-on luggage, and adjusting their seats and tray tables. Flight attendants also distribute pillows, blankets, and other amenities to enhance passenger comfort.

Language and Cultural Sensitivity: In the diverse world of aviation, flight attendants are trained to be culturally sensitive. They have to be able to communicate effectively with passengers from all backgrounds. They often speak multiple languages to accommodate a global clientele.


Fun facts


You will soon meet some of your more experienced colleagues talking in weird English accents or making strange hand gestures that you will not understand at first but that will become a thing in your everyday life. This is also the beauty of being a flight attendant. Experiencing many cultures and diverse ways of thinking and acting will automatically make you a much more interesting person.
During my days with Emirates Airlines, there came a time when I had to make a visit to their headquarters. It was for the purpose of obtaining an alcohol license, a prerequisite for buying alcohol from liquor stores in Dubai. As I approached the office desk, a warm and friendly Indian lady was there to assist me. Our conversation unfolded as follows:

Me: “Hi, I’m a cabin crew member at Emirates. Can I request an alcohol license?”
Her: She gently shook her head from left to right without uttering a word. In my culture, that means No.
Me (thinking that she just denied my request): “Why not? Isn’t this the right place?”
Her: “Yes, this is the correct place,” she affirmed, again nodding her head from left to right.
I was initially really confused, but I later learned that in Indian culture, this head move signifies ‘OK’😅

Entertainment and Information: They provide passengers with in-flight entertainment options, including movies, music, and magazines. They operate the duty-free cart to sell various products onboard. They share important updates about the flight’s progress and weather conditions.

Maintaining Passenger Well-being

A Caring Touch

Flight attendants are not just responsible for safety and service. One of the flight attendant’s duties is to maintain the overall well-being of passengers throughout the flight.

Here is how:

Cabin Atmosphere

Flight attendants regulate the cabin environment, including temperature and lighting, to ensure that passengers are comfortable throughout the journey.

Hydration and Nutrition

 They monitor passengers’ hydration levels, encouraging them to drink water regularly to prevent dehydration. They also provide information about the available food and beverage options.

Comfort for Families

Families traveling with infants and young children receive extra attention. Flight attendants assist with infant care, offer coloring books and toys for children, and try to seat families together whenever possible.


During turbulence, flight attendants ensure that passengers go back to their seats and fasten their seatbelts to prevent injuries. While we all had experienced some light to moderate turbulence, we all met some crew that had a terrible turbulence experience. Imagine being on the flight in the video below:

If you ever encounter a situation like this, as a flight attendant, your initial response is to check on yourself, then attend to your colleagues, and then, ensure the safety and well-being of all passengers on board.

In a scenario like the one depicted in this video, it must have been an incredibly challenging experience.

With numerous injured passengers and only a few crew members to manage the aftermath, it becomes a true test of your resilience and bravery in the face of adversity.

These are the moments that showcase the unwavering dedication of flight attendants to passenger safety and well-being.

Mediating Passenger Conflicts

In the close quarters of an aircraft, conflicts can arise. One of the skills of flight attendants is conflict resolution and working to ensure a peaceful and harmonious cabin environment.

These situations are pretty common and usually involve customers in some sort of intoxication. I am sure you all have seen some crew dealing with this type of situation in some viral videos.

Well, at the end of the day, you will have another crazy story to add to your extensive repertoire of “experiences” in the sky!:)

Flight Attendant Duties, many many many duties…

A flight attendant is a cook, a waiter, a firefighter, a doctor, a nurse, a bartender, an entertainer, a mechanic, and much much more!

Flight attendants are the unsung heroes of aviation, juggling the responsibilities of ensuring passenger safety, providing exceptional customer service, and maintaining passenger well-being throughout each flight.

Their role is far more complex and vital than it may seem at first glance. The next time you board a plane, take a moment to appreciate the dedication and professionalism of these remarkable individuals who make air travel safe, enjoyable, and comfortable.

Flight Attendant Nation Team

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