Roles and responsibilities of a Cabin Crew

The most important responsibility of a flight attendant is to make sure her passengers are safe, then to assure they are feeling comfortable. Because Cabin Crew are considered the ambassadors of their airline companies, it is expected from them to have impeccable service and to have a friendly attitude, slightly approachable, natural enthusiasm and an immaculate image.

A flight attendant has multiple roles she/he has to fulfill during their flight, and the most known ones are:

Air hostess

Each cabin crew involves directly into the process of meeting and boarding the passengers, as well as taking them to their places at First Class or Business Class, and also in disembarking them.

Nanny

Flight attendants take care of unaccompanied minors. The Etihad Airways company has a special training called Flying Nanny, and for the most important flights they are allocating a flight attendant who takes care and plays with the children in the plane.

Nurse

Each cabin crew has the role of a nurse which offers first aid to passengers in case of any medical problem.

Waitress

Besides serving food and beverage, Cabin Crew are also serving goods from duty-free having, therefore, the role of a sales agent.

Secretary

The flight attendant must write the written documentation with the details about all the incidents happened during the flight and more others like: papers for catering, duty free service, passengers feedback, usage of medical tools, if there were any delays and what was the cause of it.

The person who makes sure the passengers are travelling safely

The cabin crew can encounter situations like fire in the cabin, force landing, deviation from the initial itinerary, terrorist attacks and situations which need their unconditionally first aid support. In these cases, they must be sure that the passengers are following the rules strictly or the procedures imposed by the Civil Aeronautics Authority.

After you have been recruited as Cabin Crew, you will have to go through a training period between 6 – 8  weeks in which you will learn: Safety Measures and Urgent Procedures, Measure and Procedures of Security, First Aid and Human Resource Management.

After you graduate your training, you will be in probation for approximately 6 months, time in which your performance will be evaluated periodically by the line manager and other superiors, but also by trainers. Every 12 months the flight attendant will have a reexamination of their knowledge in order to renew their flight license.

Therefore, Cabin Crew can face multiple situations, not at all normal, for which is mandatory to have some qualities like diplomacy, team spirit, initiative, power of adaptation and organization.

We prepare you to pass any airline interview:

If you want to have a broad overview of the role and duties of cabin crew, airline companies profiles, stages of each airlines’ interview and how to pass them, we are waiting for you at our 4 days intensive course. We make your perfect cabin crew CV & pictures, we help you gain confidence and learn how to speak in public, so you will have a flawless performance at your cabin crew interview. Details and registration here.

3 examples of going the extra mile for your passengers

When you are working as a Flight Attendant, the requests coming from your passengers are very diverse. Each passenger has different expectations from you, and each time, he/she will want to be treated as best as possible during the flight. Excellent customer service should be the expression to characterise best the activity on board. There will be many occasions when you will need to solve some conflicts on board, and you will also have to display a genuinely care for the comfort and safety of your passengers.

In my career as Qatar Airways Cabin Crew for 10 and a half years I encountered so many situations on board in which I had to come up with new solutions in order to please my passengers, that a single book will not be enough to write them all. I share with you in this article 3 situations through which I went in order to understand a little the way in which the cabin crew must think when we are on board.

When you are making a cheesecake with what you have on board

  1. The flight DOH-IAH(Houston) on 30 June 2011, on a Boeing777 (QR77), with a duration of 16 hours and 58 minutes – from Cabin Service Director position.

After the first service was offered in the cabin, a Qatar passenger at Business Class, place 5F, was extremely unhappy with the service of one of my colleagues towards his daughter. He accused her that she didn’t do the service by the book, because she did the description of the dessert when she took the order for the hot meal and not after, like it was normal to do, and the dessert asked, or some alternatives of that dessert, never arrived to his daughter (because a colleague already ate the last piece of cake, thinking that it was in addition). Alongside my colleague tears, I had to calm down the passenger as well, which I saw that he was a regular client of our company, if he knew exactly the procedure of taking the dessert order. Later, from the discussions I had with him, I found out that he was the manager of the purchase division of Qatar Airways Private Jet Department, meaning the right hand of our CEO! I tried to repair it with a combination of some desserts taken from the captain tray in order to please his daughter, but because he only wanted Cheesecake, I took from my economic class colleagues trays some cheese triangles that I mixed with some mashed forest fruits. I put this paste over some digestive biscuits, mixed as well with some honey in order to have some sort of dough. I melted 2 Godiva chocolates, that I put over these piece of “cake”… I prepared a cheesecake on board in some minutes! The client was of course very impressed of this Service Recovery method, the way we named this procedure of thanking our passengers in every way at Qatar Airways.

The passenger with whom I shared my salad

  1. Flight DOH-LHR (Londra Heathrow) in 2008, on an Airbus 330, duration of 6 hours and 30 minutes- from the position of First Class Kitchen Manager

During the first service, after we served the Mediterranean buffet and Arabic salads, in the moment an Arabic client asked for a salad, we realized we didn’t have any more of it. Usually, in these cases, we take a new casserole  and we go to our colleagues from business class and take a salad. If not, we were going to the economic class to check the menu, and if even then I was not lucky, I will check the crew trays and still could manage to find some salad, for example the one that is at the base of hummus. But, on this flight, the catering didn’t bring food to contain too much salad. I was needed to offer the passenger all kind of vegetables from first class (grilled), business class (steamed), or economic (in curry sauce). The passenger was somehow pleased. But, at the middle of the flight, when we were relaxing and I was eating my salad purchased from the supermarket, the exact passenger passed by me, throwing me a look of: “You didn’t want to give me salad, but you are eating one…?” I felt immediately that I could receive a complaint unfairly, and because of that, when the passenger returned from the lavatory, I was in my feet, with a plate of salad alongside me. Simple and very natural I approached him, asking apologize for not serving him the salad, but the one I had was from a supermarket because I am on diet. Without letting me to get another plate, he asked me a fork and ate all my salad. It seemed like he loved the Monte Vibiano dressing used on board, with all kind of tastes. At the end of the flight, he said goodbye to me and he also make it up for my gesture of sharing my salad with him.

When is the birthday of a passenger

  1. Many times, the passengers do not declare that they are celebrating a family event when they are travelling (honeymoon, marriage anniversary, and so on.) or the airline company forgets to bring on board cake for the passengers who are celebrating their birthdays on board. Because of it, every time we found about this kind of events, even if we don’t have a written rule in our Service on Board manual, we tried to surprise our passengers with a dessert prepared on the spot, with a glass of champagne from the superior classes, with paper written message that we put on the tray or aluminium figurines used to cover the casseroles. Here are some examples of surprises we prepared for our birthday passengers:
  • croissants in melted chocolate for a birthday
  • a muffin transformed in a birthday, with a Sponge Bob toy made out of paper on a tray
  • aluminum Figurines
  • buffet organized in the economic kitchen with the food remained from the business class for everyone who wanted a second portion.

We prepare you to pass any airline interview:

If you want to have a broad overview of the role and duties of cabin crew, airline companies profiles, stages of each airlines’s interview and how to pass them, we are waiting for you at our 4 days intensive course. We make your perfect cabin crew CV & pictures, we help you gain confidence and learn how to speak in public, so you will have a flawless performance at your cabin crew interview. Details and registration here.