You know how it goes. After you have passed all the security checkpoints at the airport you finally hop on the plane. You look for your seat, put your carry-on luggage in the compartment, sit down, buckle up, watch the crew members’ demonstration of the emergency protocol, and the plane finally takes off.
From that point on, it is up to you to decide which techniques and distractions to use in order to survive the boredom of a long flight.
But, do you do the first thing that should be done the moment you set foot in the plane’s cabin? Namely, greeting the flight attendants? You might think that they are only there to welcome all the passengers as part of airplane etiquette but that’s not all.
Flight attendants use this brief interaction with every passenger to quickly scrutinize every single one of them. This is actually a very important part of their job since it is the perfect time to eliminate potential threats or identify passengers that can cause a delay or even harm their safety.
Once the plane takes off, dealing with eventual problematic situations becomes much harder. It’s amazing what flight attendants notice in only 3 seconds, the time it takes to welcome you on board and wish you a nice flight.
Carry on to know exactly what they notice about you.
1. Your greeting
Usually, when we greet someone, we tend to look them directly in the eyes without even thinking about it. That’s one of the flight attendants’ secrets: they know that if someone doesn’t make eye contact when greeting them, there might be something wrong with that person.
It could be a personal issue, a professional one, or just the fear of flying. As part of their job, flight attendants make sure that all the passengers have a comfortable and enjoyable trip.
If you are nice to them during the greeting and they notice that you might be feeling down, they will go the extra mile to help you feel good during the entire flight.
The opposite also applies; there’s nothing flight attendants hate more than a rude passenger who is capable of turning the flight into a living hell for everyone. Flight attendants won’t do any favors to that type of passenger.
2. Your nervousness
As we have said, if a flight attendant notices that something’s off with you at the entrance door, he or she will keep an eye on you. It is very likely that passengers who are visibly nervous during the boarding process are dealing with a deep fear of flying.
They will certainly have special attention. Flight attendants will do everything in their power to make them feel safe and comfortable. After all, it is very hard to deal with a panic attack at 35 thousand feet of altitude.
3. Your physical shape
There are many different reasons why flight attendants check your body and physical availability when boarding.
For starters, pregnant women need their doctor’s approval to travel and some can’t even fly at all. It all depends on the pregnancy stage. Some women try to hide their pregnancy with loose pieces of clothing because they don’t have their doctor’s certificate.
Don’t do this. These regulations have been implemented to protect the health of both mothers and babies. And chances are that flight attendants will notice your baby bumps anyway.
Passengers with disabilities also require extra care and attention such as priority front cabin seating.
On the other hand, people with an injury such as a broken arm or hand might be relocated if their original seat was at an exit row – to sit there, you need to be physically capable of lifting a 60-pound hatch or quickly open a heavy door.
Lastly, flight attendants need to know where people with above-average physical shape are sitting. This information might come in handy in case they need someone to help them in an emergency evacuation or handle any security problems during the flight.
4. Your reading material
As you may have already realized, flight attendants are always trying to identify passengers that could help them in emergency situations. That being the case, it is always good to know if there are any doctors on board.
A simple way to obtain this information is by paying attention to the reading materials that passengers are carrying, such as medical journals or magazines.
Thus, in the event of an in-flight medical emergency, the flight attendant can discreetly ask the doctor for help. There’s no need for the pilot to ask for a doctor or nurse through the loudspeakers, at the risk of raising general panic among the passengers.
5. If you are drunk
Drunk passengers definitely annoy flight attendants the most; especially those who tend to get aggressive.
It is worth remembering that being drunk on an aircraft is a criminal offense, and flight attendants have the right to deny you access to the plane if they suspect you are drunk.
Even though some of them are trained in self-defense techniques to handle acts of aggression during the flight, the best thing is to quickly identify drunk passengers and avoid any potential dangers.
6. Your age
Flight attendants know that traveling with kids can be exhausting for everyone: the kids, the parents, and the other passengers. We have all experienced unpleasant situations involving one or more inpatient children.
Although it is normal, it can also be quite draining. That’s why flight attendants will do everything they can to make sure the child has a safe, comfortable, and fun trip next to his parents.
7. Your clothes
No, flight attendants are not going to judge your sense of fashion. They couldn’t care less.
However, they will be keen to ensure that your clothes and shoes do not become an obstacle to your safety in the event of an emergency. Some airlines have specific dress codes that prohibit high heels, for example. You should always wear comfortable clothes when you travel by plane!