Flight Attendant Job Description

Flight attendants are the most visible member of the flight crew; therefore, most passengers aboard the aircraft associate them with the face of the company. Hence, it is a requirement that flight attendants act as ambassadors for the respective airlines and create remarkable experiences for all passengers. At first glance the flight attendant job description may appear to involve simply safety demonstrations and serving refreshments to guests. However, the position carries an extensive amount of responsibility. The most important role is safety. Flight attendants are entrusted with the safety and security of all guests, crew members, and the aircraft.

A typical day in the life might involve multiple departures and landings, altitude changes, and potential flight turbulence. The work environment is always changing and subject to variations in climate, geography, and location. The job involves variable hours and working conditions while operating in a confined space. A flight attendant must be prepared to spend many hours on their feet while actively engaging with passengers, flight crew, the aircraft, and equipment in order to execute the required duties. Safety will always be priority number one.

Flight Attendant Lobby - Flight Attendant Job Description

Individual duties of being a flight attendant may vary from airline to airline and base country, but typically the flight attendant job description can be broken down into four main categories:

Let’s dig deeper into each topic.



Flight Attendant Job Description – Administrative Duties

The lesser known and less visible duties of a flight attendant involve the administrative duties. However, these tasks keep the aircraft operating smoothly before the first passenger steps on board until well after the last passenger exits the aircraft. Whether flight attendants are attending pre-flight briefing meetings, taking inventory of on-board items, or submitting flight detail reports; all are vital to the airline performance. These tasks also prove essential in order to carry out the other aspects of the role; customer satisfaction, safety, and emergencies.

Some of the administrative flight attendant job duties may entail:

  • Attending pre-flight briefings
    • Expected weather conditions
    • Expected flight altitudes and routes
    • Length of the flight
    • Emergency procedures
    • Crew coordination
    • Assess special passenger considerations
    • Number of passengers
    • Food and beverage services offered on-board the flight
  • Inventory checking:
    • Refreshments/snacks and alcoholic beverages
    • Meals and special dietary restrictions
    • Blankets, pillows, and sleeping masks
    • Reading material
    • Headsets and electronic tablets
    • First aid equipment
    • Emergency equipment
  • Alerting appropriate personnel of supply shortage
  • Operating audio and video systems
  • Collecting and tracking in-flight purchases
  • Inspecting passenger ticket to verify passenger information and destination
  • Preparing flight reports detailing:
    • Departure and destination cities
    • Passenger ticket numbers
    • Meal and beverage inventory
    • Details of the airline cabin condition
    • Issues encountered by passengers
    • Medical emergencies

Flight Attendant Job Description – Customer Satisfaction

While safety is always going to be the number one duty in the flight attendant job description, customer satisfaction is a close second. A passenger’s outlook toward the airline and flight travel in general will be largely based on interactions with the on-board flight crew. To ensure a pleasurable flying experience, much of the in-flight time of a flight attendant is dedicated towards the comfort of passengers by addressing any needs, questions, and concerns. Whether the duties require aiding passengers to their Flight Attendant Job Description - Customer Satisfactionassigned seats, helping store carry-on luggage, or serving refreshments; all will play a role in the customer experience. Depending on flight length, flight attendants may serve food and beverages up to three times throughout the cabin; therefore, there is a lot of face time with the customer. The goal at the end of the day is to ensure that everyone on board has a safe and stress free flying experience, which will build a relationship between passenger and airline. Flight attendants are the liaisons for this relationship that will hopefully bring people back for future travels.

Some of the flight attendant job duties related to customer satisfaction may entail:

  • Aiding passengers entering or disembarking the aircraft
    • Greet passengers boarding the aircraft
    • Directing passengers to assigned seats
    • Determine special assistance needs of passengers (i.e. children, disabled persons, the elderly, etc.)
  • Assisting passengers stow away carry-on luggage
    • Overhead bins
    • Garment closest
    • Under the seat
  • Answering passenger questions; possibly regarding:
    • The flight
    • The aircraft
    • Weather
    • Travel routes
    • On board services
    • Arrival times and/or schedules
  • Selling and distributing non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages
  • Heating and serving prepared food
  • If available – distribute items to passengers
    • Reading material
    • Headphones
    • Electronic tablets
    • Pillows
    • Sleeping masks
    • Blankets
  • Setting up the in-flight entertainment system if available
  • Periodically scan the aircraft cabin
    • Ensure passenger comfort through snacks and refreshments
    • Address other individual requests
  • Accepting any duty free purchases from the in-flight catalog
  • Dealing with unruly passengers and diffusing potential altercations

Flight Attendant Job Description – Safety

It cannot be stressed enough how important flight attendants are to the safe operation of every flight. Without the dedication of each flight attendant to safety, an aircraft would simply not be able to operate smoothly and without incident. This is why the first priority of the flight attendant job description is devoted to the safety of everyone on board. Strict safety protocols are in place by international/federal regulations and the individual airlines. These regulations must be followed and maintained by all the cabin crew and passed on to passengers to comply where applicable. All protocols are in place to minimize risk and avoid potential incidents in-flight which allow the aircraft to function seemingly effortlessly.

Some of the flight attendant job duties related to safety may entail:

  • Provide safety demonstrations and emergency procedures
    • Seat belt operation
    • Use of approved electronic devices
    • Location of emergency protocol information
    • Location and use of oxygen masks
    • Location and use of flotation devices
    • Location of emergency exits
    • Departure and landing procedure
  • Playing safety direction video for passengers
  • Securing aircraft doors
  • Inspecting emergency equipment and exits for proper functionality
    • Flash lights
    • First aid kits
    • Fire extinguishers
    • Oxygen bottles
    • etc.
  • Securing loose items and articles of clothing throughout the cabin
  • Listen for any unusual noises and monitor the cabin for unusual odors
  • Ensure those seated in emergency exit rows are willing and able to assist in an evacuation
  • Traverse cabin to verify all passengers have complied with regulations prior to take-off and landing
    • Seat belt fastened
    • Tray table stowed
    • Seat in upright position
    • Armrests down
    • Carry-on luggage properly stowed
  • Enforce safety procedures if passengers do not comply on initial request
  • Lavatory checks done to ensure smoke detectors have not been disabled or destroyed
  • Make in flight announcements informing passengers of situations such as upcoming flight turbulence
  • Prepare passengers and aircraft for landing

Flight Attendant Job Description – Emergencies

As safety is the primary focus of flight attendants, a lot of time is spent on training for emergency situations. The goal is to never require the use of emergency procedures. Chances of a significant emergency are very rare. To address any situation that may occur, flight attendants spend 4 to 7 weeks attending initial training before ever working their first shift. This training largely covers a variety of emergency procedures. Participation in annual training is also a necessitFlight Attendant Job Description - Emergenciesy which will refresh safety and emergency protocols as well as introduce any new procedures. Flight attendants are well trained to deal with a wide range of emergencies and are trained in First Aid. When an emergency occurs, it is the responsibility of the flight attendant to take charge of the situation and assist passengers in way possible. Situations may be as simple as providing reassurance to passengers during instances of turbulence or more serious circumstances as evacuating passengers from the aircraft. The role requires flight attendants to always be alert and prepared to provide direction and instructions to passengers.

Some of the flight attendant job duties related to safety may entail:

  • Attending to passenger maladies
    • Bleeding nose
    • Illness
    • Small injuries
  • Calming and controlling intoxicated passengers
  • Calming aggressive and anxiety stricken passengers
  • Administering first aid to passengers in distress
  • Taking charge in emergency situations
    • Rejected takeoffs – abort aircraft take-off
    • Emergency landings
    • Medical situations
    • Smoke or fire in the cabin
    • Cabin depressurization
    • On-board births or death
    • Dangerous goods spills and containment
    • Emergency evacuations
    • Hijackings
    • Water landings
  • Report any emergency situations to rest of cabin crew
  • Report any emergency situations upon landing of the aircraft
  • Report any aircraft malfunctions encounter so upon landing for the issue to be addressed

Now that you know a little bit more about the role of the Flight Attendant, have a look at our other sections. See Flight Attendant Resume Tips and Flight Attendant Requirements. Let these topics help you start your new career!

Flight Attendant Job Description was last modified: August 11th, 2016 by Webmaster

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