Safety is the top priority for airlines. This includes safety for passengers, but also safety for airline personnel.
As an airline flight attendant, our top priority is to help ensure a safe flight for our passengers.
At the same time, your own safety is just as important.
Arriving early to the aircraft may allow you extra time, not to be rushed to complete your preflight, catering duties.
Check all safety equipment, beverage cart brakes, beverage cart drawers, lighting, lavatory doors, overhead bins, jump seat, latches to drawers/cabinets in the galley.
Screen passengers boarding. Watch for bags which appear to be too heavy/too large.
Assisting With Luggage
Assist passengers with stowing bags in the overhead bin. If too heavy or large, explain to the passenger(s), the bags must be gate checked to their final destination. Or, the bags must be valet checked (pick up in jetway or at the bottom of the stairs, upon arrival into next city).
Test to be sure overhead bins close properly. If overhead bin door is difficult to close, rearrange bags, or gate/valet check bags.
Do not lift heavy bags alone. You do not want to suffer back injury, resulting in delaying or canceling flight. Plus, worker’s comp issue.
Believe me, when I say, you do not want to deal with a worker’s comp issue. However, if you are injured while on duty, notify captain, supervisor, or in-flight manager as soon as possible.
Preparing Beverage/Snack Carts:
Test brakes on each cart.
Test each drawer. Sometimes the drawers “stick”, or do not move in and out easily.
If catering does not prepare carts, be sure to place each beverage can into the appropriate slot.
Bags Of Ice Can Be Heavy: If you are responsible for preparing ice drawers, the bags of ice can be heavy. Use your legs to lift heavy bags of ice into the ice
If serving meals or snacks, arrange the meals and snacks for easy and quick access.
During beverage/meal/snack service, apply brakes everytime you stop the cart. Try to be no more than 3 feet away from the cart.
During turbulence, apply brake immediately. If safe to do so, roll cart back into the galley. Slide cart(s) into the appropriate slot. Apply brakes. Make sure the hinges/latches are applied in case the beverage cart(s) move.
Conducting Beverage Service
Always be aware of aisles. Feet, legs, bags, bag straps, trash, etc….can extend into the aisles. If so, ask passenger(s) to place feet, bags, etc under the seat in front of them.
Opening/Closing Main/Galley Service Doors:
When pulling/pushing doors, open slowly. No rush. I still have difficulty in raising my right arm all the way, from opening and closing main cabin doors.
Anytime we were on an aircraft with “plug doors”, this meant I had to push and pull the main cabin door.
Air stairs utilized a button to close. To Open we pushed stairs down.
CRJ 200: We had to close the door, then lock the door by pulling the door shut. Then, locking in the handle.
Walking up airstairs:
Walk slowly. Do not rush up or downstairs. If carrying bags, go slowly. If taking bags
up to the aircraft, take one bag at a time.
There are four levels of Turbulence: Light Chop Moderate Severe Extreme
During a light chop turbulence event, it is still possible to conduct a beverage/meal/snack service. However, if serving hot beverages (coffee, tea, hot chocolate), serve in a styrofoam cup with lid. Place cup on passenger tray. Always serve with a napkin.
At a turbulence level of moderate or above, immediately discontinue all beverage/meal/snack service.
If safe to do so, roll carts back into the galley. Secure carts in appropriate slots, ensuring the brakes are applied. Be sure to secure carts with the latches.
Serving Hot Beverages:
Only serve coffee/tea/hot chocolate when no turbulence is occurring. Possible to serve hot beverages in a light chop level of turbulence. Even so, provide a lid for each cup, just in case turbulence occurs.
Anytime walking through passenger cabin, be aware of feet, legs, bags, baggage straps, trash, etc….
Check on the lavatories often. Be aware of cups, cans or other trash on lavatory
Sit In Jump seat When Told To By Captain!
Sit In Jump seat When Not Assisting Passengers.
Do not hide in the galley. Be visible to passengers. Also, be aware of passengers who change seats. Especially passengers who decide to sit in an empty seat in an exit row.
Once you have completed the scheduled beverage, meal or snack service, walk through the cabin every 10 minutes or so. Bring a trash bag to collect cups, cans, wrappers, etc…
Anytime the seat belt sign is on, all passengers must be seated with their seat belts fastened!! Walk through to be sure passengers are seated and seat belts are fastened.