AIRHOSTESS: DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
Members of the cabin crew are in charge of the cabin and responsible for the safety and comfort of the passengers. The flight attendant is the most visible employee to passengers of an aircraft. This crew member spends more time with passengers than any other airline employee and tends to a wide variety of needs and requests.
Flight Attendants/Cabin Crew
The role of the flight attendant has changed significantly since the beginnings of commercial air travel. The first airliners were primarily used to transport mail with a few extra spaces for passengers, who had to fend for themselves. The crew consisted of two pilots only. Some early airlines added cabin boys to flights; they were usually teenagers or small men. Their role was mainly to load luggage and to reassure nervous passengers.
In the 1930s, registered nurses were hired to care for passengers should they become ill. Boeing Airlines hired eight nurses for a three- month trial run. Soon, attendants called “stewardesses” became an integral part of the airline industry. Eventually, they were not required to have a nursing degree, although the first aid aspect of the profession remains important.
Major airlines are required by law, for the safety of the traveling public, to provide a minimum number of flight attendants depending on the total number of passengers on board. Although the primary job of flight attendants is to ensure that safety regulations are followed, attendants also ensure that passengers are comfortable and the service on board is enjoyable. Cabin crew, being highly visible, are valuable in retaining the loyalty of customers by ensuring they are treated with care and their flight experience is enjoyable.
Purser/Cabin Service Manager
The purser is the lead flight attendant who oversees the work of the other attendants aboard the aircraft while performing many of the same duties. Should a passenger have a complaint or require special assistance, it is often dealt with by the purser. The purser, or Cabin Service Manager, deals directly with the flight crew and, in the event of an emergency, completes the paperwork needed by the airline and governmental authorities.
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