Airlines are required by law to provide flight attendants for the safety and security of passengers. The primary job of flight attendants is to keep passengers safe and to ensure that everyone follows security regulations. Flight attendants also try to make flights comfortable and enjoyable for passengers.
About 1 hour before takeoff, the captain (pilot) informs attendants about evacuation procedures, the length of the flight, and weather conditions. Flight attendants must ensure that emergency equipment is working, the cabin is clean, and there is an adequate supply of food and beverages onboard. Flight attendants greet passengers as they board the aircraft and direct them to their seats, assisting as needed.
Before the plane takes off, flight attendants instruct all passengers on the use of safety equipment, either by playing a video recording or demonstrating its use in person. They also ensure that seatbelts are fastened, seats are locked in the upright position, and all carry-on items are properly stowed in accordance with federal law and company policy.
A flight attendant’s most important responsibility, however, is to help passengers in the event of an emergency. This responsibility ranges from dealing with unruly passengers to performing first aid, fighting fires, and directing evacuations. Flight attendants also answer questions about the flight, attend to passengers with special needs, help anyone else needing assistance, and generally assist all passengers as needed.
Before the plane lands, flight attendants once again ensure that seatbelts are fastened, seats are locked in the upright position, and all carry-on items are properly stowed.
Before they leave the plane, flight attendants take inventory of headsets, alcoholic beverages, and payments. They also submit reports to the airline company on the condition of the cabin, as well as on any medical problems that may have occurred during the flight.