A ground hostess or attendant is an individual who works for an airline and provides assistance to customers on the ground, while they are still in the airport. He or she -- men are generally referred to as "hosts" -- will perform a number of different duties depending on their position, and the size of the airline and airport they are working for. The basic duties of a ground hostess is to greet people upon their arrival and answer any questions they may have about flight schedules, ticketing, or checking luggage. At the gate, the host or hostess may assist with checking in and boarding the plane, among other tasks.
One of the most important aspects of an individual working as a ground hostess or host is to present a friendly, professional demeanor at all times. Air travel is a stressful and confusing experience for many people, and the hosts are there to make people feel at ease and assist them as needed. There are a number of different departments in an airport in which these employees might work; a customer service desk at the main entrance is common, for example. These employees will answer general questions and direct customers where they need to go. They may also assist customers with problems, such as lost luggage or missed flights.
Ticketing and luggage agents are also a type of ground hostess. Ticketing agents may assist guests with checking in and printing their boarding passes or choosing seats. Luggage agents might also assist guests with checking their luggage or determining if certain pieces can be carried on. In smaller airports, one ground hostess might perform several of these duties, but in larger airports, there will usually be a number of different employees to assist with these tasks in the most efficient manner possible.
At the gate, where customers will eventually board the plane, a ground hostess will also be there to answer questions and direct customers to different areas, such as restaurants or snack bars. He or she will also provide any information regarding flight delays, boarding times, or changes to gates. When it comes time for customers to finally check in and board the plane, the ground hostess or host will generally check tickets, scan boarding passes, and note any other required documents, such as passports for international flights. Efficient ground hostesses will make the air travel process easy and seamless, at least the airport portion.