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What is an Airline Stewardess?

By Bethany Keene
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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An airline stewardess is an old fashioned term for an airline worker who is more commonly referred to as an airline hostess or a flight attendant. Though flight attendant is the most politically correct way to refer to the job, the term airline stewardess may still be heard. Traditionally, this term refers to a female attendant; a male would be called an airline steward.

An airline stewardess is employed by the airline, and goes on all flights to which she is assigned. On a day to day basis, the job involves working with passengers and assisting them with their needs. To begin, the attendant will greet passengers as they are boarding the plane, and verify their tickets. The passengers will be directed to their seats, and children or passengers with special needs will be assisted. The airline stewardess may help people stow their bags in the overhead compartments.

Once all the passengers have boarded and stowed their luggage, the flight attendant will go over the procedures on the plane. This includes flight and weather information, safety instructions, as well as what to do in an emergency landing, and any special instructions regarding the use of electronic devices. During the flight, the airline stewardess may need to assist passengers who need items such as pillows or blankets; she may also distribute beverages and foods if they are available on the plane. This may involve collecting money from passengers for food or alcoholic beverages. A flight attendant will need to be trained in first aid, as she may need to administer first aid to a passenger during the course of a flight.

She will also answer any questions the passengers may have, and reassure them as to the safety of the aircraft. Finally, the airline stewardess will provide instructions for passengers for a safe landing, and help those who need it off the aircraft. In addition to his or her work with passengers, a flight attendant will often be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the aircraft, as well as making sure the supplies are in order and fully stocked. This may include first aid tools, safety equipment, reading material, headphones, pillows and blankets, and anything else that needs to be stocked for each flight.

At the end of a flight, an airline stewardess may prepare a report regarding the number of passengers on the flight, as well as the amount of food or other items sold. Before the next flight, the airline stewardess may meet with the pilot and other airline personnel for pre-flight briefings. A career in this job can be both challenging and rewarding for many people. In more recent years, these professionals have been tasked with enforcing discipline and passenger adherence to an increasing number of airline rules and regulations for security purposes.

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