Image: Dreamworks Pictures
When you’re travelling, there’s nothing more reassuring than being warmly greeted by a flight attendant as you step onto the plane.
They’re always smiling broadly… but what are airline staff really thinking as you board? Flight attendant Gaea Peregrinor spilled the beans in a response to a Quora question – and it turns out there’s a lot being masked by that friendly “Hello”.
“Consider that air travel is fraught with inherent danger, made more so by the political climate of the world today, one must be constantly alert and aware of one’s situation. When I greet people, you better believe that I’m always very aware of each passenger who steps through the door of the aircraft,” she says.
Here are the nine things Peregrinor says a flight attendant will silently assess:
1. Your attitude
While you’re struggling to get your ticket and seat number out, they’re making some quick but important assessments about your character from both your body and verbal language.
“I’m working out what attitude do I get from this person? Helpful? Belligerent? Withdrawn? If someone boards the plane with hateful and nasty attitude toward the crew, that’s a concern that needs to be addressed before departure,” Peregrinor writes.
These measures help identify what you might need during the flight, your role in an emergency or whether you might be the cause of any issues.
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2. Your fitness levels
“If I see someone who is muscular, powerful, strong, physically fit, I memorise his/her face and make a mental note of where they are sitting,” she says.
Don’t flatter yourself – it’s nothing to do with romance, but rather singling you out to be of assistance in an emergency.
“I consider this person a resource for me. In the event of an attack on the flight or on me, these are my ‘go-to’ people. If a situation looks like it could develop, I’ll privately and discreetly ask one of these people if they would be willing to help us if necessary,” she says.