Wondering about the definition of flight attendant? Keep reading to learn the meaning of flight attendant and get a better understanding of this travel glossary term!
What is a Flight Attendant?
A flight attendant, abbreviated as F/A, is an airline employee available as part of the cabin crew to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers while flying. Flight attendants also may help with any customs forms, provide food and beverages, ensure cabin security before takeoff and landing, and answer any passenger questions, along with many technical duties.
Commonly used names for a flight attendant are: steward, stewardess, air host, air hostess, and cabin attendant. However, the steward, stewardess, air host, and air hostess terms have fallen out of favor in recent years, so it’s recommended you use flight attendant when referring to one in this position.
Unfortunately, there’s also the cockpit queen, a slang term among cabin crewmembers for a female flight attendant who spends more time socializing with her fellow flight attendants or other members in the flight crew rather than taking care of her duties and passengers. (Note: I don’t agree with the usage of this term, and I don’t want to promote it at all, but I figured the travel glossary would not be comprehensive or accurate should I not relay this information!)
More on Flight Attendants
A flight attendant has a variety of roles before, during, and following a flight. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Flight attendants provide routine services and respond to emergencies to ensure the safety and comfort of airline passengers. Flight attendants have variable work schedules, including evenings, weekends, and holidays, because airlines operate every day and some offer overnight flights. Attendants work in an aircraft and may be away from home several nights per week.
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