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Flight Attendant Etiquette: Dos and Don'ts





Working as a flight attendant requires a diverse skill set. Most of all, you need to be good at managing interactions with people. To succeed in this role and also enjoy your time at work, you need to genuinely enjoy connecting with people. You’ve also got to be ready to handle some situations that are going to be less than enjoyable with tact, competence, and compassion. Here are some of the finer points of in-flight etiquette for flight attendants that industry professionals try to stick to on every one of their flights.


Do Bring the Right Energy Levels


Be sure to get plenty of rest the night before your departure. Without enough rest, you’ll probably look bleary-eyed and stressed. If you’ve got a red eye or a flight that leaves in the wee hours of the morning, you’ll probably need to adjust your sleeping schedule and go to bed at an hour that will give you enough rest.


A moderate amount of physical exercise is another good way to keep your energy levels up. Right before a flight, it’s best to steer clear of extreme exertion that could make you overly fatigued or intense weightlifting that could leave you feeling a little sore and beat up. A few minutes of strength training with your own bodyweight is a good option for a quick workout. Swimming is an excellent exercise for toning up without overdoing it. If you want swimming to be part of your regular preflight ritual, you’ll probably need your own pool. Check out options for getting affordable inground pools in your area. Whenever you’re heading out or returning to your home city from a layover stop, try to take full advantage of a hotel’s pool before you check out.

Make it a point to fuel up with healthy food. Avoid sugary snacks at the airport so your energy levels won’t crash mid-flight.


Don’t Wear Heavy Fragrances


When you’re spending your workday in close proximity to people, you shouldn’t wear strong fragrances. People tend to go nose blind to the fragrances that they wear every day, but they may be oppressive to the people around you.


Don’t Wear Long Artificial Nails


When you’re serving people, your hands need to look extremely clean and well-cared for. The right manicure for flight attendants is short and clean nails. Extremely long nails are impractical, and it’s not easy to clean your hands and other parts of your person if you’ve got to cope with long pieces of acrylic stuck to your fingertips.


Do Project Calm


From the time that the first boarding group walks on a plane until the last rows file out, flight attendants need to emanate calm and composure. Projecting a pleasant and relaxed attitude actually makes the people around you feel calmer and put them at ease. This isn’t to say that you need to be icy or robotic in how you greet and respond to people. Likewise, you don’t need to pretend to be exuberantly happy all of the time.


A cool and collected exterior is especially important when you’ve got unruly passengers or some other type of disturbance to deal with. Remember that when someone isn’t conducting themselves appropriately, you’ve got to be the voice of reason. Don’t let someone else’s amped-up or negative energy affect your energy. Keep your emotions in check and apply de-escalation tactics to manage a challenging situation with passengers.




Ultimately, part of your job is making people’s experiences better. Take your cues from your passengers and give them as much or as little attention as they seem to want from you. Every time that you leave for the airport, resolve to be patient, be kind, and do good work.


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