LISTEN to our ANNOUNCEMENTS!
You really should listen up!
1. You might be on the wrong flight
I have a clear & recent example from a flight I operated heading to Albany, NY. I made the boarding announcement that we as FAs are required to make. In the boarding PA then we must state the flight number and the destination. Not all flight attendants may say the state but definitely will announce the city/town. I make a habit of saying the city and state just in case. Wouldn't you know it, I had a passenger run up to me just before I was gonna close the boarding door to tell me that he is supposed to go to Albany, Georgia not Albany, New York. His coach/agent or someone had made a mistake in booking his ticket but he let me know that he needed to get off the flight immediately at the very last minute. Details like this is why you need to listen and pay attention to our so-called worthless announcement how some passengers have put it. Are they really that worthless? You tell me? I've found in my experience that ONLY 50% of the passengers on my plane actually listen to announcements.
2. Your airline might delay or cancel for weather, maintenance, lack of flight crew, or ATC delays.
If you fly enough then we've all been here when a flight has been delayed anywhere from 3 hours due to thunderstorms in the area, lack of staff available such as pilot shortages or even Flight Attendants shortages(which is the current situation now in 2022), or the typical air traffic control delays which could be a combination of things such as weather air traffic such as places inn the Northeast airspace as LaGuardia, NY/Newark, NJ, and Philadelphia, PA. These delays and cancellations do happen and they will happen because they're such a thing as mother nature, a shitty economy, government, labor shortages, and labor union tactics that carry on in this commercial aviation industry and affects the consumer. These things I mention are completely out of your control and basically, there's nothing you can do about it. You must accept it and either wait it out or make other travel plans depending on your destination. Some people have done that and will do that such as renting a car or taking Amtrak for example as an alternative.
3. You might need to take an airport tram, train, or shuttle bus to get to your connecting terminal.
Yes, you read that right for those of you who that very well-traveled you have been to a big international Airport that has several terminals or concourses. You may fly into one concourse and need to connect to another concourse on the other side of the airport which would be a very long extensive walk. Some of these international airports are built so large that you have to take another form of chance ground transportation in order to get to the other terminal/concourse. So when you hear your flight attendant on the public announcement address system tell you that if you're making a connection you may need to take for example PHL that's the Philadelphia International Airport if you are flying into terminal a but you need to make a connection over at terminal F there is a shuttle bus provided at the gate a 10 for example that will shuttle you over to F 10/terminal f. It's not always a shuttle bus it could be an airport tram/train like at DFW that could transport you to the next concourse. (Examples: PIT has a subway train, DFW has an elevated Tram, and PHL has a shuttle bus)
4. Your FA will tell you what to do in the event your flight is canceled or delayed.
Just know that the Flight Attendant is NOT a gate, ticket, or reservation agent. That is not our job nor are we trained for that. These positions take anywhere from 4-8 weeks of training for those different types of agents to learn airline system language and coding for booking, rebooking, etc. As your Flight Attendant, we are trained specifically on how to evacuate an airplane in an emergency(God forbid), First Aid, CPR, and the Heimlich maneuver(also customer service, conflict resolutions, basic self-defense & the newly "handcuffing the crazies").
A lot of the time I will personally give you a special number to call or refer you to our airline app/website during major weather delays and flight cancellations. The special reservation number is set up for days just like that. Our special customer service agent/reservations are prepared to handle your reservations should things go awry and step you up for an alternative flight booking or airline accommodations which may include meal vouchers or a hotel stay, should your flight cancel and you are unable to get out for that day. Now, this depends on the cancelation. If it is the weather, then that is considered an Act of God & most airlines will not accommodate you. Most major airlines have these accommodations and special teams available for these situations.
5. Give directions/commands on what to do in an emergency or evacuation.
"In the unlikely event"..... I'm sure you've all been on a plane where you see the flight attendant or watch a video on the airplane TV in front of your seat where the crew gives you instructions on what to do in case there's an emergency whether it be on land or water. Those types of emergencies we are taught called landing or ditching. Ditching means water landing. In-flight crew cabin evacuation training takes a good bulk of our initial training and our annual recurrent training. It is very stressful because there are a lot of detailed specific strategies that must take place in order for us to pass our emergency evacuation drills that demonstrate that we have the skills to evacuate an aircraft due to an emergency. These include an emergency be a fire in the aircraft cabin, a medical emergency where we may have to perform CPR/AED, or demonstrate that we can handle a decompression/depressurization that shouldn't happen in the cabin.
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