When flight attendants greet you as you enter a plane, it's not just to be friendly. They scoping you out. Flight attendants told HuffPost they are sizing you up. Are you a threat? Are you gonna need help? Are you going to be a leader in an emergency? In just a glance, they can tell so much about you.
As you shuffle onto the plane, they're taking notes. It's fascinating. Jay Roberts said this about boarding passengers,
"But they’d be surprised at the number of threats we eliminate at that stage of the flight which would have caused a delay or even harmed their health and safety.”
They're looking for weak or disabled people who will need assistance. But on the flip side, one attendant who flew for 5 major airlines said,
"I’m looking for able-bodied persons who can assist with security problems inflight, as well as someone who appears willing and able to assist in an emergency evacuation. Typically, this is someone who is traveling alone and in street clothes, looks like they are in above average physical shape or is known emergency service personnel."
Another attendant said, "I consider this person a resource for me.”
But what smiling or eye contact? What does that say abut the person getting on?
Stephanie Mikel from Southwest Airlines said,
"[I notice] who makes eye contact with me and who doesn’t. More often than not, the ones who don’t make eye contact make me investigate... Are they scared of flying? Are they feeling okay? Are they dealing with a personal issue? These are things people don’t tell you outright, and a facet of my job is making sure everyone is having a comfortable flying experience,”