Real reason flight attendants greet passengers - and it's not be polite

Smiling flight attendant
-Credit: (Image: Getty)


A flight attendant has disclosed some unexpected motives behind the warm greeting passengers receive as they board a flight. Regular travellers would be quite familiar with the sight of cabin crew lining the entrance and aisle, assisting people to find their seats while greeting them with radiant smiles and queries about their seat numbers.

There is a prevailing assumption that the welcoming gestures are an attempt by cabin crew, being the representation of the airlines, to set a tone for a pleasurable flight experience. However, a practising flight attendant contested this belief declaring that this might not be the main aim.

The real purpose behind these cordial salutations is to quickly assess passengers before take-off. But why?

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In a recent viral TikTok clip, the user MrsMiva, claiming to work out of Stuttgart airport for TUI, described that the cabin crew employ the boarding procedure to identify potentially incapable fliers. In her video that has so far amassed 18.7 million views, she stated that their duty includes checking if any passenger could be "too drunk or sick", reports the Mirror.

She explained: "Did you know that your flight attendant greets you not only out of kindness but also to check whether you are too drunk or sick to fly? " This candid admission led to several comments from viewers acknowledging the protocol as standard practice. Some further suggested that the crew might also be determining if someone could be capable in case of an emergency.

One attendant stated: "To see if you're 1) safe to fly (not intoxicated) and to see if you could help in an emergency."

Meanwhile, another flight steward voiced their agreement, stating: "FA (flight attendant) of eight years - or to check if they could be an ABA (able-bodied assistant)." A third joined the conversation with: "We are also picking out good candidates for the event of an emergency."

Passengers shared varied experiences, with some claiming that their stewards were "really chill". Others voiced that the attendants adeptly managed their frail traveling conditions.

One passenger whimsically mentioned: "Lol my flight attendant back from Vegas must have been really chill cause I was NOT in any condition to be on a plane."

Another passenger praised the helpful assistance they received during a dire situation: "I was once severely hungover and I threw up twice mid-flight. The flight attendants were so helpful. I felt so bad."