Column Linda Luftikuss - Communication

Communication and Forms of Interaction

Linda Luftikuss
21.06.2019
4 minutes

As you know, we flight attendants are primarily responsible for a safe flight. This is not only best achieved when we are well rested, but also when we communicate with each other as a crew.

It starts before the actual flight. About one hour before the planned departure we meet as a crew in a briefing room. While the cockpit determines the flight route on the computer, checks the weather and calculates how much we still have to refuel, the cabin sits closed at a table and prepares itself for the upcoming flight. We only start when the crew is complete. So that everyone is “in the loop”, as we say so beautifully.

During the briefing we look at the number of passengers and discuss the service concept. But we also repeat measures that we apply in emergencies or what to do in the event of medical incidents. Basically, the Purser (Purser / Purserette: Cabin management. Responsible for the smooth operation within the cabin and head of the flight attendants) who is subordinated to the captain, ensures that we are fit enough as flight attendants.

Theoretically – and this has already happened in the past – the Purser can send you back home if he or she feels that a flight attendant is not well prepared for the working day. Fortunately, this happens very rarely. Usually it is an exchange between colleagues: You bring important procedures back to mind and can also solve unresolved questions. Then the cockpit comes along and tells us about flight times and weather conditions. Sometimes you also discuss the one or two day-to-day matters. Talking helps to be prepared for many eventualities. There are also two unwritten laws: If you have briefed a topic, for example circulatory collapse, this medical will not occur. And if the captain says it could shake (so turbulences are possible), it won’t shake. If it has been said that it will be a quiet flight, then it is guaranteed to wiggle.

It is extremely important for our work that we talk to each other. This is also clarified in almost every briefing. Only if we all have the same level of knowledge can we act as a closed crew. This helps in emergencies and even with quarreling guests. Sometimes big decisions have to be made within a few seconds. For this, you need all the important information. If there is smoke in the cabin, it is of little use to the captain and the passengers if I call the cockpit and say “There is smoke here”. He can’t see the smoke and that’s why I have to describe what’s happening as precisely as possible. At best according to the KISS method: Keep it short and simple. Because he decides what happens next in consultation with us.

Through the job I noticed how effective it is to move forward by making clear statements. I actually take that with me into my private life and benefit from it. The crew also wants us to give each other timely feedback. Just as we start the day with a briefing, we stop with a debriefing. At the end the Purser asks us: “Do you have anything else?” This means that we have to say something about the day. At this point everything can be said, but it should not become too personal. Of course, there is also a clinch between colleagues. But then there is the chance to clarify it either directly between two flights or at the end of the day. Those who then do not seize the opportunity to say something, are actually to blame themselves. Only speaking people can be helped.

In that sense: Talk more to each other instead of dragging questions and irritations around with you unnecessarily. Feel free to talk to us and ask questions on all sorts of topics.

In the next episode we start the second round of questions. You missed the first one? Then have a look here.

Always happy landings, 
Yours, Linda Luftikuss

by Linda Luftikuss

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