“We are also salespersons, selling food, beverages and other items. Some airlines have fixed sales targets, but don’t admit it”
We don’t just smile, serve and check on seat belts. We are also salespersons—selling food, beverages and all kinds of items. Some airlines have fixed sales targets, but don’t openly admit it. Two years ago, our uniforms did not have pockets. Now, we have a minimum of three, but they are still not enough to keep all the currency notes.
After we welcome passengers at the door and usher them to their seats, we have to ensure that they comply with flying regulations. But our first duty, at least on my airline, is to rent out videos.
After this, we have to sell snacks, beverages, auction-listed items and even collect donations from the willing for any cause that the airline might be associated with. Then, we have to collect feedback forms, clean the aircraft, distribute free water and handle the elderly and kids, especially during turbulence. There are many pesky passengers with whom our airlines have declared a zero-tolerance policy. We are told to inform them that they will be taken into custody upon landing if they do not behave. Most people get scared, but some have been dragged to the airport police station.
Handling money is a tricky thing. If we forget to collect, or if passengers pay less, we have to foot the balance. Some Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes look fake, but we can’t always give a good reason for declining them. To play it safe, we tell such customers that we don’t have change.
Giving change is also a problem. Airlines don’t allow us to carry small change beyond a certain sum. Before every flight, I pray that passengers give correct amounts.
Strangely, no one tips us. But sometimes we end up with excess cash of a few hundred rupees for lack of change. We share it among the inflight crew and treat ourselves.
(This airhostess has been with a low-cost airline for three years )