Flight Attendant Safety Professionals’ Day Date in the current year: July 19, 2024

Flight Attendant Safety Professionals’ Day Flight Attendant Safety Professionals’ Day is celebrated annually on July 19. It was created to highlight the fact that flight attendants aren’t just glorified waitstaff; their primary task as members of the flight crew is to ensure the safety of the passengers.

The profession of a flight attendant has been around for more than a century. The world’s first flight attendant was Heinrich Kubis, a trained waiter from Germany. Kubis began to attend to passengers aboard the rigid airship LZ 10 Schwaben in 1912. Early commercial airlines began to employ flight attendants, then known as stewards, in the 1920s.

While early flight attendants were basically waiters (each stereotype has to be based on something, after all), their responsibilities quickly expanded to include ensuring the passengers’ safety. The first female flight attendant, Ellen Church, was a registered nurse who firmly believed that using nurses as flight attendants would increase safety and help combat the public’s fear of flying.

Today, the primary responsibility of flight attendants is to ensure that passengers are safe and comfortable. Before each flight, flight attendants conduct a safety check to ensure that all equipment required to save people’s lives is on board and in proper condition. Once passengers board the plain, it is flight attendants’ task to ensure that passengers sitting next to emergency exits are able and willing to assist during a possible evacuation, perform a pre-flight safety demonstration, and make sure everything is ready for a safe take-off.

Flight attendants are trained to deliver first aid in various in-flight medical situations ranging from a bleeding nose to a cardiac arrest, as well as to ensure passenger safety in a variety of emergency situations, including intoxicated and aggressive passengers on board, aborted take-offs and emergency landings (included water landings), smoke and fire in the cabin, on-board births and deaths, depressurization, emergency evacuation, and hijackings.

The role of flight attendants in saving lives during emergencies has been well-documented. During the September 11 attacks, flight attendants of the hijacked flights did their best to protect passengers and provided vital information about the hijackings to air traffic controllers. Indian flight attendant Neejra Bhanot was shot by terrorists while trying to help children on Pan Am Flight 73. Flight attendants on US Airways Flight 1549 evacuated all passengers within 90 seconds after the aircraft’s landing on the Hudson river, dubbed “the Miracle on the Hudson”. And these are just a few examples showing how crucial flight attendants are to keeping passengers safe in all kinds of emergency situations.

Flight Attendant Safety Professionals’ Day was originally proclaimed by President George Bush in 1990 to highlight the role flight attendants play in enhancing the safety of air travel. It was a one-off proclamation, but many flight attendants and airlines have celebrated the holiday ever since. You can observe it by reaching out to the flight attendants you know and thanking them for their hard work and dedication, and spreading the word on social media.

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Flight Attendant Safety Professionals’ Day, professional observances, observances in the US, flight attendants, passenger safety