This is the first thing flight attendants notice about you

While it may seem flight attendants are there to greet you as you board the plane and offer assistance with luggage, they're there for a much stricter purpose: To check you (and all the other passengers) out.

They're by the plane door, smiling and waving, while simultaneously making notes on all the passengers who step onto the aircraft. Whether it's your physical appearance or how you walk, you're automatically ingrained in the mind of the crew members. 

"Passengers think we are just greeting them at the door," explained Jay Robert to HuffPost. "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.”

RELATED: Things your flight attendant is thinking

23 PHOTOS
22 things your flight attendant won’t tell you
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22 things your flight attendant won’t tell you

1. Want to start off on the wrong foot with me?

Put your carry-on in a full overhead bin, leave it sticking out six inches, then take your seat at the window and wait for someone else (me!) to come along and solve the physics problem you just created. By the way, this is what your flight attendant first notices about you.

2. Yes, passengers are incredibly rude...

 

..but stealing a beer, cursing out passengers, and jumping out of a plane is not the way to handle it. You disarm an unruly passenger by introducing yourself, asking his name, and saying something like ‘I’ve been incredibly nice to you for three hours. Why are you treating me like this?’ Generally, that gets the other passengers on your side—and sometimes they’ll even applaud.

3. We don't have a boyfriend in every city.

 And our median age these days is 44.

4. An all-too-common scenario?

I hand you a cup of coffee and say, ‘Cream and sugar?’ You say, ‘What?’ I say, ‘Cream and sugar?’ You say, ‘What?’ Come on, people. What do you think we’re going to ask after we’ve handed you coffee? Your favorite color? (But in all honesty, you probably shouldn't order coffee on a plane.)

5. If you’re traveling with a small child and you keep hearing bells, bells, and more bells...

...please look to see if it’s your child playing with the flight attendant call bell. These are the things you should never do on an airplane.

6. The lavatory door is not rocket science.

Just push.

7. If you have a baby, bring diapers.

If you’re diabetic, bring syringes. If you have high blood pressure, don’t forget your medication. That way, I’m not trying to make a diaper out of a sanitary pad and a pillowcase or asking over the intercom if someone has a spare inhaler. Here are some other little flying etiquette rules you know.

8. Just in case you hadn’t noticed, there are other people on the airplane besides you.

So don’t clip your toenails, snore with wild abandon, or do any type of personal business under a blanket!

9. If you’re traveling overseas, do yourself a favor and bring a pen.

You would not believe how many people travel without one, and you need one to fill out the immigration forms. I carry some, but I can’t carry 200. Here are some more tips to know before your next flight.

10. Passengers are always coming up to me and tattling on each other.

‘Can you tell him to put his seat up?’ ‘She won’t share the armrest.’ What am I, a preschool teacher?

11. I hate working flights to destinations like Vail and West Palm Beach.

The passengers all think they’re in first class even if they’re not. They don’t do what we ask. And the overhead bins are full of their mink coats.

12. Do you really have to go to the bathroom right now, while we’re wrestling a 250-pound food cart down the aisle?

 You can’t wait 90 seconds for us to pass?

13. Is it that difficult to say hello and goodbye?

We say it 300 times on every flight, and only about 40 people respond—saying "hello" is really the one word you need to get your flight attendant to like you.

14. Do not poke or grab me

I mean it. No one likes to be poked, but it’s even worse on the plane because you’re sitting down and we’re not, so it’s usually in a very personal area. You would never grab a waitress if you wanted ketchup or a fork, would you?

15. We’re not just being lazy.

Our rules really say we aren’t allowed to lift your luggage into the overhead bin for you, though we can “assist.” Try these tips for packing light when bringing a carry-on.

16. I don’t care if you want to be in the mile-high club, keep your clothes on.

Who decided the mile-high club was something that everyone wants to do anyway? It’s cramped and dirty in those bathrooms.

17. If you hear us paging for a doctor...

 ...or see us running around with oxygen, defibrillators, and first aid kits, that’s not the right time to ask for a blanket or a Diet Coke. Here are some other pet peeves of flight attendants.

18. The only place you are allowed to pee...

 ...on the airplane is in the lavatory. Period.

19. Don’t ask us if it’s OK to use the lavatories on the ground.

 The answer is always yes. Do you think what goes into the toilet just dumps out onto the tarmac?

20. You really expect me to take your soggy Kleenex?

 Or your kid’s fully loaded diaper? I’ll be right back with gloves.

21. Sure, I don’t mind waiting while you scour the seatback pocket

 ...and the floor for candy wrappers and other garbage, then place them in my bag one by one. I only have 150 other passengers to serve.

22. I’m sorry it’s taking forever to get you a wheelchair.

That’s one thing you can’t blame the airline for. The wheelchair service is subcontracted to the cities we fly into, and it’s obviously not a top priority for many of them. Want more insider air travel info? These are the secrets your airplane pilot won't tell you.

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They notice where you're sitting, if you have trouble lifting your own carry-on and more. Many crew members will make note "if you are an able-bodied passenger, in case we need help for any kind of emergency," explained Shreyas P, who has worked for "five" major airlines

"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," Zac Ford echoed, according to HuffPost. 

Likewise, Janice Bridger, a 27-year explained, "If I see someone who is muscular, powerful, strong, physically fit, I memorize his/her face and make a mental note of where they are sitting," according to Southern Living. "I consider this person a resource for me.”

Flight attendants also notice if you're drunk, are kind to the passengers around you and if you avoid eye contact with them.

Related: Flight attendants over the years

40 PHOTOS
Retro photos of flight attendants through the years
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Retro photos of flight attendants through the years

Swissair flight attendant Nelly Diener became the first air stewardess in Europe in 1934. She died later that year in the 1934 Swissair Tuttlingen accident, which killed 12 people.

Source: UP Magazine

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

United Airlines stewardesses line up in front of an early Boeing 247.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

A flight attendant checks in with passengers as two men play checkers during a 1933 flight on a Boeing 247.

(Photo via University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections/Flickr)

Air hostess Dorothy Webster boards a plane in 1938 in Queensland, Australia.

(Photo by State Library of Queensland/Flickr)

A steward addresses passengers from the cockpit in the 1940s.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Flight attendant Britt Hansson smiles in front of a "Orvar Viking" aircraft in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Flight steward Max White, assisted by passenger Jennifer Grey, washes dishes on board a January 1949 from Suvas to Sydney.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

On an autumn day in 1950, an airline stewardess arrives in Point Barrow, Alaska, the north most point of US territory.

(Photo via Preus museum/Flickr)

An airplane stewardess hugs a puppy in Alaska in the 1950s.

(Photo via Preus museum/Flickr)

Navy WAVE (United States Naval Women's Reserve) Betty M. Chaffee serves as a stewardess on a Navy Transport Squadron flight crew in 1951. She brings coffee to the pilots of the transcontinental flight, Lieutenant Junior Grade L.K. Shay (left) and Lieutenant Junior Grade J.R. Keegan (right).

(Photo via National Museum of the U.S. Navy/Flickr)

Flight attendants take a break at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam in 1962.

(Photo via Nationaal Archief/Flickr)

Passengers use a typewriter and read on a 1965 Northwest Airlines flight, as a flight attendant works in the background

(Photo via University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections/Flickr)

Austrian Airlines flight attendants pose in front of a Douglas DC-9s at Vienna International Airport.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

A flight attendant and two pilots pose outside of an aircraft. The image comes from an album belonging to Charles rector, a pilot who worked in Hollywood and flew for Mick Jagger.

(Photo via SDASM Archives/Flickr)

A Royal Dutch Airlines purser welcomes a passenger and points out her seat.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Dutch flight attendants disembark in Istanbul in 1959.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Air Micronesia stewardesses pose with a pilot.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

A flight attendant poses in front of a turbine.

(Photo via SDASM Archives/Flickr)

Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) stewardesses pose on the tarmac.

(Photo via SDASM Archives/Flickr)

A stewardess pours coffee during a 1971 flight to Rome.

(Photo via Nationaal Archief/Flickr)

Flight attendants touch down in Las Vegas.

(Photo via SDASM Archives/Flickr)

Capitol Airlines flight attendants take a break.

(Photo via SDASM Archives/Flickr)

PSA flight attendants disembark from an airplane.

(Photo via SDASM Archives/Flickr)

A PSA flight attendant greets a first class customer.

(Photo via SDASM Archives/Flickr)

Flight attendants model the uniforms worn by South African airline National Airways Corporation hostesses between 1959 and 1975.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Flight attendants prep a Lockheed L-1011 for takeoff during the 1970s.

(Photo via SDASM Archives/Flickr)

A PSA Airlines stewardess pours a drink for a passenger.

(Photo via SDASM Archives/Flickr)

Two stewardesses attend to first class passengers in the lounge of a PSA flight.

(Photo via SDASM Archives/Flickr)

A flight attendant poses on a turbine.

(Photo via SDASM Archives/Flickr)

An American Airlines flight attendant poses with a first class passenger in 1978.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

A group of Ethiopian Airlines flight attendants in the 1970s.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Eastern airlines flight attendants check in on the first class cabin in 1980.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Two flight attendants and a pilot pose in front of a fountain in the 1980s.

(Photo via SDASM Archives/Flickr)

Dutch airline Martinair stewardesses model new uniforms in 1982.

(Photo via Nationaal Archief/Flickr)

A Thai Airways International airline flight attendant presents a selection of wine during a flight from Singapore to Bangkok in 1996.

(Richard Vogel/AP Images)

Virgin Atlantic Airways flight attendants pack Princess Diana's dresses for a charity auction in 1997.

(Photo via AP Images)

On August 26, 1999, two flight attendants carry signs out of a meeting room after rejecting a tentative five-year contract with Northwest Airlines.

(Photo by Paul Sancya/AP Images)

A PBair flight attendant distributes snacks during a 2004 flight.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

A Norwegian flight attendant checks in on customers in 2015.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

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"[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,” explained Stephanie Mikel from Southwest Airlines.

While much of this information is provided in the paperwork, flight attendants also make note of what kind of books you're carrying. "If you are reading a medical journal... we know who to approach for First Aid," explained Shreyas. 

For more flight attendant secrets, watch the video above! 

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