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A legal requirement to all airlines is that they are required to provide flight attendants to guarantee the safety of the passengers. Though the principal responsibility of the flight attendants is to ensure that all the passengers adhere to the safety regulations, they are also charged with the responsibility of ensuring that flights are enjoyable and comfortable for passengers. Additionally, the government stipulates that flight attendants should act as the last line of defense against terrorists and segregate passengers who display symptoms of contagious diseases such as flu. Despite the numerous responsibilities placed on flight attendants, they are expected to be jolly at all times and implement creative methods of generating additional revenues for airlines. This paper discusses how the activities of flight attendants have generated revenues for airlines in the past and makes proposals that may be implemented to generate additional revenue for the airlines more so in the present financial dilemma.
Conventional Roles of Flight Attendants
An hour before take-off, the flight’s attendants are briefed by the captain of the flight on various issues. The issues include emergency evacuation procedures, the duration of the flight, the anticipated weather conditions, and other issues that may have impacted the flight. Flight attendants ensure that the first aid equipment is aboard the plane and is operational and that the passenger compartment is well attended to with ample supplies of food, beverages, and other amenities. As the passengers board the plane, flight attendants welcome them, verify their tickets, and guide them on where to place their jackets and their other carry-on luggage. These are the conventional responsibilities of flight attendants. These activities are not only aimed at ensuring that the passengers are comfortable but also to attract repeat business by clients who received world-class attention while flying. Therefore, airlines are engaged in hiring professional flight attendants as a means of attracting repeat and new clients; this ensures that the airlines generate additional revenues and counter the stiff competition that characterizes the airline’s industry.
Modern Roles of Flight Attendants
Presently, the airline industry is characterized by stiff and increasing competition. The onset of the international financial crisis, the increasing international oil prices, and the increased terrorist threats necessitating additional security measures have only acted to turn the situation from bad to worse. Therefore, airlines are faced with the challenge of developing new and more innovative measures that will generate revenue and ensure that airlines survive the financial turmoil. Numerous proposals can be adopted to increase airline revenues. These proposals are discussed below:
Advertisements are a highly sought means of publications and thus fetch substantial amounts of money for the advertisers. Airlines are always eye-balling for additional spaces to place advertisements; flight attendants may offer these additional spaces. All airlines should introduce proposals to ensure that all their flight attendants wear in-flight aprons that are adorned with advertisements. This would be adopted as an Onboard Marketing Program for promoting the products that are offered on board by the airlines. Additionally, they may act as advertising billboards for hire thus generating additional revenues for the airlines. Onboard Advertising sales are an effective means of lowering the operation costs for the airlines enabling them to charge lower fares and attract additional clients more so for the Low-Cost Carrier Airlines (Matt 1). Additionally, Onboard Advertising keeps employees on the job, does not compromise on the safety of the passengers, or hinders the effective performance of the flight attendants’ duties.
Over the last decade, airlines have been forced to cut pay and reduce benefits to their employees. These measures have not gone well with a majority of the airline’s staff resulting in constant strikes such as in the case of British Airlines. There are more innovative methods of avoiding these staff conflicts, the airlines may make proposals to the flight attendant to sell various products such as credit cards, foods and beverages, and headphones as a means of generating revenue. Additionally, the flight attendants may conduct in-flight raffles to raise revenue.
Flight attendants have also been instrumental in reviving airlines that have been declared bankrupt. The flight attendants of US Airways approved a concession agreement that helped the airline to save millions of US dollars in its efforts to cut costs and rise from bankruptcy. The flight attendants voted for a proposed concession agreement that cut their pay by up to 9% (Reuters 1). Other creative measures that can be employed by airlines to generate additional revenue include charging for the foods and beverages that are served on flights. Airlines are faced with increased competition from the food retail outlets that are located in airports. A survey conducted by Forester Research revealed that hungry travelers prefer to bring food bought from the take-away food joints onboard (Levere 1). Charging for the food portions that are served in airlines will enable these airlines to introduce a combination of meals and other promotions that will enable the airlines to compete effectively with the fast-food restaurants.
Levere, Jane. In-Flight Food Tries to Be Tasty, 2010. Web.
Matt, Phillips. Report: Spirit to Put Bud Light Ads on Flight Attendants, 2009. Web.
Reuters. US Airways Flight Attendants Approve Concessions, 2005. Web.