New technology and Cabin Crew

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By on Thursday 12th Jun, 2014 at 11:41

By Patricia Green
A fairly recent development in our cabin crew world has been the introduction of the iPad for use onboard the aircraft. Many airlines are now using this new technology to replace all the paperwork that we have on a day to day basis. Initial trials showed that not only was this environmentally friendly, but had cut costs and improved customer service.

The iPad can replace the passenger manifest or PIL and contains details of the passenger profile, their special meals and frequent flyer status. Previous flights and preferences can also be found. The device can also store timetables, seating plans and safety information that can be referenced during the flight.

If a passenger is delayed for example and may miss his next flight, then it is possible for cabin crew to look up alternative schedules and with passenger approval, send a message to the ground staff to rebook the passenger on a later flight. If there is internet access onboard the aircraft, emails can be sent for the immediate attention of the ground staff and we can offer quick solutions for service recovery and provide a better tailored service for our passengers.

Replacing paperwork
The iPad can in theory replace much of the traditional paperwork including things like trip reports, passenger feedback forms and reports on unserviceable items or safety feedback. Flight records will also help to calculate accurately flight time limitations and flying allowances for cabin crew and flight crew. Accident and incident forms and flight audit forms can also be stored on the device, to report any issues or check things like passenger boarding time or catering standards. The turnaround time for dealing with any issues for both passengers and crew will become much quicker.

Future developments
In the future, cabin crew can be assessed with online forms and some cabin crew training can be studied anytime and anywhere, which is a huge bonus as we can see videos, manuals and take assessments on demand. Cabin crew manuals and reference guides will be stored via a ‘cloud’ without the need to carry our manuals with us.

We can store checklists and inventories for the bar, catering and retail, as well as seeing how we can make the passenger service more tailored to their needs. The device can also be used as a ‘point of sale’ tool to perform inflight retail and offer payable upgrades.

Another bonus to this new technology is that internal communication within the airline will be much easier as we will have instant access to news, updates and emails as soon as they are announced across the company. Previously this could be a problem, just because when we are constantly moving, we may only collect the information from our base on a weekly basis.

All in all, the new ideas that this technology brings can only make our job easier and more efficient and that can only ever be a good thing!

About the author:

Patricia Green has been Cabin Crew for major airlines in the UK and Middle East for seven years and also an SCCM. She has also worked as a VIP Flight Attendant working for very high profile clients and world leaders on their private jets. More recently Patricia moved to flying on a freelance basis in order to concentrate on working as a freelance instructor as well as setting up as a Cabin Crew Consultant.

She advises potential crew how to get their dream job and helps experienced crew move from commercial to corporate flying. In response to many requests from fellow crew and students, Patricia has written a series of E-books to help guide new crew with lots of insider advice and useful hints and tips.

For more information please visit

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Photo: Emirates