flight attendant interview

Question:

At a flight attendant interview, how would I answer the question “How would you handle an irate passenger?” Thank you for your response.

Answer:

During the past several months, there have been several incidents dealing with this very subject. Some of the incidents have resulted in lawsuits and major media coverage. The last thing you want as a flight attendant is to have your face plastered all over the news outlets and you don’t ever want your actions to result in a lawsuit by a passenger. Because you are directly representing the company you work for, anything you do that results in negative publicity could jeopardize your job.

Here are two typical types of questions you may be asked at interviews which both deal with handling an “irate” passenger: Hopefully, these answers will not only be the right ones at your flight attendant interview, but they will also educate you on avoiding problems down the road.

What would you do if a passenger were rude or obnoxious?

Discuss how you would use your tactfulness and strong communication skills to calm the passenger down. If the passenger continued to be rude, however, you would advise the passenger service agent (boarding the flight), the senior flight attendant or captain of the problem – allowing them to deal with the situation in accordance with company policy.

If a passenger came onto the airplane with too many carry-on bags and refused to check them, how would you handle it?

You would politely advise the passenger that he or she has too many carry-on bags and that company policy and Federal Aviation Regulations only allow one carry-on bag and one personal item per passenger. You would then tell the passenger that you would be happy to personally check the remainder of his or her bags. If the passenger still would not comply, you would then refer the passenger to the passenger service agent (if the jetway were still attached to the gate). Otherwise, you would advise the senior flight attendant or go to the cockpit and advise the captain who would handle the situation in accordance with company policy. If the passenger refused to comply with regulations, the captain might elect to return to the gate and have the passenger removed from the aircraft. Keep in mind that allowing a passenger on an airplane with too many bags is a violation of the FARs (Federal Aviation Regulations) and could result in a fine.

For additional information on the types of questions that may be asked at a flight attendant interview click here.

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