It’s easy to say the life of a flight attendant is all about smiles and glam.

Traveling may be our lifestyle, but I’d like to break it to you that not every expectation about this job is close to what you think. There may be happy fights, but we also go through bad ones as well. 

Behind the Red Lips is an open understanding of my readers to fully get to know the extent and other perspective among cabin crew/flight members. We may be the people you see who stay fierce but jolly in flight. But truth is, we do cope up with our feelings going through day-to day and having the added forget them during work. I would like to give importance of the ‘stress of flying’ a greater meaning.

Practically this article would make no sense. No matter how much we try to avoid pain, it finds a way to life. It’s how we cope up with the stress and depending on how we allow it to affect us. This perhaps would be simpler if we keep ourselves focused on a certain task.

I’ll tell you, it is totally different when it comes to dealing with different stress and the factors contributing to the crew life. Even in difficult times we hold ourselves to cope up with good and bad days and whatever comes and goes. All of this trying to keep the pace of showing smiles to passengers.

This shows vital importance to be aware of the flight stress among flight crew members which has huge aspect and influence of flight crew members in the high stress levels during duty.


I am basing this blog on a research I was studying  the factors that could affect the work-related features of a pilot or cabin crew.

I’d have to argue with some friends and colleagues that the crew life is indeed tough. Training allows us to feed our mind to know the technical and basics of flying while also coping to be physically and mentally fit to work. The cycle of fatigue takes up a big effect among crew members. It takes more risk especially for flight crew to deal with different kinds of stress. Allow me to break it down to you in simpler terms.

What is Flight Stress?

Nervous passenger sitting on airplane

The job requires us to bring our passengers of different race, nationality, belief and the like to their choice of destination in a safe and sound matter. To break it down to you, flight stress that we have to go through is too vague to be explained. In simpler terms, it is the kind of stress that occurs upon embarking on a flight. For example, as a passenger, it could be the fear of flying.


A. Acute/ Stress

This is the stress that develops in short period of time. It is the ability of a crew member to face stress in a performing rapid decision making at an abrupt state. These usually concerns matters faced within internal system and management of the flight crew members. Also, stressing the ability to make rational decisions within a given time frame. Best examples would be:

  1. flight schedules (back-to-back flights);
  2. having fear and anxiety of each flights (whether with destination or flight crew colleagues);
  3. duty rest periods;
  4. Physical Stress ( adapting to extreme weather conditions, sound environment in the cabin, tiresome)

B. Chronic or Prolonged Stress

Typically the stress that occurs during an extended period of time wherein the flight crew member have little or not control over the kind of stress. A risk having chronic or prolonged stress is battling with pain and detecting possible depression. Best example to describe this would be the external factors being faced by the crew. It could be classified into two: interpersonal or intrapersonal stress.

  1. Interpersonal/ Psychological stress occurs problems faced with relationships that may or not be work-related (death in the family, business & job worries, financial problems, break ups etc.) while;

      2. Intrapersonal / Physiological stress are problems faced within the flight crew member’s internal thoughts (poor physical and mental ability an symptoms that relate to signs of depression of a flight crew member);

C. Traumatic Stress

From the word itself, this is the stress wherein a flight crew member has been through a traumatic period in his/her life. This involves damage to the physical well-being, witness of a traumatic incident or possible death. Flight crew members that are facing traumatic stress experience severe acute physical symptoms such as shock. Best examples when traumatic stress is faced:

  1. Flight incidents happening over a short period of time;
  2. Post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD);

The Happy Flight Crew

We are expected to keep our smiles no matter what we are going through. Through every heart break and aches, yes we are still smiling. Although we donned our uniform we have to show pride that we are your smiling host and hostess in the air. Our smiles all the way from boarding up to deplaning, a show that goes on throughout the whole duration of the flight. Whether we like it or not, our red smile is part of our uniform. Not that we have to keep our audience happy in-flight we are also reminded to keep them safe in case of any emergency.

I’m not writing down ways on how to uplift the soul of our work load, or the way we work. In a perspective of being a cabin crew, here are ways for you to make us smile even just for a brief time, or throughout the whole flight.

1. Greeting us back 

Either acknowledging our simple “Good morning,” or “Thank You”. That means a lot to us.

2. Simple Manners

We are functional to perceive the way people think and react when we are summoned for a request. We would be more than happy to give in to what you need or want, even happier if we hear the magic words “Please” and “Thank You”.

3. Compliments after the Flight

That is, if you are really satisfied with the service we provided throughout the flight. It brightens our day to know that our hardwork and effort was

4. Give Care in Patience

We are human too who forget what was asked or requested from us in flight. We make the best effort to grant and fulfill your request, in which we ask back in return for a little patience.

The main purpose of publishing this blog is not to hinder the flight crew member to work. This goes to show how much cabin crew still chose to stay committed within the years. It shows the importance of what we do when in the line of flying regardless of what banner of flag we carry. Our main duty is to protect and serve our passengers in an orderly safe and jolly way, and to reduce the stress of flying by assuring the best of what we do. This goes to show how flight crew members show value in the job we do, despite the knowledge of all the above mentioned we are still determined to work for our passengers.

Behind the Red Lips, lies a Beautiful Smile with a Strong Heart

Miss Kalibutan