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It’s part of a flight attendant’s job to be aware of everything that’s going on around them. That includes the state of the passengers. But have you ever wondered what exactly they notice about you?

Flight attendants spoke to The Sun to shed a little light on the first things they notice about passengers joining them for a flight:

What language you speak

Sjaak Schulteis, a flight attendant for 30 years, told The Sun:

We pay attention to their language and check if they hold a magazine or newspaper. I know their language I try to welcome the guests and hope I guessed right.

Flight attendant Janice Bridger told The Sun:

If a person cannot understand English, they cannot understand shouted commands. Nor can they read the instructions on how to open the exits. That may disqualify someone from sitting in the exit row.

If you’re intoxicated

Sjaak said:

If a guest coming aboard is drunk or intoxicated by any drug, they might not allowed to enter the plane.

The first impression is often the right one and we do refuse passengers who might be a danger for the safety of that flight.

How physically fit and able you are

Bridger told The Sun:

I watch for disabilities that may disqualify someone from sitting in the exit row.

They need to be able to physically lift a heavy hatch (up to 60 lbs) or open a heavy door (several hundred pounds)

And whether you’re very fit and able

Bridger said:

If I see someone who is muscular, powerful, strong and physically fit, I memorise their face and make a mental note of where they are sitting.

If a situation looks like it could develop, I’ll privately and discreetly ask one of these people if they would be willing to help us if necessary. Help might involve subduing or restraining an unruly passenger. We hope it never happens, but we will prepare just in case it does.

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