29th Apr 2012, 06:13
Does anyone know who first invented the title 'Flight Attendant'?
Most of the airline terminology is inherited from the navy e.g. Captain, First Officer and previously Air Stewardess and Air Steward etc.
29th Apr 2012, 08:18
Our American cousins I'm afraid.
British cabin crew cannot stand being called flight attendants.
Originally only men were Stewards female cabin crew were Hostesses.
Around the sixties the term Stewardess was adopted and Hostess dropped.
A lot of the lads like to use the term Doris but I not sure the girls approve.
Funnily, recently, a young lady asked me if I was an Air Hostess I replied some people think so!
Hi SFI145, "Femininity in flight" has the following:
But as USA flight attendants were taking the airlines to court in the late 1960s and early 1970s, they found themselves wearing hot pants and other skimpy uniforms, uttering slogans like “fly me” in airline ads, and starring in novels and films such as The Fly Girls and Swinging Stewardesses.
Airline marketing had taken a salacious turn, and pop culture was even more explicit in portraying stewardesses as poster girls of a sexier era. In their unions and a new group called Stewardesses for Women’s Rights, flight attendants protested the exploitive ways they were being portrayed, most of all by their own employers.
Flight attendants directed their growing anger at other argets as well, especially their lack of union autonomy and inattention to their role in passengers' safety and their own on-the-job health concerns. By the end of the 1970s, “stewardesses,” long saddled with harsh employment restrictions, unions beholden to male overseers, and flattery rather than respect, transformed themselves into “flight attendants,” with better career prospects, independent unions, and growing recognition of their safety work.
Where I work, the company started referring to us as Cabin Attendants or CAs sometime in the 1990-ies.
We call ourselves stewards and stewardesses. :)
29th Apr 2012, 09:21
I definitely hate the term F/A. AFAIK it all stems from the US when airlines there wanted to de-sexualise the role after an era where the shorter the skirt and 'hostesses' were the norm.
Incidentally, at easyjet the term Flight Attendant is used internally to define junior crew members but thankfully externally they are known as cabin crew and that is what is on their name badges.
29th Apr 2012, 10:32
Doesn't really help us SLFs. If I see the name on a name tag I will use it. If not then I may say "Excuse me miss (or sir)." How do I refer to you though? For instance I may say to one: "The other ?? said....." Is it the other FA, the other flight attendant, the other steward/stewardess? (The other cabin crew member is too long and I know I can say "your colleague" but that is missing the point). In over 40 years as SLF I have got on well with ALL members of cabin crew (except one who said "If you don't like it then phone Richard Branson" before she walked away - and it was only a very minor complaint I made) so I am really asking what is the best generic term which accepted by ALL crew from ALL airlines?
29th Apr 2012, 14:25
A rather status concious Captain once said to me he thought the term Cabin Service Director should be dropped and replaced with Purser and Purser to just be cabin crew.
I said I thought a much better idea was Cabin Captain and Senior Cabin Captain - I don't think he saw the joke!
29th Apr 2012, 15:00
For us, the profession is called "PNC" (Personnel Navigant Commercial). A PNC can be :
-a Steward (male PNC)
-a Hôtesse (Female PNC)
-a Chef de Cabine (Purser PNC)
-a Chef de Cabine Principal (Chief Purser PNC)
But regardless of rank, all are PNC :)
Similarly, the pilots are PNT (Personnel Navigant Technique). Then as a PNT you can be a Captain or an OPL (Officier Pilote de Ligne)
30th Apr 2012, 15:19
I feel that 'stewardess' is a title to be proud of when you consider the number of bravery awards they've received - at sea, as well as in the air.
3rd May 2012, 18:41
Australians also use the term "Flight Attendant". My brother in law (now EX Qantas) prefers/prefered it to "Steward".
4th May 2012, 13:11
Singapore Airlines and Emirates still refer to crew as both cabin crew and steward/ess. Though the official title for EK is "Steward/ess" -it's on the name tags. CSM/OBM/CSD are all Purser. Senior crew at EK are Senior Flight Steward/ess.
As a pax I would say "the other crew" or "your colleague" or refer to them by name if I knew it.