It all starts with boarding the plane. The flight attendant will point you in the right direction to your seat, whether it is to the left, to the right, or through the galley i.e. the kitchen. They never point with their fingers as it is considered rude and disrespectful in some cultures. They point with their hand, thumb inward and inconspicuously, no higher than chest level. During a pre-departure security check, if the crew does not see that a passenger's seat belt is fastened, they may gesture for it to be fastened.
Sometimes during taxiing, when the “Fasten seat belts” sign is on, one of the passengers may suddenly get up from the seat and start looking for things in the overhead locker or even go to the toilet. In this case, the crew will try to attract the attention of the passenger or politely “ ;sorry' will indicate that they need to sit down immediately.
Demonstration of rescue equipment — the most obvious use of gestures is when flight attendants indicate with their hands, rather than their fingers, how to use seat belts, an oxygen mask, and a life jacket. They will definitely show where the emergency lighting of the path is laid at floor level leading to the emergency exit when it is hard to see. The most important part, of course, — this is an indication of the nearest emergency exits.
Stewardesses do the same thing when a safety demonstration is carried out using video or animation. Each specific method is worked out to automatism during training.
Commands and gestures
Another part of training using special visual signals is evacuation commands. Flight attendants must be decisive and command passengers in a potentially frightening and chaotic situation. Visual cues may include a “wait” command, for example, while the slide is inflating, and “jump” when it is time to leave the aircraft. There are also signals for things like a blocked exit. Flight attendants also have hand gestures that they specifically use in the cockpit to communicate with the flight crew.
Sometimes during service, flight attendants run out of drinks or a particular dish in the cabin. It is inconvenient and impractical to go back to the galley to get the right bottle of water or a fresh kettle of tea, as it would take too long. Therefore, pay attention, they either press the passenger call bell to attract the attention of another crew member, or, if they are in sight, give him a signal. The second crew member will bring the requested goods. This is the fastest and most efficient way.
Sometimes they can visually pick up some item to say that they have run out; for example, tomato juice or a bottle of red wine. But the most popular sign — it is to draw the letter “T” with your hands to signal the need for an additional teapot. Need more coffee? Show the letter “C”. Flight attendants also often use the “thumbs up” signal. during flights, and sometimes “OK”. Point to your wristwatch to compare watches or note the lack of time on board.
In different languages
Sometimes it can be difficult to communicate with passengers, who may not speak any understandable language. In this case, while serving food, the flight attendant can easily portray a chicken, clucking and waving his arms, or mooing like a cow. It may seem ridiculous and very strange, but most passengers understand that they can choose chicken or beef from the onboard menu.