Every time you step on a plane, you may have noticed flight attendants acting somewhat strangely to your eyes, namely hiding their hands behind their backs.
We all know that the flight crew job comes with a lot of responsibilities – from ensuring that the aircraft is tidy to the overall safety of the passengers.
But have you ever wondered why your flight attendant welcomes you on board with their hands behind their back?
Or perhaps you haven’t ever really thought much of it. It’s surely just a polite gesture, right?
Well, there’s actually a clever reason behind their upright posture.
This particular stance has nothing to do with security or hygiene – it’s actually part of a numbers game.
Simply put – it is because they are hiding a special counter.
Flight attendants use the counters to make sure the number of passengers getting onto the plane corresponds to the number of tickets scanned. Doing it this way ensures they have an accurate count, especially on busy flights.
This is why their hands are hidden, so as not to attract too much attention to the process. Sometimes flight crews count passengers after they have been seated, and sometimes it’s done twice: during boarding and after seating.
Moreover, the counting of passengers on board the aircraft by flight attendants is a security measure related to the international regulation of air transport.
This stipulates that governments, airport operators, and airlines must guarantee that a passenger who has presented his boarding pass to boarding control will no longer be able to leave the circuit leading him to the plane. As the procedure was left open to interpretation, it appeared that the most effective method to date was to count the passengers on board the aircraft before take-off. If this count shows any anomaly, the takeoff is delayed the time to perform all the necessary checks.
It should be noted that during the flight, the flight crew also ensures that safety measures are respected (no smoking, belt buckling, etc.). This is their main mission.
So the next time you see flight crew walk down the aisle while you are waiting for takeoff, look at their hands – and you might notice the click-click motions.