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Embracing Diversity and Inclusivity in the Cabin Crew Profession

As a cabin crew member, you interact with people from incredibly diverse backgrounds on a daily basis. Your passengers come from different races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, and ability levels. They have unique needs, perspectives, values, and travel experiences. Fostering an environment where all passengers feel welcomed, represented, and respected should be a top priority.

Travel is becoming more accessible, and discrimination has no place in the air or on the ground. As cabin crew, you set the tone for the passenger experience. With sensitivity, flexibility, and professionalism, you can help create a more diverse and inclusive travel industry. Here are some tips:

Use inclusive language. Avoid assumptions about relationships, family structures, or gender pronouns. Phrases like “Can I help you find your seat?” or “What name is the reservation under?” are safe choices when greeting passengers (Gao & Kerstetter, 2016).

Accommodate disability needs discreetly. Be patient and assistive if a passenger needs extra time boarding or help storing carry-ons. Offer a wheelchair escort or guide assistance politely (Khan, Hussain & Mehmood, 2013).

Learn about major religious and cultural practices. This allows you to thoughtfully accommodate passenger needs for special meals, seating requests, prayer time, avoiding certain substances, etc. (Pane Haden et al., 2015).

Keep a open mind. Passengers have reasons behind any special requests they make. Try to avoid judgement and focus on how you can provide the best service.

Intervene appropriately in harassment situations. If a passenger makes discriminatory comments or acts inappropriately toward others, firmly ask them to stop. Report severe incidents to the captain.

Advocate for inclusivity policies. Share ideas with airline management for improving accessibility, allowing diverse hair and dress per company guidelines, adding gender-inclusive language to scripts, and expanding accommodations for religious needs (Gao & Kerstetter, 2016).

By embracing diversity and demonstrating inclusivity in your words and actions, you uphold the highest standards of customer service. You have the opportunity to promote equality and celebrate diversity in your important role connecting passengers across the globe.

References

Gao, H., & Kerstetter, D. (2016). Airline complaints related to disability and discrimination. Journal of Airline and Airport Management, 6(1), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.3926/jairm.45

Khan, N., Hussain, S., & Mehmood, K. (2013). Aviation management: Diversity and inclusion in aviation. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 14(4), 98-108. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kashif_Mehmood5/publication/286960944_Aviation_Management_Diversity_and_Inclusion_in_Aviation/links/568a59db08ae051f9afa6798/Aviation-Management-Diversity-and-Inclusion-in-Aviation.pdf

Pane Haden, S. S., Humphrey, R. H., Pollack, J. A., & Hawkins, C. E. (2015). Airline employee diversity and inclusion: A call for research and action. Journal of Air Transport Management, 42, 95-98. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jairtraman.2014.12.005

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