Career English: five key phrases if you work as a flight attendant

This is the season when many people pack their bags, buy airline tickets and fly off on vacation, so if you work in the airline industry, it’s going to be a busy time. Here are five key phrases you will find useful as a flight attendant or passenger on a plane.

‘We will be flying at x feet’ – The airline crew usually says this at the beginning of the flight. This phrase is used to tell you at which height the plane is going to be flying.

‘Please remain seated’ – This is a safety rule for passengers. It is a polite way to tell them to stay in their seats. If you are a passenger and a cabin crew member tells you to ‘remain seated’ then they are telling you to not leave your seats. If you are not at your seat, you need to return to it now.

‘Please fill out a customs form’ – This is a phrase airline crew members use on international flights. So if you are a flight attendant and are flying to a different country, you will tell your passengers to ‘fill out a customs form’. The form includes the passenger’s information, the reason for their visit and details what items are being brought into the country.

‘Complimentary’ – This is one of my favorite words to hear as it means ‘free of charge’. This term is used by industries that offer you some kind of a service, such as the airline industry or hotel industry. For example, when the flight attendant gives you some headphones, then ‘the headphones are complimentary’.

‘The captain has switched off the seat belt sign’ – Now, I was never sure why they needed to say who switched off the seat belt sign, but for some reason they always do. If the seat belt sign is on, then the passengers need to sit in their seats and wear their seat belts; but if the sign is off, then passengers are free to leave their seats and walk around the plane or visit the bathroom.

Now you are ready for the busy season and handling all the English-speaking passengers on your flight.