Follow us through a cabin crew pre-flight briefing

Have you ever wondered what happens during briefings between cockpit and cabin crews before a flight? What do they talk about, and why is this briefing so important? Many of us will already be familiar with this process, but if you are not, follow us through an Azores Airlines’ cabin crew briefing before a flight to New York.

It starts long before the flight

The pre-flight briefing is essential for the success of the flight, as it ensures that the entire crew is on the same page concerning strict safety and quality parameters.

But the briefing preparation isn’t done just an hour before the flight, nor only by the crew on duty. A few hours in advance, our operations gather essential information to provide later to the crew. In fact, the preparation of a flight begins several days before the departure of the airplane and involves the work of dozens of different SATA Group’s areas.

Transatlantic flights, which are far from land for more than three hours, as in this flight to New York, require a special order.

The fact that the flight is destined for the USA also implies additional security check components that cover all access to the aircraft and aircraft, passenger and even catering inspection.

After being thoroughly prepared, all flight information is gathered in a document that will later be analyzed during the briefing.

The Briefing

The briefing takes place one hour before the departure of the flight, in a room at the airport specifically prepared for this purpose, after the crew has logged in to the computer system.

Before the start of the meeting, we could not help but notice the lively atmosphere in the room. The obvious complicity between the crew and the atmosphere of fellowship that surrounds the team will also be reflected in the quality of the service provided on board and in the state of mind of the passengers.

A few minutes later, Purser Sandra Cadete starts the briefing with the cabin crew, where the fundamental aspects of the flight are discussed, such as the estimated time of departure and arrival, type of aircraft, specifics of the route, number of passengers, cases such as passengers with reduced mobility or who need special assistance and special meals.

At this stage, the positions and functions of each crew member on board are assigned, and the Purser asks the crew members several questions about safety procedures, to ensure that everyone has all the necessary knowledge up to date.

The flow of the service is also discussed in order to anticipate possible passenger needs and ways to offer them a better and differentiated service.

During the briefing, we noted the importance of clear communication so that the entire crew has a direct and detailed image of how the flight is expected to happen, so everyone is encouraged to ask any questions they have regarding the service or the flight.

However, before joining the cabin crew, Captain Mário Batista and his co-pilot analyze all the data about the flight and make key decisions, such as whether more fuel is needed and whether airports are suitable in an emergency.

The best route to take is decided, considering the weather conditions and efficiency and sustainability goals of the flight. If necessary, last-minute adjustments are made to ensure that the flight has all the conditions to proceed.

A little later, the captain and co-pilot join the cabin crew made up of Purser Sandra Cadete and flights attendants Ana Furtado, Carlos Barbosa, Daniela Borges, Marina Pereira and Tiago Rego, informing them about what is to be expected during the flight in terms of weather, duration, turbulence that may occur and any specifics that may exist. Here, the best timing for the in-flight service is defined.

At this time, any unplanned events, such as emergencies that may occur during the flight and possible action plans, such as airports for emergency landing, should be anticipated.

Crew members are encouraged to report any unusual facts they observe in the cabin during the flight that could interfere with the safety of the flight. The main goal is to ensure efficient teamwork capable of guaranteeing a safe and comfortable flight.

Trust and a positive atmosphere among the team is essential for a flight to run as smoothly as possible. And here, the Captain’s role is remarkable. The interaction between Captain Mário Batista and the other crew members is full of empathy, motivation and conveys a lot of confidence. And so, the team works well and will be able to deal as good as possible with any situation that may occur during the flight.

The end of the process

After the briefing, the crew heads to the airplane where, even before welcoming the passengers, they carry out a series of safety checks and the preparation for take-off.

Having ensured all the essential conditions for the flight, another Azores Airlines flight begins, which is always marked by the values of our company: authenticity, leadership and hospitality. These values, which are important both on land and in the air, are very visible on board, and the flight to New York has more than enough time to observe and appreciate all the gestures of our crew.

Judging by the excellent fellowship atmosphere that we witnessed among all crew members, we are certain that this goal will also be achieved very successfully.

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