The real reason cabin crew welcome you onboard with their hands behind their backs

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
It's more than just a polite gesture. Photo: Getty

Calling all frequent globe-trotters, have you ever wondered why flight attendants greet you with their hands behind their back?

Perhaps some of you have never even questioned the cabin crew’s stance. Surely it’s just a polite gesture.

Well, it’s been revealed there’s a clever reason behind their upright posture.

As passengers board the plane, members of the cabin crew team are required to count each person using a clicker.

In order to be discreet while they smile and welcome you onboard, the nifty little device is held behind their back.

Members of the cabin crew perform are also likely to perform a second head count before take off [Photo: Getty]

Eagle-eyed passengers on long-haul flights may even have noticed that sometimes the aircraft team walk up and down the aisle using the clicking device before take-off.

When they perform a head count, it’s actually more of a double check to ensure everyone is on board.

And while it might not seem like a crucial step, it is extremely important. Just recently a Ryanair flight to Belfast was delayed by two hours after staff failed to count the number of passengers.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, cabin crew members checked boarding passes three times before take-off then later called out names from a list.

“It looked as though there were two people on the flight who couldn’t be accounted for,” a passenger revealed. “The flight attendants kept telling us that legally they couldn’t take off until they had the correct number of passengers.”

So there you have it, next time you’re boarding a flight you’ll have a conversation-starter at the ready for the neighbour sitting next to you.

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