Whether you are an experienced traveller or just an attentive person, you know that each flight is always the same: after queuing to get on the plane, a hostess posted near the entrance checks your boarding pass. Then, once you are in the aircraft, the cabin crew salutes you with a smile and arms folded behind their back. A courtesy rule that actually hides a much more pragmatic goal: in fact, the flight crew adopts this behaviour in order not to attract attention when counting passengers. Indeed, you certainly did not know that a small manual counter is in their hands - you can see exactly what it really looks like in the video above!
Mandatory security measure
The counting of passengers on board the aircraft by hostesses and stewards 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. Hostesses and stewards provide safety demonstrations prior to take-off and inform passengers of emergency procedures. And do not forget: the cabin crew is obliged to state the procedure to follow in case of technical problems, under penalty of being reprimanded by the Federal Aviation Administration. So the next time you find this boring, try to be patient.
Check out the video above to see exactly what those air stewards are doing behind their backs whilst you're boarding!