Airline Crew
Airline Crew Logistics

How to ensure the mental well-being and safety of airline crew during transfer

May 31, 2022

Well-being and safety of airline crew under the spotlight

Mental health and well-being are widely debated mainstream issues. Certain occupations are particularly susceptible and airline crews are among those heavily impacted. What can be done to support these valuable contributors to the commercial airline ecosystem?

Since the early days of commercial flight, the cabin crew has had a glamorous reputation. They’ve been envied for their polished appearance and seemingly unlimited access to foreign travel and exotic destinations. 

Contrary to popular myth, being part of a cabin crew is not all sun and sangria. Crews fulfill demanding jobs that require long hours, rigorous training, and intense periods of hard work. It is no small duty to be responsible for the safety and comfort of passengers. The cabin crew is the ultimate multi-taskers: welcoming customers, enforcing safety and security regulations, public speaking, serving food and drink, selling goods and services, administering first aid, translating, cleaning, and troubleshooting – some of these simultaneously. All of this is to be exercised in a confined space at 30,000 ft while exercising the negotiation skills of a diplomat.

Frequent flying can take a physical toll, but we shouldn’t forget the mental health toll too. Cabin crew has extremely stressful jobs: long hours, irregular schedules, frequent travel, and extended periods away from home. Add to that the need to manage inflight safety or security situations, and placate difficult passengers, and you can see why cabin crew could be susceptible to poor mental health.

A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology entitled Mental Health of Flying Cabin Crews: Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic discussed the mental health of flying cabin crews. It identified a higher propensity for depression, anxiety, and stress versus the general population. In recent years, these stresses have been compounded by the added burdens and duties imposed by Covid-19 with many crews furloughed, while Covid-19 outbreaks have grounded flights.

A recent article by IATA highlighted the importance of emotional safety of cabin crew – citing mental wellbeing as being just as important as other forms of safety. But airlines need to pay more than just lip service to a fashionable trend. States the article: “Mental wellbeing should not be a project but a fundamental part of the company culture.”

Putting well-being initiatives and safety of airline crew on the travel itinerary

Airlines have a duty of care to support their staff and ensure that the cabin crew is always treated well. With demand for cabin crew set to soar over the next 20 years, and their key role in the wellbeing and safety of passengers, airlines should not ignore the importance of mental health support for the cabin crew themselves. Especially if they want to retain these talented and sought-after individuals.  

The topic was the source of lively debate at the Cabin Operations Safety Conference in December. As with many mental health issues, communication was pinpointed as a critical strategy. Farsighted airlines are introducing mental wellbeing programs for cabin crew. Virgin Atlantic uses digital channels to allow people to ask questions and raise concerns. Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic are among several airlines to have trained crew as certified mental health first aiders.

Easing the burden with Get-e

After a tiring 13-hour stretch from say, London to Singapore, the last thing aircrew want is a delay or complications getting to the hotel. One way to alleviate stress for cabin crew is to guarantee safe and efficient transfers to and from the airport. This is particularly important whilst overseas or in destinations where security could be an issue. Hundreds of airlines already use Get-e as a partner for reliable and secure transfers, ensuring high-quality, safe transportation for aircrews in destinations worldwide. Efficient communication is a key feature of the platform and Get-e provides aircrew with a clear picture of bookings and status updates, communicating with the crew via email and SMS. Get-e’s in-house, multi-lingual control team is available 24/7, monitoring and coordinating all transportation requests to ensure everyone gets to their destination safely. For added reassurance, Get-e’s functionality includes live tracking of all its vehicles so that the whereabouts of any crew member can be monitored at all times.

Company profile

Get-e is the transport services partner for airlines, assistive travel, and business travelers worldwide. Get-e offers customers a technology-driven ground transport booking and management service with 24/7 expert support from its headquarters in Amsterdam.

Significantly reducing administration costs and time for customers with its vetted supply of service providers in more than 110 countries and 900 airports worldwide, Get-e eliminates the need to source direct suppliers in each destination. The company utilises the latest technology, including GPS tracking, and integrated mobile and web applications to automate the ground transfer booking process and provide real-time information on all journeys.

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