What’s the difference between Cabin Crew and Flight Attendants?

Dmitry Birin

What’s the difference between Cabin Crew and Flight Attendants?

At first glance, these terms look like they mean the same thing – a person that makes sure that passengers are happy by entertaining you. A person that showcases you the safety instruction at the beginning of the flight and makes sure you depart for your destination and arrive at it as safely as possible. He or she makes your hunger or thirst go away by bringing you some snacks, a cup of coffee or a bottle of water.

However, the reality is different, as these two terms do not mean the same things, or rather people.

Well, sort of they do mean the same thing, but at the same time – not really.

So what is the difference between the two?

Crews and Attendants

Essentially, the difference is that Cabin Crew is everyone that works on board an aircraft. Flight Attendants, Senior Flight Attendants, Pursers, Onboard chefs – all of them are part of the Cabin Crew. They are all a part of the team that is responsible for your well-being on a flight.

They all have different roles. Obviously, the pilots fly the aircraft. The flight attendants instruct how to act in an emergency, prepare and serve meals and just generally take care of the passengers. Senior flight attendants or Pursers (this time they do mean the same thing) are in charge of the whole crew that works with the passengers – they are essentially supervisors of every single operation onboard. They are the more experienced flight attendants and also earn a higher salary.

Airlines also do have onboard chefs, you read that right. Not all of them of course, but for example, the Israeli airline El Al has an onboard chef. You can see him in action right here:

While the onboard chefs do not have a stove or a barbeque to prepare your steak, but they do prepare your meal in a more fancy way than you would regularly get. Some might say chefs are present on an aircraft to better market the airline’s catering. But airlines, such as Emirates, aim to provide a first-class experience every single nautical mile they travel while in the air. An onboard chef makes sure that passengers feel like the airline truly does want to provide a luxury service.

And, as you guessed it correctly from the paragraph above, flight attendants are a part of the Cabin Crew.

So, to sum up, what‘s the difference between cabin crew and a flight attendant?

Flight Attendant is not the same as a Cabin Crew, but a Flight Attendant is part of the Cabin Crew that includes chefs, Flight attendants and Pursers. All of them work onboard an aircraft.

UPDATE: As pointed out by our readers, we have done a mistake. Pilots are NOT part of the Cabin Crew, they are part of the Flight Crew, which also includes the Cabin Crew.

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