I’ve posted before about airline interviews, and I touched lightly on scenario questions. Today I thought I’d expand on that. A scenario question is designed to let the airline get an idea of how you handle tricky situations while under pressure. I’ve collected a few scenario questions for you to try and answer.
1) Diaper Dilemma
You are in the middle of a meal service when a passenger with an infant hands a used diaper in your direction. She asks you to dispose of the diaper for her. What do you do?
In this scenario they are testing your balance of cleanliness and customer service. It’s a rule that you can not take a dirty diaper while you are handling food, but at the same time you don’t want to appear rude to the passenger. The best answer here is: You inform the passenger that you can absolutely dispose of the diaper for her, however only after the meal service is complete. Similarly, if she’d like to be rid of the diaper sooner than later she can dispose of it herself in the lavatory. Bonus points if you recommend she seal it in an air sickness bag first.
2) A Few Too Many
Throughout the flight you’ve been serving alcohol to passengers. One passenger who you’ve been serving in particular has had quite a few drinks and is now becoming disruptive to the other passengers. He requests another drink from you. How do you deal with this situation?
As a flight attendant you absolutely cannot over serve the passenger. Like any other person serving alcohol, you are responsible for an intoxicated passenger during and after the flight. In this scenario the correct thing to do is to cut the passenger off. Be sure to offer some other beverage such as tea, coffee, or a soft drink instead.
3) The Kneeling Nelly
Your flight has finished boarding and you are preparing to push back. At this time a passenger gets up from his seat and kneels down in the isle. You request that he return to his seat and fasten his seatbelt but he insists he must continue to pray. How do you respond?
This is an extremely tricky and delicate situation, so you’ll want to use caution as not to escalate the problem. I’d recommend before doing anything you seek the assistance of your superior if possible.
You’ll need to again inform the passenger that for his safety and for the safety of those around him he’ll need to return to his seat and fasten his seatbelt. Let him know he is welcome to continue kneeling and praying once the flight as levelled off and the seatbelt sign is turned off. If this is unacceptable then you can offer to let him leave the plane and continue praying in the airport. He would then have to catch a later flight. I’m aware that the second option would delay the flight longer than allowing him to continue, however that would also set a precedent that could delay further flights. Which is unacceptable.
4) Silly Snorer
You are working an evening flight when the passenger in 38B complains to you that the passenger in 39B is snoring too loudly. What do you do?
The first rule in play here is not to wake the sleeping passenger. Although this would probably satisfy the passenger in 38B, it would likely anger the passenger in 39B. Luckily there are a few alternatives: Firstly if there is another seat open in the cabin, you can suggest that the passenger move to the new location. Alternatively you could offer him/her a pair of ear plugs or headphones. In the case of the headphones I’d recommend the passenger listen to the classical music or jazz stations, as that might help them fall asleep as well.
Do you have different answers that you think might be better?
How about other scenarios? I’d be pleased to hear from you!