|Quoting Boeing 747-311 (Reply 13):|
What exactly does the purser do that is different than the other FA's, it seems to me that he/she is like the captian of the FA's, but what exactly are there roles?
, I am in charge of making sure everyone has checked in for the trip and if not, call our duty desk to let them know so we can get a replacement. I lead a briefing for the flight attendants (pilots sometimes stick around for it) as to what the passenger loads will be, service flow, specials for the flight (passengers with who need additional assistance, special meals), ensure all emergency equipment has been checked and if anything needs replacing or a discrepancy has occurred to make sure it is dealt with, ensure catering is correct and galley FAs have what they need, ensure the proper documentation is onboard (vessel reports, general declaration for the crew, entry documentation for the country we are going to and enough for the crew for the return flight back to the US and crew US customs forms), be liaison for the cockpit crew and the ground agents of anything that needs to be done (when to board, if anything need maintenance, bags to be checked, when it's ok to close the door).
When we board the aircraft I introduce myself to the B/F customer, help out with B/F boarding duties, assist in Y/C boarding, see if the FAs need anything else prior to door closure, make sure catering has gotten all our items, ensure catering has taken off what they need to take off (predeparture beverage kits for B/F, for example), let the pilots know where we are during the boarding process and, when done, help the agents close up the flight so we can go.
Upon door closure, make sure we are ready to go with the pilots, give them the customer and crew counts and what needs need to be met at our destination (how many unaccompanied minors, wheelchair assistance), let the FAs know of the passenger count, play the safety demo, compliance checks for take-off, etc..
During the flight, I have a service position, but if things go wrong with the IFE, someone (crew or customer) has an issue/question where they need to speak with the "one in charge", I am the one who deals with it. The usual things.
Upon arrival, I make sure the doors are all disarmed for arrival and the agents have what they need to have to clear the aircraft for arrival. Make sure customers who need assistance, get it.
I also provide, at some cities (like for us, TLV
) the go between for crew handing making sure the crew has their passports and all documentation (like for Brazil).
This is some of what a purser/ISM
does. You are the "captain" of the FAs.
It's not rocket science (though there are those who make it out to be and more), but a good ISM
can handle it all and make it seem effortless (which it really is - the ones that micro-manage slay me). Once you get the hang of what needs to be done, it's all down hill. I like being an ISM
. I like to make sure that all customers are comfortable and happy, as well as the crew. Sounds corny, but it works for me.
That and I like the override.
Hope it helps with your question, feel free to ask more.