“Welcome on board today.” When you hear the welcome over the loudspeaker at the start of a flight and the voice doesn’t introduce themselves as the captain, then it’s usually the cabin manager, also known as the purser, speaking.
As the most senior flight attendant and the link between the cockpit and passenger cabin, he or she has two main tasks: to guarantee passengers’ safety and ensure the best possible service for passengers.
Safety is always top priority
After welcoming passengers over the loudspeaker, the purser will point out and explain the safety rules that you need to follow during an emergency. As the head of the passenger cabin, the purser is responsible to the captain for ensuring that the flight attendants and passengers adhere to safety regulations.
By the way: Despite being head of the cabin, the purser is also, of course, obligated to follow the captain’s orders just like everyone else on board.
Always a smile on their face
A purser’s job begins before the flight itself. Before you can even board a flight, the purser is already working hard to make sure your flying experience is as pleasant as possible. He or she coordinates the service with other divisions in the airport and motivates the crew for the upcoming flight.
As the several flight attendants always work together in new crews each time, a skillful leader is needed who can create a smooth-running team out of the various crew members within the shortest space of time. During the flight, the purser will do everything he or she can to guarantee the highest quality of service possible. They are the direct point of contact for passengers in all service issues, for keeping an eye on and maintaining calm even when tricky and unpleasant incidents occur, and can master any situation with a smile on their face.
Not all pursers are created equal
At Lufthansa, a distinction is made between Purser 1 and Purser 2. The more senior Purser 2 is the manager of the cabin crew on long-haul flights and wide-bodied aircraft, and is responsible overall for safety and service in the passenger cabin. On such flights, there is also a Purser 1 who acts both as a deputy to Purser 2 and also manages the service within a particular travel class (Economy, Business, First).
On short-haul flights, there is no Purser 2 on board, so Purser 1 is the most senior flight attendant with overall responsibility for safety and service.