Behind the counter: what it’s like to work as All Nippon Airways ground staff【Video】

An exclusive sneak peek for the curious and airplane fans!

When it comes to the diverse array of individuals who support the logistics of air travel, cabin attendants and airport ground staff perform a lot of duties to ensure travelers are ready and comfortable for their flight. While the latter usually go unappreciated or unnoticed, All Nippon Airways, or ANA, is changing that with a recently released video depicting how a work day goes for their ground staff.

For this exclusive video, a young woman named Arafune takes us through her day as one of ANA’s ground staff members at Haneda Airport. Arafune’s day typically starts at 5:00 a.m in order to make it to work by 7:00 a.m. However, sometimes she has woken up as early as 4:00 a.m. to get to work, especially if there’s something special going on at Haneda Airport.

After arriving at work, the first thing to do is to change into her uniform. Women ground staff members are allowed two choices in uniform: trousers or skirt. While Arafune chooses the skirt version of the uniform for today, she also enthusiastically shows off the trousers version.

Next is a small debrief which contains details about the day’s workflow, flights, and pressing administrative tasks. The debrief ends with a re-affirmation of ANA’s Way, or basically five tenets delineating the airline’s customer service philosophy and mission. Afterwards, it’s time for Arafune’s first block of her schedule: working at one of the airline’s multiple check-in counters.

From counters providing expedited check-in to counters dealing with special baggage, ANA ground staff rotate between different services, and until 9:00 a.m, Arafune is assigned to one of the airport’s general check-in counters. Her tasks involve scanning passports and distributing boarding passes, and of course, she strives to do all this with a cheery expression on her face while maintaining eye contact with customers.

What follows counter work is a one-hour lunch break. For today’s lunch, Arafune has homemade salad and onigiri. While she personally brings her own lunch to work, Arafune mentions the variety of restaurants at the airport where ground staff can choose to spend their break.

When Arafune is done eating, she moves on to the next part of the day: boarding folks onto their flight. While the roles ground staff have for the boarding gate differ, Arafune’s main job is to coordinate the boarding logistics and ground staff for a flight to Hiroshima. There is a small briefing beforehand on the number of passengers, whether or not infants will be on board, and any special accommodations necessary. Since today’s gate is deeper within the airport, Arafune goes out of her way as well to guide fliers with a handy tablet displaying the flight number and destination.

▼ The video also shows some of the COVID-19 preventative measures the airport has in place, such as ground markers for social distancing.

Once everyone is boarded and ready for takeoff, Arafune wraps up the last hour of her work day in the airport office. Besides the very familiar task of replying to emails, she reviews the day’s reports and confirms that passengers have transferred onto their next respective flights, and when the clock hits 3:00 p.m, Arufune is done for the day!

▼ On the other hand, here’s a video showing a sneak peek in the work day of a flight attendant!

It’s always fascinating to see what goes on behind the scenes, whether it’s at a factory where in-flight meals are made or even a ramen restaurant, but videos like these definitely help to inform the general public as to what roles airport staff play and also deepen our already steadfast appreciation of those who make our travels smooth and safe!

Source, images: YouTube/BLUE SKY NEWS
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