Why do flight attendants welcome passengers with their hands behind their backs?
Whether you are a frequent visitor to airports, whether you have just traveled in an airplane a couple of times in your life, you will have noticed a curious detail about flight attendants.
At the time of actual boarding, i.e. when you step into the plane, the staff waits and greets the passengers with their hands behind their backs.
A gesture of simple etiquette or behavior that hides some organizational need?
The position of the hands, in addition to making the bearing of the crew more elegant, serves to keep out of sight a particular tool with which the passengers are counted as they come on board. This is a special passenger counter, a simple and effective means of checking and making sure that the boarding operations proceed according to plan.
At the passage of every single person a lever is pressed that emits a faint click and adds a unit to the counter; at the end of the boarding operations, the number shown on the instrument will be that of the passengers who actually boarded, and it must be the same number indicated after the passports have been checked, in relation to that particular flight.
In this way, it is possible to easily discover if some passengers have not yet reached the airplane after check-in or if perhaps some intruder has boarded the aircraft without registering.