A few years ago, Inside Edition’s Deborah Norville discovered just how difficult it is to become a flight attendant at the Frontier Airlines training center in Denver.
The Inside Edition anchor went to flight attendant training ahead of working an actual flight, the 3:10 p.m. from Denver to New York City.
The first lesson for trainees was self-defense. Norville learned how to subdue an unruly passenger by aiming the heel of her hand at the throat and nose.
Next, she learned how to alert people if she gets into trouble while defending herself and how to call for help. She was also taught about the importance of tape, a critical tool for a flight attendant.
She was also prepared for the worst scenario, learning the precise commands used during an emergency landing.
It may come as a surprise to many that being a flight attendant is not just about serving drinks and making sure the overhead bins are closed, as 90 percent of the training focuses on safety.
“I think [attendees] are surprised that we're two weeks into the training and we haven't really talked about the beverage cart yet," in-flight instructor Chris Basore said.
Norville got a quick lesson in the food and beverage service too. It was simplified by the fact that all carts on each Frontier flight are arranged in the same way.
With the course out of the way, next came the real flight. Norville's duties began with helping passengers stow their baggage, when her packing skills quickly kicked in.
When it was time for beverage service, she found out serving drinks, picking up trash, and serving more drinks really is hard work.
Norville said that by the end of the flight, she was grateful her passengers were good sports.
Twelve percent of students don't make it through flight attendant training, and 80 percent of the people who read the safety information card in the seatback pocket survive in the event of an emergency.