What were flight attendants previously called?
Nowadays, especially in the western hemisphere, flight attendants are called flight attendants and it goes for both male and female flight attendants. In the past and in some other parts of the world flight attendants are also called steward, stewardess and even air hostess.
The term steward is a little broad in that it can refer to many different things or people. For instance, there are places with the name steward, like Steward, Illinois. Steward can also be a name or a part of someone's name, a butler, a servant, a steward on a ship and many more.
The term stewardess is just a feminine way of saying steward to refer to a female steward, a.k.a. flight attendant.
The term air hostess is a little more specific than the term steward, but was obviously not the best word to describe a cabin crew and therefore most people now call cabin crew members flight attendants. Air hostess is more commonly used in other parts of the world as the term flight attendant is a little more modern and therefore more used in the western hemisphere.
The term flight attendant or flight attendant is the newest of all the terms and it best describes the cabin crew as someone who attends to the passengers while in flight.