The flight attendant career path has been a long journey from the sky to the ground. The flight attendant profession has come a long way since it first emerged in the 1930s. In those early days, flight attendants were required to be registered nurses and had no control over their routes or schedules. Today, they are responsible for handling customer service needs, managing cabin safety during flights, and working on the ground at airports and air terminals. Of course, these jobs require extensive training before you can become an official member of this elite team. But what is it like to be one? This blog post will detail everything you need to know about becoming a flight attendant today!
1. What Is a Flight Attendant?
A flight attendant is a person who assists passengers on an aircraft during their travels. They are also known as cabin crew, air hostesses, or stewards/flight attendants.
Flight attendants can be employed by airlines or by private jet companies. The position requires excellent customer service skills and good communication skills to deal with passengers in stressful situations such as delays or flight changes. It also requires maintaining composure in difficult situations, such as dealing with unruly passengers and remaining calm during turbulence.
Flight attendants provide their services to ensure that passengers are comfortable onboard flights, safe in an emergency, and aware of safety procedures in case of emergencies.
2. Flight Attendant Duties
A flight attendant’s duties include:
- Passenger safety instructions when necessary, including demonstrating how to use life jackets, find an emergency exit, etc.
- Greeting passengers
- Providing food and beverages to passengers during the flight
- Preparing for takeoffs and landings (during which they demonstrate safety procedures)
- Assisting with onboard medical emergencies
- Passenger assistance (such as helping elderly or disabled passengers)
- Assisting with lost and found items
- Gaining information about passengers for use in their per-flight briefings
- Light cleaning of the aircraft.
In addition to these primary duties, flight attendants must be skilled in handling situations that require them to multitask. For example, they might need to monitor the cabin to hand out food and drinks and ensure that passengers do not leave their seats during takeoff or landing.
As a result, flight attendants need to be organized and work efficiently with minimal supervision. They must have superb communication skills to give instructions in emergencies or when faced with difficult passengers and resolve disputes with passengers. They must also have a cheerful and helpful personality to deal with grumpy or upset passengers.
Flight attendants may serve on narrow-body planes or wide-body planes, depending on their airline’s requirements. A narrow-body plane typically seats around ten to twenty rows of passengers, has two aisles, and has two or three doors for passengers to use. A wide-body plane typically has at least one aisle, with multiple sections of seats on each side of the aisle.
3. How to Become a Flight Attendant?
Becoming a flight attendant is not as hard as one might think. With the right attitude and a few simple steps, anyone can become a flight attendant. Here are the steps you need to take to become a flight attendant:
1. Research what it takes to be a flight attendant– Take a look at the requirements for flight attendant training, which includes having to take a test, getting hired to work in an airport, and becoming familiar with all of the safety features of each airplane. You will also have to become familiar with all the service aspects of being a flight attendant.
Most airlines only require a high school diploma or GED and are at least 18 years. However, there are other requirements you will have to meet: vision and hearing correctable to 20/30 and having at least 20/40 vision in each eye separately. Also, consider getting one type of certification such as CPR, First Aid, or a ground school certificate.
2. Get the required training– If you are over 18 years of age, your airline will provide you with the necessary training to become a flight attendant. You can also take ground school courses or get other types of certification that will help you with the type of training you are about to have.
3. Pass the necessary tests.- You will have to pass sight, hearing, and medical tests before you can become a flight attendant.
4. Fill out an application form and submit your resume online or by mail– Even though you might already have the required training and certification to become a flight attendant, it is still essential for you to submit an application form before your name will be entered into the list.
5. Attend interviews– After applying and having all of your information inside their database, airlines will contact potential candidates and invite them to attend an interview at the company’s headquarters. The airline might call you to schedule an interview by phone if your application matches the career needs of the company.
6. Get hired– If successful, you will be asked to complete a background check as part of the hiring process and then receive a job offer from your airline. Then it is time for you to attend per-employment training before commencing your training as a flight attendant.
7. Get on-the-job experience– Once you have completed all of the per-employment training, it is time for you to report to duty at your assigned base. Always be prepared to work any day of the year since this job requires that you are available 24/7.
8. Enjoy your new career- At the end of your shift, you will be able to enjoy being a flight attendant and making sure that every passenger is comfortable throughout the entire flight.
9. Get ready for promotion– If you do well in this field, you can get promoted from a Customer Service Agent (CSA) to a Lead Customer Service Agent (LCSA) and then finally advance into the Aircraft Appearance position.
10. Keep climbing the ladder– If you manage to keep your good record through all of these steps, you can become an International Flight Attendant Supervisor (IFAS), Crew Scheduler (CS), or Customer Support Specialist (CSS).
11. Get rewarded for your hard work– In addition, it is possible to get awarded with a Flight Leader Award or a Meritorious Award, depending on how well you have performed during your career as a flight attendant.
This job might not be the easiest, and there is no guarantee that you will keep getting promoted; however, you will be able to travel the world and meet new people on each flight.
No matter how old you are or where you live, there is no doubt that this profession will help you see more of the world through one airline or another. Keep in mind that it is still possible for these airlines to hire younger candidates depending on how well you have prepared for this lifetime opportunity.
4. What Skills Are Needed to Become a Flight Attendant
There are a few skills that are needed to become a flight attendant. The most important skill is customer service. Flight attendants must be able to provide excellent customer service to passengers. They must be able to attend to the needs of passengers, answer any questions, and make sure that everyone is comfortable. Another vital skill is communication. Flight attendants must communicate effectively with passengers, crew members, and airport staff. They must also be able to understand and interpret instructions. Lastly, flight attendants must be able to work efficiently under pressure. The work schedule for a flight attendant is very demanding, and there may be many situations when they must remain calm to do their jobs effectively.
5. What Is the Average Salary for a Flight Attendant?
The average salary of a flight attendant depends on years of experience, location, and company. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), The median annual wage for flight attendants was $37,740 in May 2016. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,710, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $60,420. Most flight attendants are starting work for low-cost airlines. It is common to find entry-level positions that pay around $20,000 per year. However, compensation becomes much higher as experience increases and more seniority is acquired. According to the BLS, the top-paying employers in May 2016 were:
- ExpressJet Airlines, Inc.
- Sky West Airlines, Inc.
- Republic Airways Holdings
- Hawaiian Airlines, Inc.
These airlines typically pay flight attendants around $75,000 per year or more depending on years of experience and the type of aircraft they are flying on.
6. How Long Does It Take to Become a Flight Attendant?
It takes around 2-5 years to become a flight attendant, and most airlines will require applicants to have at least two years of customer service experience. Often, the job does not become available until someone quits or retires, usually after 2-5 years with the company. The actual training required for a flight attendant position can be completed within three weeks.
Several steps must be completed to become a flight attendant:
- complete high school or obtain GED,
- complete flight attendant training,
- apply for flight attendant jobs,
- pass the background check and drug test,
- be hired as a flight attendant.
7. The Job Outlook for a Flight Attendant
The job outlook for a flight attendant is good. They can expect to have a job for the next ten years. The main reason for this is that the airline industry is growing. There are also new airlines starting up, which means that there will be more jobs available for flight attendants. A new or expanding airline will require more flight attendants on board.
Many people are reluctant to become flight attendants because they think it is not a good job. That has changed in recent years, and now it is considered one of the best jobs in many countries. This means that there is great demand for this type of job.
8. The Pros of Being a Flight Attendant
Some of the pros of being a flight attendant include:
- Getting to travel for free or at a much cheaper price than if you were to book these flights yourself;
- Making friendships with people from all over the world;
- Being part of an “elite” workforce (not many jobs let airline captains thank you as they disembark);
- And getting paid vacations, sick days, maternity leave, etc.
- Getting to see places you wouldn’t usually be able to visit.
- Being able to have a job where you can dress casually.
9. Cons of Being a Flight Attendant
Some of the cons of being a flight attendant include:
- Having to work nights, holidays, and weekends;
- Working long hours during holiday seasons or when flights are delayed or canceled due to weather conditions. This can be stressful on both the flight attendant and the passengers;
- Being away from your family for extended periods, especially during Christmas or Easter holidays.
- Long hours in cramped airplane cabins. This can cause aching bones and muscle pain.
- Many airlines have cut back on costs which means you might have to pay for certain things such as your uniform.
- It can be exhausting, and you might feel like you don’t get enough rest time after a long flight;
- You are away from your family, which means your children have to spend more time with their grandparents or daycare workers.
10. Top Recruiting Airlines for a Flight Attendant
Airline recruiters are becoming more competitive as they compete for the best candidates. Delta Airlines claims to have had more than 1,000 applicants apply in just two weeks for open positions at their company. To be eligible to work with Delta Airlines, you must meet specific educational and experience requirements before applying. The airlines that offer these specific qualifications include Alaska Airlines, Virgin America, Jet Blue Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, and many US regional carriers who invest millions of dollars each year into recruiting efforts since the industry is always profitable.
Flight Attendants are needed to work for many of the regional carriers that have flights in and out of major airports. These companies are always looking to hire new employees with their specific qualifications.
A flight attendant career path is an excellent option for people who want to travel and see the world. It can be an exciting and rewarding career, but it also requires hard work and dedication. If you’re interested in becoming a flight attendant, start by doing your research and applying to hiring airlines. Be prepared for a challenging interview process, but if you make it through, you’ll be on your way to a fantastic career!