In the past, many people considered a flight attendant as simply a server in the sky. Although they still serve and sell food and drink to passengers as well as ensuring their comfort, there is a lot more than just these tasks involved. A flight attendants’ main role is to make sure passengers and crew are safe. They respond to any emergencies that occur on a flight and make sure regulations are adhered to.
Have a think about why it is you want to become a flight attendant
If you are thinking of becoming a flight attendant, make sure it is for all the right reasons.
Undoubtedly being a flight attendant gives you the opportunity to travel the world. However, on the flip side, you will spend long hours doing the less glamorous sides of travel. You will have to be willing to spend long hours aboard a stuffy plane, being away from friends and family for long periods, short layovers, long nights, early mornings and delays and cancellations.
Flight attendants must like working in customer service to be suitable to become a flight attendant. You will come across the good, the bad and the ugly in dealing with people on a day to day basis. Being a people person is a trait that is very much needed in being a flight attendant. Being a flight attendant gives you the opportunity to have a positive influence on a person’s day through genuine and thoughtful interaction.
Therefore, if you’re a fan of travelling, people and an unpredictable work schedule then this may just be your type of job. At least if things don’t work out as planned you will have memories to last you a lifetime.
Research all the airlines to see which would be the best fit for you
There are numerous airlines all around the world from Aer Lingus in Ireland to Emirates in Dubai. It is worth researching the airline’s culture, salaries, benefits, work environment etc to see if they are the right fit. Whichever airline you want to go for is up to your own preferences and current circumstances.
These are a few factors you should consider when doing your research:
By and large, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old however some will hire at 18. This is a good option for those that have just finished school and are unsure if they want to attend university or not. It is also a good option for college graduates who would like to take a gap year and travel the world while working at the same time.
No special or specific college degree is needed to become a flight attendant. You would need to have at least completed your leaving certificate in Ireland or GCSE’s in the UK. If you are able to speak another language or have related experience, it will give you a better opportunity of getting the job.
One must factor in where the airline crew base is. If you need to stay close to home, you should check out if they have a base in your city. Are you willing to relocate? If you can relocate, then check out where the airline’s bases are and consider where you would like to live.
You don’t have to move away from home if you don’t want to in certain cases. See if you can commute by getting a flight to their base when starting work. Make sure to check if this is an option.
Be aware that it’s not all as glamorous as you think
Being a flight attendant is one of the most decorated jobs out there. It is a good role to gain brilliant life experiences. However, many don’t see the less glamorous side of things. You have to be at everyone’s beck and call with some passengers not so pleasant, being very demanding and rude at times. At times you may only get the bare minimum of rest time before you’re up working in the skies again. When you begin at a lot of airlines you are placed on call for around a year, or for much longer with high-end airline providers. Undoubtedly it can be exciting not knowing what country you will be in next but it can become stressful and tiresome. Of course, if it is something you really want you can work through these obstacles with a bit of determination and hard work. All the same, it is important to way up the pros and cons before embarking on this type of career.
Here are some things you will have to sacrifice
A dependable steady income:
Pay a flight attendant gets is determined by how much you fly a month, be it on a fixed timetable or on standby. It is worth noting that it improves in time with raises. You also get the opportunity to gain extra shifts.
Nights, Holidays and Weekends:
If you are the type of person that enjoys particular days off such as Christmas and bank holidays you may find it hard to adapt at first in the airline’s industry. Building up seniority is very much valued in the airlines business. If you stick with the same airline for a long period you will have an improved chance of getting particular days off. Whilst on the flip side if you work a block of days together you then get several days off afterwards. It is something not many other jobs offer. You would find it hard to go back to just the two days off a week.
If you like routine, then being an air attendant may not be for you. Nonetheless, changing schedules and work time may be a nice change. Once you build up a level of seniority within the business, you can avail of a lot of flexibility more than most other jobs would offer.
If your application has been successful it is time to get ready for the interview. Check out these interview tips to give you the best opportunity in getting that job.
A lot of airlines adopt a one-way video interview for the first round. Questions will be displayed on a screen and you simply record your answers back. Generally, the questions will be about your background and experience that is relevant to the position. Also, be prepared for situational questions by using the STAR method.
If you are successful, then it is the face to face interview. The interview will more than likely involve a group format so make sure to know what to do in a group interview.
Flight attendant training
If you have got through the interview stages its time for the training. Make sure to focus on the study and not become distracted by outside influences. The training is intense and can last anywhere between four and twelve weeks. There will be written and oral exams on areas such as security, emergency measures, first aid etc. Moreover, you will have to learn CPR and partake in land and water evacuation guidelines. Companies such as Academy of Aviation offer great courses which include a Cabin Crew Induction Course.
When exams are passed its time to get some work experience under the belt. Once you prove yourself you are then a fully qualified flight attendant ready to travel and explore the world.