Many young women and men aspire to become a member of the cabin crew on a major airline. This should come as no surprise when you consider the many advantages of being a flight attendant. There is a recognized career path, good prospects for promotion, on the job training, stop-over expenses, and uniforms provided. In addition there’s the social life and camaraderie that is all part of being one of the team. Many of those who work together become friends for life.
The glamor of air travel is also still an attraction despite the fact that some say the halcyon days of glamorous air stewardesses or hostesses attending to the first class passengers are long gone. There’s still a lingering air of being part of an elite with the frequent trips abroad, the smart uniforms, and the chance that you might be serving drinks to celebrities that others only read about in glossy magazines.
For these and other reasons there’s never any shortage of hopefuls signing up for training courses and applying to airlines when they advertise of new crew. So how can the aspiring attendant increase his or her chances of selection for interview? How can you find out if you have what it takes? Below are a few pointers that should help you to save time and effort on your first steps into a career with the airlines.
A good place to start is to speak to any current or retired cabin crew. Perhaps you have a friend or relative who could put you in touch with someone who would be only too happy to pass on the benefit of her or his experience. There’s no better way to find out about the advantages and disadvantages of the job itself and the various airlines than from someone who has been there and walked the path.
The next thing you could is some online research. If you’ve got your sights set on a particular airline then you should acquire factual knowledge about that airline. Wikipedia can be helpful but do not rely on this and check your facts. Read the corporate website and perhaps invest in a book about the airline or its founder. For example, if you aspire to work for Virgin Atlantic then you might read the information available online and also read a biography of Sir Richard Branson.
If you haven’t chosen a specific airline then you have more options and you can search the internet for forums frequented by flight attendants from all kinds of airlines. It can be illuminating to join forums used exclusively by cabin crew and reading the discussions. You could post questions about training and starting your career but check the FAQ page if there is one, or the ‘sticky’ posts often at the top the forum. These posts often contain answers to the most commonly asked questions from novices hoping to find hints and tips from those already in employment.
Having armed yourself with the basic facts about your chose airline or about the aviation industry and all airlines generally you will probably be looking for some training. There are various companies that offer training courses for the aspirant. These range from one day courses held at an airport to online or distant learning modular courses. Look out for those that partner with airlines and which have the endorsement of airlines.
Think about the skills that cabin crew need and ask yourself if you are up to the task of being trained. Do you have a natural aptitude for customer service? Are you enthusiastic about dealing with the many and constant demands of passengers? They will be of any age, temperament, culture, and physical ability so you must be prepared to treat everyone appropriately. You will also need to be able to keep calm in an emergency and to carry out your responsibilities without hesitation. How do you react to a crisis? Do you faint at the site of blood? Could you cope with severe turbulence?
The demands placed on cabin crew are much more than a run of the mill job, but the rewards are there for those who can meet the challenges and who have a flair for this kind of work. You too could achieve your goal of becoming a flight attendant and enjoy many years of a successful career. Use some of the ideas above the plan and prepare both for the training and for interview selection. If you have done your homework the interviewers will notice and will be more likely to select you as a candidate.