What courses to take to become a Flight Attendant? Fly Away!
Flight Attendant refers to a professional, who supports safety of passengers during airline travel. It is a rewarding experience with different aspects. So, how do you become a flight attendant?
A flight attendant is trained with respect to the key airline operations, emergency equipment, safety concerns for patients. He or She ensures that the passengers do feel comfortable on the airplanes. Flight attendants were also called stewards earlier.
They help calm down the passengers in case of any emergency.They also need to ensure that every passenger is aware of the safety regulations and follows them.
He has to ensure that the flight deck is secure. It is only because of a flight attendant that flights are comfortable and stress free for passengers. Flight attendants save passengers from all sorts of nuisance.
The career of a flight attendant merges hospitality with travel and tourism management. Therefore, it is a lovely option for any person who wants to have a mix of adventures and services in their life.
Requirements to be a flight attendant:
In order to become a flight attendant, a candidate has to meet the following requirements.
- Work experience: Candidates with higher working experience are given more preference in airlines.
- Physical abilities: A candidate needs to be tall enough, so that he is easily able to reach the bins overhead. His height must be between 5’0 and 5’11 inches. He must have a vision of 20/40 or higher.
- FAA Certification: It is important for a flight attendant to get verified by FAA. FAA is a certification granted after a person pursues an initial training program in airline travel. After the training period, a person is firstly required to qualify in a proficiency check.
- Prelim test: Prior to getting selected as a flight attendant, a person is required to qualify in a background test and drug test.
Education and training
A person needs to be at least 18 years of age to work as a flight attendant. For becoming a flight attendant, the minimum required qualification is a high school diploma.
Higher education like a graduate degree however enhances the career prospects of a candidate. A newly hired flight attendant needs to have a formal training, which lasts for a period of 3 to 6 weeks.
After pursuing their formal training, a candidate is placed in a reserved state for one year. This term can be extended for 5-10 years as well.
Hence, this means that a person can work when asked to substitute for flight attendants who are absent. Later, the candidate will also get an opportunity to place bid for regular assignments.
The regular duties of a flight attendant include the following:
- Interaction with pilots during pre-flight briefings, so that cabin conditions and details of flight could be discussed.
- Inspection of emergency equipment prior to flights
- Ensuring the passengers follow safety regulations such as fastening seat-belts
- Serving snacks and beverages
- Consoling passengers during emergency conditions such as when aircraft faces turbulent weather conditions.
- Giving instructions to passengers to evacuate the aircraft during emergency conditions.
- Arrangement of medical care for a passenger, if required
- Luggage belonging to passengers is in compliance with federal law.
Pre-flight briefing is conducted an hour before the scheduled plane departure.
The important points discussed in a pre-flight briefing include necessary information like:
- Flight duration in hours
- Route of travel
- Weather conditions
- Working condition of emergency equipment
- Cabin cleanliness and decorum
- Adequate provision of food and beverages for flight passengers.
Just before airplane landing, flight attendants confirm for a second time whether passengers have fixed their seat belts properly. They also ensure if the seats are locked in their upright positions and that the items are stowed.
Before stepping down, they do a brief survey of airplane conditions. They report issues related to safety if any to the technical personnel.
Roles and Responsibilities of a flight attendant:
- Monitoring safety standards: A flight attendant must constantly monitor safety standards of the practices being followed. A flight attendant must be able to ensure that the passengers are complying with the safety signs and procedures.
- Hospitality: Apart from ensuring safety of flight passengers, the flight attendant shall provide hospitality services like food or tissue paper.
- Guidance: A flight attendant must welcome passengers, check their baggage and guide them to the respective seats.
- Empathy: A flight attendant must cater to the demands of individuals who do need special care such as minors traveling alone, disabled passengers etc.
- Prompt medical action: A flight attendant must act promptly to tackle on-board medical situations.
Skills required to be a flight attendant:
In order to become a flight attendant, a person must have the following skills and qualities.
- Regularity: A flight attendant needs to dress up formally. He has to come every day for daily duty.
- Communication skills: A flight attendant must have excellent communication skills.
- Good hygienic habits: In order to become a flight attendant a person must have good hygienic habits and etiquette.
- Co-operative attitude: A flight attendant must be willing and capable of relocation, in case there are operational needs.
Before deciding whether to be a flight attendant one must consider the following points:
- Flight attendants must be habitual of going to new places alone. They must enjoy being alone on long trips, rather than feeling any boredom due to isolation.
- The profession of flight attendant is well suited to a person who likes to live in the present. He must like exploring new venues and sightseeing destinations.
- Flight attendants must always ensure that the customer always gets a seat, irrespective of whether they themselves get it or not.
The minimum age to become a flight attendant is 18. Some airlines specify minimum age to be 21. There is no upper age limit.
It takes one year for a junior flight attendant to become senior. Senior flight attendants are highly paid and have the liberty of controlling their operational hours.
Benefits of becoming a flight attendant:
- Good salary: A flight attendant gets paid very well and is entitled to receive additional benefits for oneself as well as family.
- Exciting: Being a flight attendant is an exciting profession with lots of learning and career advances.
- A flight attendant might need to work during awkward timings.
- A flight attendant may get involved in an unpleasant rift with a passenger.
- Flight attendants operational venue is primarily inside the cabin of passenger aircraft. It may be a stressful and tiresome process to explain security and safety regulations to the passengers on a repetitive basis.
- Flight attendants may have to spend many nights away from home. They might have to share accommodation facilities with fellow staff members in hotels or apartments.
- Flight attendants are prone to getting injured in times of emergency such as turbulence. Also they generally follow irregular sleep pattern they can suffer from health problems too.
- Sometimes flight attendants have to face awkward circumstances such as resolving client complaints in overbooked flights.
Since airline journeys have become more frequent with globalization and impetus on aircraft infrastructure, flight attendant has become an on-demand job.