Flight attendants are one of the largest job categories in travel industry. Are you interested in travelling around the world and have thirst for experiencing the culture of world? Then start thinking about becoming a flight attendant.
The flight attendants play a very important role in helping passengers feel comfortable and stay safe during air travel. This job profile brings a lot of experience when they meet different people from different countries and also have opportunity to taste the different cultures of cities around the world. So what are the special needs and characteristic attitudes you need to know to get to that platform.
1. Know about the job profile:
The main description of this job is that the flight attendant are considered as care givers, safety providers and customer service professionals. They have to ensure the safety of passengers during their flight from one destination to another. Also they need to ensure that everyone who boarded that flight are feeling comfortable. There are other finer details to this job. It includes carrying out pre-flight checks, checking the boarding passes of passengers, ensure cleanliness, advise passengers of safety procedures, write flight reports. Sometimes there are unexpected challenges that they need to face like administering first aid, having to deal with unruly passengers, prepare for any emergency landings.
2. Responsibilities to be followed:
Being a flight attendant, you need to know certain of the important responsibilities namely greeting passengers when they board and exit the flight, help the passengers in allocating their seats and stowing their baggage’s in the overhead bins, presenting the safety procedures in case of emergency, serving beverages and food, answer queries from passengers, helping to calm anxious passengers, guiding passengers during emergency cases, administer first aid if needed to.
3. Get to know benefits:
Flights attendants are paid based on their number of working hours. There are instances when you would need to work at short notice period or work long hours. Bear in mind that the hours or days could include weekends and public holidays. There are stay overnight at hotels outside. But the benefit is that you have opportunity to travel the whole world and would receive discounted flight tickets for you and your family members. Normally if there is a 10 hour flight you would be provided a 24 hour gap. Hence your salary would include reduced flight costs and hotel expenses covered if away from home. Besides that, you could get up to 4- 5 days off between long haul flights and all expenses paid when arriving on destination.
4. Know the hierarchy:
New hires have to undergo training program before they are assigned as “junior flight attendants”. These junior hires are under close scrutiny who receive lower perks than their senior counterparts. Based on their performance, after a year or so, the junior gets promoted to senior level. It is here that they learn how to manage their hours of work.
5. Ensure that you opt for it:
It is very essential for one to know that being a flight attendant, you are liable to make some personal sacrifices. Also you would need to be willing to be alone away from your family as there is long hours of travel. If you are person who is independent in your moves, adventurous to explore the attractions of the cities that you would visit, able to tolerate the cultural difference and forgo some of your personal space. More important is the attitude of service before self. For example you could be faced with a situation when you would still need to put up a smiling face even after long hours of work or after 10 hours of flight. If you seem to have a ‘yes’ for the said points then you can go ahead with this career.
6. Physical attributes required:
You might be familiar that flight attendants are mostly slight tall, slim girls. But the dimensions vary that is tailored for each flight. Their main concern is that the height should be such that the attendants should be able to open the overhead bin with ease. Also they must be able to sit in the seat and buckle themselves with ease. Mostly the height requirements ranges from 5’ – 5’1” to 5’8” – 6’3”. As for weight, there is no specific requirement but the basic requirement is that weight is proportionate to the weight. Initially it was that only females were hired, but nowadays even male candidates can apply. You must be of age 18 and above, have good vision, and no visible tattoos when wearing uniform, type of makeup, hair length above shoulders, no piercings, no unnatural hair colour, conservative hairstyle, conservative wrist watches, and no dangling jewellery. In case of men they must be clean shaven, moustaches trimmed neatly, sideburns not below halfway down the ear.
7. Good communication required:
The most important for this job profile is communication, be it verbal or written. You must be very familiar and fluent in the usage of English language. Learning other languages will be added advantage. But most of the communications are in English whether it is providing instructions or serving the customers. The skills pertain to listening, comprehending and giving instructions, reading and writing.
8. Personal attributes required:
Each person is blessed with their own traits. But there are certain traits that are needed to work in this industry. Some of the traits are being a team player, able to work under pressure, being patient, being flexible, having care consciousness, being a problem solver, able to focus on customer satisfaction, having confidence about their work, always safety conscious, having positive attitude, showing punctuality, always aware and observe surroundings, keen to absorb and work professionally.
9. Education requirements:
Compared to other career options, to become a flight attendant you need to have a minimum of high school certificate. Some do undertake specific courses that are offered to become a flight attendant. But when you are hired by the airlines, you will be provided with their specific training that details on safety issues. Also prepare yourself for having customer service qualities as you would be always exposed to customers. Having this as added experience could help you. Probably, if you have worked as customer support executive at answering phone calls, or working at front desk answering query of customer, then you could try out for this career.
10. Search online for jobs:
Once you know that you have the above said and desire to become one, then search online at airlines sites. There are sometime open houses hosted for the hires to meet their employers and gather further information. List out the jobs that are appealing and make sure that it is suitable for your needs before applying.
11. Apply for jobs:
You need to apply by submitting your application with covering letter. Detail about your experiences in language or languages, physical attributes, personality attributes, any additional qualifications especially your customer service attributes that may be of use. Create your email having your first and last name to be more professional in communications. When applying ensure that it is sent with acknowledgement so that you know they received. There could be days before you receive an intimation or phone call after submission.
12. Getting through interviews:
Most of the time the hiring process involves interviewing candidates. So you need to show that you are cool-headed, able to endure, able to be friendly, responsible, presentable, caring about people’s safety. Always see that you smile every time you speak. Interview consists of two sessions. – First session is a written test for evaluating your customer service skills. Once you get through you will be directed for evaluating your leadership skills. Here you need to be careful to answer as they could give real life saving situations to know how you would handle, for example – handling drunken passenger or emergency landing. Even there could be situation when you would need to make on flight announcement. This is to evaluate your level of confidence, how you organize your information, and how you can command attention. But ensure that you don’t speak very fast. Make yourself audible and repeat in small sentences. The last that will be to evaluate is if you are in good health through medical examination. Hence get yourself organized and keep everything ready.
13. Attending training programme:
Every airline has their own specific trainings that pertain to their culture. Some of them have an online course and field trainings on plane. Training is provided that will teach you how to manage a situation in emergency landing, how to evacuate the plane in such instances and answer customers queries. Also, trainings such as the way the drinks cart need to be operated, way beverages are served, food is served, attending calls at seats of passengers, how to answer them, how to make announcements to passengers, how to handle infants or small children on flights. Making on flight announcements are also part of the training. Of course, traits like team playing, how to engage with different sets of people, working under pressure, how to maintain composure, being flexible, how to handle discomfort when one is undergoing such a situation, communicate effectively are being trained. The training period last from four to six weeks. This period is quite daunting as you are liable to make mistakes and learn from them. During this period, you would need to maintain a positive attitude, patience and endurance. Without these qualities you would not be able to face the passengers and get through your training. By maintain your focus, you are sure to come out with flying colours.
14. Get your passport:
Check out the airline site when applying on the basic requirements. Most of the airlines do require passports. If you have then good, if not then apply and submit the receipt during interview process indicating that you have started the process. Passport is an important document for travel and is mandatory while entering other countries. If the flight is in bound then there is no necessity, but in case you need to go outside country it is important.
The details of the flight attendants job and the needed qualifications, attributes, qualities, were being elaborated. The only criteria is being customer service oriented, have a smile on your face, be patient and considerate for this position. It is also clear from the said points that you would need to consider it only if you are willing to accept all those given. The flight attendant job revolves around the clock and your life has to move with it.
You would have observed from the above that role of a flight attendant is very important to the safety of the passengers on board. Also you would have seen that you represent the company in the forefront through your customer service skills. Being in the frontline, you are the person making the difference, giving a good experience to the passengers. From the satisfaction index, you would also see that more customers come back again and again. Hence, airlines invest more into training of the inflight attendants so that they set the bar high for their business.