All flights whether they are long haul, European, or domestic operate with the use of cabin crew. Otherwise known as air steward/stewardesses or flight attendants they are an essential part of the set up of an airline. It is often seen as a glamorous and somewhat enviable job and whilst it is true, you could get to visit some fabulous places, the hours are quite long and it isn’t like your normal 9-5 job. So if you are still interested let’s look a little further into it.
The main role of a cabin crew member is that they are responsible for passenger safety, in that they have to ensure that all emergency equipment is in good working order prior to take off and that passengers understand what they have to do in the event of an emergency. If any emergency or security situation did come up then it is the cabin crews’ job to deal with them as speedily and efficiently as possible. Flight attendants are also responsible for giving safety demonstrations. Finally it is their job to ensure that all the passenger’s needs are dealt with by providing a very high level of customer service. They also sell refreshments and duty free goods.
Typical in flight duties
• The cabin crew are expected to attend a pre flight briefing in which they are assigned working positions. They are also informed of the flight schedule and whether there are any special passengers on board requiring extra assistance. i.e. wheelchair passengers, dietary needs, or diabetic passengers
• Ensuring that aircraft interior is clean and that all the information contained within the seat pockets is correct and up to date. Also they have to ensure that the correct stock is on board as well as the right amount of meals and beverages.
• Greeting passengers and directing them to their seats.
• Making sure all hand luggage is stowed away correctly and checking that all seat belts is fastened prior to take off.
• Giving a demonstration of what to do in the event of an emergency
• Attending to the needs of the passengers during the flight including serving food and beverages as well as selling any other promotion or service that the airline decrees.
• Giving first aid to passengers should they become unwell
• When flight has landed, the attendants need to ensure that all passengers disembark safely and that no luggage is left in the overhead lockers or under seats.
• Completing all paperwork including an in flight report.
As you would expect airlines have relatively strict criteria that you need before you consider applying for a job and these are as follows:
On the majority of airlines you have to be between 5ft 2 and 6ft 3. This goes for both men and women. Although each airline has their own criteria.
Although there is no specific weight limit all airlines suggest that your weight must be in proportion to your height
Minimum age requirements for airlines can differ but they range between 18 and 21. There is no maximum age limit and they will consider applicants up to the age of 54.
All cabin crew are required to have good eyesight and they must be able to prove this
It goes without saying that you have to be in good shape before applying for this job.
Able to swim
Most if not all airlines will need potential recruits to be able to swim between 25 -30 metres unaided and be able to tread water for one minute.
Customer service experience
This is a customer-based environment therefore you will need to demonstrate great customer service skills. Previous customer service skills are essential.
So what Qualifications do I need to start?
The formal way
On most but not all airlines you will need to have passed 4 GCSE’s of grade C and above, two of which should be in Maths and English. When flying internationally, knowledge of a foreign language is also preferred. A degree in the hospitality industry will also stand you in very good stead.
The informal way
Most airlines do have their own training and on some, as long as you can demonstrate excellent customer service skills and that you are proficient in Maths and English then no other formal qualifications are necessary
At a starting level you can expect pay somewhere between £12,000 and £15,000. But as you progress to senior cabin crew you can earn somewhere around £25,000. Along with the pay you get good perks of the job including flight allowances, hotel stays during stay overs, medical expenses and a supplied uniform.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about the job. It is s great job to get into if you like meeting people and travelling. It’s hard work but well worth it.
* Foto: Creative Commons, By psychedelikat87 – Flickr