Do you, for any reason, want to become a flight attendant? A long term dream perhaps? That’s great! Now, what do flight attendants do?
A flight attendant’s primary job is to ensure passengers’ safety and comfort on airline flights. Their role does not only involve serving food and drinks. They take care of emergencies and ensuring that passengers follow the Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A.) regulations. Before every flight, it’s is a flight attendant’s job to ensure that all necessary supplies and equipment are on board.
Flexibility is a very vital requirement for being a flight attendant. As a flight attendant, you are expected to work on short notice, stand on your feet for a long time, and be able to deal with people efficiently.
Steps to Take Before Becoming a Flight Attendant
Now, how exactly do you become a flight attendant? What are the pieces of training and certifications you need to get?
Apply to an Airline
The first thing you need to do is to get hired by an airline. There are specific airline’s requirements for education and experience that you will need to meet.
What Are the Requirements You Need to Meet?
- To work as a flight attendant in an airline, you will need to have a high school or equivalency (G.E.D.) diploma. However, many of these airlines are partial to candidates who have taken college classes or have an associate or bachelor’s degree. Some of the degrees that you can consider in preparation for this career include hospitality, communication, tourism, and public relations.
- Also, you have a higher chance of being hired if you have work experience in a related job. For instance, a candidate who has experience in customer service, someone who has worked in a hotel, resort, or restaurant, stands a higher chance of being employed than one who doesn’t.
- You are also required to meet specific physical requirements for being a flight attendant. There are requirements for minimum and maximum heights, depending on different airlines. Also, attendants are required to be able to sit in a jumpseat and complete some physical tasks, such as pushing, pulling, bending, and lifting with a certain degree of accommodation.
- Flight attendants need to pass a background check and a pre-employment drug screening. Someone with visible tattoos will be disqualified on sight, well, except it can be concealed with makeup.
- You will have to complete multiple interviews. For instance, it may start with a group interview, then a one-on-one conversation. Be professional all through, and be prepared to convince them of the reasons you are an excellent choice to represent the airline.
Complete Your Flight Attendant Training Program
Once you get hired by an airline, you will get formal training at the airline’s flight training centre. There, you will spend a duration of three to six weeks, receiving classroom instruction on flight regulations, job duties, and company operations.
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Your lodging and transportation to the training centre will be sponsored by the airline, but you may have to take care of your meals. Depending on the airline, it may be paid or unpaid training.
During the training, you will learn how to handle emergencies. The company will teach you the procedures for evacuating an aeroplane and operating emergency equipment like evacuation slides, oxygen masks, and flotation devices.
Towards the end of your classroom instruction, you will take practice flights, where you have to apply all you’ve learned, and your skills will be evaluated.
Get a Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency
After haven completed the employer-sponsored training, an application will be submitted to the F.A.A., by the director of Operations at the airline, for your Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency.
Once the agency confirms your record, you are deemed eligible to work on a flight. However, you have to receive annual training to keep your certification up-to-date.
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Are You Done Yet?
No, you are not. While it’s true that you have completed your training and you have your certificate, it doesn’t mean you are there yet. Although you will have some opportunities to work, as a new flight attendant, your schedule won’t be regular again.
Also, it will take some time before you get to fly some of the more popular routes, say a few months to a few years, depending on whichever airline you work for, and of course, the hub you’re working out of.
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You will have to spend at least one year on reserve status (this means being on call). Your overnight bag must always remain packed, as you may have to report to work at a moment’s notice to replace absent crew members or cover extra flights. You will get paid for the time you’re on reserve.
Also, you will be assigned specific days to be on call. It’s not every minute that you’ll be on call. Seniority is of utmost importance amongst flight attendants, as time goes on, and the more you advance, you will be able to bid on monthly assignments.
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Things You Should Do Before Applying to an Airline
Now that you know what being a flight attendant entails, you have to work on your experience and education to make you a more desirable candidate; that is, you don’t already have them.
ü Make some findings on your desired airlines. Think about things like; the kind of company you want to work for and the place you would like to be based. For instance, you have to consider things like.
If you prefer working for a regional airline that flies primarily in the continental U.S. or working for international flights as soon as possible. Making such decisions will help to inform your job search.
Do not forget, though every job has its pros and cons. While it may be your dream come true, being a flight assistant will not always be an uphill journey. You have to cope with so many things, and you will hardly have time for yourself. You get to travel and see new places for free! Isn’t that amazing?