by Kim Jones
Have you ever considered a career as a Flight Attendant? If you like to travel and enjoy helping others, then becoming a flight attendant might be right for you. Flight attendants take care of customers and provide safety and assistance in the event of an emergency while in the air. They must be knowledgeable of takeoff and landing procedures and make sure passengers are compliant. Since flight attendants are constantly working with the public, they should be outgoing, patient and personable. A background in customer service is recommended for people wanting to become flight attendants.
On a typical day a flight attendant will:
- Get briefed by the captain on emergency evacuation procedures, coordination of the crew, the length of the flight, expected weather conditions, and special issues having to do with passengers;
- Make sure that first-aid kits and other emergency equipment are aboard and in working order;
- Assess the passenger cabin to make sure there are adequate supplies of food, beverages, and blankets;
- Greet passengers as they enter the plane, check their tickets, and tell them where to store their coats and carry-on bags ;
- Instruct passengers in the use of emergency equipment;
- Check to see that passengers’ seat belts are fastened, seats are in the upright position, and bags are properly stowed prior to takeoff;
- Help passengers in the event of an emergency;
- Reassure passengers in the event of turbulence;
- Direct passengers if they must evacuate the plane if there is an emergency landing;
- Answer questions about the flight;
- Distribute blankets, pillows, and reading material;
- Distribute beverages, snacks, and sometimes heat and serve meals;
- Help those needing assistance, e.g. small children, or elderly or disabled passengers;
- Administer first aid to ill patients;
- Take inventory of headsets, alcoholic beverages, and money collected prior to landing;
- Report passengers’ medical problems, lost and found articles, and condition of cabin equipment;
- Sometimes, if in a supervisory position, oversee the work of the other attendants aboard the aircraft.
While a high school diploma is the minimum requirement for those who want to work as flight attendants, many employers prefer to hire job candidates who have a college degree. A degree in communications, hospitality or tourism can provide suitable training for a career as a flight attendant. Candidates who have taken flight attendant training courses have the best chance of getting hired. However, in addition to any previous training, all newly hired flight attendants receive three to eight weeks of formal training from their employers and must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Additionally, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that airlines do a thorough background check of all new hires.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median yearly salary for flight attendants was $37,740 in 2010 (www.bls.gov). While their wage may not be extremely high, a significant perk for flight attendants is their flight benefits. Not only do flight attendants fly to various locations while they’re on the job, but they can often fly to destinations of their choice when they aren’t working. The flight attendant’s immediate family may also be able to fly for free or at a reduced fare.
According to the BLS, the job market for flight attendants employment is projected to experience little or no change from 2010 to 2020. The availability of flight attendant positions is ultimately determined by the economy and the growth of the airline industry. The number of positions available is generally fewer than the amount of applicants, so even though the job market is likely increasing, competition for the newly created jobs will be intense.
How do you find a Flight Attendant job? When choosing an airline to work for, you may want to see what airlines have a base near you so you won’t have to move, unless you really want to move. More than likely, you will end up being based in a city not near where you live and you will have to move or commute to work. Most Airlines will have employment sites on their company website. There are many other options such as mid-size and regional carriers or a charter company. Possibly one of the fastest growing areas of aviation is corporate or fractional jet employment opportunities. Finding corporate work will require a lot more research and networking on your part. Recommended places to start are with the National Business Aviation Association (www.nbaa.org) and Women in Aviation International (www.wai.org). Additionally, there are many all-in-one third party sites such as www.avianation.com and www.crewvacancies.com. Be sure to also check out aviation forums that provide specific hiring information such as www.airlinecrew.net; www.cabincrew.com; www.flightattendants.org, to name a few.
Looking for a flight attendant program? Consider AeroStar Flight Training Services. AeroStar’s Flight Attendant Training Program is held in JetBlue Airways state of the art training facilities in Orlando, FL and utilizes computer-based training, classroom presentations, participant role plays, and extensive hands-on-training in simulators and mockups. It has been designed and is instructed by industry professionals with many years of Flight Attendant and Airline training experience. The program provides everything from an introduction to the airline industry, concepts of flight, and extensive safety and service training to rigorous emergency and first aid training, as well as customer service skills necessary for achieving excellence in today’s competitive airline industry. Don’t put your career dreams on hold any longer. Make it a reality today!