Travelling around the world is a dream come true for many. All of us eagerly wait for some much needed vacation time that allows us to go on holiday. Wouldn’t it be perfect if your job in itself involved travelling around the world? Being paid to travel from city to city sounds like total bliss! While there are many career options that allow you to travel, becoming a flight attendant has a charm of its own.
As a flight attendant, you get to go to different corners of the world, all for free! What’s more is that you also get to meet so many different kinds of people. The aura associated with the life of flight attendant is coveted by many.
If you see yourself becoming a flight attendant, here’s a complete guide that will give you all the information you require to pursue your passion. With the right drive, passion and perseverance, you can do almost anything!
What qualities are airlines looking for in flight attendants?
Aspiring to be a flight attendant is all well and good, but to have an edge over the others, here are specific qualities that will help you be an excellent flight attendant.
Having a pleasing personality is an attribute of the utmost importance if you’re in the service industry. Flight attendants, especially, need to be their most polite selves at all times. While dealing with flight passengers they have to maintain their calm, address grievances and offer solutions, all the while ensuring they have a positive attitude. You must ensure that you never come off as being rude or nonchalant while interacting with a passenger.
Good communication skills
Being a flight attendant involves constant communication and interaction with passengers. Being able to understand and respond to them is very important. The manner in which you speak is also crucial; therefore having excellent verbal skills is always a plus point for a flight attendant.
Having a presence of mind during emergencies
As a flight attendant, you might encounter emergency situations while on board. It is important to remain calm and composed to ensure the safety of your crew and the passengers. You will come across unruly passengers that you must handle in a professional manner without losing your temper.
Multitasking and team work
On an airplane, you will have to be a team player as you will be working in tandem with an entire crew. You will also be in charge of several different things at once; therefore you have to make sure you are able to handle all of it without panicking.
What qualifications do you need to have?
To be a flight attendant, you require a minimum educational qualification. While you don’t require multiple degrees, a high school degree and a college degree are usually the minimum requirements.
Additionally, if you are trained in the areas of hospitality and travel management it is a bonus and might give you an edge over your peers. There are several diploma and degree courses available specifically in the area of flight attendant training that you can apply for. You can also take up certificate courses like aviation management, airlines hospitality, airline passenger service and other related areas of study.
Eligibility criteria for a flight attendant
Apart from educational qualifications there are certain other criteria that make you eligible to become a flight attendant.
- Most airlines hire flight attendants who are at least 21 years of age. Some begin hiring at age 18.
- Unmarried individuals are preferred candidates.
- Your height must be between 4 feet 11 inches and 6 feet 3 inches and your weight should be proportional to your height
- Airlines favour candidates with 20/20 vision but they do make exceptions for individuals with 20/30 vision.
- No visible tattoos or piercings
- Physical fitness is of prime importance. You will be working long hours on the aircraft, handling luggage and other equipment.
The Selection Process
While every airline may have different kinds of rounds in the selection process, there are a few common steps. Once you send in your resume, you will have a written test, an interview and a group discussion. Some companies also have a one-way interview where you will have to record yourself answering a set of questions.
Flight attendant training
Once you are hired by an airline, you will undergo a mandatory training program. During the theoretical training program you will be taught how to handle emergency situations, operate oxygen masks/life jackets and evacuation slides. Once this process is over, you will move on to the next step of practice flights. These practical sessions will ensure you understand the dynamics of working on board. You will get the opportunity to learn and interact with experienced flight attendants.
The pros and cons of being a flight attendant
The pros of being a flight attendant are known universally. You get to travel the world, you have a steady income, you get a huge amount of exposure and interact with different kinds of people. However, with the good, there’s always the bad.
Cons include lack of frequent holidays and dedication vacation time. Your schedule will be constantly changing and be completely reliant on your flight and its timings, having a social life may become a little difficult. You will also have to spend a significant time away from home. Despite of all this, if you have the passion to travel around the world and experience a different kind of life, the job of a flight attendant is definitely for you!