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If you've not read any of my other reviews, I best tell you this now. I LOVE FLYING. Its so inspirational and amazing. Or does that just sound cheesy? Well, no matter how it sounds, it's true. Something about the way an aircraft works, then takes off into the clouds, the sunrise, the sunset, the sea of dazzling stars or simply into the shining sun makes me shiver with excitement. Flying is a beautiful thing, and I would be sad to hear anyone disagree. I wanted to become a flight attendant at a very young age. Being able to fly everyday, and being paid to do so? That's a dream job to me. However, as I grew older and started to think more about the future, I decided I wanted to become an Airline Pilot. Its a very difficult job to achieve, then even once you have achieved it, its a difficult career to move forward in. So to give my future a safety net, I decided to make a plan B. This is to become a flight attendant!
Short haul flight attendants don't see very much of different countries. They are, basicly, seeing the airports. Long haul flight attendants, however, are usually given accommodation by their airline in the country they depart in. They are definitely privileged. The countries they get to see are amazing. You may be thinking, anyone can travel, why be a flight attendant? Well, working in the air is a great experience too. The cleaning and waitressing part, not too appealing, but the fact you get to fly every day of your life? Well, that's something to me anyway! Let me show you the life of a flight attendant.
Day in the life of a flight attendant
-Boarding your flight, greeting your Cabin Crew, getting to know them if you don't already.
-Getting a flight briefing from your Cabin Manager or Pilot.
-Cleaning the aircraft, checking safety equipment and stock.
-Helping to seat unaccompanied minors, elderly or disabled, pregnant women or parents with very young children.
-Greeting other passengers and showing them to their seats.
-Helping anyone struggling with baggage or bulky items.
-Seatbelt rota check, helping people with children on their lap safely buckle their children, if a parent is struggling with unsettled children, you may have to help settle them.
-Making cabin annocements and last minute safety checks.
Closing the doors, this is important for reasons you may know why.
-Whilst the aircraft is taxing, you may have to perform cabin safety demonstration, if your aircraft has a supplied video, you may have to play the video, then make final checks.
-Your captain will inform you on seating. Perhaps, yourself if the cabin manager is to busy, will confirm the cabin is clear for take-off.
-You will be doing nothing for the next 15 minutes, although, its important you keep an eye out for any passengers you need immediate attending to.
-Your pilot will inform you of when you have to start service. This may start by serving food or drinks.
-Afterwards, you will have to concentrate on buzzers, attending to anyone who needs personal assistance.
-This may also include the pilot. If the pilot calls for assistance in the flight deck, the person closest to the flight deck must attend. Even if you are in the rear cabin, always check someone is attending the pilot, if you do not see anyone do so, go yourself. This is very important.
-This routine will go on for a good remainder of the flight, making regular annocements to the passengers.
You will then have to serve meals, provide drinks with them, and clear up afterwards.
-If this is a night time flight, this will probably the time when the lights are dimmed. Depending on aircraft size, only a few cabin crew many need to work, meaning this is a chance for some cabin crew to get a rest. Going to sleep may not be a good idea, as if the passengers aren't resting and are needing a lot of assistance, you may have to attend your collogues.
-Your next step will be duty free, good salesmen skills help here, as you may have to talk passengers into buying your products. If passengers are sleeping/do not look interested, you are best to leave them alone.
-After duty free, you may have to serve more passengers, do another trolley-round, or if your lucky, you have have another breather.
-On a short haul flight, this would be landing time. You have to do several spot-checks, seat belt checks, cleaning up, and safety checks.
-One your Cabin Manager feels the Cabin is okay for landing, he/she will inform the pilot.
-Then, if the pilot has not told you to be seated, you can get a sneaky start on cabin cleaning, or attend to passengers who need last minute assistance.
-Once the aircraft has landed, this may be a very stressful part f the flight. You now have to deal with the hassle of getting the passengers of the aircraft in an orderly manner, helping passengers get there baggage down from the overhead lockers, get everyone of the aircraft safely, thank everyone for flying with your airline, and say goodbye to passengers individually as they come of the aircraft with a dazzling smile, no matter how tired you are.
-Now, its preparation time for your next flight, you are given a certain time to clean and organize the cabin before passengers start boarding. You will be pushed for time and perhaps very stressed.
-Then you have to smarten yourself up, put on a smile and start it all over again. Doesn't it sound like great fun?
Nope it certainly not over yet, here are a few extra things you may have to do on your flight.
-Attended to nervous or sick passengers.
-Deal with complaints with passengers, this may include seat moving.
-Discipline drunk or disorderly passengers.
-Passing on information from the pilot.
-Seating and assisting to anyone in situations like strong turbulence, cabin oxygen loss or emergencies.
-If it is a long haul flight, you will need to do extra tasks than stated above, like serving ice cream to children, changing movies over or handing out blankets or pillows.
-It can be noisy, stuffy, and cramped on a plane
-70% of the time, you are on your feet
-You may be assigned to long shifts on short notice
-It is likely you will be working weekends or on public holidays.
-You may have to a lot of time in airports
-You have to wear a uniform
-You may suffer jet-lag at times
Qualifications and requirements
Here are the requirements for an average international airline
-A good general education with 3 Scottish GCSEs at level 3 or above, or England level C or above. These must include Maths and English.
-Ability to swim
-There are normally height and weight restrictions, and your weight should be in proportion to your height.
-Perfect heath settings, good hearing, good eyesight
-You often need previous experience of working with people.
Airlines may prefer you to have at least one year's experience in a field such as customer service, retail or travel agency work.
-A second language is preferred.
What airlines look for
- Well groomed and smart appearance.
- Tolerant and calm
- Someone who's good at coping in a crisis or stressful situations.
- To be able to appropriately deal with difficult passengers
- good communication skills
- Pleasant and helpful manner
There are many courses you can take to help you get a better chance on an airline. They will be stated at the bottom of the review. It is not necessary to provide your own training as airlines usually do this already. Training by airlines will usually cover 4-6 weeks. You will go over subjects such as safety and first aid; customer care; immigration, customs and security rules; preparing and serving food; pre- and post-flight checks, sales and report writing. This will be followed by in-flight work which will be evaluated by your Cabin Manager. Training is very difficult and demanding, you will go over safety drills, in a large flight simulator. You will have to role play a whole emergency on a simulator with real passengers and get them off the aircraft. One course will need to you get passengers off an aircraft, down a slide, into a large pool, onto a raft and out to land. Other ones will
be things like a smoke filled cabin, drilling alarms, pretend fires and emergency landings. These drills are sometimes played by other airline trainee's or on more sophisticated airlines, good actors. Airlines ensure all drills are realistic as possible, so, if you do overcome an emergency one day on a blue moon, you will have experienced it before. Other courses on flight simulators are not as alarming and serious. These may be situations like demanding or drunk passengers, providing first aid or simply safety demonstration. It is hard but nothing to worry about. All training is done in teams so you will probably enjoy yourself whilst learning! Then if your lucky, you may be on the same flight as some of your training buddies one day!
Pay & Advantages
Woo, the part everyone wants to know about. Well, its nothing special to be honest, you probably earn the same as any waitressing job does, but have a look anyway ;)
The pay depends on what airline you work on, the routes you do, and the demand for the job.
- Starting salaries are around £11,000 a year. This is on a short haul, international airline.
-Then may rise to £15,000 to £25,000.
-If you are promoted to cabin manager, this may increase.
-If you then leave as cabin manager for a major airline, this will increase more.
-If you leave as a cabin manager for a major airline and start long-haul you may be talking about a salary worth £50,000. This is only if you bold your career well and get good promotions.
You also receive great advantages, such as
- Free travel for yourself and immediate family.
- Great travelling advantages
- Major airlines may book you into 4/5 star hotels for your stay.
- Airport discounts.
I would love to become Cabin Crew if I failed to become an airline pilot. The job sounds tiring, but fun. The places you see and advantages you receive are mazing and it sounds like such a great job altogether. Here's some courses and websites you can visit for more information
Note: GoSkills is the Sector Skills Council for the passenger transport industries.
Website: http://www.raes.org.uk/ Note: The website of the Royal Aeronautical Society has a Careers section which provides a wide range of information on careers in the aeronautical industry.
Hope this review was a help to you all.