Flight Attendant Courses Qantas – Qantas flight attendants walk through the Sydney Domestic Airport terminal in 2014. The image of flight attendants has changed a lot over the years.
Waiters are the unsung heroes of the aviation industry. Pilots can get you where you’re going, but everyone knows that aircrew are a serious force behind in-flight operations. For the foreseeable future, more people are flying than ever before, according to forecasts from the US Federal Aviation Administration, and the upward trend in passenger numbers will continue. This apparent job stability is good news for current and future flight attendants.
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The image of flight attendants has changed a lot over the years. In the 1930s and 40s, most of them had experience as a nurse – then air travel was more turbulent than it is now. In the 1960s and 1970s, there was a “sexy flight attendant” image, and many uniforms featured miniskirts or shorts [source: AvStop ]. What was common to both eras was the requirement that ministers could not be married, have children or even weigh more than a certain amount. For many airlines, even if you’ve managed to avoid these potentially career-ending pitfalls, you’ll still be unceremoniously dropped on your 32nd birthday or so for having the nerve to get old [source: Ganzer ].
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Inconsistencies and all, the profession reached its height of mystery and excitement in those early days when flying was a rare, thrilling pleasure – if you had the chance to do it at all. “People looked at us like the job was special and we were special,” said Candy Bruton, a 43-year veteran flight attendant with a major airline.
Flight attendants and women’s rights advocates fought discrimination based on age, marital status and weight (weight requirements were lifted only in the 1990s), and as a result careers became less about image and more about providing important, necessary services. Men also joined the ranks of the profession—perhaps “reunited” would be more accurate, since airlines hired “flight attendants” or “stewards” in the early days of air travel in the 1920s.
However, there are still quite strict standards to get a place in this prestigious profession. Requirements vary by airline, but at SkyWest, for example, flight attendants must not have visible tattoos, strange hairstyles (including color) or excessive body musculature. Candidates must be tall enough to operate the overhead berths, but still short enough to perform aircraft tasks comfortably – typically 5 to 6 feet or 1.5 to 1.8 meters tall. Service personnel must also be able to withstand reasonable physical exertion (walking, closing heavy doors and pushing beverage carts) and be physically able to buckle into a jump seat equipped with a shoulder and seat belt.
A high school diploma or GED is required, but the industry has become so competitive that a college degree often boosts your chances of landing a job in your favor. So will speak the second language. Of course, customer service skills are a must. Let’s face it, if you can’t resist throwing a Diet Coke in the face of a difficult passenger, this job probably isn’t for you!
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The job of a flight attendant goes far beyond picking up trash and dispensing drinks, although both are essential to flying. Customer service and safety are cornerstones of the role of a flight attendant, but both have become more complex in recent years. “After 9/11, the whole system changed and we had to move to a much safer and more detailed rework process that added many layers,” explains Bruton. “Our knowledge base has also grown significantly to make things even safer, and every year we go through the training you have to complete and pass in order to fly.” Bruton also notes that major airlines now fly almost all over the world, so cultural training is a must to avoid problems and misunderstandings.
In addition to demonstrating safety procedures (or the opportunity to ask questions while the video is being shown), flight attendants must also check for safety equipment and make sure passengers follow rules such as proper stowage and wearing seat belts. Also of crucial importance is the ability to assist passengers in emergencies, from mild turbulence to a passenger’s heart attack and an impending plane crash; hence all the mandatory annual training.
In terms of customer service, the goal is to keep passengers as happy as possible despite the ever-shrinking legroom, seats and food and beverage choices available to ticket holders. They are often irritated before boarding, so it is even more important for flight attendants to demonstrate excellent customer service skills. “People were always excited when they went on a trip,” recalls Kate Linder, a United Airlines flight attendant since 1978. “Getting through the airport now is such a hassle that by the time they get through security, they’re exhausted. come. “
Overnight flights are common and expected, especially for new flight attendants who have less control over their schedule. Seniority determines everything in the world of flight attendants, and the people who have worked there the longest get first bid in the bidding for the routes they want to work on. The typical flight attendant works 75 to 85 hours a month, but many volunteer to work extra shifts to supplement their salary. The maximum number of hours allowed is usually 100 hours per month [source: Flight Attendant Academy].
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Kate Linder, star of the television soap opera The Young and the Restless, has kept another job as a flight attendant. She believes her dual career keeps her grounded.
The benefits of travel for flight attendants are notoriously surprising, with free and discounted flights available to employees, immediate family members, and sometimes even friends and extended family [source: Delta]. I know flight attendants who regularly go to exotic places just because they can, and international flight attendants sometimes make long stops during which they can see the sights and interact with the locals. “We’ve learned that the smallest towns are just as much fun as the big centers because there’s always something to discover,” says Candy Bruton, a 43-year-old vet.
However, do not rush to find a new companion for a friend pass. Many airlines keep them on trial for about six months before the flight benefits kick in [source: Poole].
While free travel is probably the nicest and most quantifiable perk for flight attendants, flexibility is another huge benefit, especially for parents and people who have other demands on their time.
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“I needed a job that would allow me to recover but at the same time have enough free time so that I could continue my acting career,” recalls Kate Linder, who simultaneously worked as a flight attendant and starred in the popular soap opera The Jong and the restless.” “above 32 years of age. “The job gives you the opportunity to do other things. I can fly on weekends and still be at home to perform in person, audition and play.” Linder regularly enjoys interacting with shocked fans during her flights, as well as how maintaining two contrasting careers keeps her grounded: “One day I’m on set playing Esther [Valentine], another day I’m in a movie, and the next day I’m at 35,000 feet serving coffee.” she explains, “You don’t forget who you are.”
Bruton shares the view that it is the ideal career for working parents. “I could go to school, fly and still take care of my family,” she says. “It’s an incredible amount of flexibility.”
It’s also a great option for people who don’t like the standard 9-to-5 workday. “I like not having to commute to the office every day and the hours vary from trip to trip,” says Kelly*, who has been accompanying a major carrier for over a decade. She notes that flight attendants have a positive impact on the lives of passengers through short and pleasant connections. “You can help them and send them on their way.”
Flight attendants watch as baby orangutans smuggled out of Borneo are returned first class to Jakarta by Garuda Airlines from Bangkok. Flight attendants must be prepared for any situation.
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Even the most plum positions have their pitfalls. Some of the disadvantages of being a flight attendant are obvious. The working day is as a rule long (up to 14 hours a day), work is practically guaranteed at night, on weekends and holidays. Until you reach considerable seniority, the salary usually won’t support your Jimmy Choo habit. In 2012, the average annual salary for flight attendants was about $37,000, with seniority playing an important role in boosting salaries and benefits [source: Bureau of Labor Statistics ]. “Aug services are doing well right now, so we’re getting wage increases and profit sharing,” says Kelly. “But there are times when we have to take wage cuts and keep the company going.”
At United Airlines, the hourly rate for a first-year in-house flight attendant was $21.23 in 2014 [source: Academy of Flight Attendants ]. And that only applies to flight time. You know
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