Flight Attendant Careers

Flight Attendant Requirements and Job Description

Flight attendant careers provide a lifestyle of many wondrous experiences, but also require a great amount of responsibility.  The flight attendant job can be very demanding, expecting a lot from any individual, but the employment is also extremely rewarding.  A flight attendant job provides worldliness that most people will not experience in their entire lifetime.

Flight Attendant Requirements

Education

One of the advantages of embarking on a flight attendant career is that no formal schooling is necessary. Intense training programs are more than sufficient and in fact preferable, as the duties and demands placed on the flight attendant require a high degree of specialization.

Criminal Record

A clean criminal record is of great importance, as all flight attendants will receive a mandatory FBI-level 10-year background check. Drug testing is also a hiring requirement and a regular part of the job. While some lenience may be exercised by some airlines at the time of scouting, past criminal transgressions can be a serious hindrance to any persons seeking flight attendant careers.

Computer and Tech Literacy

A certain degree of computer literacy is also a must, along with having ready access to the internet and owning a smartphone, as airlines utilize email and text messaging as their primary means of communication. They employ these means to keep flight attendants abreast in real time, of any scheduling and work related issues.

Documents

Proper, up-to-date documentation is a must, so having a passport, and the ability to enter and leave the country unhindered, is necessary for any person interested in being a flight attendant.

Personal Upkeep

One unavoidable requirement for those seeking flight attendant careers is attention to image, care, and appearance. Being a flight attendant requires a good personal presentation.

Language Skills

Being able to speak languages other than English is not a requirement, but it certainly is an advantage that can help a flight attendant land a job, as there is more demand and opportunity for bilingual or multilingual flight attendants than for those who only speak English. This is because international flight passengers who are not native English speakers often find it reassuring and useful if flight attendants can speak their language. It will also influence what routes flight attendant may be assigned to and provide advantages in scheduling.

Physical Condition

The demanding nature of the job means that certain physical guidelines must be observed. Height and weight should be proportional, but excessive weight can make it difficult to get hired as space is limited inside airplanes and this can be a hindrance to a flight attendant’s job performance. Where height is concerned, people taller than 4’10’’ and shorter than 6’4’’ are ideal. Minor disabilities like hearing impairments that require the use of a hearing aid, or mild vision impairment that requires the use of either glasses or contact lenses, are not a problem or impediment for those seeking flight attendant careers. More significant disabilities may represent a problem, but this will vary on a case-to-case basis as not all disabilities are the same. Flight Attendant candidates must have full use of all five senses.

Social Skills

Flight attendants are required to have a great amount of interaction with passengers as they are effectively the face of the airline and the main line of engagement with customers. It should come without saying that social skills such as patience, attentive listening, being mindful of tact, and even a sense of humor are vital.

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Flight Attendant Job Description

Flight attendant careers are not the average 9 to 5 job, so all the common expectations that go with such occupations do not apply. As a flight attendant, a person can look forward to 4am wake-up calls, sporadic hours, frequent changes in scheduling such as delays, long lay-overs, as well as being required to work on holidays and weekends. The job is very demanding and flight attendants have many responsibilities; There security checks to perform with great attention to detail before and after a flight, as well as the many duties most people see flight attendants perform during flights.

A new flight attendant requirements normally includes being required to spend a certain number of days near the airport they are based in, being “on reserve” (on call) and ready to perform should they be called in to work a trip. As many flight attendants live outside and away from the city and the airport they are based in, it is common for them to commute. Many commute via air from other cities. This requires flight attendants to ride on flights that often last a few hours, just so they can be “on reserve” in their assigned base.

Scheduling is usually handled digitally by the airlines. Flight attendants input their schedule preference criteria for the month ahead, and the system uses that information to match it with the flight and route requirements. This system gives priority to flight attendant seniority when trying to accommodate schedule and route preferences in the monthly schedule, so the longer a flight attendant career, the better the schedule.

Annual recurrent training is another industry requirement. Flight attendants must complete refresher courses once per year for the handling of any emergency situations that may arise. Flight Attendants play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety and security of flights and passengers, not just their comfort and enjoyment.

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The Perks of Flight Attendant Careers

The job is certainly a demanding one, as clearly detailed in the flight attendant job description above. The trade-off is that with such demands come proportionately beneficial perks and advantages. One might even argue that the pros of being a flight attendant far outweigh any cons there may be.

One of the best parts – if not the absolute best part – is that flight attendants get to fly all over the world! They are able to enjoy a variety of experiences that are simply not available to most people. There isn’t just travel while on the job, however; flight attendants have the privilege to fly anywhere in the world on their days off, and while on vacation. They are also able to bring along friends and family members at heavily discounted rates or sometimes for free!

Another plus is the amount of interaction with other people in the form of both their co-workers and the thousands of passengers they will see during their work. This essentially guarantees enjoyable and memorable experiences.

Yet another advantage of flight attendant careers is that the airline industry provides an almost unparalleled level of job security and stability. There have been many changes and challenging situations weathered by the airline industry, and the most recent changes have been very positive.

There are a great many other perks that vary depending on the airline, but perhaps one of the simpler and often unmentioned advantages is that, unlike an office job, flight attendants can easily leave their work outside the home. There is nothing compared to value of a little peace of mind.

Veteran flight attendants are happy to talk about how rich their lives and careers have been. They won’t hesitate to tell people how their job has made their lives memorable. Ultimately, the one requirement any person looking to start a flight attendant career is to have an adventurous spirit.

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