What do Flight Attendants do?
Flight attendants are responsible for the health and safety of the passengers in the flight. They greet the passengers, help to stow the luggage away and familiarise passengers with the safety precautions. They lock all doors in the cabin before take-off and check that all passengers are wearing their seatbelts. During the flight, they prepare and serve the meals for the passengers as well as for the cockpit crew. The flight attendants provide multi-lingual information over the on-board loudspeakers for the passengers regarding the flight and destination. In the case of an unexpected incident, the flight attendants coordinate any emergency measures on board. Following the flight, they say goodbye to all passengers and clean up the cabin.
Which requirements do flight attendants need to fulfil?
The legal requirements that flight attendants must fulfil include:
- Medical fitness
- Good sight (critical values vary) +/- 5 dioptres
- At least 18 years of age
- Successful completion of a basic training
- Regular refresher trainings
- Valid passport
- Background check by the Aviation Authority
Besides these requirements, flight attendants often need to fulfil other prerequisites, which vary from airline to airline:
- A minimum physical size
- A maximum age
- Good proficiency in English
- Further language skills
- Fitness for service in the tropics
- Well-groomed appearance
- Driver's license
- Intermediate school leaving certificate
- Ability to swim
As the work field is very international, flight attendants need to have good intercultural knowledge, be open-minded and communicative. Irregular working hours and long travel demand flexibility and resilience. Tight working spaces in an aircraft require flight attendants to have a certain level of body control and agility. Flight attendants need to be service- and customer-orientated, and keep a cool head during emergencies.
How can I become a flight attendant?
Training for flight attendants takes place in seminars and generally take between seven and nine weeks. The training courses are usually offered by the airlines and are mostly paid by the airlines, provided an employment with the airline ensues. The course content includes theoretical as well as practical units. The course is concluded with an exam at the corresponding provider.
What can flight attendants expect in professional life?
Having a workplace over the clouds presents flight attendants with a few special features. Stewards and stewardesses work predominantly in standing and on their feet. They have to deal with loud noise, exhaustion, and a low humidity on board as well as with fluctuations in climate, long stays away from home and irregular working hours including weekends and holidays. Whoever chooses the career of a flight attendant should be aware that work is largely carried out in front of the passengers and you need to maintain a consistent professional friendliness.
The basic salary for flight attendants is around 1,500 Euro gross per month. On top of that, there are often shift bonuses, absence premiums and holiday pay. Experienced flight attendants can be promoted to pursers or cabin managers. Pursers take charge of the cabin crew management, create rosters and participate in the training of flight attendants.