Considered as one of the adventurous and glamorous jobs among youngsters, the service of a flight attendant was first employed in Germany during the year 1912. The first male flight attendant (Steward) was Heinrich Kubis and the first female flight attendant was Ellen Church.
Traditionally, one of the pre-requisites for the girls to be hired as flight attendants was that they should be professional nurses. Additionally, they were expected to help the passengers with the luggage, assist in fuelling the aircraft and help the pilot in backing up the aircraft into the hangar.
The flight attendant carries a large number of responsibilities such as-
- Briefing the passengers on the safety instructions and emergency procedures for the flight.
- Once airborne, serving drinks and food to the passengers promptly.
- Taking care of any ill passengers or passengers with special needs.
- Keeping everyone safe and calm and discussing with the passengers regarding any oncoming turbulence during the flight.
- Helping the passengers in stowing away their luggage if necessary and making the cabin secure by checking tray tables and seat belts.
- Sometimes they need to alleviate the panic of anxiety-stricken passengers and reassure them of their safety.
- A huge part of this job requires interaction with the passengers and keeping them safe and secure in various possible situations.
Courses and exams
Many institutes offer a variety of courses of different durations for training in this particular role. However, if you are confident enough, fit the descriptions and well prepared, you can apply directly with different airlines without joining any institutes.
If selected, you will be trained by the airline itself according to its rules and requirements without needing to spend money in coaching institutes. However, if you need to groom yourself and know better how to deal with different situations that they may ask you the solutions for during the interview process, you can look at some of the courses offered by the following institutes-
- Frankfinn Institute of air hostess training
- Air hostess academy, Delhi
- Airborne academy
- All India Institute of Aeronautics
- Kingfisher training and aviation services
Height and weight requirements
Most airlines have height requirements for safety reasons, making sure that all flight attendants can reach overhead safety equipment. Typically, the acceptable height for this is 150 to 185 cm. Some airlines have height requirements for purely aesthetic purposes. Regional carriers using small aircraft with low ceilings can have height restrictions.
Flight attendants are also subject to weight requirements as well. Weight must usually be in proportion to height and people outside the normal range may not be qualified to act as flight attendants.
Job description and level of difficulty
Even though the job of a flight attendant might seem like a tedious one with the long hours and sometimes dealing with the cranky passengers, in the end, it is all about the perks that come with the job that make it interesting and appealing to the people in the aviation industry. The training and the hours can be tricky and extensive sometimes since ensuring safety during the flight is airborne is a job that requires a lot of learning and attention to detail. Some situations might even require you to be prepared enough to save the life of a passenger or even deliver a baby on the flight!
|You can travel throughout the whole world meeting new people every time, trying out new places, learning about new cultures||The shifts can sometimes stretch long and sometimes be short leading to unstable schedule in overall lifestyle|
|Cabin crew gets a lot of perks. Flight attendants for most airlines are allowed to fly standby on their own or other airlines for free, or at reduced rates during their “off-time”.||The rules to be followed by the flight attendants are very stringent and require a certain level of discipline.|
|Instead of working 9-5, you work 3-4 multi-hour days and then take rest of the week off.||Being airborne for a long time can lead to symptoms like dehydration and lead to serious health problems if good care is not taken, that is why cabin crew is required to adhere strictly to dietary and skincare regimens.|
It is often said that you do not become a flight attendant for the money you make, but the perks that come with it. It is widely known that flight attendants know some of the best places to hang out all over the world and spend a lot of nights in wild parties! Once the aircraft lands and their job is done, they have nothing to do but explore whichever country they are in and soak in its culture. This leads to many amazing adventures and not to mention the huge number of friends they make in every corner of the world because of their ability to interact with people and make them comfortable.
The timings in the aviation industry can be a bit of a problem since they are never fixed and are subject to change with the weather and other factors. This may lead to some disturbance in the lifestyle.
The entry-level pay of flight attendants is not very steep. However, as you become experienced within a year or so, the pay increases considerably.
The most famous example of the flight attendant is the brave Neerja Bhanot who saved the lives of over 365 passengers and 13 crew members in the infamous hijacking incident of the year 1985.
To become a good flight attendant a person must have the following traits-
- Ability to be calm under pressure.
- Ability to interact and communicate with people effectively.
- Positive persona.