More than pilots, mechanics, and ticket agents, the job of an Airline Flight Attendant can get your travelling the world for free and an interesting career in aviation.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Be an Airline Flight Attendant

Have you ever dreamed of flying to exotic places or foreign cities? Or perhaps have a desire to see more of the USA or Canada? If so, then you should consider the career as an airline flight attendant. There are over eighty scheduled, regional and charter airlines in the US and Canada, and they are in need of qualified applicants the year round.
Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001 the "Major" airlines had not been hiring, and some had furloughed their current flight attendants. The prospects of getting hired by a Major were relatively slim until recently, but it is now getting better.
But the Majors are only 10% of the airlines operating in the US and Canada. The other 90% include the mid-size airlines, regional and commuter carriers and charter airlines. These airlines continue to need and hire flight attendants on their flights.In addition, the fastest growing sector of aviation is the corporate or executive jet Flight Attendant employment opportunities. These luxurious private and corporate aircraft cater to a high-end clientele, and require professionally trained flight attendants as well.
If you think you must be a young fashion-model type to be considered for this much sought-after job, you would be mistaken. So says Tim Kirkwood, author of the best-selling career book, THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT JOB FINDER & CAREER GUIDE. Airlines today are looking for women and men between the ages of eighteen to sixty, who have the desire to travel and work with people.
This broader acceptance of applicants opens the career up to persons who had never considered themselves qualified. It also, therefore, increases the competition for potential applicants. Every airline has a different set of requirements, and some will even look for the characteristics of the region in which they fly.
A high-school diploma or GED is a must, so if you're in school now, STAY IN SCHOOL. If you have quit or dropped out, it's never too late to go back and get your diploma. For all airlines, it is a requirement for employment. Additional schooling, which can improve your chances of acceptance, includes sociology, psychology, history, geography, and foreign languages.
Nearly all airlines will train you as a part of the hiring process, even if you've worked for another airline, or attended one of the expensive airline "schools". I recommend you look for an inexpensive local community college or adult education course that offers class in Travel & Tourism, or an introduction to the Flight Attendant Career, such as the one offered by Cypress College (http://votech.cypresscollege.edu/~atc/).
Most airlines set height requirements to correspond with the size of the aircraft they operate. Too tall, and you're bumping your head on the ceiling. Too short, and you may not be able to reach the overhead compartments. If you're between 5' and 6', you'll be within the range the airlines are looking for.
Weight restrictions have come under fire lately, brought on by lawsuits against the impossibly strict standards set decades ago. The phrase you will hear now is "weight must be in proportion to height". Being in good physical condition is important, as the job can be physically demanding. Combine unusual hours, time zone changes, strange hotel rooms and the dry atmosphere of the airplane, and you have the making of physical exhaustion. Applicants are tested for drug use when hired and then randomly after that for the rest of their career. Even if you are using illegal drugs on a sporadic or "recreational" basis, you must quit now. You can also be alcohol tested throughout your career, as drinking is not permitted at anytime while on duty or in uniform.
The traveling public has the general impression that flight attendants are on board the airplane simply to serve food and coffee. The Federal Aviation Administration, a government organization that oversees aviation safety, sees it completely different. Their role is to ensure that the flying public is safe when they fly, and requires flight attendants on board to provide assistance in flight, and to get the passengers out of the aircraft in an emergency. You will learn basic first-aid, CPR, fire-fighting techniques as part of your training. In fact, the majority of training you will receive will have more to do with safety, than how to pour a glass of wine.
What is it then, which makes this job one of the most sought-after in America and Canada? Flexibility, variety, and travel are the top three reasons.

Flexibility. Most people work all week, with perhaps one or two days off over the weekend. Most receive one to two weeks of vacation per year. As a flight attendant, you have the ability to group your flights together in a given month, and have 1-2 weeks off every month! And that is in addition to your regular vacation time. You can use this free time to utilize your travel benefits, continue your education, or run your own business.

Variety. Since you are able to move your schedule around to suit your personal life, you are also able to escape the nine-to-five, Monday through Friday drudgery. And each flight is to a different city, with different crews, and different passengers. It's very hard to get bored.

Travel. Most airline employees receive passes to fly on their own airline for free, or for a small fee. In addition, other airlines will offer you 50-75% discounts on their tickets. Hotels, rental cars, cruises, tour packages all have some discount schedule for airline employees also. Put it all together, and you have the flexibility to travel to a variety of places, at an extremely low cost. How could anyone not want to be an airline flight attendant?

Well, to begin with, the hours can be long and irregular. The work can be tiring, the passengers demanding or even abusive. The atmosphere in the aircraft at altitude is extremely drying. Snowstorms, labor disputes, or mechanical breakdowns can disrupt schedules. Perhaps your plans to attend your friends' wedding will be spoiled by a storm that traps you in Des Moines. And there is the constant fear of a crash, although statistics say you have a better chance of being hit by lightening than experiencing a plane crash. This is more than a career choice. This is a lifestyle change to which you must give careful thought.
And what do the airline recruiters look for? Once again the big word is flexibility. If you are able to be flexible in your attitude and lifestyle, and work well both alone, and with a group of people, then you have the basic building blocks to pursue your career in the skies. Spend some time in your local library, researching the airlines, or reading the books available on flight attendant careers. You can also find a wealth of information on the Internet, or World Wide Web. When you have chosen the airlines that match your career criteria, contact them by mail and request an application. Then, START PACKING!


TIM KIRKWOOD, currently in his 32nd year as an airline flight attendant for a major US carrier, is the author of THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT JOB FINDER & CAREER GUIDE. For more information on the Guide, visit us on the web at www.FlightAttendantCareerGuide.com.


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3 Comments:

Blogger joharahman said...

Good posting, I think the demand for cabin attendant will remain high, as this is a mandatory position, the aircraft will require the required number of crews.

I am starting to blog on airlines jobs mainly focusing on mechanics

2:15 AM

 
Blogger Private Jet said...

You can prefer a Private Jet for your vacational trip, as they are more luxury, safer and time saving too. They make your entire trip as a single package and you do not need to worry about any other expenses.

11:17 AM

 
Blogger zafran said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:38 AM

 

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