‘May I see your boarding pass, Please?’
How many of you have been on flights? *Hands up!* How many of you are lured by the uniforms of the attendants that help you on your journey? *Both Hands up!* And How many of you wished you could be like them too, doing exactly the same job – travelling round the world and serving the passengers assuring a safe flight? *jumping on the bed!* No, No don’t stop – keep jumping as I am to tell you everything you need to know to establish a career as an air hostess!
The dream job for the youngsters
The growing branches of the aviation industry has paved way to so many career opportunities, among which ‘Air Hostess/Steward’ is a very popular one. The nature of the job, which include travelling to different cities and countries and ofcourse the adventure attached to it engage plenty of youngsters these days. Thus, we decided to give you an insight of this glam-filled career.
Air hostess and a Steward
An air hostess often called as a flight attendant is mainly a female dominated industry but many institutes train and hire males as well, who are mostly called as steward. Let me begin with first telling you what does an air hostess or a steward do? –
If the word ‘Air’ in Air- hostess tells you that your duty will be only when you are flying.. you are wrong! You will also have duties off-plane – both while boarding and landing. The image below will explain the duties one be one. Take a look –
- Checking the functioning of the emergency equipments’ in the aircraft.
- Assuring the cleanliness of the toilets in the aircraft.
- Guiding the passengers to their respective seats, after you greet them and check their tickets.
- Demonstrating the usage of the equpiments like life jacket, oxygen mask before the flight takes off. (We all remember this demonstration, don’t we? 😛 )
- Assuring that all the passengers are seated and have fastened the seat belts.
- Informing the pilot whenever you are ready to take-off.
- Serve meals, food and beverages to the passengers as per their order.
- Making announcements on behalf of the pilot.
- Ensuring that all the passengers are comfortable and are enjoying their journey.
- Providing medical facilities in case of a medical emergency.
- Helping them vacate the plain in case of an emergency. (Don’t worry, you will be trained before you are actually asked to do it.)
Responsibilities on landing:
- Greet the passengers as they leave.
- Making an account sheet of the cash and goods left after each flight.
- Making a list of lost and found articles, if any.
If you are already thinking that these are so many.. Well it’s still not the end of the roles and responsibilities you are going to have as a flight attendant. There are a lot more and if you have the passion to fulfill them all, only then you should dream of ‘flying,’
The aura that a flight attendant just has to travel and serve and that’s it – the rest is all so much fun and adventurous is a sheer myth. The kind of hard work they do for such long hours is unexplainable! There are days when the flights are scheduled one after another, and forget the leisure they didn’t even have the time-out to sit and relax. So as the saying goes ‘You can’t achieve anything without working for it.’
Now when you know you are well aware of all the duties you will be expected to fulfill and is ready to take on the challenge, there is are certain eligibility criteria as well as education requirements that you need to achieve to get there. I will help you with a step by step guide over here:
- Complete your higher-secondary education: To pursue any course in aviation industry, you atleast have to pass you 10+2 examinations with any recognized board.
- Pursue a professional course: There are so many institutes round the globe that imparts training in the hospitality sector of aviation industry – apply in one of them, whether diploma or degree.
- Look for Jobs: Most of the times, institutes provide campus placements or give you a lot of leads – so look for vacant positions in national or international airlines and submit your CV.
- Sit for the tests: The real struggle start here, you have to get through the preliminary interview and the physical eligibility criterion before you can sit for the written test. The physical eligibility tests also have a few restrictions which are follows:
- The candidates must of the age group from 18 – 35 years. The above age limit might vary while the lower one is strict with most of them.
- They prefer unmarried candidates, while the conditions can depend with the airlines’ policies.
- Your eye-sight must be 6/6 uncorrected in both eyes.
- You must be minimum 5 feet 2 inches with proportionate weight. All the airlines are pretty serious about this criterion.
- You must have a clear complexion.
And when you pass through these, the written test is the ultimate bomb, where the airlines check you general knowledge and mental ability. And fortunately if pass this with flying colours *crossed fingers* you will be called for a personal interview and group discussion. In the interview they airlines’ check your personality, communication skills and your approach towards passengers.
- Congratulations, you are almost there: Haha, yes. All the grueling is now done. If you pass the interview you will called for the training that the airline conducts for every new employee and post that you have to work under senior flight attendant for some time to understand the pros and cons of your job in details.
As a flight attendant you will be expected to be presentable and confident 24*7, also you can’t have tattoos or piercings or even gain weight according to the policies of certain airlines. There are some more skills that an air hostess must have to build a castle in the air:
- Pleasant and Confident: Hospitality industry is all about how you speak and how you talk – your personality is going to be your armour in the shadow of which you can achieve.
- Exemplary communicator: You have to have all the skills that makes an excellent communicator – the right choice of words, fluency, pronunciation and voice modulation. This might also be a part of your training but you also have to keep working on yourself to land to the best.
Career Tip: Learn some other languages if you are wishing to fly in international airlines. It will be a great asset for you during your interviews.
- Responsible and Spontaneous: You will be answerable for thousands of lives travelling with you everyday, so you can’t even play the minutest act of irresponsibility which proves that you might be unjust for the job. Also, the capability to take immediate decisions in times of emergency is extremely important.
- Great Team Worker: You are going to have so many people working with you in the same plane, so that until you are a person who can work in a team, look for something other than aviation.
- Patient and flexible: Your work-shifts will keep on changing, some days it might be day and the other it might be nights – so you have to be utterly flexible with your work hours. Another thing which is quite common in almost all the industries, a little major in the hospitality sector though that is ‘ Patience.’ You might have very difficult passengers who are very rude and loud and you still have to deal with them with sheer calmness and utter patience.
Take note, for an air hostess or a steward, personality is more than what education is – so train your personality well and you will soon reap the rewards. When we are already talking about rewards let me tell you the exact numbers, I know you have been waiting to hear this.
The irregular timings and long hours of work attract higher pays and fancy lifestyle. And I must say, airlines pay you mammoth once you start proving an asset to them. In India, If you are working with domestic airlines, you earn anywhere between RS 20,0000 – RS 35000 per month. However, in international airlines, you may earn upto RS 75,000 per month! And it can go upto 2 Lakhs per as you gain experience and expertise.
In US Dollars, the median salary of a flight attendant as measured on 2018 is $73,174 with a range usually between $58,732-$90,719. Well this isn’t it, you will be showered with additional allowances as well like medical insurance, discounts on flight bookings a retirement plan and others. It will totally depend on the policies of the airlines.
And it’s time that this flight should take off for another journey to rach another destination but until then keep flying and serving people. Thank you for being the constant in our journeys, we wouldn’t have made it without you.
Don’t forget to let us know which airlines are you working for so for the next trip we make sure to book the tickets of them and avail a little bit of discount. I hope you can do that much for us. HAHA! *winks*
(Article contributed by Surabhi Kedia)