If you are searching for a career that combines frequent travel with customer service, you might want to become an air hostess. This type of airline employee, sometimes also referred to as a flight attendant, stewardess, or cabin crew member, is responsible for attending to the safety and comfort of flight passengers. While the steps necessary to become an air hostess vary from airline to airline, the process generally involves the fulfillment of preliminary physical, legal, and educational requirements as well as the completion of an intensive training course.
To ensure that air hostess candidates are physically suited to the job, most airlines require applicants to meet three preliminary qualifications. First, you must fall within a height range of approximately 64 inches (163 cm) to 72 inches (183 cm). This ensures that you will be able to easily reach overhead compartments and will also be able to stand and move comfortably through plane cabins. Secondly, you must demonstrate a level of fitness which will allow you to meet the physical demands of the job, from lifting luggage and pushing meal carts to opening heavy exit windows in emergency situations. Third, you must be at least 18 years of age, although many airlines have a minimum age requirement of 21.
Another consideration when applying to become an air hostess is your legal eligibility for the job. In most cases, air hostesses must be legal residents of the country in which their airline is based. If your airline offers international service, you will need a valid passport.
Typically, successful air hostess applicants must have completed high school or passed an equivalency exam. As the position requires a high level of interaction with passengers, prior customer service experience can reinforce your application. Since cabin crew members are likely to encounter passengers from many different countries, knowledge of one or more foreign languages can also increase your desirability. In addition, the job requires the ability to respond to medical emergencies; thus prior first aid training can further strengthen your candidacy.
Even if you have met these preliminary qualifications, you must normally complete a formal training course, usually administered by the hiring airline, before you can become an air hostess. Here, airline hiring policies can vary. Some require the completion of a training program before a candidate can be hired. Others hire untrained candidates on a probationary basis, upgrading them to full employment once training is successfully finished.
These training courses, which typically last around five weeks, prepare applicants for the full range of air hostess duties. You will learn to carry out normal air hostess functions, such as serving drinks and meals. In addition, you will receive training in assisting a wide range of passengers — young or disabled travelers, for instance, or nervous fliers — in a friendly and efficient manner.
Perhaps the most important element of air hostess training, though, is safety instruction. As a cabin crew member, you are responsible for maintaining your passengers’ safety. Therefore, you must be prepared to respond calmly, quickly and appropriately to unexpected situations, from a choking passenger to a crashing plane. You must be able to communicate with and instruct your passengers effectively and administer basic first aid treatments. In case of emergency, you must also be able to carry out established crisis procedures, deploy necessary apparatuses like rafts, and assist passengers in operating breathing and flotation devices.