So You Need to Turn into a Flight Attendant!

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So, you wish to turn into a flight attendant. Or, extra particularly, you suppose you wish to turn into a flight attendant. Most aspiring flight attendants are keen to leap proper into the appliance course of with out first completely researching the profession. This is a have a look at what to anticipate.

Then and Now

United Airways was the primary business airline to rent a feminine flight attendant in 1930; her identify was Ellen Church. She and 7 different single ladies comprised the “unique eight” stewardesses. Their major function was to offer consolation to the touring public. Minimal {qualifications} had been such that the candidates needed to be single, registered nurses. Marriage, being pregnant, or weight acquire meant instantaneous job termination and most stewardesses had been compelled out of the career by age 32 on account of “previous age.”

Thanks largely to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, airways can not discriminate on the premise of race, intercourse, age, or marital standing. This laws helped remodel the job from a short-term endeavor – strictly for younger, single ladies – to a long-term profession choice for nearly anybody.

Within the 1970s and 1980s, there was a big inflow of males into the trade, which created the necessity for a non-gender particular time period to explain the place. Therefore, the time period flight attendant was born.

Immediately, there are roughly 100,000 flight attendants in the US; 70% are feminine and 30% are male (this gender hole, nevertheless, is narrowing and it isn’t unusual to see all male crews on sure flights). The common age is 25 to 35 and 50% are married. Over one-third have a university diploma (though solely a highschool diploma is required); widespread majors embody Communications, French, Spanish, and Geography. Pay averages round $16,000 for the primary yr and as much as $50,000 after 14 to 15 years. The turnover fee is excessive (particularly amongst new-hires), however job satisfaction is equally excessive amongst those that handle to outlive the primary yr. Common seniority is 10 years.

Profitable flight attendants describe themselves as pleasant, outgoing, affected person, versatile, dependable, and punctual (there’s completely zero tolerance for being late) – unsuccessful ones as aggressive, temperamental, impatient, and rigid. Typical issues embody job safety (“Is my airline going to downsize or exit of enterprise?”), lengthy hours, and low pay.

Notion vs. Actuality

If you see a flight attendant strolling by an airport terminal, what’s your notion? Do you envision somebody who serves a number of drinks, chats with amicable passengers, and enjoys frequent layovers in unique cities?

Traditionally, the general public notion of the profession has not matched the fact of the job. Immediately’s flight attendant may be very totally different from the stereotypical stewardess portrayed in motion pictures and on tv. To a sure extent, a few of these myths had been born out of the “previous days” when stewardesses had been elegant nurses who labored on spacious airplanes with comparatively few passengers. In 1978, nevertheless, airline deregulation modified all the pieces. The federal government not managed fares and route buildings as they’d prior to now. This created bidding wars and turned airways into cost-cutting machines. Immediately, it’s nothing greater than a numbers sport the place extra passengers equals higher income. The consequence: planes are actually overcrowded, creating cramped situations and a tradition of hostile passengers. This leaves flight attendants in a relatively unenviable place.

These are just some of the not-so-enticing features of the job. As a flight attendant, you should:

  • Endure four to 7 weeks of usually unpaid preliminary coaching, a portion of which takes place on nights and weekends.
  • Purchase a uniform at a price of roughly $1,000 (computerized bi-monthly payroll deductions can be found to assist ease this monetary burden).
  • Endure a 6 to 12 month probationary interval throughout which you’ll be below scrutiny and
  • required to report back to work at a second’s discover.
  • Reveal exceptional power and agility (for instance, transfer a 200+ pound beverage cart by cramped aisles or raise heavy suitcases over passengers’ heads into tightly packed overhead compartments).
  • Stay courteous {and professional} regardless of generally abusive passenger habits.
  • React shortly to demanding in-flight medical emergencies.
  • Endure sometimes violent air turbulence (generally with no seatbelt if aiding passengers).
  • Expertise brief intervals away from dwelling (normally from 1 to three nights at a time).
  • Work lengthy hours (as much as 16-hour days; not more than eight hours in-flight).
  • Work many weekends and holidays all through your profession when most of your family and friends have days off.
  • Attend obligatory annual recurrent coaching.
  • Work sometimes within the presence of prisoners who’re escorted by armed guards to courtroom trials or prisons in different cities.

For pleasant, outgoing, and affected person people who can tolerate these adverse features of the job, a flight attendant profession might be very rewarding. Flight attendants do work onerous, however additionally they get pleasure from many extraordinary advantages. For instance, as a flight attendant, you get:

  • A substantial amount of time without work (13 to 17 days off per 30 days; roughly 6 months off per yr!), as much as 10 days at a time.
  • Free or reduced-cost journey advantages for your self and quick household, masking air journey, lodging, car-rentals, and cruises.
  • A profitable advantages package deal, usually together with well being and life insurance coverage, credit score union membership, worker inventory choices, and a 401(ok) retirement plan.
  • Unmatched selection – Neglect the predictability of 9 to five dice life!
  • Most scheduling flexibility – You aren’t restricted to weekends off like the remainder of the world!
  • The chance to see the world.
  • The chance to fulfill new folks, together with many celebrities.
  • Independence.
  • Accountability.
  • A way of pleasure and accomplishment (particularly while you assist an unaccompanied minor or handicapped passenger safely attain their vacation spot).

The #1 Precedence: Passenger Security

Many individuals have overlooked the truth that flight attendants are onboard an plane for one major motive: passenger security. Do you know that each U.S. flight attendant crew is able to finishing a whole passenger evacuation in lower than 90 seconds? (each new-hire should accomplish this feat throughout preliminary coaching). Moreover, flight attendants are required by legislation to to be totally skilled on security for each sort of plane in an airline’s fleet

Certainly, flight attendants are way more than waitresses within the sky. Flight attendants know tips on how to handle and put together tons of of passengers and crew within the occasion of catastrophic occasions, comparable to hijackings and land/sea disasters. They know tips on how to struggle fires, function and troubleshoot the oxygen system, open emergency exits, take care of the sick, apprehend unruly passengers – even apply first assist and administer CPR.

Source by Stephanie Shaw

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