Pilots play a critical role in ensuring the safe arrival of passengers at their destination, while flight attendants are responsible for the well-being of passengers within the cabin. Their duties encompass passenger safety and providing exceptional service. Becoming a flight attendant requires meeting specific criteria, and it involves a multi-step process. Let’s delve into the details of the timeline involved in becoming a flight attendant.
Education (Approximately 4 Years)
The minimum age requirement for aspiring flight attendants is typically between 18 to 21, depending on the country and airline. This age requirement provides ample time to pursue a bachelor’s degree before embarking on a career as a flight attendant. Airlines usually favor degrees related to hospitality, tourism, travel, or communication. Pursuing a bachelor’s degree can be valuable in the long run.
It’s highly beneficial to take courses related to tourism and travel during your academic journey. Equally important is acquiring proficiency in multiple languages. Flight attendants who are fluent in various languages are considered assets as they can better understand passengers’ needs. Additionally, you may consider enrolling in mass communication courses or programs that promote public interaction.
Job Experience (Approximately 2 Years)
Apart from a flight attendant background, airlines often value work experience involving direct customer interaction. After earning your bachelor’s degree, seek employment that allows you to interact with customers directly. Opportunities may arise in hotels, restaurants, call centers, or as an assistant. Although airlines may not focus on the specific degree you earned, your job experience in customer service can significantly enhance your credentials. Most airlines require prospective flight attendants to have a minimum of 2 years of job experience before applying.
Waiting Time (Variable, but May Take Months)
One of the most challenging aspects is awaiting a callback from the airline after submitting your application. This period can last for several weeks, and in some cases, even years with multiple callbacks to the same airline. It is advisable to maintain your current job while waiting for the airline’s response. Periodic follow-ups may also increase your chances of securing an interview.
Flight Attendant Training (Up to 6 Months)
If you successfully pass the interview and are selected for flight attendant training, you are on the right track. The duration of flight attendant training varies based on the country and airline, ranging from as short as 2 weeks to up to 6 months. The length of training can also depend on the number of different aircraft types the airline operates, as safety procedures may vary accordingly. This comprehensive training covers a wide range of safety rules and regulations, with an emphasis on safety rather than service. The training includes handling electronic equipment, completing necessary reports, and fulfilling duties on the ground.
Probation (Approximately 6 Months)
Following flight attendant training, you begin your career as a flight attendant under close supervision. During this probationary period, you must exercise extreme caution to avoid any mistakes. Senior flight attendants closely monitor your performance, reporting any violations of regulations, no matter how minor. While on probation, you are typically on call, requiring you to respond promptly to airport assignments. Zero tolerance is maintained during this probation period. Once you successfully complete this initial six-month phase, you transition to a senior flight attendant role, which comes with increased benefits and the opportunity to train new recruits.
In summary, the journey to becoming a flight attendant typically spans approximately 8 years after high school, including a waiting period of around one year. If fortunate, the process might be completed in 7 years. Despite the challenges and stress associated with the profession, the benefits, such as free travel to diverse destinations and hotel concessions, make it an attractive career option. If this article has solidified your desire to become a flight attendant, we look forward to welcoming you on board during our next flight!