Flight attendants

Flight Attendants are the crew hired by airline companies to accompany passengers on flights and ensure that they are safe and comfortable. They are trained professionals who are capable of dealing with adverse situations. Flight Attendants focus on attending to the needs of the passengers and assisting them in whichever way possible. Female Flight Attendants are also known as ‘Air Hostesses’ and ‘Stewards’. Male Flight Attendants are also referred to as ‘Stewards’. The recent term being used for Flight Attendants in the aviation industry is ‘Cabin Crew’.

Becoming a Flight Attendant is a good career decision if you have a passion for travelling and visiting new places. The Airline industry has a lot of competition as the job opportunities for flight attendants are much lesser than the number of applicants. Flight Attendants can work as Ground Staff on airports as well as in Hotel Management as the core skills that are required for both the jobs are the same.

What do Flight Attendants do?

The main job of a Flight Attendant is to attend to the needs of the passengers and ensure that all of them are safe and comfortable. They give special care to passengers who require extra attention such as kids and the elderly. The general norm is that there has to be at least one Flight Attendant for every 50 seats.

Before a flight takes off, Flight Attendants have a ‘safety briefing’ with the Pilot and the Chief Flight Attendant. They go over safety checklists and check equipment such as oxygen masks, first aid boxes etc. The Chief Flight Attendant delegates duties and tasks. They go over boarding particulars such as whether there will be any passenger who will need special care such as diabetic patients, heart patients, children etc.

Flight Attendants also study the weather forecast for the duration of the flight. If turbulences are predicted, they arrange necessary equipment and prepare themselves mentally to comfort nervous passengers.

One of the main jobs of a Flight Attendant is to greet passengers as they enter and show them their seats. Flight Attendants help passengers with their luggage and help them settle down in the plane.

Flight Attendants are supposed to conduct a safety check once the passengers are seated. This includes checking if there is any loose luggage in the alley, if everybody is wearing their seatbelts, if there are any hot liquids that might spill during take - off etc.

It is the primary responsibility of a Flight Attendant to conduct a safety demonstration for the passenger before a flight takes off. This includes showing them how to tie their seatbelts, giving instructions as to what to do in case of emergencies etc.

During a Flight, Flight Attendants are supposed to serve drinks and food to the passengers and attend to any of their needs or grievances. This can include getting blankets, changing seats etc. Flight Attendants have to do whatever they can to keep the passengers comfortable and happy.

Flight Attendants also have to handle emergency situations and help the passengers be safe and secure. These can include making sure they use their oxygen masks or wear their life jackets. They might have to give first aid treatment to passengers who get injured.

Maintaining safety is of the prime importance for all Flight Attendants. They have to be on the lookout for suspicious passengers and luggage. They have to make sure that all passengers are seated during take – offs and landings. They also have to make sure that the plane doors are locked at all times.

Flight Attendants also have write Flight Reports. These reports include the condition of the cabin after landing, the money earned through sale of merchandise and food and information about any important incident that took place during the flight.

How to become a Flight Attendant?

To become a flight attendant, you need to have at least completed your schooling in order to be eligible for the job. Subjects like Psychology and Physics can be of great help, but they are not necessary. The priority should be to focus on languages and learn English, Hindi as well as a foreign language.

Most airlines prefer Flight Attendants who have a college degree, although this is not mandatory. This can be a Bachelor’s in any field. Proficiency in English is a must. Knowledge of a foreign language can help in getting preference over others. A Graduate degree in subjects like English, French etc. can be very helpful though they are not necessary. Subjects like Psychology, Sociology and Communication are preferred for your Bachelor’s.
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Most airlines do take into account your physical attributes before selection. Therefore, it is important to groom yourself and keep yourself looking neat and smart. Airlines prefer people who have affectionate personalities.

Customer Service Experience can be of great help if you want to become a Flight Attendant. All jobs that require you to be dealing with a lot of people provide you with customer service experience. Therefore, doing internships during your school and college in places like call centers, restaurants etc. can be of great help.
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To become a Flight Attendant, you need to apply to airline companies such as Jet Airways, Indigo Airlines etc. You can do this through their websites or on the phone. If you fulfill their criteria, they will call you on a date when they are recruiting Flight Attendants. You will normally need to pass through a round of tests and interviews before you get selected. You might also need to pass a written examination. You will keep getting shortlisted after you pass through each test.

Another way of becoming a Flight Attendant is to join an Aviation Training School where they provide special training for aspiring Flight Attendants. Most airlines have their own training schools as well where they impart the skills needed to become a Flight Attendant.

Once you’re selected, you will be put through a training process that will last for about two months. Once you complete your training, you will be put as a trainee on flights and as you slowly gain experience, you will be promoted as a permanent employee.

Almost all Flight Attendants start off on a reserve status where they are called only when they are required. As you perform well in your job, you will become a permanent employee and can eventually end up becoming the Chief Flight Attendant.


There are many good institutions that provide training in the aviation industry for aspiring Flight Attendants. Institutes like Avalon Aviation Academy, Mumbai offer Diploma and Degree courses in Flight Attendant Training and Aviation and Hospitality. Whichever Institute you choose, it should be approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, India.

What are the skills required to become a Flight Attendant?

The job of a Flight Attendant is not easy as they constantly have to deal with unreasonable passengers and unforeseen circumstances. Flight Attendants need to have excellent communication skills and be polite and respectful at all times. They need to have the ability to solve problems on the spot and make quick decisions during emergencies. They need to have impeccable social skills and should come across as friendly and comforting people. They need to be alert at all times. Flight Attendants need to have the ability to stay and calm and composed at all times, even during strenuous situations. They need to be considerate and sensitive towards the needs of the passengers. Flight Attendants need to be flexible and adjusting as they’re often required to go on flights at short notice. Most of all, Flight Attendants need to have the desire to serve people and take care of passengers plus be able to put the needs of the passengers before their own personal needs.

Is this the right career for me?

The life of a Flight Attendant requires constant travelling from one location to the other. It is a strenuous job that requires you to be standing on your feet at all times and catering to the needs of the passengers. It requires a person to be constantly alert. The job is physically tiring and involves hectic work schedules. On the other hand, it is a glamorous, well paid job that provides you with the opportunity to meet new people and travel to new places.

So you love to travel and genuinely possess the desire to help people and keep them happy, and if you’re comfortable with dealing with a lot of competition and pressure for the sake of the job, then this is the perfect career for you.

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