Are you looking for a new role as a cabin crew member? This is a diverse role that offers a range of experiences and presents you with the opportunity to develop an array of skills.

If you want to know more about this career path, read on. Here, we look at the expertise you will need, what’s required of you on a flight, and more in our guide to this diverse job role.

cabin crew at airport

What is a flight attendant?

Flight attendants are an essential part of the service team on board a flight. They play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and comfort of passengers during air travel.

Responsibilities range from conducting pre-flight safety checks to handling emergency situations efficiently and calmly. Excellent customer service skills and a strong sense of responsibility are essential attributes for those aspiring to become cabin crew. Additionally, being able to work long hours and unusual shift patterns is a must. This is a role that requires an adaptable workforce.

Where to start

Starting a career as a flight attendant requires a strategic approach. The first step is to determine whether you want to work on commercial airlines or in the private sector.

For those eyeing a career in commercial aviation, researching and applying to major airlines’ career pages is key. Each airline has specific requirements, but common prerequisites include a good secondary education (a degree or other type of qualification via higher education isn’t necessary), excellent communication skills, and the ability to meet physical requirements such as height and weight restrictions.

Private aviation offers a different route, with opportunities available through private jet companies, corporate aviation departments, or charter services. Networking and building connections within the private aviation industry can open doors to unique and diverse opportunities.

flight attendant on plane stairwell

The main difference between commercial and private flights

While there is some overlap with the skills of cabin crew who work on commercial airlines, private jet flight attendants tend to have experience serving VIP customers and clients. They might have worked in hospitality, for instance. If you’re pursuing a private cabin crew job, and you’ve worked with CEOs and celebrities, you might be in a good position to transfer your skills to an aviation role.

The training

Once you’ve chosen your path, the next step is the training process. Commercial airlines typically provide comprehensive training programs for selected candidates. These programmes cover a wide range of topics, including emergency procedures, first aid, customer service, and cultural sensitivity.

The training period can last several weeks, during which candidates are assessed on their ability to handle various scenarios, from unruly passengers to emergency landings. Successful completion of the training programme is often followed by a certification process that allows flight attendants to legally work in the aviation industry.

In contrast, private aviation may have a more tailored training process, with a focus on the specific needs of the employer. This could include familiarisation with particular aircraft, specialised security protocols, and catering to the unique preferences of high-profile clientele.

In both cases, ongoing education and training are essential to stay updated on safety regulations, industry standards, and new technologies. Continuous improvement and adaptability are key traits for a successful and fulfilling career as a flight attendant.

Rewarding role

Being a flight attendant can be a hugely rewarding career choice. Once you’ve completed your training, you’ll be able to put all that hard work into practice. And whether you choose long-haul flights or serve passengers on shorter journeys, you’re sure to enjoy some thrilling adventures in this role.