The Life of Flight Attendants

by : Wolfgang Jaegel

Flight attendants' jobs are one of the most sought after careers in the aviation industry. A flight attendant, alternatively known by different names such as air host / air hostess or steward / stewardesses, is simply a member of a flight crew whose prime role is to ensure comfort as well as safety of the passengers in flight.

In other words, flight attendants are responsible for the safety of passengers. The demand for flight attendants is now greater than ever before. The prime reason for their increased demand is due to explosive number of passengers that opt to take air travel. Another key reason for their demand is due to

During the early days of aviation, the role of a flight attendant was just to ensure the physical security of passengers, but now it is beyond that. Today's flight attendants are adept in almost all facets of air travel, such as, airport as well as aircraft security, aircraft technical knowledge, operations in connection with airlines, reservation as well as ticketing processes, coordinating crew, providing first aid services, recognition of medical conditions, procedures in handling passengers in times of emergencies, sea and desert survival training, foreign languages, training in handling special types of materials, hospitality training, radio communication, and excellent customer service.

The responsibilities of a flight attendant also cover to whether the seat belts are fastened both at the time of take off and landing, serving meals and beverages, assisting passengers with carry-on items, and ensuring that all of the essentials as per the regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are complied with. Further, depending upon the duration of the flight, flight attendants operate audio and movie systems and sell and serve beverages. In some instances, they provide assistance in caring infants. Eventually, on reaching the destination, they help passengers via inspecting their cabin. In short, flight attendants have now become an inseparable segment of air travel industry.

Based on the nature of the airlines for which they work, there are different types of flight attendants. One of the prominent categories of flight attendants is those working with global carriers or major airlines. When working with these airlines, flight attendants could travel almost all parts of the world. Additionally, they could travel in a number of aircrafts, ranging from Boeing 737 to the DC 10. Likewise, flight attendants working with these airlines have relatively good pay, and they usually cover medical and dental insurance, pass benefits, and sometimes even profit sharing.

Another popular category of flight attendant is one working with national airlines. However, the pay offered by these airlines is relatively less when compared to that paid by the major airlines. Different types of flight attendants also include those working regional class of airlines. Flight attendants working with charter airlines and corporate flight attendants are the other prominent categories of flight attendants.

Likewise, in order to become a flight attendant, a person should necessarily possess certain vital qualities such as excellent judgment, tactful, ability to interact comfortably with strangers, superb interpersonal skills, nurturing as well as caring disposition, ability to handle stressful situations, excellent service orientation, good communication skills, polite and friendly nature, physical agility, and ability to assist customers as well as their luggage.

Additionally, all flight attendants must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.) The certification would be provided only on the successful completion of training, covering fire fighting, evacuation, and safety procedures.

However, the job of a flight attendant is demanding, both emotionally and physically. One of the key challenges of the job of a flight attendant is that they have to remain all the time pleasant as well as courteous, despite any fatigue or stressful situation. A flight attendant must also be prepared to work at any time or at any day of the year.

In addition, a flight attendant must be willing to work at any time of a day, sometimes early morning or late night. Al though an air host or steward could enjoy the maximum benefits of traveling as well as excellent remuneration, he may have to face several other difficulties. Sometimes, he may be even required to stay away from home for weeks. In other words, a flight attendant must be prepared to work any hour, day, week, and sometimes even on holidays.