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Air cabin crew members, also known as flight attendants, play a vital role in ensuring safe, pleasant flights for passengers.

Educational Requirements

While requirements may vary by airline, most expect candidates to have four or five GCSEs at grades A-C, including Maths and English, or the equivalent. Exact requirements may vary, so check with each airline before applying.

Physical Requirements

Candidates need to have a good level of fitness, good eyesight, normal colour vision, and the ability to swim at least 25 metres. A smart appearance is a must, with no visible tattoos or body piercings. Many airlines have height and weight requirements, so candidates should check to ensure they meet them.

Other Requirements

Its essential to have a valid passport as crew members will travel all over the world. Candidates should be over age 18, though some airlines require crew members to be over age 21.

Helpful Skills

Some airlines prefer to have crew members who speak a second language. Customer service experience can be helpful, as can hotel, catering, or nursing experience.

Pre-flight Duties

Air cabin crew members attend pre-flight briefings, check to ensure there are sufficient supplies, check that emergency equipment is functional, greet passengers as they board, and demonstrate emergency procedures.

In-flight Duties

In flight, air cabin crew members serve food and drinks, sell duty-free goods, make announcements for the pilot, and otherwise ensure passengers comfort and satisfaction. In the event of an emergency, cabin crew members will reassure passengers and ensure they follow proper safety procedures.

Post-flight Duties

After the flight, crew members make sure passengers safely leave the plane, fill in flight reports documenting any incidents, record food and drink orders, and tabulate duty-free sales. Between flights crew members may get time to explore destination cities, dependent upon an aircrafts turnaround time.

Training and Probation

Once candidates are hired, airlines provide a training programme covering security, safety and emergency procedures, first aid, customer relations and passenger care, food preparation, service and galley management, personal grooming, currency exchange, and customs and immigration regulations.

After training, there is a typical probationary period lasting from three to six months. During this time, performance will be tracked by trainers and senior crew. Probationary crew must pass exams on safety and emergency procedures and must meet first aid requirements.

Helpful Coursework

Optional coursework can help candidates develop the skills they need to be successful in their career. Such courses include the BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Preparation for Air Cabin Crew Service, the EMTA Awards (EAL) Intermediate Level 2 Certificate in Air Cabin Crewing, and the NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Airline Cabin Crew. They may also attempt NVQ levels 2 and 3 in Aviation Operations in the Air – Cabin Crew.

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