Receive Federal Aviation Administration flight attendant training from a major airline to work as a flight steward. Assist passengers in seating arrangements, recite emergency safety procedures and serve food and drinks during flights. Males and females are invited to become part of a commercial airline’s cabin crew. Domestic and international travel and a median annual income of $35,000 or more are just some of the perks flight attendants look forward to upon training completion.
According to United Airlines, Stout Airlines hired the first male airline attendants in 1926. They trained extensively in first aid practices and were charged with baggage loading, passenger ticket detail and in-flight beverage and snack service. Ellen Church became the first female flight attendant in 1930 for Boeing Air Transport and took over the same duties as male stewards. Original female attendants were called stewardesses and sometimes had a background in nursing. Stewardesses were required to remain unmarried throughout their employment until 1968, when this condition was revoked.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, flight attendant trainees must have a high school diploma at minimum. Many employers prefer attendants with college degrees focusing on communications, nursing, travel and hospitality. Most applicants must be at least 18 years old, but some airlines stipulate varying age minimums. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says applicants must maintain certain appearance qualities, including clean shaven face and short haircuts for men and normal haircuts and makeup styles for women. Trainee prospects must be capable of reaching overhead bins.
Customer Service Training
Flight attendant training stresses customer-oriented attitudes. For instance, Delta Airlines administers customer service courses geared toward business etiquette, service respect for cultural and religious preferences, managing service time and in-flight beverage and dining procedures. Susan Friedenberg of Corporate Flight Attendant Training says flight attendants should leave ego behind and exude professional and personal skills, integrity and willingness to take orders.
Flight attendant trainees learn extensive emergency procedures and educate passengers in self-assistance techniques should the aircraft encounter disaster. They train in airplane evacuation, first aid, operating emergency equipment and surviving aquatic environments using simulators and mock airplane environments. In-depth emergency training covers flight attendant protocol for in-flight fire and cabin smoke.
Flight attendant trainees can customize their training for their career path. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most training programs span three to six weeks and take place at the airline headquarters or a third-party training facility. Trainees desiring a position as an international flight attendant are often required to speak two foreign languages. Delta Airlines also offers several courses in crew management, customer service and emergency aid to hone flight attendant skills at any level. Once a flight attendant has several years of experience, he or she can opt for flight leader training, where trainees learn to supervise other flight attendants and be completely responsible for the passenger aspect of the flight.