A wake-up call…
A few month’s ago, I, like most of the people out there looked at Flight Attendants and thought “wow, they have an easy job, just getting paid to look pretty and fly around, awesome.” I think that is pretty much why I jumped in headlong when I got a chance to train as a Flight Attendant. In my head, I thought, “how hard can this career be, greet passengers, feed them and enjoy the views from 35000ft”, boy was I in for a rude awakening.
About 15 months ago I found ourselves walking the hallowed halls of Cabin Crew Academy in Benoni, South Africa training to be Flight Attendant. Every disillusion and misconception I had about being a flight attendant was shattered in those 6 very long and rigorous weeks of training. I suffered, that’s the long and short of it. Ok, maybe not really suffered, but truth is, what you imagine in your head it will be like, and what it actually is, is miles and miles apart. But then, we are not going to talk about training, though, if you want to learn more about the training curriculum, click here or check out our posts in the next few weeks, I will be starting a 6 part series on how my training went, from day one. You’ll love it, don’t miss out.
For today, we want to discuss what it is really, Flight Attendants do up there and on the ground (that is if they really do anything at all). And…and…and whilst we are at it, we want to see if they are necessary at all. After all, it could be just a luxury profession that the world could do without, let’s see, shall we?
First and foremost, flight attendant duties, for the most part are universal. A flight attendant in a large airline in the UAE will pretty much do the same duties as a small time flight attendant working for a struggling airline in the dowdrums of poverty somewhere. Ok, the difference obviously is, and this is a cold hard truth, in some airlines, especially the low cost ones, the cabin crew sometimes have to clean the aircraft, I have seen it first hand and I was like…whaaaat.
Ok, Flight attendants are basically in charge of the cabin during flight and are there to ensure the maximum, safety and comfort of the passengers in the aircraft. Safety first, then comfort. Got it?
Flight attendants have four elementary roles which are:
- Preflight (Before The Flight)
- Check in at the relevant office before the flight;
- Check for relevant weather information, reports and operations communications at the relevant office;
- Check the aircraft cabin as per the airline regulations;
- Ensure that sufficient provisions are on board; and
- Be on board the aircraft preceding the passengers boarding.
- Boarding (When Passengers Are Getting On The Aircraft)
- Welcome passengers on board the aircraft;
- Assist passengers with their hand luggage and seating;
- Ensure that cabin and passengers are secured for take-off; and
- Coordinate with the cockpit regarding numbers of passengers on board and that the cabin is secure for departure.
- Taxi and Flight
- Conduct passenger announcements and briefings;
- Provide immaculate in-flight service; and
- Be the eyes of the cockpit in the cabin
- Emergency Procedures (In the event of an accident or incident)
- Ensure safety of the passengers on board
- Deliver first – aid treatment should it be necessary
- Be trained and knowledgeable in emergency procedures.
In summary, we are saying, flight attendants are paid to:
- To coordinate with the cockpit in order to ensure proper communications in normal and emergency situations.
- To maintain proper control of abnormal situations regarding passengers; and
- To issue necessary instructions and information for the safety of each flight in regards to cabin
- And when the need arises, Flight Attendants at 35 000ft – deliver babies, resuscitate passengers, handle corpses (in the event of inflight death), negotiate with hijackers, all the while their smile never faltering. And should the worst come to the worst, long after you are safely evacuated, they are the last ones off the plane
And so, let’s have it. Do you think Flight Attendant roles are important or just a luxury airlines can do without? We would love to hear from you so don’t be shy to leave your comment below.
And of course, if you want to be a Flight Attendant and don’t know how we are here for you.
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Training to be a Flight Attendant is pretty expensive and getting a job without any prior knowledge is difficult and so we are offering you a wonderful online course for everyone who wants to be a Flight Attendant. It’s a prequalification course, meaning it looks good on your C.V as it shows the airline you have gone the extra mile to develop your knowledge base and exposure to aviation. To register for the course click here.
And if you want to get straight into training with us in South Africa and get your Flight Attendant licence, visit our page click here for information on cabin crew training or if you would rather just take a chance a look for a Flight Attendant job visit our page click here.