Flight attendant

And the emergency exits can be found here, here and here. Go on, admit it. We’ve all wanted to have a go at the flight walkthrough of what to do in an emergency. That whistle on the life jacket may come in very handy if lost at sea, after all.

However, there’s a BIT more to a flight attendant job than just waving your arms around at opportune moments...



So, what will I actually be doing?

Put simply, you'll be flying across the world while looking after the airline's passengers. From bringing them lunch, showing off the standard safety procedures to calming nervous flyers, you'll be with them all the way.

The average day as a flight attendant will bring some duties you might expect:

  • Carrying out pre-flight checks
  • Ensuring the plane is clean
  • Taking boarding passes
  • Advising passengers of safety routines
  • Preparing and serving food and drinks 
  • Writing flight reports

But there may also be some more unexpected challenges you might not of thought about, such as:

  • Carrying out first aid
  • Dealing with unruly passengers
  • Preparing for emergency landings

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The finer details...

When it comes to working hours, it's not the cliche glamour you might of seen on TV. Flight attendants can be asked to work at very short notice and you'll need to be prepared to work long hours, with some journeys involving staying overnight in a hotel. Hours may be unsociable and include weekends and public holidays.

Once you've had enough of flying across the skies, you can progress and lead the team as a senior member of the cabin crew or head into teaching as a cabin crew training instructor.

Money, money, money

A newly-qualified flight attendant’s salary will start at around £14k. More experienced staff will earn between £16k and £22k while senior flight attendants can earn up to £25k per year.

Included with your salary you'll get benefits including reduced flight costs and having hotel costs and expenses covered if you need to stay away from home overnight.

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The good points...

Flight attendants can get up to five days off between flights. Attendants on long haul flights will get up to four days free time, all expenses paid, once they arrive at their destination.

...and the bad

Having to work on weekends and bank holidays - including Christmas day if you’re unlucky!

Is there study involved?

It can be a lot of studying to become a flight attendant, but it's worth it. To start, most airlines require a minimum of four GCSEs (A-C) including English and maths, and applicants who speak a foreign language will be at an advantage.

Not for the school-leavers, attendants need to be aged 18 or over, in good health, be able to swim well and hold a valid EU or UK passport.

Different airlines will have added requirements such as:

  • Your weight must be in proportion to your height
  • Good vision (contact lenses acceptable)
  • No visible tattoos when wearing a uniform

Once your application has been accepted you'll be sent on a training course which will be run by the airline and last four to five weeks. Subjects covered on the course include:

  • Safety equipment and procedures
  • First aid
  • Aviation security and dangerous goods
  • Customer service
  • Food preparation
  • Cabin service and uniform standards

The course is short but intense and you need to pass all the units to qualify as a flight attendant.

Need additional qualifications? Find a course at our Learning Zone

OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?

Irregular hours and long shifts mean that flight attendants need to be very flexible with plenty of stamina. It also helps if you are:


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