You know your dream is be a flight attendant, but do you know how what it takes?

Becoming a flight attendant might be easier than you think!

Do you know how to become a flight attendant?
Photo: Faungg.

The million-dollar question: What’s it going to take to get you in the air, and start your career as a flight attendant? There are some simple things you need to know before you start.

But don’t worry – I’ve put together a proven 5-step method for getting you in the air sooner!

How to Become a Flight Attendant, in 5 Easy Steps:

Let’s be honest. The first two steps are dead easy; you can get them out of the way today here on my web site.

The remaining steps though are going to require some persistence and grit from you, but this is most direct method for how to become a flight attendant in 2017.

Are you ready?

1. Learn all you can about a Flight Attendant career

  • Get your head around the Pros and Cons:

    Did you know that the career of a flight attendant is one of the most prestigious and sought after professions in the airline industry?

    It’s also one of the most unique careers in the world today, being flown to exotic destinations all over the globe. But flight attendants do more than just take a ticket from a passenger, and serve drinks on the flight – the duties don’t end there.

    Be sure to read my post, Flight Attendant 101, which discusses all of this in more detail. This is highly recommended reading if you’re just beginning to look at how to become a flight attendant.

  • How much can you earn as a flight attendant?

    I don’t doubt you’ll be living the dream as you’re flown to country and enjoying mini-holidays in some of the world’s most exotic locations – you’ll need some money for other things in life.

    Will you have rent you need to pay, maybe a partner waiting for you at home and other mouths to feed? Or, a cat at least?!

    Do you know what you can earn as a flight attendant? The amount you’ll earn will depend on the position you hold and which airline you’re working for.

    Knowing how to become a flight attendant is one thing, but knowing you can afford to be a flight attendant is another! So be sure to sit down and work out a basic monthly budget and work out if your income will match your lifestyle.

  • Where to next, after Flight Attending?

    Maybe this is something you don’t need to know today, but as with any career you do need to know where it can take you. And I’m not talking about flight destinations; I’m talking about career progression!

    We’ll give you the short answer here: there are an exceptional number of options available to you for career progression in an airline. One of the benefits of working for a large company is having a broad range of departments, and positions within – all of which are in easy reach once you’re inside the institution.

    In your interview, you’ll likely be asked “Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time, or in 10 years’ time?” and what will your answer be?

    Recommended reading: If you really want to know how to become a flight attendant – learn about other flight attendant positions and alternative career paths. I guarantee that you’ll nail this interview question.

    How to be a flight attendant: some days it means waiting in the terminal.

    How to be a flight attendant: some days it means waiting in the terminal. Photo credit: L. Ilyes

2. Ensure you meet the requirements to be a Flight Attendant

One of the most popular myths relating to this career is that you must be tall, skinny and drop dead gorgeous to land a job. 90% of what you hear is an old wives’ tale.

I can tell you with certainty that you don’t need to be “the next top model”, but you do need to take good care of yourself and have a very neat and tidy appearance.

The specific requirements aren’t actually outrageous. There is no specific weight, though airlines do expect you to have a “normal weight” (relative to your height) and you do need to meet the “minimum reach” and vision requirements.

An essential step in your quest of learning how to become a flight attendant: read my post here about Flight Attendant Requirements.

3. Land an interview with an airline

Now it’s time for a little hard work and perseverance. With hundreds of applicants for each flight attendant position – you need to stand out and be noticed!

Once you’ve found a job worthy of you – here are the basic steps you’ll need to follow in order to stand out from the crowd, and get yourself an interview:

  1. How to become a flight attendant Step 3.1: A resume that pops!

    Will your resume stand out from the crowd, like this great example?

    Get your resume together (and make sure it POPS!)
    Focus on your customer service and leadership experience if you can, and any other skills relative to the role. Cut out anything irrelevant.

  2. Make telephone contact about the position
    This will set you apart from the crowd, as most people are too nervous to do this.
  3. Write an introduction/cover letter specific to this position, and end it with a promise of action.
    Be sure to write a new cover letter for every job application you make – Hiring Managers will see through a generic copy and paste effort. Remember, you need to be the BEST not the SAME as everyone else.With your promise of action, let the Hiring Manager know they’ll hear from you again soon.
  4. Make sure your application is before the dead line.This is crucial. If you’re late, your resume won’t even make it into the NO pile…it’ll end up in the shredder!I do recommend leaving your submission as close to the “cut-off date” as possible, because in some HR Departments the last application in is sitting on top of the pile, and will be the first one looked at. Don’t be too risky and be certain you’ve accounted for postal time, weekends and other holidays. Leave two days up your sleeve as a safety net.
  5. Follow up on all applications, but be purposeful.You do want to stay fresh in the mind of the Hiring Manager, but you do NOT want to be known as a pest. Make a call, make sure the reason for the call is clear and then get off the phone.A good reason to call is just to ensure your application has been received okay.

And that’s all you should need to do to land an interview. If you have the right attributes, meet the basic requirements and have kept out of the “no pile” – expect a call within 2 to 3 weeks.

If you don’t get a call-up, don’t give up! A crucial step in how to become a flight attendant is perserverence. Apply for another job. Apply with a different airline. Apply again and again. You will get there!

4. Pass your training with flying colors

A safety drill being performed in a flight attendant training session at Garuda Indonesia. Photo credit: US Embassy, Jakarta.

A safety drill being performed in a flight attendant training session at Garuda Indonesia. Photo credit: US Embassy, Jakarta.

All flight attendants must perform at the highest standards as part of a high intensity, multi-week training program. You must pass, or it’s game over.

Most airlines have a pass-mark of 90%, so I recommend gaining as much prior-knowledge as possible.

This means you should be digesting all the information you can beforehand – which will mean you could have at least 50% of the information you need to know before you start. During the training program, you can invest more time and effort concentrating on any of the subject material you’re not already comfortable with.

Here are 5 easy subjects I recommend you research, before you even start official training:

  1. Aerodynamics and the Theory of Flight
  2. Technical airline terminology
  3. Calculating time (to work out the time in other time zones and flight time, arrival etc.)
  4. Company history of the airline you’re about to be training for
  5. Customs regulations for the United States. If you’re not from the USA, look up customs regulations for your home country instead!

Tip: Learn the company history of the airline before your interview. This will help you answer any company specific questions with pinpoint accuracy, and you’ll be able to ask more relevant questions of your interviewer which is sure to impress.

I have put together as much information as I can in my post about flight attendant training, which covers this topic in greater detail.

Once you’ve passed, you can tell your friends how to become a flight attendant!

5. Be the best “Ready Reserve” attendant, ever!

So now you’ve passed your training and you’re officially employed by the airline. Congratulations!

Ready Reserve attendants are always on-call.

Ready Reserve attendants are always on-call. Photo credit: L. Masreira

Unfortunately it’s not time to relax. As a ready reserve flight attendant, you’re working on-call to fill in for other flight attendants who are away sick, or are on leave.

You may be a Ready Reserve attendant from 6 months to 3-5 years. This really depends on the airline and their staffing requirements, but it also depends on your performance.

During this stage of your employment, your performance will be under constant scrutiny. You need to make sure you’re performing as well as possible, and don’t make any mistakes.

Here are a few things you can do to be a better Ready Reserve FA:

  • Always be available, for every shift.
    You must be super-flexible with your time. If you’re away partying and aren’t ready to work, you’ll quickly become the black sheep.
  • Always, always be on time. Always.
  • Always be perfectly dressed. Always.
  • Do ask for help when you need it.
    It’s better to ask and get it right with help, than to get it wrong and look the fool. And when you’re being helped, ask straight up if there’s any way you could have done it better.
  • Do ask as many questions as you can.
    Get the most information you can about everything you can.If you learn 90% of what each of your cabin crew members know, you’ll likely know more than what any one of them will individually.
  • Do look for opportunities to expand your skills.
    You can do this by offering to perform a basic duty specific to another Flight Attendant or the Senior Flight Attendant.For one, you do need the experience. Secondly, you want to appear as interested in your position and pursuing your career as you can. Just ensure you’re not being “pushy”, so make sure they know you’re not trying to steal their job, you’re just trying to learn.

If you followed each of the steps above, before long you’ll be working full time as a flight attendant and will literally be living the dream!

Did this post on how to become a flight attendant help you? Is there any way I can make this better? I’d love to hear any feedback you may have. Please leave a comment below or catch up with me on Twitter @MyFlightCareer, or Google Plus!

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