5 Tips For Aspiring Flight Attendants (that you may have not have heard before!)
Training to be a flight attendant is a lengthy and challenging process. You and the class you train with will bond over uniform fittings, late study sessions, tears, hilarious demonstrations (inflating the life vest I’m talking to you), exams and first schedules. Where you are going I have been and I thought I’d impart some little bits of wisdom that may make your journey slightly easier.
Here are a couple things I wish someone had told me to pay more attention to. Disclaimer: please don’t get discouraged, intimidated, or flustered by this list. These are meant to be tips to help ease the initial training process and give you an idea of what to expect beyond the glamorous layovers and engine pictures.
1. Get to know some airline lingo
Do you know what a blow out panel is? How about a ferry flight? Or a leg? You could have picked up some “aviation terminology” during your travels, which is a good start – but you may want to brush up on some airline specific jargon before taking on training. Having a good foundation of what these words mean and others that you may encounter through training will make it much easier to absorb the gigantic manual you will receive on day 1. During training there is so much fresh information being thrown your way that even new words that make total common-sense may throw you off.
2. Gather your personal info ahead of time
Have your personal data from the last 5 years ready to go. Chances are once you ace all of your training - you’ll have to cough up the lowdown on what you’ve been up to in order to get your hands on the access cards required to get to work. (A.K.A past security checkpoints) Do yourself a favor and slowly start gathering your information so you are not rushing to do so the day before your application is due. Good things to have ready are your home addresses for the past 5 years, landlord contact info (if applicable), work history and contact info for prior supervisors, and school history if applicable. It sounds simple enough - but locating your college dorm supervisor from that one year you lived on campus 4 years ago can actually be quite daunting. If you’ve travelled for extended periods it only gets trickier.
3. Make sure your social media "you" is polished
Do a serious social media clean up, and once it’s classy – keep it that way! I know, I know, I sound like a high school guidance councilor – but the reality is that people will look at these things before, during and after your hired. I’ve heard of countless people being dismissed for that “super fun sexy picture they posted at that party one time” and it’s simply not worth it. This goes for snaps, stories, posts, messages, foursquare check-ins, and whatever else you kids do online. Besides once you make it through your pictures will kick booty anyway (think Miami today and Athens tomorrow). Finally, if you think having your account on “private” is going to save you – its not.
4. Pick up some key phrases in multiple languages
Not all airlines require prospective flight attendants to speak multiple languages. I’m not asking you to rosetta stone an entire rare dialect but having a few key phrases or specific words in a different language can save you and your future passengers a lot of confusion and embarrassment. Learning to say “Hello, Excuse me, Please, and just one moment please” in French, Spanish and whatever other languages you frequently encounter is helpful. Additionally with time you will (should) learn to translate beverage items, “with ice” and the classic “chicken or pasta”.
Also bear in mind that you will probably be going on layovers to different countries, in almost all of them you will find that someone is willing to help you communicate in English. However, as a distinguished world traveller you will put some effort into communicating in their language, right? After all YOU are the guest.
5. get very familiar with first aid procedures
Pay attention to the long, drawn out, very dry first aid training days. You will give CPR to a plastic dummy, you will awkwardly giggle while pretending to do the Heimlich on a colleague, and you will nearly fall asleep while going over the different types of pulses to look for. But the reality is when you are 36,000 feet in the sky you and your colleagues are the first line of defense in potential life or death situations. The first aid exam is a measly speck in the realm of everyday flying and you will want to know the first aid information through and through as you will use it on a monthly basis (at the very least). Babies delivered on board, miscarriages, strokes, minor headaches, projectile vomiting, fatalities and everything else you could imagine has and will at some point happen again up there. Better to be prepared.
See you in the sky!