If you want to get paid for travelling the world, you could consider becoming an air cabin crew member.
Although the job may sound glamorous, the reality is it’s a demanding role that requires people with the right skills and mindsets.
Keep reading to find out how you can fly high as an air cabin crew member.
What is an air cabin crew member?
In this role, you get to fly to exotic lands in commercial aircrafts for a specific airline.
Air cabin crew members are also known as flight attendants and air stewards or air stewardesses.
They ensure passengers have a safe, comfortable and pleasant flight by providing excellent customer service and maintaining safety protocols.
They’re highly trained to deal with a number of different situations.
What does an air cabin crew member actually do?
Don’t mistake this job for a simple customer service position.
Air cabin crew members are actually highly trained to deal with emergency and security situations that could potentially arise during an aeroplane’s flight.
They will be aware of safety protocols and know how to administer first aid.
Before take-off, you would make sure all onboard emergency equipment is working correctly. You would also ensure there are enough supplies on board, including items like blankets, food and drink. You would greet passengers and help them onto the flight.
Once the passengers are seated, you would demonstrate safety equipment and procedures. During the flight, you would strive to provide the passengers with a pleasant flying experience.
You would serve meals and refreshments on either short or long-haul flights. You may also be expected to sell gifts and duty-free products.
Air Cabin Crew Member Job Description
The exact nature of an air cabin crew member’s daily tasks can differ depending on the airline they work for and whether they’re flying short trips or long-haul journeys. However, the essential duties of air cabin crew members remain the same. Typically, as a flight attendant your daily tasks would involve:
- Checking all supplies and emergency equipment prior to take-off.
- Greeting passengers as they come aboard the aeroplane.
- Demonstrating emergency procedures.
- Preparing and serving refreshments.
- Making announcements.
- Reassuring passengers who are nervous of flying.
- Ensuring passengers leave the aeroplane safely once the plane has touched down.
- Writing a flight report.
- Calculating and recording refreshment sales and stock.
- Calculating and recording duty-free sales.
Key Skills for an Air Cabin Crew Member
To become an air cabin crew member, you will need to possess certain key skills and qualities.
You’ll need to have great communication skills, to liaise with the flight crew, the other flight attendants and the passengers.
You also need to be able to keep your head in stressful or emergency situations.
Should an emergency arise, you need to be able to calmly tell passengers what to do and make sure they’re following the emergency procedures correctly.
Other key skills required for an air cabin crew member include:
- Customer service skills.
- Flexibility to work unsociable hours.
- Enjoyment of working with people.
- Excellent public safety knowledge.
- Excellent interpersonal skills.
- Excellent numeracy skills.
- Good physical fitness.
- Commercial awareness.
- The capacity to work in a confined environment.
- The ability to work in a team.
Our online cabin crew course is a great way to discover more of the job role and is a great stepping stone to becoming a cabin crew member.
Useful Work Experience
It’s helpful to have work experience that includes any of the above key skills before you apply for the position of an air cabin crew member.
The work experience could come from paid work or a voluntary position. The most important thing is being able to demonstrate you have experience in areas like customer service and teamwork.
Average Salaries for an Air Cabin Crew Member
Your salary is largely dependent on the specific airline you work for. Some pay better than others, you can see the cabin crew salaries on Glass Door. However, most air cabin crew positions start with base salaries of between £12,000 and £14,000 per year. Because different flight attendants work different hours, and those hours are often unsociable, you can also often earn an hourly rate on top of the base rate.
Some airlines pay more for the number of different languages you can speak too. In addition, most air cabin crew members have the opportunity to be paid performance bonuses and commissions for inflight sales. With those additional payments, full-time air cabin crew members can expect to receive a starting salary of around £20,000 to £25,000 per year.
As with most jobs, the more experience you have in a position, the more you can get paid. Experienced air cabin crew can earn a base rate of between £15,000 and £18,000 per year. For senior cabin crew, who have many years’ experience under their belts, they can earn a base rate of around £20,000.
With additional payments for extra hours, performance bonuses and commissions, senior air cabin crew members can potentially earn up to £30,000 per year.
Air Cabin Crew Courses
Our online air cabin crew courses with CPD (Continuing Professional Development) certifications provide a comprehensive and convenient pathway to becoming a skilled and certified member of the aviation industry.
These online air cabin crew courses offer in-depth training in all aspects of cabin crew responsibilities, including safety protocols, customer service, emergency procedures, and cultural sensitivity.
What sets our cabin crew courses apart is the incorporation of CPD certifications, allowing aspiring cabin crew members to continuously enhance their skills and knowledge as they progress in their careers.
These certifications are widely recognised within the aviation industry, showcasing a commitment to ongoing professional development and safety standards.
With the flexibility of online learning, students can adapt their studies to accommodate their schedules, making it easier than ever to pursue a fulfilling career as an air cabin crew member while achieving valuable CPD qualifications along the way.
Qualifications for an Air Cabin Crew Member
You don’t need a degree to become an air cabin crew member, but most airlines require you to have good secondary school qualifications, such as grades A to C or one to three in GCSE Maths and English. See our online GCSE Maths Course.
It’s desirable for applicants to have a second language as well.
You must be over eighteen years of age at the time of applying for the job. You must also be able to swim and meet the airline’s restrictions for weight and height. You’ll have to pass an enhanced background check, have a good level of physical fitness and pass a medical check.
Furthermore, you must live within an hour and a half’s travel-time to the base you would be flying from and have a valid passport without any restrictions.
Once you are accepted as an air cabin crew member, you’ll embark on an intensive training programme which you must pass before you can begin work as a flight attendant. Typically, a training course lasts between four and seven weeks. Learning doesn’t cease once the training programme is over though.
You must complete annual examinations to make sure you’re completely knowledgeable of the most up-to-date safety and security procedures. Your knowledge can also be tested before each flight you go on. By undergoing some air cabin crew exams, you can earn nationally-recognised qualifications from official bodies like City & Guilds, Pearson and the Northern Council for Further Education.
Once you have experience of being an air cabin crew member and you have demonstrated you perform well, you have the opportunity to be promoted. The next step up from an air cabin crew member is a purser. As a purser, you would do everything you did as an air cabin crew member, but you would have additional responsibilities, such as managing first class or business class cabins.
You would be responsible for all staff working in that cabin and give them feedback about their performance and sales techniques. Typically, you need between two and five years of experience as an air cabin crew member before you can apply for the position of purser.
From a purser position, you can progress in your career further by becoming a senior cabin crew member. This job role is also sometimes known as a cabin manager, cabin supervisor or cabin service director. The job is similar to that of a purser, but you have the responsibility of being in charge of all crew on board the flight, not just the crew in one cabin. You would also help to train and supervise new air cabin crew members. As with most senior positions, there’s more paperwork to fill out at this level.
If you want to progress even further in your air cabin crew career, you could become a very, very important person cabin crew member. VVIP cabin crew work for very important clients, such as government officials and royalty. Typically, you would work on a private aircraft.
To be able to apply for this position, you will typically need to have at least two years’ experience of working in first class or business class cabins.
There are other options available for air cabin crew who wish to progress in their careers back on land. You could move into operations such as recruitment, passenger services or cabin crew training. Alternatively, you may like to work in airline departments like human resources, marketing or safety training.
If you want to become a jet-setting air cabin crew member, you’ll need to have GCSEs, or equivalent qualifications, in maths and English. You’ll also need to have excellent communication skills, a good level of physical fitness, and the ability to work in a team.
You must able to work unsociable flexible hours away from home too. Once you’re accepted as an air cabin crew member, you’ll have to undergo training over a probationary period. You will have to pass exams not just at the end of the training course, but also every year to ensure you’re up-to-date with safety and security procedures.
Once you’re an established air cabin crew member, you have various options to progress in your career and earn a higher salary. You could even find yourself working as a VVIP for a king or queen.