Aiste, a former flight attendant, who worked for one of well-known airlines, notes that during the very first flight she realised the necessity and importance of foundation laid by cabin crew training. However, after a few years of work, she noticed that there are things that are difficult to predict and you have to be ready for anything. You need to develop your creativity and flexibility during each flight. Nevertheless, the flight attendant’s profession ensures not only financial well-being, but also the opportunity to travel constantly and learn new cultures.
First aid knowledge
“First-aid knowledge was put in practice on almost every flight. Quite often we had to deal with various health disorders of our passengers. However, after a while, you start feeling confident and already know what to do”, says Aiste.
Once she faced a more serious case, when a man’s heart stopped briefly. For such cases, airlines are ready: the aeroplane has a defibrillator and other equipment needed for emergency aid. That time the passenger was revived without the equipment – there was a doctor on the plane.
“In such a situation cabin crew members must stay calm in order to calm down relatives and other passengers,” says the former flight attendant.
“In the past, I thought that in case of emergency, there would be panic on the plane, everyone would shout, run, and hardly settle down in their places. Only when I started working, I saw that everything is quite the opposite. In an unexpected situation the cabin is in a complete silence: passengers look around following every movement of each of aircraft staff members”, tells Aiste.
She believes that not only in cases of accidents solid psychological readiness is required, but also while performing common tasks.
“You need to become a doctor, firefighter, police officer, psychologist, mom, dad, waitress/waiter, advisor … on each flight. For anyone considering becoming a flight attendant I urge you to ask as much as possible about the most unexpected situations that may occur during the flight and how to prepare for them. Knowing what to expect can help you to avoid getting into difficult situations. There are actually slight chances of anything bad to happen due to the high level of attention to aviation safety and strictly regulated training delivered to pilots and flight attendants”, says the former flight attendant.
Get physically ready
The interviewee stresses that physical preparation is crucial for this job. During any trip, a heavy food stroller has to be pushed through the passenger area. Physical force is required not only to push it, but also for replenishing it by lifting supplementary food boxes that weigh nearly 10 kilograms. Aiste says that if there were at least a few men in the team during the flight, they constantly gave a hand in such situations.
“During initial cabin crew training, physical force is mostly needed in fire extinguishing, closing the aeroplane door, ditching and water survival training”, observes Aiste.
Great health and fitness are essential for each trip. Flight attendants only have a possibility to rest longer on flights that take more than 11 hours. “It is much more difficult to adapt to the environment after the night shift and a change in time zones, but you do not want to miss out on an opportunity to explore dynamic New York or enjoy the sun in Mauritius. If the steward or stewardess gives priority to adventures and visiting new places, in this case good health becomes even more significant”, says Aiste.
The advantages of work
Aiste was pursuing her career in the airline that employs more than 20,000 flight attendants. Since large aircraft are capable of carrying 400-500 people, the flights are accompanied by 15 to 24 cabin crew members who help each other to manage emerging problematic situations. The girl says the team is very young, cheerful and intelligent, making it even easier to overcome even the most emotionally and physically challenging flights.
The salary starts between 2,000 and 3,000 euros and may reach even more than 6,000 euros a month, depending on the flight attendant’s position. Airlines take care of staff accommodation, so employees do not need to look for an apartment.
“It is also possible to ask the management for the desired destination of the flight. When I chose this profession, I really wanted to see the world. During the years I worked as a cabin crew, I did not have the opportunity to go to only two continents: South America and Antarctica”, Aiste, who left the operation of the flight attendant a year ago, reveals. “There are probably no people or cultures that I could not communicate with now. I have learned to understand and not to judge people, to help solve their problems by communicating the closest understandable “language”. On the aeroplane you are faced with a wealth of cultures from all around the world, which develops your flexibility and your personality”.