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Here you will find all the answers to about the role of

cabin crew. Just click below on a topic that interests you

Who Are Cabin Crew - Information on who cabin crew really are and why they are employed by the airlines.

A Day In The Life Of A Cabin Crew Member - An overview of working a typical charter flight to Tenerife working as cabin crew.

Applying To Be A Cabin Crew Member - A brief look at why airline interviews are regarded as being tough to get through and how the airlines make their selections.

Cabin Crew Salaries - What kind of salary can you be looking to earn whilst working as cabin crew.

Once Recruited As A Cabin Crew Member - An insight into what to expect once you have been recruited as cabin crew and the training the airlines will provide for you.

The Highs And Lows Of Working As Cabin Crew - Letting you know the highs and lows of working as a cabin crew member.  

10 Reasons To Become A Cabin Crew Member - If your still not sure if this is the job for you, maybe this will help you to decide.

 

Who Are Cabin Crew

Cabin crew or also known as Flight Attendants, Air Hostess or even trolley dolly's! are primarily on board an aircraft for the safety and welfare of the passengers and secondly for their comfort. If there were no services of food or drink during a flight, there would still have to be a minimum presence of cabin crew for safety which is a legal requirement.

Because cabin crew members are the face of the airline they are expected to excel in customer service and always remain friendly, approachable and enthusiastic with a good sense of self presentation. The role of cabin crew can be physically demanding and you must be prepared to be flexible to work any day of the year. This does however give you a perfect opportunity to get away from the repetitiveness of a normal 9 to 5 job! Cabin Crew can encounter many different situations whilst working on board an aircraft and must be an excellent team player with the ability to work on their own initiative using quick thinking and organisational skills.

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A Day In The Life Of A Cabin Crew Member

Here is a good insight into working a typical charter flight from Gatwick to Tenerife and back again.

Good Morning (3.30am) Your alarm is going off and its time to get up for a flight to Tenerife, which is due to depart at 7.00am. You apply your make up, put on your uniform and make sure your appearance is immaculate (Even at 4.00am in the morning!). Cabin Crew need to check in at least 1hour and 30 minutes prior to the aircraft departing, so you will need to report for work (in the briefing room) at 5.30am. You arrive at Gatwick, park in the car park and catch the shuttle bus to the briefing room.

Your Pre-Flight Brief Fifteen minutes to go until the pre-flight brief. This will give you time to check your cabin manual to refresh yourself with the emergency procedures and location of emergency equipment for the aircraft you are operating on. You go into the pre-flight briefing which is being held on the aircraft and the senior crew talks through the flight details. This will normally include the order in which the services will operate for the flight, your responsibilities for the day and if there are any passengers with special needs flying i.e. you may be given the responsibility to explain the emergency facilities to a blind passenger on the particular aircraft you are operating on. You should also be prepared to be asked questions regarding safety and emergency procedures for that particular aircraft.

BEFORE THE PASSENGERS BOARD

It’s now time for you and your team to check your emergency equipment, that you have enough meals, drinks and duty free for the passengers, stock all the toilets with the necessary hand towels and tissues making sure its kept clean and tidy throughout the whole flight. Now the passengers are on the way, this is your final chance to check that your uniform is immaculate and presentable, all that’s left to do is smile and greet the passengers on board (bearing in mind its 6.30am in the morning). Remember you are the face of the airline so smiles are essential throughout the whole flight.

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In Preparation of Take Off All the passengers are now seated and the aircraft pushes back and prepares to taxi to the runway. It is now time to perform the safety demonstration so passengers can familiarise themselves with all the aircraft's emergency facilities. This will include pointing out the available emergency exits and lighting, the use of oxygen masks, seat belts and life jacket. You will complete your demonstration by checking through the cabin ensuring seatbelts are fastened and loose articles are secure for take off. You will now take your seat for take off.

DURING THE FLIGHT

Once the aircraft is airborne you will be released from your seat. You will perform your duties as discussed in the pre-flight brief and now its time to start work. The order of services varies from one airline to another, however this example is based on a typical charter flight as mentioned earlier.) Services offered on most charter airlines are charged for. This includes the sale of headsets for the in-flight entertainment, drinks and duty free goods. The meal is pre-ordered and paid for when the passenger booked.

Typical services which can be offered are the following:

  1. Headsets for the in house entertainment

  2. Drinks service

  3. Meal service

  4. Tea & Coffee

  5. Cold towels offered to passengers to freshen up after their meal

  6. Clearing & collecting the meal trays from the passenger

  7. Duty free goods

  8. Immigration cards

  9. Preparing the cabin for landing.

During this time you must also remember to check the toilets every 20 minutes to make sure that they are clean and stocked up. Deal with a number of questions and queries and most importantly maintain the safety and comfort for all of the passengers.

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LANDING AT TENERIFE

You now take your seats for landing. Once landed you say goodbye to the passengers and then prepare the aircraft for its return journey back home to Gatwick. (This is referred to the turnaround). Duties to include are restocking the bars for the drinks service, restock and check the catering, restock all the toilets, take out any rubbish from the seat pockets and ensuring all passengers have reading literature i.e. airline magazine, safety card, in-flight sales brochure and a sick bag. Before your new passengers board you will have to complete a security check to ensure no one has left any suspecting packages on board as this is obviously taken very seriously. Last but not least check your appearance before the new passengers arrive. The passengers arrive so once again you have to greet them and assist where needed. When they are all seated its time to begin the same emergency briefing and cabin service all over again!

LANDING AT GATWICK AND END OF FLIGHT CHECKS

Once you have landed back at your base airport and the passengers have disembarked, its time to go back to the brief room to count the money and to make sure that the amount of goods sold throughout the flight balances with the amount of cash you have taken. Once this has been done its time to check your file for any changes to your future flying programme and then you are free to go home. Congratulations you have completed a thirteen-hour day and you will feel like you have walked to Tenerife and back! GOODNIGHT!

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Applying To Be A Cabin Crew Member

With the world becoming an ever smaller place, people are now realising that there is more to life then working the normal 9-5 and are looking towards working as cabin crew as a more fulfilling career with the opportunity to travel the world. This has generated a lot of competition for people applying to the airlines and given the airline interviews a reputation for being tough to get through.

When airlines look for possible new recruits to work as cabin crew they have to make sure that the people that they employ know exactly what would be expected of them, they have all of the right qualities needed and will be dedicated to the airline. This is because for every new recruit that an airline employs they will spend approximately £14,000 on each of them for their uniform and the Safety & Emergency Procedures (SEP) training so they must make sure that they recruit the right person.

On a typical airline interview there could be 1 to 250 people attending in 1 day and the right candidates are chosen through a selection process. They will give the applicants possible tests, group work and the opportunity to present themselves to others to assess how they are suited for the role. Airlines particularly look for people that go to the interview with their eyes open to what the role of cabin crew is all about and that has taken an interest in the airline that they have applied too. They must be people who work well in a group and that have a friendly, confident and caring nature. If you would like more information about the airline interviews and what to do then why not see information on our training programme.

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Cabin Crew Salaries

The starting salary for a new recruit is approximately £14,000 per annum including flight pay which is an allowance that is paid to you for every hour that you are working away from base. Experienced cabin crew’s salary can go up to £16,000 and senior £22,000 both including flight pay. These figures are given as a guideline only and different airlines can operate slightly different pay structures.

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Once Recruited As A Cabin Crew Member

Once you have been successfully accepted by an airline to work as a cabin crew member you will have to complete a mandatory 4-6 week training course which is governed by the Civil Aviation Authority and the European Joint Aviation Authorities. This training course is called SEP (Safety & Emergency Procedures) the SEP training is paid for by the airline plus you will also get your first month’s wages. During this time you will be trained on:

  • Aircraft Evacuation

  • Ditching (landing on water)

  • Decompression

  • Fire Fighting

  • Passenger Management

  • Security Related Issues

  • Extraordinary Situations

  • First Aid

  • Survival

Some of this training can be conducted within different simulators to practice the drills and procedures needed to deal with different types of emergencies. Because this training is extremely expensive it is only offered to people recruited as cabin crew, however there are airline recognised training courses available which would give you an excellent insight into what you can expect. For more information please see details of our Cabin Crew Training Programme. Once you have successfully completed the SEP training you will then be put on a probationary period from 3 to 6 months where your performance will be assessed by senior cabin crew and airline trainers. Also every cabin crew member has to undergo recurrent training every 12 months and be re-tested.

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The Highs And Lows Of Working As Cabin Crew

There are many highs to being a cabin crew member and most recruited cabin crew would say that they defiantly outweigh the lows. So what are the highs to working as cabin crew: 

  • No two flights are same as you meet different people everyday. These range from baby's and right up to the elderly and passengers can be fun.

  • You can get cheaper flights for friends and family depending on the airline, you will be amazed how quickly your friends come out of the woodwork! Imagine going to Tenerife for a couple of days, just to top up your tan.

  • If you fly to a non EEC country then as crew you can purchase your duty free including cigarettes, booze and perfume, a great money saver.

  • You find you get more time off than any other job you have done before as you may work for 4 or 5 days and then have 3 days off, sometimes even 5 if you have been put on standby and have not been called in to work!

  • When working as cabin crew you become more confident and have a great sense of achievement.

  • Now for the major perk to being cabin crew. For the lucky few that get long haul flights then you will normally stop over in the country you are going too. You stay in 4 or 5 star hotels and get the time off when you are there. As well as all this you also get paid for it. Imagine going to Florida and having 3 or 4 days off to go round Disney World!

Well with any job there are a few lows but as you can see not too many:

  • Well you are expected to work any day of the year and at any time. So your weekends are will now be banished forever. You may have to work on your birthday or even Christmas day and sometimes new years eve.

  • It can be tiring work as you can be delayed and the days can be long. If you are use to the nine to five then this may not be the job for you as you will work on night flights and weekends.

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10 Reasons To Become A Cabin Crew Member...?

  1. Enjoy a great deal of time off.

  2. See the world and stay in some beautiful hotels whilst being paid.

  3. Have a fantastic social life and meet new friends.

  4. Enjoy unmatched variety - Forget the predictability of 9 to 5 cube life!

  5. Enjoy maximum scheduling flexibility - You're not limited to weekends off like the rest of the world!

  6. Meet new people with different cultures.

  7. Get free or reduced-cost travel benefits for yourself, immediate family and friends.

  8. Feel more independent.

  9. Feel more responsible.

  10. Feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when helping passengers reach their destinations.

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