Fasten your seatbelt because we’re here to talk about air cabin crews. If the excitement is too much for you and you feel you need to get out of here right now, your lifejacket is located below your laptop and the exits are located at the front and the rear of this article. If you still want to find out more, sit back and enjoy the ride. Pretty soon, you’ll be cruising at 36,000 feet!
Air cabin crews are the teams of in-flight personnel responsible for ensuring that all the passengers travelling with their airline have a safe and enjoyable flight experience. These friendly professionals make sure passengers are safe, secure and comfortable.
Essentially, this line of work is all about providing an awesome level of customer service. The air cabin crew handles tasks associated with boarding and disembarking the aircraft. They also demonstrate safety procedures and serve food and drinks during the flight.
These guys also make periodic announcements to passengers about flight conditions and arrival times. Furthermore, they make sure that passengers with special needs are cared for in an appropriate manner and provide first aid and medical care to any passengers when necessary.
When the air cabin crew is not jetting around the place, they are required to carry out activities on the ground, such as attending pre-flight briefings and ensuring that food, beverages, safety equipment, reading materials and safety leaflets are adequately stocked.
It’s not all about customer service, passenger interaction and pouring drinks; you may also be required to prepare flight reports and sort out other paperwork on a regular basis.
Salary & benefits
Salaries for members of the cabin crew tend to be lower than the average salaries earned by customer service professionals in other industries, such as hotels, restaurants, bars and banks.
Trainee cabin crew members and junior staff are paid salaries in the range of £10,000 and £15,000. Cabin crew with more experience can earn between £15,000 and £30,000, whilst senior personnel can earn salaries up to £30,000 per annum.
Salary levels are higher for cabin crews working on long-distance flights or those assigned to business and first-class cabin services. If you work in this area, you will also be provided with stopover hotel accommodation before the flight makes a return journey to its original starting point.
Cabin crews employed on high-end chartered flights are also paid higher salaries in comparison to their counterparts on regular airlines. Different airlines also have different modes of paying their cabin crew: a lot of the high-end airlines will offer a fixed yearly salary, but budget/low-end airlines may instead pay an hourly rate depending on when you work, and for how long.
Work schedules are irregular and long, involving frequent travel from destination to destination, especially on short, domestic flights.
Employees need to be flexible and must be prepared to fly out on short notice. However, compensatory leave is provided to ensure that that cabin crew members do not suffer from fatigue and burnout.
Communication skills and a friendly nature are the two most-important requirements for candidates aspiring to become members of cabin crews.
Graduates and candidates with HNDs across all disciplines are eligible to apply; however, school leavers who have not completed any further education are also able to apply.
You will need at least five GCSEs (A-C grades) or Standard Grades (Level 1-3) including English to enter this profession. You’ll also need to be physically fit and healthy and be able to swim. Some airlines may also implement a minimum height restriction for safety purposes.
All employees will need to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for security reasons and must have a valid passport. If you can speak a foreign language, this will be a great asset to have when working on international flights.
Training & progression
Training is mainly provided on-the-job during simulated or actual flights. Junior cabin crew members are also supervised by their senior colleagues.
Promotion into more senior roles is based on the individual organisation’s hierarchy, the availability of positions and individual performance.
As you progress, you may become a senior cabin crew member, before climbing the ladder further to become a cabin service director. You could also work in a role where you’d be responsible for training new cabin crew staff.
Alternatively, you could step back from in-flight customer service roles and pursue other options inside the airport terminal.