Archive for March, 2013

What Airline Should You Choose?

Q. If you had the choice, what airline would you choose to be a flight attendant for and why?

A. I love the airline I fly for and would choose the same airline if I had to do over. Unfortunately, I can’t reveal to you who I fly for because of social media policies. What I can do is offer you some advice on how you can choose the right airline for you.

  • Do your research. Find out anything and everything you can about the airlines you’re interested in. How are they viewed by the public? Do their passengers seem happy with them?
  • Ask on public flight attendant forums if people like working for the airline you’re interested in. You may find someone who is willing to private message you and give you an honest opinion.
  • Figure out what your goals are. Are you planning to be a flight attendant for a few years or is this a career path? Do you want to fly domestic or international?
  • Think about your flight benefits. Even if you’d prefer to work domestically, you may plan on traveling internationally on your off days. Working for an airline that flies everywhere you’d like to go will make traveling easier.
  • Do some research on flight attendant pay scales. Some airlines make a significant amount more than others.
  • Decide whether you’d like to work for a regional carrier or a mainline carrier. Are you better solo or with a team? At the regionals they’ll most likely be no more than you and sometimes one other flight attendant on your flights.

Are you already a flight attendant? How did you choose your airline? Did you just go with who ever was hiring or did you do your research and wait for the airline of your dreams? Let us know in the comment section below!

Happy Flying!

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How to Prepare for your Career

Q. my dream since i was a kid was to be a flight attendant. Its all ive ever wanted and was wondering if you would have the time to give me some advice on the proper steps to becoming one. thank you!

A. This is a great question because there are so many people who want to know how to prepare to get hired as a flight attendant. I’m going to pick on you a little, but don’t take it personally as I just need to make a point since it is such a common theme these days. Watch your grammar and your punctuation. I understand that it’s a lot more lackadaisical when posting on facebook or other social media outlets, but if I were asking for career advice, I would make sure my my i’s were dotted and my t’s were crossed. The problem will arise when you’re filling out applications and you’re used to writing in this lazy manner. You’re bound to make a mistake out of habit.  The airlines are extremely conservative so make sure you go over everything with a fine tooth comb. Ok, enough on that, here are a few steps you can take now to get hired when the opportunity arises:

  • Research the flight attendant career. The more knowledge you have the better equipped you’ll be to write your resume and answer their interview questions.
  • Research the airlines you are interested in. You may be asked specific reasons you chose to pursue airline “xyz.”
  • If you’re not working in a customer service industry already, start applying for jobs that will give you this experience. The more the better.
  • Self reflect and figure out why you’d like to be a flight attendant. Again this will be of great benefit when answering questions at your interview.
  • Think of life experiences that you feel would make you a great flight attendant.
  • Apply for and get your passport if you don’t already have yours.
  • Learn a second language. Maybe you have a background in Spanish, but never went further with it? Now is the time to pick it back up. Even if you aren’t fluent enough to be a language speaker, it can’t hurt to have the experience. It will benefit you once you have the job and you can at least understand a little of another language.
  • Peruse information sites on line, but never pay for an in person flight attendant academy. At least not in the United States. Once the airline hires you, they pay for your training.

When you feel you’re ready and you find an airline of your choice is hiring, apply. I believe that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Check the airlines career or employment sites often. They sometimes only open up for applications for short periods of times due to the high volume of applicants they receive.

Good Luck! Have any other questions? Are you a flight attendant already? What advice would you offer? Let us know in the comment section below!

Happy Flying!

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More Questions:

Q. I have a bad scar on my neck, could I be penalized during the selections because of it?

A. That’s a great question. I truly don’t believe that would be a factor for a U.S. carrier, but I can’t answer for some of the foreign airlines. If it is something that you think may distract from the interview or cause you to be self conscious, wear a scarf. You will look like a flight attendant walking in!

Q. I am a type 1 diabetic on an insulin pump. Do any of you know any Type 1′s? I’m trying to see how they deal with jet lag. That is my only concern. I may do corporate flying. My health is not ready for me to fly over seas just yet.

A. I posed this question to some colleagues, but unfortunately could not find anyone who had any insight. My suggestion would be to talk with your doctor. There are things that all flight attendants should do to maintain their health and well being such as yoga, eating whole healthy foods and getting your rest when you can.

Q. What can you expect for the medical examination for a flight attendant? Is the requirement different in Europe/Scandinavia? (if you know)

A. The physical that you’ll be required to take for a U.S. airline consists of an eye exam, a hearing exam and fitness. The fitness exam will likely consist of timed squats, ab crunches and a few other light physical activities. Unfortunately, I don’t know about Europe.

Keep the questions coming! And, if you are already a flight attendant and would like to “pay it forward” fill out our survey “here.”

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Preparing for Training

Q. Any advice for preparation of inflight training? Specifically wanting to know if there are any books to read or any other things that will help being prepared to do well in training.

A. This is a good question, being prepared is the sign of a great flight attendant! You will receive a packet from your airline with all kinds of things that you’ll need to get done before you arrive at the training center. Most airlines will send you the airport city codes to study beforehand. I wouldn’t recommend getting too far ahead by trying to study what you’ll be learning in training. I would use the weeks or month that you have to get the paper work done that the airline will need from you.

You may have to go digging for documents such as your high school diploma or your birth certificate. I think you’ll find your time is taken up with these tasks. What you can do is get any loose ends tied up in your personal life. Schedule bill payments, sort through and pack things up that you’ll be bringing to whatever city you end up being based. And, don’t forget to get in touch with any friends and family that you’d like to spend some time with before you head off on your new adventure. Those are the things I would be doing. Leave training for training. Study the codes and be prepared for your first test on the first day. Yes, they like to get the ball rolling fast! Training is fast and furious so it wouldn’t hurt to catch up on your sleep and make sure your health is in tip top shape too!

Good Luck!

Have more questions about the flight attendant career? Let us know in the comment section of this post!

Happy Flying!

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Interviews and Tattoos

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Q. I have an upcoming interview with a major airline and I’ve heard having tattoos will automatically disqualify me. I can hide most, but I’m afraid they’ll see the one on the back of my neck since I also heard I should wear my hair up. Which is more important, hiding my tats or wearing my hair up?

A. This is a great question that affects many these days since a lot of people have tattoos. To be considered for a flight attendant position you do need to look the part. There are a couple of things you can do to cover your tattoo. If a scarf will cover your tattoo, this would be an easy fix, a scarf looks professional and definitely gives you that “flight attendant” look. If that doesn’t quite work, I would still recommend the scarf, but also using some heavy make up. I believe they have make up that will cover a tattoo. Merle Norman actually has an ad for this very thing. Good Luck!

Have questions about an upcoming interview or anything about being a flight attendant? Ask us in the comments below! Thanks for sharing!

Happy Flying!

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Reserve Life

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Q. What can all of you tell me about what it is like after you first become an FA? What about the Reserve, how long are you on it?

A. Most likely you will sit reserve when you begin your career as a flight attendant. A reserve flight attendant is a flight attendant that fills in for sick calls, vacation time, crews that go illegal and a myriad of other purposes that the original flight attendant is no longer on a trip. The reserve system varies from airline to airline and can be a straight reserve system or a rotating system. A straight reserve system is when a percentage of the flight attendants, starting at the bottom of the seniority list sit reserve until attrition, hiring and/or growth of the airline allow for them to hold a line, meaning a schedule. A rotating reserve system is a shared reserve system which can mean many things. Some airlines have a set time period of say five years for sitting reserve and if you still don’t hold a line then a rotation of sitting reserve every other month begins. Or it could be that all but the top ten or twenty percent of flight attendants sit a few days of reserve every month.

Q. Do you get paid for being on reserve?

A. Yes. You are paid for your time on reserve. Again, it varies from airline to airline, but generally you are guaranteed a certain amount of flight hour pay whether you actually fly those hours or not. Some months you may only fly half of your guarantee while during busy times such as the holidays or spring break you may break your gaurantee and get paid above and beyond that.

Q. What’s reserve life like?

A. I believe reserve is what you make of it. It is true that you don’t have a lot of control of your everyday life when you are on reserve, but you also never know when you’re going to get a call to fly to Paris or Honolulu! You may not have holidays or birthdays off for a while, though if you ask me everyday is a holiday with a career as a flight attendant.

Hope that answers some of your questions about reserve. Have any others? Let us know in comments and we’ll be happy to answer them for you!

Photo courtesy of Jetlagged Comic. Be sure to check out the Jetlagged Comic Store for bags, travel mugs, t-shirts and more adorned with their awesome flight attendant cartoons!

Happy Flying!

 

 

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A Few More of Your Questions Answered

Q. If I have a strong foreign accent can I still be hired?

A. This would depend on the airline and their requirements. I’m sure if you meet all the requirements to be hired for any particular airline and you speak their required language, an accent would not prevent them from hiring you. There are plenty of flight attendants at my airline with a foreign accent.

Q. What do you do if there is a crying baby that a customer is complaining about?

A. I try to be sympathetic to all passengers needs, in this case I would assist the care taker of the baby any way I could. That being said, babies cry sometimes and flying is public transportation. I always recommend that people travel with some form of noise cancellation even if it’s just ear plugs.

Q. If one has been diagnosed with mental Illness, not bipolar but say like Depression , borderline personality disorder. But one takes meds and is in counseling can someone still make their dreams come true?

A. I don’t know the answer to this question, but I would say to contact the airlines you are thinking of and ask their policies. I would think that certain things would be considered discrimination and certain things would prevent one from preforming the duties of a flight attendant. I don’t know which would be considered which however. And, to answer the last part of your question, I am a believer that everyone can make their dreams come true!

Have more questions? Post them to the comment section and we’ll answer them!

Happy Flying!

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Your Questions Answered!

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Thank you for all your great questions on our facebook page. I think it is easier to answer them all here in a post so they will be easily accessible to others with the same questions.

Q: Which one does a flight attendant like best, international or domestic?

A: Whether a flight attendant prefers international or domestic flying is really a matter of personal preference. Some of the pros of international of course are seeing the world and other cultures on a regular bases that you are not normally exposed to. The down side can be jet lag. I flew internationally for many years and felt like I was in a constant state of being tired. I wouldn’t trade those years for anything, but flying domestically works for me now that I have a family. Functioning on my days off is now required.

Q: What is the oldest age of a flight attendant?

A: Without looking it up I know there are flight attendants still flying in their eighties. I’m assuming you are more interested in knowing what is the oldest age the airlines will hire? It really depends on what airline and what country the airline is based. U.S. based airlines are great because there is no agism. In fact I will even say that the airlines in the U.S. place a lot of worth on ones life experience.

Q. Where do you find a school to become a flight attendant?

A. Again, I can only answer for the U.S., but I do not recommend you attend a school to become a flight attendant. The airline you are hired with will be investing in you and sending you to training. A better way to prepare is to get an education, learn a language and gain as much customer service experience as you can.

Q. What advice would a seasoned flight attendant give a person new to the field?

A. Oh so much advice! So much that I am just finishing up a book for new hire fight attendants that answers all kinds of questions. Some quick tips would be to be flexible and open to everything coming your way. Punch through your fears and take advantage of everything this new life style has to offer. If you are ever thinking of quitting, give it six months and see how you feel then.

Thank you for the great questions! Have more? Post them in comments and I’ll answer them in another post!

Happy Flying!

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Room Service: Quick Tips

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I just asked the question, “room service…yay or nay?” on facebook. The consensus seems to be split 50/50 so I thought I’d throw out a few tips for ordering in when you just need to chill.

  • Pick up. If you want the alone time, but don’t mind running down to the restaurant to pick up your grub, this will save you the outrageous fees they tack on for delivering.
  • If you aren’t feeling well or are just anti social after five grueling legs just treat yourself.
  • Save money by ordering soup. It’s usually a big bowl and comes with bread. This can be a meal in itself and usually only runs a few dollars.
  • Another money saving tip is to order off the children’s menu. Sometimes comfort food like grilled cheese and french fries just hits the spot! The price is so much better that the fees still only make it a “normal” price.
  • Call down to the front desk and ask if there are any restaurants in the area that deliver to the hotel. You can usually count on pizza or Chinese, usually minus the delivery fee.
  • Don’t forget to ask for your airline employee discount. This will at least balance out the fees and taxes.

Do you order room service? Is it a once in a while treat or something you do regularly? What are your tips for ordering room service? Please share your advice in the comment section below.

Happy Flying!

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Getting Through Training

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Congratulations! You’ve made it through your interview and you’ve  been invited to flight attendant training. You sigh a huge sigh of relief, but as soon as you breathe out you realize you now have to make through training. The stress returns. Don’t push the panic button just yet there are things you can do to make it through and still take care of you.

  • Bring a few comforts from home. Don’t over do it, but bring a framed photo or your favorite pillow. Whatever will help make you feel more at home.
  • Be open and friendly to all your new classmates. They will not only be a great support system but it will be practice for your new lifestyle. You will find yourself meeting new people every time you go to work.
  • Treat yourself. Whether it is a weekly movie, massage or just an hour alone at Starbucks make sure you have something away from training that can recharge your batteries.
  • It will be tempting to hit the bar with your classmates every night, but I recommend you wait until you graduate to celebrate. You need to be at your best for the time in training so opt for a good night sleep instead.
  • Study. It is intense, but it’s a short amount of time in long run. Do your best while you are there. You’ll regret not making it through if you don’t.
  • Get your exercise in. Even if it means getting up twenty minutes earlier. You need stamina to get through these weeks.
  • Make sure you are eating healthy and getting all your nutrients. If you have a fridge keep some healthy snacks handy. And don’t forget to have a little stash of chocolate handy as a treat;)

Have you already been through flight attendant training? What nice things did you do to treat yourself while there? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy Flying!

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