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2015 Class Dates

November 9 13

2016 Class Dates

January 11 15

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By Wendy Stafford, Sr. Instructor
Flight Attendant Express


1. Coffee, Tea or a Masters in Psychology

2. The Mystique of a Flight Attendant

3. A Day in the Life of a Flight Attendant

4. Being on Reserve

5. Flight Attendant Training

6. The Flight Attendant Job Perks

7. The Different Types of Flight Attendants

8. Advantages of Working for Smaller Airlines

9. Why We Want to be Flight Attendants

10. How I Became a Flight Attendant

11. Why You Need to be the Best in the Room!


The first flight attendants, 60 years ago, were nurses who swatted flies and served box lunches. The job description has changed greatly, even over the last twenty years; the “stewardesses” of today are not just beautiful jet setters living in luxury apartments with a lover in every city – they are safety professionals. Their duties can be daunting, and a great deal of the time these men and women consider the job neither glamorous nor sexy. The work is physically and emotionally demanding, with irregular hours, long days and being away from family and friends for extended periods of time, including weekends and holidays. The duties have also changed - no longer are they just purveyors of food and drink – now they may be called upon to accomplish much more.
Today’s flight attendants may be called upon to assist customers with baggage, assist ill or handicapped customers, answer customer inquiries, and provide leadership and assistance during flight irregularities. And major security measures have been implemented.

The typical flight attendant of the new millennium may be a college educated, 35-year-old woman with a family, a former firefighter or police officer. More men have joined the ranks; age is no longer a barrier, and cultural diversity is encouraged. The average tenure of a flight attendant today is 10 years or more, and 25 years’ seniority is not uncommon. More mature flight attendants, who used to be unheard of, are now treasured employees; airlines are finding that they can be more reliable than their younger counterparts. Youth, beauty, gender and weight are not the important factors here. It is a welcome treat to find the employee who has had years of experience in problem solving and dealing with difficult situations. Airlines want to provide gracious and intelligent service for their customers, and the level of customer service experience one can bring to this job is highly valued. A person who can be “nice” to people, who is sharp, crisp and well groomed, with a mature and positive attitude, able to anticipate the needs of others is highly prized.

In general, the public is not becoming any friendlier; people are more demanding, entitled and downright rude at times, as self-control and frustration tolerance are at an all-time low. Flight attendants must now be masters at calming passengers and de-escalating hostility when the need arises. The airlines are also attempting to improve things by hiring more customer service-oriented candidates, who are seasoned in the art of handling difficult situations. They must be flexible and easy-going, and anyone who possesses a degree or a background in psychology is nowadays considered a hot property by airline recruiters and managers.

Flight attendants now take safety far more seriously than even a few years ago. As a precaution, to keep arms from flailing around during a perceived emergency, during take-off and landing many airlines instruct their flight attendants now to sit on their hands – a practice unheard of a few years ago. Instead of sitting on the jump seat reading a magazine or talking about their latest boyfriends, they now review emergency procedures and escape routes in their minds while seated for taking-off and landing. Emergency command drills and testing are now a large part of initial flight attendant training. Nowadays 95% of initial training is about safety issues and is not unlike a military boot camp. Training includes daily classroom lectures, home study, proficiency drills, and oral presentations, with training flights on the weekends. Topics covered include aircraft equipment familiarization on several types and series of aircraft, food and beverage service, hazardous materials, fire fighting, emergency procedures, water ditching in a raft, FAA requirements, first aid, cabin safety and company policy. There are tests every day and trainees must maintain a 85 - 90% average or they will be sent home. They are trained to handle medical situations, how to deliver a baby, perform CPR, defibrillate heart attack victims, and put out fires. Clearly, this is not a job for the faint hearted!

All things considered, the flight attendant has made some huge inroads and strides in the last 20 years. Racial, age and gender discrimination is no longer acceptable; we no longer have to “weigh-in” before we are hired or after we are out on the line; random drug testing and passenger screening are now de rigueur, which makes us feel safer, and employees are treated with more respect and fairness. Supervisors and administrators are beginning to encourage feedback from employees; they have become more approachable for problem solving and are focusing more on improving employee relations. There is generally a more casual attitude in the industry today, reflected in the dressing-down of the flight crews. Khakis, sneakers, sweaters, shorts and skorts are now worn in the skies, and many airlines are implementing immovable days off for reserve crewmembers. Crews are given more days off per month than ever before, and the salaries are becoming much more attractive. The flight attendant job is now considered more respectable, and finally, flight attendants are no longer the butt of sexist airline slogans!

There is really no better time to fly than the present! Contrary to the obsessive accident coverage by the media, flying is the safest form of transportation available today and certainly the most convenient. The flight attendant career is the only one for many free-spirited individuals who have so much to give to others. Truly they are winged angels, who sacrifice daily, but are rewarded tenfold, as flight attendants have the best job in the world!

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