Education in India, Career in India: Air Hostess, Flight Steward
Looking for a Career Option as a member of Cabin Crew (Air Hostess, Flight Steward)? This section features Air Hostess/Flight Steward as a career option, elaborated with reference to the job profile, personality traits required, the courses and training involved, premier institutions and future prospects.
The air hostess and/or flight steward (also referred to as cabin crew), are the first people to welcome passengers aboard an aircraft. They welcome and greet every passenger. They help them to supervise their seating arrangements and help them in arranging their hand baggage in the proper manner. Once all the passengers have come in they set about ensuring the safety-belt arrangements and demonstrate the use of emergency equipment. They make the necessary announcements over the public address system. Their duties and responsibilities start much before the arrival of the passengers by checking that blankets, pillows, magazines, newspapers, etc are in good order in their proper places.
Air hostesses and flight stewards have to be on duty throughout the duration of the flight looking after passengers in general and taking special care of air-sick travellers, sick children and babies; and also the elderly people or very young who are travelling alone. They provide first aid should the situation arise. They serve meals to passengers and crew and after the meal clear the dishes and check again that all passengers have been served all the items. They work continuously and efficiently during the flight in the confined space of the cabin with a good humour.
Depending on the routes they fly, cabin crew may get to do a lot of sightseeing; the longer the route the higher are the chances of sightseeing as crews often change planes at 'slip points' or step overs. At these times they stay at luxury hotels at the airlines' expense.
Common sense a sense of responsibility, ability to handle crisis, initiative, helpful, friendly nature, physical stamina and the capacity to work with speed and efficiency, systematic approach, attractive appearance, a well modulated pleasant voice, and a proportionate figure with good posture and bearing are important traits for cabin crew.
Airlines recruit cabin crew (air hostess/ flight stewards) on the basis of certain eligibility criteria:
- Age : Below 25 years
- Height : Minimum height should be 154.5-157.5 cm (barefeet)for air hostess and 170-180 cms for flight steward
- Weight : Proportionate to height as per the company's standards
- Status(marital) : Unmarried
- Vision : Preferably normal eyesight without glasses;or minimum uncorrected vision (distant) should be 6/24 in each eye.
- Educational : Graduate degree from a recognised university, or Plus Two/Equivalent with 3 year diploma in Hotel Management and Catering from a recognised institute.
- Knowledge of the national language and at least one international language(English) is essential.
- The applicant should be physically fit with a pleasing personality and clear complexion.
After completing the initial screening of applicants private airlines company may invite them for a written examination, usually of the objective type (multiple choice). Those who qualify in the written test have to appear for a group discussion followed by a personal interview of successful candidates.
Trainee cabin crew undergo training in catering, first aid, general airborne procedures, documentation (dealing with the flight documents they have to complete after each flight), use of the public address system and technical details of aircraft pressurization and ventilation. They are given lessons in the use of safety equipment and the emergency drill. At first the practical work is taught on firm ground ; later on they have to gain flight practice flying as an extra or supernumerary.
Please click here for the list of the Air Hostess/Flight Steward Institutes in India.
With privatisation and many international airlines flying to Indian destinations, cabin crew are being recruited not just by the domestic airlines, but also by foreign airlines. The different airlines advertise their openings.
The different airlines include private owned domestic and international airlines namely Sahara, Singapore airlines, Jet Airways etc and government air services like Air India and Indian Airlines. Interested candidates must keep a lookout for the advertisements and apply as per the specifications. A resume accompanied by a photograph in a walk-in interview to the recruiting airline.
An Air Hostess has every chance to be promoted to the post of Senior Flight Attendant and then Head Attendant. Career as an Air Hostess would last for about eight to ten years, after that she could move on to the ground duties including the job of a Ground Hostess, Check Hostess, training of airhostess or work in the management level. One can also diversify into any one of the other departments in the airline industry.
The span of their flying career as symbols of hospitality may tend to be contractual, but experienced cabin crew are successfully absorbed in alternative careers in travel and tourism, hotels and in mass media, to name a few prominent options.