Do Flight Attendants need to go to Flight Attendant School to become Cabin Crew or an Airline Stewardess? Or is it possible they can get a job as a Flight Attendant without any prior experience, knowledge or training? Does going to Flight Attendant School increase your chances of securing a Cabin Crew job at the end and is it really worth it? We will discuss it all below!
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What Is Flight Attendant School?
Flight Attendant School is a training academy where aspiring Flight Attendants train and learn lots of skills to prepare them to be an Air Hostess or Steward. At Flight Attendant School the students will study many things specific to aviation such as airline safety, airport codes and Civil Aviation Administrations. They will also learn many other general topics related to being a Flight Attendant such as geography, customer services and how Flight Attendants can handle annoying and challenging things passengers do.
There are many different types of Flight Attendant School, with some training programs lasting just a few days, and others lasting up to 4 months long.
Is It Necessary To Go To Flight Attendant School?
Some people get confused by this question so let’s break it down.
Flight Attendant Training and Flight Attendant School are two different things.
Flight Attendant Training:
Obviously all Flight Attendants who have been employed by an airline need to do Flight Attendant Training before they can work on the airplane as Cabin Crew. The only compulsory training to be commercial Cabin Crew is the training that the airline provides – after you have been to the Flight Attendant Assessment Day and passed the interview.
This training by the airline usually involves the Initial Cabin Crew Training, prior to working as a Flight Attendant, as well as any Recurrent Training during employment (usually every 6 months to a year thereafter) to maintain their skills. This Initial Cabin Crew training is mandatory (regulated by the Aviation Administration for that country) and only after successful completion can you get your licence as a Flight Attendant and be permitted to operate flights.
This compulsory training by the airlines is generally referred to as Cabin Crew Initial Training. The cost of it is usually covered by the airline (not all though, but the majority).
Flight Attendant School:
When we speak about Flight Attendant School, we speak about an additional training some people do prior to attending Cabin Crew interviews. This Flight Attendant School is not mandatory. It is not necessary to go to Flight Attendant School and airlines don’t necessarily look for it or take it into account when they are recruiting. In addition, the cost of Flight Attendant school is covered by the student – it isn’t funded by an airline.
So why do people go to Flight Attendant School if it is not necessary?
Although it is not expected or required for an aspiring Air Hostess/Steward to attend a Flight Attendant school, it can be very useful to someone looking to join the industry for the first time who might not already have many of the desired skills. It can help you prepare to become a Flight Attendant by equipping you with the skills required for the job, in addition to often assisting you in finding a Cabin Crew job afterwards.
Nevertheless, many people achieve to pass the Flight Attendant interview and become a Cabin Crew without attending Flight Attendant school.
What do they teach you at Flight Attendant School?
At the Flight Attendant school to be a Flight Attendant, subjects taught include many aspects relating to aviation safety, as well as geography, customer services and how to apply for Flight Attendant jobs (what to include on their Cabin Crew CV). They will also practice how to pass the Flight Attendant interview and how to do Flight Attendant Hairstyles for your Assessment Day for example.
Should I Go To Flight Attendant School?
It’s often a matter of personal preference if you want to attend Flight Attendant School or not. Can you afford it, do you have the time, and do you think it will give you lots of useful skills for a future as Cabin Crew?
As mentioned above it is not a requirement to go to Flight Attendant School if you want to become a Flight Attendant. You will learn all you need to know to become a Flight Attendant at the Cabin Crew Initial Training. Nevertheless, you may feel more prepared for the Assessment Day if you attend Flight Attendant school, and therefore you are happy to invest the time, effort and money into the course.
Especially people who have applied (unsuccessfully) to be a Flight Attendant several times, they may find that attending a Flight Attendant School may be just the guidance they need to make it through the Assessment Day and Cabin Crew Final Interview.
Flight Attendant Schools seem to be more popular in Asian and Arabic countries compared to America, Europe or Australia. You will however find Flight Attendant Schools in many countries – for example the Pan Am International Flight Academy in USA (several locations) is one of the most famous.
How Much Is Flight Attendant School Cost?
So how much does the Flight Attendant school training actually cost? In the US, Fight Attendant schools often cost around $4,000 USD. You can of course find ones cheaper – for around $1,000, and likewise you can also find extremely expensive ones for over $20,000. Generally the higher the cost of the Air Hostess training course, the longer and more thorough it is. Also bear in mind that you may need to pay for accommodation if the Air Hostess school isn’t near your home (there currently isn’t any certified online Flight Attendant course).
The cost of Flight Attendant schools are expensive (I have yet to hear of a decent cheap or free Flight Attendant school). However if you are keen to attend Flight Attendant school you should definitely look up and contact a few different schools before you commit to one and pay the fees. To find Flight Attendant schools you can just type into Google ‘Flight Attendant school near me’ and it will list all your local ones. Some factors that you should bear in mind when choosing which Flight Attendant school to attend are:
- total cost of tuition program, plus any other fees.
- length of Flight Attendant classes and study program
- what topics are covered in the course
- is help given in helping to find a job afterwards?
If you can’t find any of the information on their website, send them an email or call them to find out. From all the information, you should be able to work out what is the best Flight Attendant school for you according to your needs (mainly time and money).
Requirements to be a Flight Attendant
Before you start thinking seriously about becoming Cabin Crew, you need to know about the specific requirement for Flight Attendants. You will definitely need to keep these in mind if you plan to become a Flight Attendant as some of these are non-negotiable. Requirements to become a Flight Attendant include:
- Height – Height requirements are set for Flight Attendants not to be discriminatory, but because it is a safety requirement for them to be able to reach the overhead stowage compartments unaided as lots of the safety equipment is kept in there. The height requirements for Flight Attendants varies across different airlines, but an average minimum height is around 159cm (5’2″) without shoes. Some airlines also do an arm reach test in addition to checking the height. For the arm reach test, an average reach of 212cm (6’9″) is required.
- Weight – There aren’t specific weight requirements for Flight Attendants – many airlines will check to see that the prospective Cabin Crew are in proportion, they look a healthy weight and that they will be able to fit in the Cabin Crew Uniform. Flight Attendants need to have a relative level of fitness to be able to open the heavy cabin doors and assist in emergency situations, and to be able to spend a long time on their feet. Being a Flight attendant is quite a physical job – it involves a lot of lifting and the Cabin Crew Roster requires a lot of energy, so generally people who apply to become Cabin Crew are relatively healthy.
- Age – In many airlines you can apply to be a Flight Attendant at age 18. However you will find that in some airlines such as those based in the USA and UAE will require their Flight Attendants to be a minimum age of 21. This is because 21 is the legal age for consuming and serving alcohol in the countries where these airlines are located.
- No visible tattoos or piercings – Most airlines do not allow Flight Attendants to have tattoos visible whilst they are in the Cabin Crew uniform. They also don’t allow Flight Attendants to have piercings – except one pair of earrings for female Flight Attendants. In most airlines male Flight Attendants are not allowed any visible piercings.
- Background Check: As with many jobs, if you wish to become a Flight Attendant you will need to pass a background check prior to starting work.
- Medical Screening: Medical Screening is also done as part of the hiring process to become a Flight Attendant, as airlines want to avoid Flight Attendants having medical issues during flights.
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So as we mentioned, it is not mandatory to attend a Flight Attendant School prior to applying to become a Cabin Crew. It can be very useful to some people, however you will often find most of the things that you need to know to prepare for your Assessment Day online, on Flight Attendant Blogs or YouTube for example. Therefore if you don’t have the money or time to attend a Flight Attendant School, don’t worry – it definitely won’t look bad on you.
Make sure you write a cracking CV and do your preparation for the Assessment Day, and you’ll stand just as good a chance as someone who attended Air Hostess School. Remember it’s not so much how you are on paper, but how you perform on the day and how your personality comes through as to whether you will make it through to the Final Interview to become a Cabin Crew.
Other Helpful Articles For Aspiring Flight Attendants
If you’re thinking about becoming a Flight Attendant and want to know more about the career, check out these articles below!
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