Becoming An Air Hostess: A Complete Guide
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 20 January 2023
Published 26 June 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
An important profession in the civil Aviation Industry is that of an air hostess, who assists passengers and keeps them safe during travel. A career as an air hostess might be desirable for you if you are excited about a job in which you can help people and travel to exciting places. In this article, we discuss how to become an air hostess, what their responsibilities are, what skills you require to become one and how to get started in your career.
What Is An Air Hostess?
An air hostess is a member of the cabin crew on a commercial airline who works to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers during a flight. Air hostesses are also responsible for checking the emergency arrangements before flight takeoff and landing. They perform their work for a single airline and typically receive training for their position from the same company where they work. This training usually lasts several weeks and can help prepare them for their duties.
Responsibilities Of An Air Hostess
Air hostesses have a variety of responsibilities to complete during commercial flights, including:
Communicating safety procedures
Before an airplane takes off, it can be very important for the air hostesses to communicate all the safety procedures that passengers require to follow during the trip. Communicating these procedures, rules and regulations before the plane takes off can help keep the passengers and cabin crew members safe during the flight. Safety procedures can also help inform passengers of evacuation and safety procedures in the event of an emergency.
Assisting passengers with onboarding and deplaning
An air hostess welcomes passengers when they onboard and ushers them to their respective seats. They also assist passengers with their hand baggage and help them to make sure that the luggage is securely stored. After the flight has landed, air hostesses thank the passengers for their journey and help them in deplaning.
Serving food and beverages
An important duty of an air hostess is to serve food and beverages to the passengers during a flight. For shorter duration flights, air hostesses may come once or twice to offer snacks and beverages to the passengers. For international flights or long-duration domestic flights, air hostesses may serve full meals, beverages and other refreshments to the passengers multiple times during the flight.
Another important responsibility of air hostesses is to maintain the cleanliness of the plane. To fulfil this responsibility, it is customary for them to collect any garbage after they have served food and beverages.
Assisting passengers during the flight
One of the most important responsibilities of an air hostess is to assist the passengers during the flight. Air hostesses are often responsible for responding to passenger queries and helping them throughout the course of the flight. Passengers typically have a button they can press to call an air hostess during the flight in case they need help with anything.
Keeping track of plane inventory and passenger purchases
Air hostesses also sell merchandise like small toys, pillows and blankets during the flight, apart from food and beverages. It is important for an air hostess to keep a record of all the purchases made by passengers and update their selections on the plane inventory. They can also be responsible for counting collected cash and preparing sales reports.
Air hostesses make several announcements on behalf of the pilot during a flight to keep passengers informed. The announcements might contain important information on flight duration, safety or landing times. Pilots might also ask hostesses to relay important information like cruising altitude and letting passengers know when they can safely remove their seatbelts.
Eligibility To Become An Air Hostess
Here are the eligibility criteria that you require to fulfil to become an air hostess:
You typically require to clear your 10 + 2 senior secondary examination with a minimum of 45-50% to be eligible to become an air hostess. There is typically no graduation requirement to become an air hostess, but it might help in gaining the relevant skills. Fluency in speaking English can also be a requirement to be eligible for this profession.
You are required to be in good physical and mental health to become an air hostess. Take special consideration for the hours and physical demands of the job when deciding if this career is right for you. Air hostesses may require to work at odd hours, as many flights occur early in the morning or late at night. They are also often responsible for assisting customers with their luggage. This can sometimes require heavy lifting.
Skills Required To Succeed As An Air Hostess
Here are some important skills that can help you build a successful career as an air hostess:
One of the most important responsibilities of an air hostess is to provide excellent customer service to the passengers. As an air hostess, you welcome passengers, serve and assist them in a variety of ways throughout your day. To execute this, it can help to have a pleasing and friendly personality with a positive attitude towards helping people.
As an air hostess, a major part of your role would be to interact with passengers, for which good communication skills are essential. Your command of English and other languages is required to be excellent, and you are required know how to address the queries and concerns of passengers.
Related: How To Improve Communication Skills
Flights operate on a variety of schedules, with planes leaving very early in the morning or very late at night. This can lead to early or late shifts for air hostesses and might require them to stay away from home for variable durations. As an air hostess, you are required to have a flexible schedule and be ready to work irrespective of the time of the day.
Knowledge of emergency protocols
Airlines have specific protocols in place in case the plane has to make an emergency landing or for any other emergency during a trip. It is important for air hostesses to have a good understanding of what needs to be done in case of any emergency. Extensive knowledge can help hostesses respond to passenger questions confidently and accurately.
Calm under pressure
In the event of an emergency, it is important for an air hostess to remain calm under pressure. Often, in these situations, passengers might look to air hostesses for guidance and assistance. Air hostesses are also required to have a presence of mind so that they can instruct and help panicked passengers during emergency situations.
How To Become An Air Hostess?
Here are a few steps you can take when planning how to become an air hostess:
1. Earn an undergraduate degree
While you can apply for most air hostess jobs after clearing your class XII board exam or 10+2 exam, earning a three-year bachelor's degree can be beneficial as it can give you the skills relevant for the job and can add more weight to your resume.
Airlines rarely require candidates to possess a specific degree, but having a major in fields like communications, public relations or a foreign language can be very beneficial if you want to become an air hostess. These majors can help you in communicating effectively with the passengers, and a foreign language major might qualify you for job opportunities at international airlines.
2. Gain relevant experience
A critical requirement of an air hostess job is to interact with the customers, for which strong interpersonal skills are required. These skills are most important if you want to succeed in your career as an air hostess, and you can gain these skills by getting relevant experience in the customer service industry. Doing jobs as a waitress or receptionist can add weight to your resume, and might help you in landing a job as an air hostess.
3. Consider getting a certification
There are many institutes that provide training on becoming an air hostess and provide certifications as well. Doing these certifications can add value to your resume and show your commitment and dedication to this profession to potential employers. An added benefit is that some of these institutes collaborate with various airlines, which might help you in securing a job as an air hostess.
4. Apply for a position at an airline
You can apply for an air hostess position at an airline by tailoring your resume and cover letter for that specific airline and sending across your application. You can decide on which airline to apply to based on a variety of factors like the areas served by the airline and its flight schedule. Consider doing research on the airline to help you design an effective resume that reflects the airline's values.
5. Attend the necessary training
Airlines companies usually train their new hires for three to six weeks. You are required to attend this training to learn important information, such as job responsibilities, safety regulations and how the airline operates.
At the end of the training, the airline might ask you to work as a trainee where you perform the duties of a cabin crew member under the guidance and observation of a fully certified air hostess.
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