Flight attendant and stewardess: description of the profession

The material is devoted to the description of the profession of a flight attendant and stewardess.

Pros and cons of the profession

It is worth pointing out right away that the work of a flight attendant or flight attendant is paid quite well compared to many other professions. The social package is provided by almost any airline. It is prestigious to work on the planes of Aeroflot and other large companies. The authority and popularity is even higher than that of the police or civil servants, builders or medical workers. Stewards retire early enough.

However, this particular moment is associated with a serious minus of professional activity. The fact that aviation specialists retire at a relatively early age is associated with significant occupational hazards. Despite the romantic halo surrounding aviation, working in it is very exhausting and harmful to the body. Even the latest technical means only weaken, but do not completely eliminate emerging risks. Moreover, fast flights and change of time zones, plus constant being on your feet are fatal harmful factors.

Regular trips and business trips can put an end to relationships even with the most cold-blooded relatives. Or, at least, will constantly cause new and new conflicts. As 2020 showed, the flight attendant profession is also unstable. Demand collapses can occur very abruptly and inevitably.


Another disadvantage is that even if the flights are regular (and primarily for this reason), it is extremely difficult to plan your daily life, because at any moment a directive from the management can intervene.


Responsibilities


From the outside, it may seem that the conductor on the plane should only be polite, elegant, sociable, and even obliged to explain various things to passengers, deliver goods and products. But this is not all that the aviation authorities require. People working in any airline are required to master the action in emergency situations. Sometimes no one but them can provide first aid. If the plane landed urgently away from populated areas or crashed, it is the conductors who will have to:

  • collect all passengers;
  • provide the same assistance;
  • coordinate self-rescue activities.

Of course, such situations are very rare. But nevertheless, all professionals are trained for them. The fact that flight attendants wear a hat and generally use strictly prescribed overalls is also not accidental. This is both an emphasis on corporate affiliation and an increase in prestige among passengers.

But the work that any flight attendant does is far from ending. They appear on board long before they announce the end of the landing. You will definitely have to check the order in the cabin, check whether there is rescue equipment in all the required places. All problems that cannot be fixed by oneself require immediate notification of the technical service. As the ticket holders begin to climb the ladder, the work enters a new phase.

Be sure to greet everyone and help find the right place in the cabin. You also need to help place luggage on the shelves. Everyone knows that stewards serve food and drinks during the flight. They will also have to:

  • give advice on various topics;
  • provide additional services (depending on the specific situation);
  • resolve conflicts as far as possible;
  • act as a link between cabin crew and cabin crew;
  • perform flight safety procedures;
  • comply with emergency procedures;
  • serve pilots and technicians at the same level as business class passengers;
  • maintain cleanliness and order in the cabin (including those places where passengers are not allowed);
  • properly operate on-board and emergency systems;
  • comply with fire protection standards;
  • take into account the cultural norms of different countries when communicating with cabin crew and passengers on international flights;
  • draw up the necessary documentation for the work.


Primary requirements


Personal qualities

It is worth pointing out right away that each airline sets its own standards for what growth should be, and this is not due to the whims of directors, but to the objective requirements of aviation. Deviation from the standard parameters of height and body weight makes it very difficult to move around the aircraft cabin. And if in a normal situation this can still be theoretically tolerable (turning into only a slight deterioration in service), then in an emergency situation it can turn into serious unnecessary troubles. What kind of people are taken, it is best to find out on the website of a particular carrier.

But the characteristics of the figure are far from everything that is expected from stewards and stewardesses. Their work is accompanied by constant stress, even when there are no obvious conflict situations and disputes. Therefore, even on earth they are trying to assess stress resistance and weed out candidates according to this parameter as strictly as possible. After all, on board you will have to not only maintain a balanced psyche in general, but also continue to work hard and scrupulously, not missing any details. There is a place in the air only for disciplined people who can strictly adhere to plans and schedules and punctually observe them.

Flight attendants must be sociable and friendly. They are required to find the optimal balance between caring for customers, forcing them to fulfill their requirements, and emphasized official courtesy.

Observation is also required — inattentive flight attendants are hardly needed by any carrier.

In addition, employers check:

  • hearing and vision;
  • ability to think quickly and make decisions;
  • perception of oral speech (including fast and fuzzy);
  • the ability to switch attention between several objects;
  • the ability to quickly analyze data;
  • emotional flexibility;
  • performance level;
  • willingness and ability to work in a team.

Separately, it is worth dwelling on medical contraindications for working as a flight attendant. They are almost as wide as for flight personnel. It is strictly forbidden to work in this position for patients with diabetes and other endocrine disorders, even with a mild degree of severity. Naturally, the ban applies to patients with any nervous and mental disorders, to those who have a disturbed vestibular apparatus. Such an intense profession is also contraindicated for those suffering from problems with the heart and blood vessels, with the musculoskeletal system, and with the respiratory system.

The list of contraindications also includes:

  • convulsive disorders;
  • violations of coordination;
  • fear of heights and/or confined spaces;
  • allergic disorders;
  • speech disorders;
  • dermatological problems and other pathologies that negatively affect the appearance (after all, the conductor is the face of the company).


Knowledge and skills


Persons, both female and male, wishing to take the position of a flight attendant must also meet purely professional criteria. They need to master perfectly:

  • basic rules for passenger and baggage transportation;
  • principles of operation of rescue equipment;
  • rescue methods in emergency situations;
  • actions that allow for 90 seconds to remove all passengers from the aircraft;
  • completeness of life-saving appliances on board;
  • English (or better still, other foreign languages);
  • psychology;
  • basic information about the culture, traditions, customs and current state of the countries where you will mainly fly;
  • legislation of Russia and other major states in the field of air transportation, cargo and material assets.

Education


As it has already become clear, in order to become a flight attendant or flight attendant, you need to meet very strict requirements. However, this does not mean that only unique intellectuals with a model appearance can occupy such a position. The most ordinary people have considerable chances of success, if they show due perseverance. The training of air personnel — both men and women — is organized in many airlines. In this way, they immediately prepare for themselves the ideal staff for internal requirements. Even if the training is separate from the firm, it often pays for targeted training.

To get into such a training program, you will have to immediately go through an interview and a medical board. (but then you don’t have to go through them additionally). The training course takes from 3 to 6 months. While candidates are being trained, they are paid a corporate stipend. However, there is a downside — after graduation, you will have to work for 2-3 years in the same airline or pay the full cost of training in case of early dismissal. True, for many people this is rather not a minus, but a plus: a guaranteed device and the opportunity to immediately demonstrate their skills. If you have free personal funds, you can enter the School of Flight Attendants. They even teach those who have not passed the corporate interview. There are several such schools, including civil aviation universities in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and a training center in Vnukovo. The cost of training is 40-60 thousand rubles.

It is often mentioned that graduates of such courses are almost guaranteed to get a job in the air. However, not everything is so simple — in addition to getting an education, you will also have to pass additional corporate exams and fly with instructors for 30 hours on real boards. Higher education is not necessary for stewards, but it dramatically increases the chances of employment.

In addition, the combination of higher education, training in corporate courses and knowledge of English allows you to go on international flights. Those who do not meet these requirements are only allowed to travel within Russia, which is far less prestigious and less well paid.

Entering the Vnukovo training center, you will have to pay at least 48,000 rubles. Important: for admission there, you must at least finish school in the amount of 11 classes — while candidates both under 19 and after 25 years will be screened out. Those who pass the «sieve» of selection and medical examination will have to study for 3 months. It is worth considering that only persons registered in Moscow and the Moscow region are taught at Vnukovo, and, of course, citizens of the Russian Federation. Cadets are engaged in simulators, they are looking for work on their own.

The training center of the S7 carrier charges a fee of 45,000 rubles. But those who agree to work for a certain period on board the company will be able to study for free and even receive a scholarship. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. As in the previous case, it is required to graduate from school. The conditions for training at Aeroflot are somewhat different:

  • when employed in the company itself, you do not need to pay for training, but the fee will be deducted from the salary for some time;
  • preparation time — 45 days;
  • real training sorties are provided;
  • citizens of Belarus can be considered as candidates;
  • Only those with at least a secondary specialized education are allowed to take courses.

If a graduate, after completing training at the Aeroflot Aviation School, wants to get a job at another airline, then he will have to pay from 60 thousand rubles for training. Among secondary educational institutions there is only a civil aviation school in St. Petersburg. Be sure to require USE certificates in Russian and literature.


You can also take subjects such as mathematics and Russian in the entrance examinations. This is done at the request of the contestants. Another option — also in St. Petersburg — is the training center of the Federal Air Transport Agency.


Salary


Usually novice flight attendants in Russia earn from 15 to 20 thousand rubles. As already mentioned, tuition costs can be deducted from this amount, so that the actual monthly payment is sometimes even less than the average values. However, as experience is gained, the situation improves. Some experienced air conductors have an income of more than 80,000 rubles. The salary in Aeroflot starts from 40 thousand rubles.

Having gained experience there, it will be possible to qualify for payment of 1500-1800 dollars (but this is on external flights at the current rate). In the domestic message, the rates are more modest. It is worth noting that flight attendants are paid taking into account the region of residence. So, in the Altai Territory, the average rate is 150,000 rubles. In the Krasnoyarsk Territory, stewards receive 120 thousand rubles, in the Moscow region — 106, in Tatarstan — 86, and in the Altai Republic — only 65 thousand.

Other carriers provide this picture:

  • Utair — up to 30 thousand;
  • S7 — from 25000 to 70000;
  • «Victory» — about 50,000 rubles for experienced employees.

Abroad, the situation is as follows (in rubles at the exchange rate at the beginning of 2021):

  • in Kazakhstan — 120 thousand;
  • in the USA — about 200 thousand;
  • in Germany and the UK — about 150 thousand.

In addition to material rewards, you can count on other incentives. Many companies provide solid staff discounts on their tickets. Voluntary health insurance is often paid. Compensation for food and temporary accommodation at the places of arrival may be provided. Also, air personnel are usually guaranteed a vacation of 70 days.


Career


It mostly happens within the profession. For example, you can switch from regional flights to nationwide, and then to intercontinental flights. Or start serving not budget passengers, but business class. Or switch to a more reputable airline. Some air conductors become heads of administrative services (but this is a fundamentally different kind of activity).

Conclusion: career growth, if any, is rather conditional.

Overview of reviews

Flight attendants themselves speak ambiguously about their work. Many of them say that the pay is far from commensurate with the complexity of the functions performed. The biggest objective disadvantage, in addition to various dubious decisions of the management, is a completely unpredictable schedule. The time gap from landing to takeoff is often filled with corporate training. The rules of work are very complex, often contradict each other.

At the age of 40, when the external attractiveness is no longer the same, flight attendants are often “squeezed out” from their positions. The advantage is official employment. The salary is really good by domestic standards.

A lot depends on luck (which colleagues and pilots will come across). Passengers in many cases are treated very badly.

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