A nice view isn’t what makes a plane ride enjoyable, excellent service is. There is nothing quite as reassuring as being looked after by friendly and warm people, who put your interest and safety first, which is the job of flight attendants.
It is easy to admire flight attendants, they are always well-spoken, polite and professional. They always look good and have wonderful smiles to reassure you in every situation. They are always there in the case of an emergency and are always willing to answer your questions and see that your concerns are addressed.
There are so many perks to becoming a flight attendant, including the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world, meet new people every day and enjoy discounts on flight tickets for yourself and your family.
- Who is a flight attendant?
- Duties of a flight attendant
- How to Become a flight attendant
Who is a flight attendant?
Also known as a steward/stewardess or air host/hostess, flight attendants are members of the aircrew who are responsible for the safety and comfort of passengers aboard commercial planes, business jets and government aircraft. Along with pilots and other professionals aboard a plane, they are collectively known as cabin crew.
Duties of a flight attendant
The duties of a flight attendant are more than just serving food and drinks and putting on a smile. Their duties encompass everything that goes into ensuring the safety and comfort of passengers, which are numerous. The primary duties of flight attendant include:
- Greeting customers, reviewing their flight tickets and guiding them to their seats.
- Conducting safety checks before flights.
- Ensuring that passengers have their seat belts tightened.
- Providing information, guidance and assistance to passengers.
- Giving passengers instructions on how to use emergency equipment.
- Monitoring the cabin and ensuring calm and quiet.
- Preparing and serving food and drinks to passengers.
- Providing special assistance to passengers with special needs (children, the elderly, pregnant women, disabled people).
- Handling emergencies when it arises.
How to Become a flight attendant
1. Complete secondary school
You must complete secondary school before you can become a flight attendant. This is a prerequisite for almost every profession in Nigeria. The subjects most beneficial to flight attendants in secondary school include Mathematics, English Language, Geography, Economics, Commerce, food and nutrition and foreign languages. There is not a strict requirement for subject combination in secondary school, but the above subjects will be beneficial in a career as a flight attendant.
2. Obtain a bachelor’s degree
You don’t necessarily need to obtain a bachelor’s degree to become a flight attendant, however, it will give you an edge when applying for jobs. Having a degree in hospitality, human relations, psychology, customer service or a related field will make you more qualified for jobs.
3. Meet the basic requirements
Before you start applying for jobs, you have to meet certain requirements, if not, there is a very high chance you will fail. The requirements include:
- Educational requirements: as I’ve mentioned before, you must complete secondary school to become a flight attendant, and while you do not need any higher education apart from secondary school, most employers prefer to hire candidates with higher education. So it may be worth it to invest in earning a university degree.
- Age: Airline companies may have slight variations in their age requirements, but they generally tend to hire candidates between 18 and 35 years old.
- Physical fitness: Flight attendants will need to be able to respond in record time when an emergency occurs. To be able to do this, you have to be fit both mentally and physically. Most airlines in Nigeria have specific physical requirements before hiring flight attendants which may include completing a range of physical tasks like pushing, pulling, jumping, lifting, bending, and being able to sit in a jumpseat.
- Language proficiency: You must speak fluent English and have good grammar to become a flight attendant. You also may need to be fluent in one or two more languages. Some airlines have specific language requirements which you must meet if you want to work for them.
- Height and weight: Some airlines have specific requirements for the height and weight of flight attendants.
- Have an international passport: This goes without saying especially if you are working for an international airline.
4. Gain relevant skills and qualifications
Go the extra mile and obtain skills and qualifications. It will give you an advantage when applying for jobs. Certain skills are relevant to flight attendants, including efficient problem-solving skills, effective communication skills and excellent interpersonal skills. You can even attend courses and receive certifications from aviation schools.
Experience in customer service or hospitality and knowledge of First Aid will be valuable to you. One crucial role of flight attendants is being able to handle medical emergencies when it arises.
5. Apply to airlines
Once you’re prepared to start your career as a flight attendant, it’s now time to research the various airlines that are hiring and review their hiring process thoroughly. Airlines usually advertise job openings on their websites so you need to regularly check on the airlines you are interested in. Submit a well-crafted resume and cover letter detailing your skills and experiences, and tailor them to the job description of each airline.
If an airline reaches out to you for an interview, then congratulations because you are a step closer to achieving your dream. This is a critical stage, so ensure that you research and prepare adequately. Be confident and showcase your great skills and passion for the aviation industry.
6. Complete airline-specific training
If you manage to make it to this stage then you are almost there. Once an airline hires you as a flight attendant, the airline will put you through intensive training covering various aspects including customer care, service protocols, emergency evacuation, safety procedures, airline rules and regulations, and many more. What the training entails and how long it will last will depend on the airline.
7. Obtain certification
As a flight attendant, it is essential to obtain certification from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). The airline you are working for will guide you on how to go about the process. The certification typically involves completing specified training and passing relevant exams.
A career as a flight attendant is both exciting and fulfilling. You get to visit so many places in the world and gather many experiences. It is a respectable and well-paying career in Nigeria, as flight attendants receive an average of N116,000 per month.
If you want to become a flight attendant, then there’s nothing stopping you. All you have to do is follow the guide in this article and you will surely achieve your dream.