In this post I’m going to briefly describe the disadvantages and advantages of being a Flight Attendant, or as they say in the UK, a member of the Cabin Crew.
The growing demand for air travel is creating fresh opportunities for anyone who wants to work in aviation. If you are planning to start an aviation career as a member of the Cabin Crew then this post is for you.
In 2015 Boeing predicated that the global aviation industry would need over half a million new pilots in the next twenty years. For every two members of the air crew in the cockpit the number of Flight Attendants will be proportional to the size of the aircraft.
Many Flight Attendants past and present have explained the advantages and disadvantages of the job. Here is a summary of what some of them have explained are the main pros and cons of this career.
The main role of Cabin Crew is to ensure the safety of passengers. Everything else, including fetching drinks or holding someone’s baby, is secondary to this task. Airline travel is very safe indeed but on the rare occasion there is an accident the crew are there to ensure the safe evacuation of the aircraft as quickly as possible, so although crew are trained and ready for emergencies their day to day tasks include some that are enjoyable and others that are a test of patience and personality.
Advantages of being a Flight Attendant
You will of course travel to many destinations and spend a few days in each. As you travel you’ll be able to broaden your mind meeting new people and learning about other cultures. All this travel might inspire you to learn another language or supplement your training with specialisation courses.
You will probably receive layover and accommodation pay and other financial perks of the job. When you go on holiday yourself you will probably be able to save money on airfares and pass on some discounts to your family. There is still a certain glamour attached to the idea of being in that uniform and many find the profession appealing for this reason.
You could find yourself moving into the five star world of private jets with all the pay and benefits that come with it. You might meet many famous, inspiring or interesting people, and not just in First Class.
Your uniform is provided for you so you don’t have to think about what to wear each day and you don’t wear out your own clothes. There is a great deal of variety in terms of fellow crew members and destinations, so there’s less risk of the boredom of routine.
You can develop a career path within the aviation industry that can last a lifetime. By being a writer, blogger or vlogger you can earn extra income telling stories and passing on your advice to newcomers.
Disadvantages of being a Flight Attendant
Just as the passengers can be interesting and fun some will be hard work and you will have your patience tested. You may have to clean up after both adults and children. The shifts and the jet lag can play havoc with your sleep patterns. Interrupted sleep and lack of freshly cooked meals may have an adverse effect on your mood and health.
Despite the variations the life can become routine depending on the airline and the routes. With some airlines the pay is low and industrial action is sometimes a fact of life for some Cabin Crew. Long term relationships can suffer when one partner is frequently away.
The responsibilities of Flight Attendants mean that the training can be difficult for some. You are likely to miss important dates in your family calendar and you will have to turn down invitations from friends from time to time.
These are just some of the main pros and cons. If you search YouTube you will find Flight Attendants explaining the things they love and those they hate about the job. Once you have earned your wings and you are working in the airline industry you’ll be able to look around for the position that suits you best. This might be short haul or long haul depending on your wants and needs.
When you have spent a few years flying you might leave aviation altogether or take a ground based position for the same airline. Perhaps you will become a Cabin Crew trainer or take on some other role within the company.
If you are drawn to this career then consider these and other advantages then approach the airlines for advice. Look out for their next recruitment drives and take the plunge.