Imagine being able to travel the world, stay in luxury hotels and get paid for it, all while getting amazing travel perks!
Well, this is why becoming a flight attendant is so desirable, but what many people don’t realize is that with everything that has benefits, also has downsides, and being a flight attendant is no exception.
So, do you have the qualities to take the good with the bad?
Keep reading to find out if you’ve got what it takes to join the ranks of flight attendants like me!
1. Multitasking Abilities
Cabin crew are on their feet juggling multiple things at once, from answering multiple call bells to helping a mother out with a crying baby, things can get very hectic 15,000 feet in the sky.
Every airline relies on their flight attendants to be able to effectively multi-task, as that’s a big part of what the job involves!
Multi-tasking is important in all job environments, but especially in the airline industry. This is because as a flight attendant, you have many responsibilities, and knowing how to prioritize those responsibilities from least to most important is essential for a successful flight.
So, how do you know if you’re efficient at multitasking?
Look at your own life, your job and your responsibilities and whether things normally get done on time or whether you get stressed easily and lag behind.
If you do, don’t fear, as there are many ways you can improve your multi-tasking abilities.
2. Problem-Solving Abilities
Just like multi-tasking, problem-solving is also an essential part of being a flight attendant.
On the plane, you will find that people have problems of all sorts, from baggage issues that weren’t sorted at check-in, to passengers having issues with the food onboard.
Unfortunately, traveling can bring out the worst in some people, and that’s why you need to be able to solve problems in the best way possible.
Having problem-solving abilities is very desirable, and if you’re able to remember examples of times you went above and beyond to solve a problem, you’re on the right track to getting the job!
3. Attention to detail
Paying attention to detail means that you notice little things that could otherwise be missed.
Whether it’s seeing something that looks out of place and reporting it, or noticing when your own workplace is untidy and needs cleaning, it’s crucial that as a flight attendant you have this quality.
Because being a flight attendant comes with a lot of safety and security aspects, and being able to notice when something isn’t right is essential to evading a potential problem or hazard.
Are you flexible in your own personal life?
Do you manage to adapt well to new situations and environments?
If you nod yes, then the job as flight attendant may be perfect for you.
Flight attendants are highly adaptable/flexible people who are able to take change in a positive way.
Whether it’s a change of flight, delays in take-off time or crewing calling you and asking you to extend your hours, you need to be able to confidently handle these changes with a good attitude.
5. Interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills is the art of interacting and communicating with other people, whether it be your family, friends, colleagues, customers, and even strangers.
Interpersonal skills are essential for healthy communication because they allow you to actively listen, respond and react in a way that is helpful and mature.
Flight attendants are expected to have interpersonal skills because they are constantly interacting with passengers and their colleagues.
Therefore, having strong communication is essential to being a successful flight attendant.
It could be said that being a ‘people person’ is the same thing, but this is only true if you’re able to effectively listen, communicate and react to people in a way that is beneficial to you and them.
6. Stress management
Stress is a part of life, and no one is immune to it, but how it’s handled makes all of the difference.
Do you react to stress in a way that helps the situation, or do you let it get the best of you?
These are questions to ask yourself before applying for a job as a flight attendant.
While the job may seem glamorous with all of the perks, it also comes with stress associated with multi-tasking, issues onboard, other colleagues and travel in general.
How a flight attendant handles stress determines how smoothly the flight will go, and at the end of the day; doesn’t everyone want a pleasant flight?
There have been cases of flight attendants yelling onboard, breaking down and letting their anger get the best of them, which has resulted in complaints and the airline’s reputation being ruined (especially if it makes it to the news!).
Bottom line? Stress management is crucial when it comes to working in the airline industry.
Related read: 18 PROS & CONS of Being a Flight Attendant
7. Cultural sensitivity
One of the most interesting parts of being a flight attendant is meeting people from different cultures, whether it be the passengers or your colleagues.
Are you aware and accepting of other cultures, or do you turn a blind eye to it?
Cultural sensitivity is a huge part of being a flight attendant, as you will be interacting with different cultures on a daily basis.
8. Swimming ability
Every airline has a requirement that you are able to swim a certain distance or time in water, and for no other reason than to be able to assist yourself, other crew and passengers in an unlikely emergency in water.
Some airlines have tests during the recruitment stage where you will need to visit your local swimming pool and get assessed.
If you fail this component, you cannot go ahead.
The good news is that, if you’re not confident or don’t know how to swim, you can take swimming lessons to learn before taking the test.
9. Team work
Team work requires collaboration with other colleagues in order to get the task or job done.
During a flight, cabin crew have meal services, amongst other tasks, and often rely on their colleagues to give them a helping hand.
For example, during meal service two cabin crew will go out with the meal cart to serve breakfast, lunch or dinner, and will need to effectively communicate and assist each other during the process.
Do you like working in a team and have the necessary skills required?
If yes, you may make an excellent flight attendant!
Patience is a virtue for everyone, but especially for cabin crew.
There will be times where the aircraft is delayed, or the flight is long, and so during these times, it’s essential the crew are patient so that the flight can go smoothly.
If you have patience during your day-to-day life, then you won’t mind the downsides that come with being a flight attendant.
11. Physically fit
One of the tests you may get during the entire recruitment process includes a fitness test, and this is for more reasons than just ensuring you can stay on your feet for long periods at a time.
Flight attendants should be physically fit so that if an emergency were to happen, they would be able to deal with it in a quick and efficient manner.
If you aren’t fit already, start running outdoors or going to the gym, for not only will your body thank you but your mental health and well-being will too!
Being assertive is one major key component to being a flight attendant.
Although you have to be polite in general, there are times when you need to be assertive too, such as when a passenger refuses to comply with safety instructions, or in an emergency situation.
Assertiveness is all about confidence, so ensure you build this up before you decide to become a flight attendant.
Do you like to be organized and tidy?
Sounds like a silly question, but there are many people out there who couldn’t care less about keeping their workplace tidy.
For flight attendants, cleaning and organizing different parts of the galley is essential before welcoming passengers onboard.
Lastly, flight attendants must be able to take initiative onboard.
Whether you are the cabin manager or the most junior crew onboard, taking initiative is a huge part of the job.
You have probably heard that every workplace or team needs a leader, and this is true.
Without leadership, there is no motivation or structure, and without those things – you cannot have a productive work environment.
How many of these qualities do you have?
Are there any you could acquire or improve on?
Being a flight attendant can be a glamorous job at best, but it can also be stressful, tiring, time-consuming and a lot of work. This is why the qualities above are so crucial to staying above it all and succeeding in your job as a flight attendant.