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Air Hostess Job Description

Shalu Bhatti Jun 23, 2019
An air hostess is a female flight attendant, qualified and trained to cater to the needs of the passengers on board. This glamorous career is not as easy and fun as it seems. Read on to know about the benefits this profile has and the challenges the aspirants should be prepared to face.

Famous Quote

"Sally Weston: Donna, did I ever tell you about a nasty habit that flight attendants pick up on the job?
Donna Jensen: No.
Sally Weston: We learn to always keep smiling, even when we're out of Bloody Mary mix."

~ From the movie 'View from the Top'
It's a dream for most girls to have a career that gives them an opportunity to fly around the world with a chance to look their best, always!
If you are one of them, you must be willing to face the challenges and difficulties that are bound to come your way. Air hostesses are expected to look, act and serve like the angels in the sky who are taking care of the passengers travelling miles above the surface of the earth. And, it is not easy to be an angel.
The Federal Aviation Academy (FAA) has implemented certain laws and guidelines regarding the job requirements of being an air hostess, as this career option is one of the most important and sought after jobs available in the aviation sector.

Job Description

An air hostess works in a commercial domestic and/or international flight. One requires a pleasing personality and a demeanor that naturally displays perseverance, patience and compassion. Here are the duties that an air hostess is expected to perform.

Before Travel

  • Carefully pay attention to flight details that the pilot discusses with crew members during briefing.
  • Ensure necessary equipment like first-aid kits, emergency exits and other evacuation devices function properly.
  • Ensure there is adequate amount of food and beverages and supplies like pillows, blankets, reading material, etc.

During Travel

  • To check passenger tickets, assist passengers to find their seat and place the carry-on baggage.
  • To inform passengers about safety rules and policies while aboard. This includes notifying the passengers about emergency exits, and using safety equipment.
  • To fulfill their basic requests including food and beverages as per preferences.
  • To provide blankets and pillows, taking care of passengers who require special attention in their illness, helping passengers with finding their seats, placing their luggage, and so on.
  • To monitor and protect the public safety of the passengers on board.
  • To make necessary announcements regarding the flight schedule, the duration of the flight, the weather conditions.
  • To handle passenger queries with patience and poise, even if the passenger is irate or irrational.

Qualifications

  • At least a high school diploma is mandatory. However, most international airlines prefer a college diploma.
  • Additional degrees in psychology, tourism, and communication skills will prove to be an added advantage to the resume. This is so because being an air hostess demands humbleness, good communication skills, politeness, and customer service.
  • An FAA certificated training is also mandatory for an aspiring air hostess. This training teaches how to handle passengers under critical circumstances such as terrorist attacks, injuries, emergency situations, and so on.

Physical Appearance

The age limit varies from 16-29 years, depending upon the airline. Other requirements when it comes to physical appearance are:
  • Good Height: The height limit varies depending upon the specific airline; however, if you think you are tall enough to comfortably reach the overhead bin of the flight, then you should be good to go.
  • Clear Complexion: Airlines demand the air hostess aspirants to have a clear complexion, with clean and healthy skin, without any spots and blemishes on the face.
  • Physical and Mental Fitness: The attendants have to be physically and mentally fit, to keep up with the challenges that are a part of the job.
A pleasant smile, confidence in the way you carry yourself, and a fit and healthy body and mind are the additional requirements. Websites of the respective airlines will provide all the information that you need.

Personality Traits

  • A Pleasing and Charming Persona: This is essential as they cater to the needs of the passengers to make their journey comfortable and delightful.
  • Patience and Perseverance: Patience is needed as you handle people from across the globe who can be very difficult to deal with. But, you need to hold your calm with them.
  • Excellent Communication Skills: A passenger will not be satisfied with your services if you are unable to communicate effectively with him. Having excellent communication skills is your way to win your passenger's heart with your words.
  • Sharp-Sightedness: You need to be quick and alert, as this job needs highly competitive people. You may face emergency evacuation situations. Many factors have to be checked while on air; thus, sharp-sightedness is essential.

A neat attire, a groomed look, a caring and friendly approach and a hospitable smile are the traits you must possess.

Working Conditions

No matter how glamorous and amazing the job of an air hostess seems to be, they have their share of challenges as well. Some of these are:
  • The working hours are irregular as there are always delays and changes in the flight plan.
  • For domestic flights the shift can go for 12 to 14 hrs, or even more than that if you are working for an international flight.
  • The job requires you to work during holidays or weekends, making you spend approximately 75-100 hrs per month in the air, plus additional 50 hours spent on writing reports and preparing to fly. You do get paid for the overtime on an hourly basis and the airline pays for your hotel stay and meals, but, most of the time is spent traveling.

Remuneration and Rewards

Speaking of remuneration, the salary varies from country to country and from airline to airline. In the US, salary of a fresher ranges between USD 21,000 and USD 60,000. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of a flight attendant (annually) in the USA was USD 50,500 in May 2017. Also, they are paid extra for overtime.
Apart from the basic salary, air hostesses also avail attractive perks and packages including free stay at the world's luxurious 5 star hotels, free pick and drop, a chance to meet and serve some of the most famous celebrities and to see the entire world at its best while getting paid for it. It is truly a career filled with style, dignity, money, and class!

Career Growth

As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 10% increase in employment of this sector from 2016-2026. Apart from that, if you love traveling and glamor, love to see new places, are willing to take the challenges that this job has to offer (with the mindset of excelling in your job in each and every possible way), growth is definitely inevitable.
They say you have to wait for a lifetime to get the best rewards. As far as this rewarding job is concerned, you don't really have to wait for a lifetime, but yes, you do need to start focusing on your strengths and work towards your goals of becoming an air hostess.
There is a lot of competition, and with a job as rewarding as this, there is bound to be the selection of the finest to get through the spot. All you require is the passion and the heart to serve others by always being your best, and no one can stop you from taking off and flying high.
To conclude, we'd like to quote a line from the movie View from the Top, which surely has inspired many girls throughout the globe to become an air hostess. The line goes something like this - "Life is a series of arrivals and departures." Make sure you catch your flight in time. All the best.